What I have learned

At a business I patronize weekly, a couple of people voiced grievances about me and the owner called to address the issue. It wasn’t a right or wrong kind of situation. Just the result of miscommunication or more accurately lack of communication since noone had talked to me directly. To my own surprise, I didn’t react defensively. I showed compassion for the person on the line who was tasked with being the middle man. I showed understanding for the other side. I showed maturity in offering a solution. I was calm cool and collected and best of all, I wasn’t pretending.

Ten years ago, I would have blamed and incriminated. My how I have grown.
I’m still 5 foot 3 but the soul inside has been stretched to new heights. The stretching is almost always uncomfortable but the being that comes after feels awesome.

I am someone I respect, someone I trust, someone I like most of the time. Not perfect but better and better.
Just in the last six months I’ve made a great leap. A milestone birthday celebrated during a hard season of life was my fast pass ticket towards growth. I turned 40 and my husband had just had his entire colon removed to keep cancer at bay.
Anytime death becomes a more imminent possibility, life takes on a new dimension. Pain and suffering have the benefit of putting everything else in its right place. The important is easier to discern. The trivial easier to ignore. I have held on to this hard earned perspective even as my husband has recovered and the future looks brighter.

I have learned to recognize that most of life’s urgencies are not emergencies.
I have learned to let go of the illusion of control.
I have learned that savoring the now is the only way to tame my fear of the future.
I have learned that I can’t do everything but I can do what matters.

I have learned to see things from someone else’s perspective. But I’ve also learned to be secure in my own beliefs.
I have learned that I do not need another’s permission to be myself. That anyone can judge me but their judgement doesn’t define me.

I have learned to look forward to the other side of a tough spot. I now know there IS another side. The side where a better version of me awaits.

I have learned that happiness is not a circumstance but a choice.

I have learned that I am a Highly Sensitive Person. What I mistook for whims and selfish desires were in fact legitimate needs. By respecting my needs for quiet and alone time I have flourished. Self care may feel like indulging but it doesn’t only benefit me. When I take care of myself, I take better care of my family. When I honor my needs, I’m able to make room for theirs.
My husband is happier. My daughter is too.

I have learned to curb my complaining.
I have learned to avoid gossiping.
I have learned to silence hurtful words.
I have learned to stop nagging. Gasp!

I have learned that things won’t always go my way and sometimes it’s for the better.
I have learned that even messing up is okay if I say sorry and apologize with a sincere heart.

I have learned that Life can be crazy and I don’t have it all figured out.
I don’t need to. I just need to keep on learning.


Next week’s essay is titled “Çalıkuşu,Lovebird- Lessons about love from a Turkish TV Series”. Subscribe using the widget below if you wish to be notified when new essays are published. Thank you for reading.

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