January 10, 2011

Learning Life’s Lessons

Day 10: 20.7 miles/1:15

 “Life is like a learning a foreign language, the more you study it the more you understand.

This is a quote that I borrowed and reworked from one of Brandon’s Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings.  The original quote was, “Addiction is like learning a foreign language, the more you study it the more you understand.  And, those that really understand it, speak it very well.”

Life isn’t any easier.  No one has all the answers.  Nothing can prepare us for some of the challenges we face until we face them.  And, once we face them, we are dealing with something we have no experience with so we are left to learn to figure it out as we go.  This is why I love this quote.  For learning a foreign language is just as challenging without the risk, the pain, and the anxiety of the lessons.  In studying a foreign language, the words , the phrases, and the sentences all come to us as unfamiliar information until we sort it out, internalize it, and move on to the next lesson.  Sounds like the journey of life to me.

The real challenge in learning and studying life is to find comfort in embracing the journey.  Much like the discussion regarding the roller coaster, dealing with life’s lessons is not much fun for many people.  Most would like to get through whatever it is they need to deal with and move on.  That works, if you want out of a mess.  It does not work if you want to avoid a repeat of the mess.  Remember, history has a way of repeating itself.  If you do not learn from the first experience, you may find yourself revisiting the lesson later.

Life lessons are the same for each of us.  While no one is an expert, we do not have to face our challenges alone.  We have people around us every day who have lived the language of life complete with its joys, sorrows, challenges and opportunities.  The opportunity and the task for us is to take advantage of the lessons of others and the lessons we have already learned, and put them to work to our advantage.  The experts cannot help us avoid all life’s trials and tribulations; but, they can help us understand how we can learn and respond to them when we are in the battle.

The more you learn from your lessons, the more likely it is that you will be prepared for the next lesson.  Like studying a foreign language, each lesson builds on the previous one.  Skip a class or skip a lesson and you may not be prepared for or understand the next one.  Life is the same way.  Everything we experience, whether we enjoyed it or not, is a lesson that is preparing us for the next step on our journey.  Take the time to discover, understand and internalize what you learned along the way.  It is a lot more productive than simply skipping the lesson because you didn’t like it or don’t want to understand it.  That puts you in a position of potentially repeating the class.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.