Four Lessons Life Has Taught Me


My inspiration for this post came from my dear, longtime blogging friend, Debbie @ Musings by an ND Domer's Mom, who is not only a gifted writer, but also a published author. Last week Debbie shared a very interesting post in which she shared ten things she learned since her third decade. And at the end of the post, she invited her readers to do the same on their blogs, which I immediately knew I wanted to do. However, I didn't use the same post title, nor am I sharing ten things. I'm sharing four. And I titled my post, "Four Lessons Life Has Taught Me."

I'm a believer that life itself is the greatest teacher because it will very often take you down roads you didn't plan on traveling. And ironically enough, those roads end up having the most impact because it's where we seem to acquire the most valuable education on how life works.


My Four Lessons

Honoring your body 

Sometimes when I think about how our bodies are designed, it's mind-blowing to me. And I'm not only referring to its exterior, I'm talking more about its inner workings. To think that we are born with a heart that continues to beat for however long we live is just amazing. I'm 64. So, the heart I was born with has been beating for 64 years. And that's like WOW when you really, truly think about it.

It wasn't until I got very ill in 2015 and spent two weeks in a hospital, did I realize how much I took my body for granted. I've never been abusive to my body, however, I know that I have always assumed that nothing would ever go wrong because I was born with such a strong and healthy body. Illness was something that happened to someone else, but not to me. I felt almost arrogantly invincible.

Boy, did I ever need to learn a lesson. 

Since my illness, my whole attitude about my body has changed. I've become much more conscious of it; appreciating how everything within it has a purpose and that it's all interconnected. For as scary as that experience was, it's something I look back on with tremendous gratitude because it gave me awareness.

In fact, when I do my weekly yoga practice and meditations, I finish by vocally thanking my body for all the incredible things it does that allows me to physically move through life. 

I know that may sound silly. Yet, when I thank my body, I can actually feel it responding back to me with love and gratitude. And it's gotten to a point where not only am I more aware of my body, I communicate with it because it tells me exactly what it needs.

It's so true what they say about life. When you've got your health, you've got everything. 


Live Now

Have you ever noticed how so often your thoughts are either in the past, or they're projecting into the future? You think, "Coulda Woulda Shoulda" or "I'm so worried about what's going to happen three months from now."

This is a lesson I have to stay consciously on top of because my thoughts can sometimes wander from the past to the future.

But I have to say, I'm getting much better at staying focused on the now.

Yes, the past has great value because it taught me what I've learned up until now.

And the future has great value as well because it gives me something to plan for.

However, it is only in the present do I receive my inspiration for what's best right now; giving me what I need for the future.

So, whenever I feel my thoughts rolling backwards or projecting forward, I take a moment to bring my thoughts to the moment at hand. And I say to myself, "Shut the hell up Ron, and stop thinking.

And start feeling...

...the now."

Trust yourself

I am so grateful that I've developed a strong sense of trusting myself because I was born at a time when you were taught to always listen to the opinions of others (particularly your elders) because they knew better. Yet, I always felt that it was more important to trust myself because when it comes right down to it, I'm the one who has to make the choices. No one else can do that for me.

I have a pretty keen sense of intuition, which I've learned to read and respect.

It took me a while to trust it. But I found out that whenever I second guessed it, I eventually realized that I should have followed it.

Intuition and trusting go hand in hand.

And that also goes for the times in my life when I'm frightened about something and need to trust that I'll be okay.

Which brings me to my fourth lesson that connects with my first lesson.


Suffering is the resistance to what is

This is a lesson that pretty much goes against everything we're taught. Which is that if we don't like what is, we can just change it because we have complete control over our lives.

But I've learned that's not always the case because regardless of how deliberate I am in designing my ideal life, life will sometimes throw me a pop-quiz. Just to see if I'm paying attention.

For instance. When I got ill and had to spend time in the hospital, I was scared beyond shitless.

Now, was that part of my intentional design?

Hell no, that was not something I would ever design for myself.

Yet, I intuitively knew while I was sitting in the emergency room that my stay in the hospital was going to teach me something I needed to learn. I could just feel it.

The reality was, yes, I was suffering physically.

But I knew that I didn't need to suffer mentally and emotionally as well.

So, I began to change my way of looking at the experience. I altered my perspective. Because really, what other choice did I have?

And when I finally allowed myself to fully accept it, I was given all the clarity I needed to move through it. I felt as if I was both the observer and the participant of my experience.

I remember my brother talking with me on the phone while I was still in the hospital and asked, "How are you not freaking out about all this? Are you scared?"

I said, "Yes, I'm scared. But freaking out is not going to help, it's only going to make it worse. I can't do anything to change this other than looking at it differently."

Suffering of any kind is a bitch. But we are not ever going to escape the things that cause us to suffer because suffering will always play a role in our lives.

Nevertheless, I discovered that if I don't resist those things, it defuses the suffering by giving way to what is of value.

As I shared in my first lesson, I look back on this experience with tremendous gratitude because it softened me and toughened me at the same time.


Have a fantabulous week, y'all!
💗

And thanks for the inspiration, Debbie!

24 comments

  1. Ron, thank you so much for sharing this post. I really appreciate how honest you are in sharing your struggles as well as your successes. We're human and we all struggle with things until we finally "get it." Your lesson about suffering really resonated with me. And you're correct in saying that resistance to what is, causes the suffering. I can see that.

    I've told you this before how you always inspire me with your life. Thank you!

    Great post, dude! I'm going to share this with my girlfriend tonight. She'll find this very interesting.

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  2. Ron, what a fabulous list of life lessons!! I especially love the one about listening to your body, doing what you can to care for it, and asking it to tell you what it needs. YES!! It's truly amazing how our bodies work and how they can heal themselves ... if we'll work together. And your lessons on suffering are spot-on, too. None of us wants to suffer, but as my late dad used to remind me, "There's more than enough pain and misery to go around for all of us." We don't get out of here unscathed, but we can learn from our sufferings things the easy road doesn't teach us.


    I'm thrilled you continued my life lessons listing, my friend (thanks, too, for the shout-out!!). We've all been on different paths and are at different life stages right now; consequently, we can -- and should -- learn from each other. You've done such a good service this day! Now go, and enjoy your work week! xo

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  3. Oh Ron, this post could not have come at a more perfect time in my own life because I've been struggling with trusting myself about something at the moment, yet I know in my gut what needs to be done. Why do we doubt ourselves? Another lesson I need to learn is living now. God, I fret over the future so much and it only makes my fear worse. You're right, focusing on the present is where we need to be because the past is the past and the future hasn't even happened yet.

    Thank you for posting this, Ron. I'm going to come back to this later in the week and read it again. xo

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  4. Hiya Matt!

    "We're human and we all struggle with things until we finally "get it."

    Yes, you're absolutely right! And that's why when I share one of my life lessons, I also share the struggle I had with it. And trust me, I have struggled A LOT with all of these. But that's all part of the learning. I remember years ago (back in the late 80's) when one of my meditation teachers talked about suffering, but back then I didn't "get it." It took years for me to see what she was talking about.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a most excellent week!

    X

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  5. Debbie, my friend, I can't thank you enough for inspiring me to share my own lessons. I knew the second I read your post that I wanted to do that here. So thank you!

    "I especially love the one about listening to your body, doing what you can to care for it, and asking it to tell you what it needs. YES!! It's truly amazing how our bodies work and how they can heal themselves ... if we'll work together."

    Yes, you said it...if we'll work together! You know, sometimes when I'm shopping for food at Trader Joe's, I will actually hear my body telling me what to get for nourishment, I kid you not. Sometimes it will be a certain vegetable, other times it will be a certain fruit, nut, or grain. I had a yoga instructor once time that told me to learn how to listen to my body because it will guide me to be healthy. And they were right.

    I love your father's advice. And you're right...none of us get out of here unscathed, but we can learn from suffering.

    "We've all been on different paths and are at different life stages right now; consequently, we can -- and should -- learn from each other.

    A-MEN!

    Have a faaaaaaabulous week, my friend. And thanks again!

    X

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  6. Hey there Candice!

    I know, what is it that we doubt ourselves?!? I also knew (even as a kid) that it was up to me to make choices for myself by listening to myself. And trust me, even though I knew that, I still doubted myself at times. But that's how you learn.

    I'm an air sign (a Libra), and air signs live a lot in their heads (thinking), so I had to learn how bring myself back to the present and stop thinking about what was or what if. I still have to be conscious of that because it's a never ending process of learning.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing, my friend. Have a terrific week!

    X

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  7. Great lessons, Ron. You and I both experienced unexpected illnesses and hospital stays, and like you, I feel I learned to appreciate my body more and not take it for granted because of that. I still make it a point to walk four miles a day 4-5 days a week and am careful with what I eat (though not as militant as those first couple of years).

    Keep up the good work and positivity, my friend!

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  8. DA PerrucciJuly 13, 2020

    Thanks so much, Ron, for this post. What a scary experience to have spent 2 weeks in the hospital as I went and read that post. Your posts always resonate with honesty, something that can be very difficult to do especially in these times.
    Like so many others, I have also struggled with many things in my life, past and present. You are so right about trusting ourselves first. I truly believe, as you do, that intuition should not be overlooked and heeded whenever possible. Some of my best decisions have been made when I listened to myself and some of the worse ones when I didn't.
    Also, while this isn't on this post's topic, thanks for always leaving such positive comments on my posts. Sometimes I do get rather carried away with a lot of background but I am teaching myself all the time and if others enjoy reading, all the better.

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  9. Thank you for sharing such a personal perspective, Ron. I can really relate to your first one because I had two health scares between Oct 2018 and March 2019 that really made me step back and look at my food intake, exercise, and sleep patterns. I’m much more diligent about all three now and I feel better just knowing I’m doing everything I possibly can to remain healthy. It’s also helped me not freak out about COVID.

    Good life lessons on trusting yourself and living in the present. I’m glad I did the new things every week last year. It helped me step out of my comfort zone and enjoy life now. The older I get, the more I think about the need to enjoy every day because there are no promises how much longer good health and life will last.

    I hope your week is full of good things, Ron. XO

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  10. Rob LenihanJuly 13, 2020

    Hey, Ron, this is such an incredible post! Thank you so much for sharing your insights with us.

    I'm a year younger than you, but I think you're way ahead of me on life's learning curve.

    I know that so much of my suffering is caused by my resistance to what is. No amount of anger or complaining will ever change the facts.

    And I haven't trusted myself enough over the years, so, far too often, I gave into fear and played it safe.

    Mindfulness is so important because it keeps up from regretting the past and fearing the future.

    Life is meant to be lived, not dreaded. This post is a handy reminder of what to do with you time on Planet Earth.

    Bravo, buddy!

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  11. Hey there Mark!

    Yes, I so remember when you had that hospital emergency several years ago. Isn't that a scary thing? Especially when it happens suddenly after never having anything go wrong with your health.

    And for you for walking and watching what you eat. Having something like that happen to us really makes us wake up and pay attention to our bodies and respect them.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story, my friend. Greatly appreciate that!

    Have a faaaaaaaaaaaabulous week!

    X to you and Tara

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  12. Hey there Rob!

    You've been doing SO AWESOME with your learning these past six months. I've been so impressed with your ability to consciously watch yourself and then change your way of thinking and reacting. Honestly, you ROCK!!!!

    Isn't it something how resisting was is causes so much suffering? And we all do it because it's our natural instinct to resist it. It's like being afraid of drowning in the water, so we thrash about trying not to drown. But when we finally relax and give in to it, we begin to float and relax.

    "Mindfulness is so important because it keeps up from regretting the past and fearing the future. Life is meant to be lived, not dreaded."

    I LOVE how you expressed that. You are sooooooooooooo right!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story within thing post, buddy! You've added MUCH!

    And have a faaaaaaaabulous week!

    X

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  13. I agree with every last bit of this post. Like you, I was always pretty sanguine about my health and physical integrity until cancer walloped me. I am much more keenly appreciative of my body AND more inclined to live in the now while I have it. I, too, believe that if we allow ourselves to be open to lessons, we can reduce how much we suffer emotionally/spiritually. Not that we can't acknowledge and experience grief and fear and pain, but that we can ride those out and see beyond it.

    Thanks for this post, my friend.

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing your experience because I know that you completely understand about appreciating your body and good health. I am so impressed by how you embrace your journey; moving through it with such grace.

    " I, too, believe that if we allow ourselves to be open to lessons, we can reduce how much we suffer emotionally/spiritually. Not that we can't acknowledge and experience grief and fear and pain, but that we can ride those out and see beyond it."

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Beautifully expressed!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Wishing you a faaaaaaaabulous week!

    X

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  15. Thanks for sharing your life lessons. I think my body is telling me I'm too old to try and do some of the things I do! It's a good thing to listen to your body and it IS an amazing, complex creation. Back surgery and rotator cuff surgery showed me that. And to watch Entrepreneur's body recover and adapt after brain surgery is nothing less than amazing. I think I have a good sense of intuition, but I don't always trust my feelings as they sometimes are subject to my circumstances, and I find I need to trust in something bigger than my own understanding. I just finished a study on Genesis 32 and realize God sometimes wrestles with us in our fear, loss and disappointment to get us to focus and not succumb to our anxieties. He meets us in unexpected ways and it's rarely convenient. But it's always to teach lessons. I've learned over the past five years to focus on finding joy in the present, but I'm living with the end in mind. Not by obsessing over what may or may not happen, but living with the confidence of my faith, which drives my thoughts and actions for today. Hope you are having a good summer. X

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  16. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings, Lisa!

    Have a fabulous week, my friend!
    X

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  17. Ron, I LOVED this post! Boy oh boy, there are two of these that really touched me to my core. The one about living now, and the one about suffering. You know, I never really thought about how suffering is the result of resisting what is, but it's true because if I think back to the most recent time when that happened to me, I see now that much of the suffering I was experiencing was due to my fighting with what was happening, which was making it worse. You're right, Ron, no one is going to escape suffering, on one. But if we can just look at it differently, not only will it make it easier, but we'll also be learning something. I'm a big believe that everything happens for a reason. Nothing is just random.

    I'm also going to be more observant when my mind is drifting too far into the future, because I tend to me a worry wart. I also sometimes dwell too much the past, thinking about choices I made that were not for the best and berating myself for it.

    GREAT post, Ron! I really like when you share things like this because it gets me thinking and feeling.

    Have a wonderful week! ox

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  18. Hola Denise!

    "I'm a big believe that everything happens for a reason. Nothing is just random."

    Oh, me too! And that's what keeps me from freaking out when challenging things happen. I try to discover the value because I truly believe there has to be something there to learn and grow from. And that's tough to do sometimes because we get so caught up in the drama, that the value doesn't seem possible. But the most challenging times in my life, as shitting as they were at the time, have ending up being times that taught me some of the most wonderful things. But we don't realize that when it's happening.

    You know, I still have to stop myself from thinking past and future, but I'm getting quicker at snapping myself back to the present.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a faaaaabulous rest of your week!

    X

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  19. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comJuly 15, 2020

    Oh, I so agree with you, Ron! Great life lessons. I love the last one - because acceptance and gratitude make life more bearable.

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  20. "....acceptance and gratitude make life more bearable."

    Yes! And thank you for mentioning "gratitude" because that's another lesson I've learned. The more I focus on being grateful for what is present in my life, the more I realize just how blessed I am, in spite of whatever challenges there might be. And as you said...more bearable.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing, my friend. Much appreciated. Hope you're having a faaaabulous week!

    X

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  21. Ron, you should be a life coach counselor because you really know how to explain life lessons so accurately. Wonderful post! So true about how our bodies are amazing works of art, yet we so often take them granted, especially in our younger years. Our bodies are like automobiles that carry us through life and we need to take care of them with fuel, tune ups, oil changes, and tire rotations LOL! I had a couple of health concerns about three years ago which thankfully were nothing serious. But it was very unsettling.

    And so true about suffering and resisting. It's within the struggle that the pain is experienced. And I agree with you on looking back on painful experiences in my life with gratitude because I learned so much. We don't always see that at first, but in looking back we do!

    Thank you for sharing your lessons, Ron! Hope you're enjoying a great week! ox

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  22. Elaine, I LOVED your analogy of our bodies being automobiles. BRILLIANT! And it's so true! And without them, we can't move through life.

    "I had a couple of health concerns about three years ago which thankfully were nothing serious. But it was very unsettling."

    Isn't that the most unsettling feeling? Glad to hear it was nothing serious. Whew! It makes you feel so vulnerable, doesn't it? And particularly when for so long your body was working perfectly. But as you said, like an automobile, it needs attention, care, and repair.

    "We don't always see that at first, but in looking back we do!"

    Yes, it's always in hindsight that we "get it."

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing on this post, my friend. Much appreciated.
    Have a superb rest of your week! Gosh, I can't believe it's already Thursday!?

    X

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  23. What an inspiring post, Ron. The one lesson that really touched me personally is the one about living now. I try hard to keep my attention on the present because I know in my rational mind that the present is all we've got. But I tend to think about the past, regretting decisions I made where I think they caused me a lot of setbacks. Yet really, what can I do about that other than learn from those decisions and move forward. I worry about the future too, wondering where I'll be professionally and financially. As you can tell, I'm a worrier LOL!

    Thanks a lot for sharing your life lessons. They were very well said.

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  24. Greetings Daniel!

    I know, trust me, I have to really keep a close eye on my thoughts either in the past or in the future as well. It's taken me years and years of consciously realizing I'm doing it and then redirecting my mind to the now. I read a book many years ago entitled, "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle that really helped me. He also has a YouTube channel. Just type his name in the search bar and you will find it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific weekend!

    X

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