Is someone your life teacher?

June 9, 2017

Being sick is a bitch. Why do bad things happen to good people? Or at all?  Why would a loving God make people suffer?

The big “why?”

I know quite a few people who are suffering from big, ugly diseases and conditions. A variety of big ugly maladies. You can’t get to my age without seeing the kind of suffering that no one wants to go through. My morning prayer list gets longer every year. And like so many others, I wonder why? Why does this have to happen?

Not everyone believes in a Higher Power, but I do. Oh, not the bearded elderly God of fables. Something else.Some believe in the Watchmaker God who winds it up and lets it unfold on its own. I don’t hold that belief, either. I don’t know what form the Divine takes, maybe just intelligent energy, and of course I won’t know until it’s my time to leave this earth. But here’s what I do believe:

I believe that everything that happens to us is part of a greater plan. Here on earth, we’re in Soul School and whether it’s a lesson for us or for someone else, we’re here to teach and to learn.

My late friend and I talked many times about this. Many times.

“I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be learning,” she’d say to me.

life-teacherMaybe the lesson’s not for you

“Maybe it’s someone else in your life that you’re teaching,”  I offered. “Maybe your life is not meant to teach you, but someone else.”

And I do believe that’s true because she taught me some important things. She taught me what grace and courage look like. She taught me what fighting the good fight meant. And she reinforced lessons I’d already learned about what it means to be there for someone, to be really present.

I’d bet she taught some lessons to her other friends, too, and to her family.

I’m not sure that her illness was to teach HER anything, to be honest. But I do believe it was in service to the rest of us. And you can tell I believe that because I write and blog about her all the time. Her impact on my life was HUGE.

Now, I’m not clueless or arrogant enough that I haven’t considered how that might feel to the person suffering. Why do I have to go through this to teach others? is a question I’d ask if it were me. The idea of suffering as a lesson for others is an spiritually elevated way to look at illness and one that I would have a hard time with. Even though I believe this is true, I, myself, might not be that spiritually elevated were I in that circumstance. It’s a tough thing to swallow. But for me, it’s an explanation that makes sense.

And, I’ll suggest to myself and yes, even readers, that looking at it that way might well help provide a different view of one’s purpose in life.

In that vein, a couple of the questions that serve as writing or drawing prompts in my Guided Journal for Healing HERE help explore just that possibility.

My question for today is: Are there people in your life who have taught you life-changing lessons?





49 comments on “Is someone your life teacher?
  1. I always enjoy reading your posts. You have such a wonderful way of looking at the world, and I love it when you put them down in your blog.

  2. Yes, I love this point of view. My sister died at age 41 from breast cancer. Her significant other died from MS complications at 68. They were far too young and CLEARLY provided life lessons for me and I”m sure many others. Their suffering was beyond measure and I struggle with that a lot. But the other side of this Carol is, if you’ve been given a blessed life it is your sacred duty to shine your light and bring your blessings to the world, right? You, my friend, are doing that in spades, as I see it! Love to you this fine weekend.

  3. Yes, I just talked to her for an hour last night! I learned by her example.My best friend’s mom she has more grace, faith and beauty than anyone, and I mean anyone, I know. She’s an extraordinary person. What began as a difficult evening for me ended up being a beautiful one. I told her how much she taught me by example. I just wanted to. Thanks Carol. Love this post.

  4. Neha Saini says:

    The world is beautiful if you see it beautifully, your posts always made me think this. I really enjoy reading your posts. I have always seen people leaving me in life, at that point I get scattered, and feel lonely and curse my life. But reading your posts l=give me a new hope.

  5. Joely Smith says:

    What a lovely post. Yes there are people in my life who have taught me for sure! I know I have also taught others. It is not about being smarter, or better than another – just one experience can create the teacher in us, and allow us to learn from others. Love this article.

  6. Jeni says:

    I think everyone has some sort of life teacher in one form or another. This is a really interesting take on learning from others.

  7. mitch says:

    It’s always interesting when someone makes us think! Sometimes my teenager is my teacher. I sure have to swallow my pride then!

  8. Tara Pittman says:

    There is a lady down the street who has taught me plenty. Life lessons are always good

  9. Marcie W. says:

    I like to think I learn a lesson from everyone I meet, no matter the circumstance. For example, the slow driver in front of me teaches me that perhaps I too need to take it easy. Those learning opportunities help shape me as a person.

  10. Sarah Bailey says:

    Yes, yes and yes again so many people have taught me things. I’ve not had the easiest time with my health and situations I’ve put myself in and people have helped me and told me how it was and while it hurt at the time, it taught me a lot.

  11. Mandee says:

    I’ve thought about this before. I actually feel like our test is part of our testimony. It is meant for us to share and talk about or teach others. We are often able to help others with our struggles, however during our time of struggle that’s the last thing on our mind. I have definitely had people in my life that have made an impact on my life and the way I have done things. Great post!

  12. Ruth Curran says:

    BINGO! “Why do I have to go through this to teach others?” is the question that plagues but also gives perspective. I have a love – hate relationship with that question Carol. I know my journey is helping others. I know that the gifts from my guides and my team are changing lives. It makes the journey, in hindsight, easier any way!

    The loving supportive words on your cards lift and hold hearts and spirits and can elevate quality of life :)! Love them and you!

  13. Very nice. I would say lots of life teachers. You never know why and who that why or something may help.

  14. Claudia Krusch says:

    You have such a great point of view. I have a very special friend that has helped me tremendously over the years.

  15. Very thought provoking! My brother died when I was very young, and my father committed suicide when I was a teen. Both of these incidents have made me think differently and have completely changed the path of my life. I also believe in something, I just don’t know what it is. I do know that we need to pay attention to those around us and take it in because there are lessons happening all around us.

  16. Scott says:

    I’m sure we all have those people. Without someone passing down their knowledge, we’d all be doomed to make the same mistakes.

  17. Leigh Anne Borders says:

    What a lovely post. Yes, I do have a life teacher. I think from time to time different life teachers come in and out of my life.

  18. Dogvills says:

    There are many people in my life that taught me a lot of lessons. I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts.

  19. margarette says:

    Yes This is so true! Some people had taught me a lesson.And some tells me the same way that i have taught them too.

  20. This is indeed thought provoking, Carol. I know that when I sit in trauma I cannot imagine what I am to be learning. I’ve sort of given up on the “fact” that there must be some kind of message associated with it. Now I try to practice the art of putting one foot in front of the other. Eventually that footstep will lead me beyond the veil. I will learn things between now and then (whenever “then” is), as I have learned things to this point. Many years back, when I had the B&B, I visited a shaman who told me I had made an agreement with another soul entity who was actually supposed to come into this lifetime I occupy. That soul was to come as a man, but it was a Karmic agreement and I came instead as a woman. I make no judgements as to why I am here, I don’t really know. Much love.

  21. chei says:

    There are people who will teach us in our lives. And in my case, my mom was the one taught me a lot of things and one of this was to be a good mother to my children.

  22. Czjai says:

    Great post! I have a lot of life teachers, starting with my Mum. 🙂

  23. Jeanine says:

    My mom passed away when I was 16 and her best friend is like a second mom to me and is a great life teacher. I talk with her about everything!

  24. Sapana V says:

    A well-said. I have learnt many things and still learning a new thing daily.

  25. Theresa says:

    That’s a great way to look at it. If I am not learning, I would like to think I am inspiring and teaching others while I’m on my life journey.

  26. Elena says:

    This made me think a lot, but unfortunately I have to say that all my life lessons I have learned by myself by trial and error. I have never had a person that had a great impact or has tought me something.

  27. E H says:

    I am learning every day from people around me, and try to reflect on how I need to change to reflect what I have learned. There are so many circumstances that can be hurtful – sometimes it is physical pain, other times it is mental suffering, the point is to try to go through the difficulties with respect to yourself and others. This may sound easy, but is actually quite difficult to live through.

  28. I would have to say that the most important lessons are some I’ve learned through other’s stories. I’m not sure that anything has been taught directly to me.

  29. I guess my life teacher would be my aunt. I saw the way that she came up and I saw that she struggled and I really knew then that I didn’t want to live life like that. That is what convinced me to go back to school and get my education.

    • Kathy says:

      I loved reading through this post. It seems that you have a very bright side of looking at things, and that is wonderful! I think that many of us have learned some life lessons.

  30. ERINn A says:

    I also belie things always happen for a reason. YOu can dwell on the past and it led you To better things

  31. Lynndee says:

    I asked that “why” question too when my first husband passed away at such at early age. But at this point in my life, I can say that it happened for a reason and that God had bigger plans for me. 🙂

  32. Tess says:

    Ibelieve that things happen for a reason for sure. Its if we listen to the signs as well.

  33. Amanda Love says:

    Aside from experience, people will definitely teach you life lessons that you’ll take with you in the long run. If it’s someone who treated you badly, you learn to protect yourself the next time so it won’t happen. If someone treated you with respect and care, you learn to spread it to others. There are different lessons that people teach us everyday and sometimes we realize it as soon as they’re done and sometimes, it takes time.

  34. kelly reci says:

    i love your point of view, everytime i read your post it inspires me a lot!

  35. Having teachers/mentors are so important in life. I remember having mentors throughout High School and college!

  36. This is such a great post. There are so many people in my life that have taught me, both good and bad.

  37. Victoria heckstall says:

    It such an amazing article! I truly enjoyed reading this. It’s inspiring and totally made my day! For me, everyone can teach to other people. It depends on you on how you apply it.

  38. Elizabeth says:

    A thought provoking post this. I suppose it just goes to show we should just be the best people we can be while we’re here to just…. be!

  39. My Teen Guide says:

    I have had lots of life experiences that taught me lessons in life. One of which is to never give up and to just keep moving forward despite all the adversities. Thanks for sharing your story. Please continue to inspire us with your life experiences.

  40. Jennifer says:

    This post hit home with me. I try to be a life teacher whenever I can and also take take life’s advice from others.

  41. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    I have had a lot of life teachers but I could not mention each and every one of them.Just to mention one, it would be my kindergarten teacher. She taught us manners and was so much like a second mom to me and my classmates.

  42. It’s amazing the things we learn from other people. I find that I’ve learned more from my children than I ever thought I would.

  43. For me, it would have to be my mentor who also happens to be one of my closest friends. I was struggling to find my blogging voice last year, and he helped me a lot.

  44. yes! there are so many people that have taught me so many things. i love how diverse everyone is

  45. Catvills says:

    Experience is my life teacher. I have made mistakes that made me look at life from a different perspective. It is true that experience is the best teacher. When get hurt really bad, I am sure you won’t want to go back that same route.

  46. Alayna says:

    This is really interesting to think about. I think for most of us, we switch roles between the teacher and the pupil.

  47. My sister would be my life teacher. This was a very interesting article! Thanks for sharing.

  48. Aimee Geroux says:

    Such a wonderful post. I have a few special people in my life that have taught me so much. Thanks so much for sharing this, great read to start my weekend!

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