Before I started on a path of discovery in Witchcraft, I didn’t really understand why things happened in my life nor did I understand how these supposed lessons were to help me. I had many experiences with violent trauma in my life and much of my trauma started happening before I was even 2 years old. So, how can these trauma’s be my fault or for my higher good?
I have heard Oprah say, “it doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.” It seems like every teacher in the craft I have had said that we choose our life lessons before we are born because it is what we need to learn in this life to help our soul grow. I was like, huh? That doesn’t even make sense to me. Why would I choose these horrible things to happen to me?
There are many interpretations why bad things happen to us. Past life Karma is one option to choose from. Because we are born sinners and deserve to be punished and can only find forgiveness from God to escape our fate of lifetime punishment that will continue in the afterlife. Another is that before we are born while we are still in spirit form we choose what type of life we will have that will benefit the growth of our soul as we are reborn into each lifetime. But what if it has nothing to do with Karma, being a sinner, or choice of our soul? What if life is a compilation of good and bad experiences because it just is. There are no real predetermined reasons for them. It is just the natural flow of life.
If the latter is true, then does that mean that everything we go through is for no real purpose? I believe at this moment in my development that we have a choice of making it mean something or choosing to simply suffer without meaning. I believe deeply in Free Will. I believe we are able to learn for a reason and I believe that the meaning of life and the experiences of this life is part of that free will. How we react or respond to those life lessons determines what happens next. I believe that we have the option to learn something from every experience in life. We are designed to learn from every experience that is our innate human gift, our basic human talent.
Choice and Opportunity
When we choose to consciously learn from our life experiences, we actually are choosing the lessons we learn. So, saying this, I say that my life experiences, the good and the bad are my life lessons that I choose to learn from. From tying my shoes, to my academic lessons all the way to learning from life experiences. I also believe that the Universe (for a lack of better word) wants to teach us or at least give us every opportunity to learn from our experiences and therefore when we fail to learn the lesson available another opportunity will arise.
The way to success is doing the right thing, the right way, at the right time. To me, success is determined by the individual and how narrowed down to a pinpoint we can take it will determine how we gauge our success. Everyone is in the middle of a life lesson at any given time. A lesson can be from good experiences as well as bad ones. Even the results of our choices are lessons. I responded this way, therefore, I learned it works or doesn’t work to further me toward my goals. In not making an active or conscious choice is still making a choice. It is a choice not to respond and it too gets a result even if the result from in-action gets the result of stagnation.
What have I learned about my early years of abuse and violent traumas?
I learned a lesson that relatives aren’t necessarily good for you, I learned not to take other people’s opinions as fact. I learned that I don’t have to accept the labels placed on me by others and that any label I wear is only valid if I allow its application to me and only for as long as I accept it. I learned how to form my own opinions through fact-checking and not by what others spew as fact without providing an adequate amount of facts to make a determination. Without enough evidence, I can’t make an informed decision or formulate an informed opinion on a situation.
Truth is that we really can’t believe anything we hear and only half of what we see because evidence and facts can be manipulated. I learned not to gather all my information from one resource or one group of people. I learned that the process of “doing” even in healing is to use what I have learned to help others because we are connected to each other and people do affect one another and therefore should help others through their life lessons or at the very least try to understand that others are in their own stage or phase of life lessons and sometimes people choose not to learn from their mistakes or life experiences. Some people don’t want to change or grow and although we may want to step in and take over and do things for them, they must come to their own understanding and have their own experience or they will have to go through it again and again until they learn it and begin to do things differently.
The Insanity of Doing the Same Thing and Expecting Different Results
We have heard that “insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.” Learning from our life lessons is to do things differently to get different results. People are essentially unique and one type of life experience doesn’t teach the same lesson to everyone because people experience the same things from different perspectives. I and my best friend can have the exact same experience at the exact same moment and it will be experienced differently, therefore, we learn different lessons from it. We then experience personal growth that taught us a life lesson. Sometimes, our lessons are simply to help someone else figure out a different approach because we can offer a different perspective on a particular experience.
In this way, I believe that life lessons are meant to help us grow and mature over a lifetime and that if we didn’t have challenges we would become depressed whither and die. I find that I am a person who has a strong will. I tend to be very determined and headstrong. I am generally quick-witted and make quick decisions right or wrong. I enjoy a good challenge and even as a child, I am best persuaded than I am controlled. I also have a quick temper. All of these traits require extreme experiences while someone else may only need a lighter lesson to learn from and their lessons are more about the actual struggle and not so much the obstacles themselves.
Overcoming Oppressive Beliefs
Could this be a life of lessons chosen by my soul before I was born in this life? It is a concept to consider. What I currently believe myself changes as I grow and heal. I used to believe I was born to be punished. Life as a Christian was all about punishment. I believed that life here on earth was HELL. Through my life lessons learned through the healing process, I changed that belief. Now, I believe that there was a purpose to it. That purpose is what I will make of it. I choose to continue to heal so that I can understand what I have been through and help others who are experiencing a similar opportunity to learn. Not everyone survives what I have been through.
I am learning how to see the world from a different perspective and I am learning how to let go of my pain. I have learned that I am responsible for the pain I feel that I have yet to let go of. I didn’t cause the experience but I cause the continuation of my suffering. I didn’t choose or cause my PTSD but I have a choice of how to perceive it. I don’t know if I will ever fully recover from PTSD but I do know that I can eventually grow to a point where I will be able to tell my story and it will help someone else. Because the very cool thing about life lessons is that through learning our lessons we can help others learn their lessons and help them to get through it.
The Ebb and Flow of Life
Let’s face it. The good lessons are enjoyable and fun and wonderful but the ones that don’t feel so good, are the challenges and obstacles we must overcome to keep us on our toes and help us along to prepare us for the next experience. For some, not having a challenge to work on is our life lesson. That is why we see that everyone has to have a cause and if we don’t have something to fight for or we aren’t working on our life challenges, we will create them. People who create drama are doing so because they are not addressing their own life lessons. People who don’t choose their battles wisely are those who are avoiding their true battles. Yes, I use this same avoidance technique from time to time and I have to try to catch myself doing it.
So, how you see your life experiences will help you to create a “Happy” life or a “miserable” life. And for the sake of life itself, if you are having trouble getting through something, seek out a counselor or psychotherapist to help you work through it. Sometimes all you need is a little coping technique that resonates with you.
In this sense, you do have a choice to be happy or not. Even with Clinical depression, you can choose your therapy. How you choose to respond or react to your situation is up to you. I am still learning and will be for the rest of my life because life isn’t over until I am dead.
As long as I have breath, I can and I will Watch me.
I am a spiritual warrior and my battle is with self. I acknowledge my struggle is for my higher good. I choose to acknowledge my life lessons for what they are, a chance to grow.