Whose Lesson is This, Anyway?

In Yoga class the other day, the teacher gave a beautiful talk about going into the New Year with a tidy physical environment. It related to going through your things and getting rid of whatever doesn’t serve your goals in the New Year–totally de-cluttering your life. I hate clutter, but it doesn’t bother my boyfriend at all. I thought to myself, “How do I get him to hear this message? He really needs it!”

As the lesson went on, I began to picture items in my own life with which I had been grappling. Some of them were physical items that I had been struggling with casting off. Like my teacher, I have lots of books that I cling to, even though I will never read them again. I have items that I’ve moved several times that never quite fit my homes, and I keep moving and storing them. Maybe they no longer serve a purpose in my life. Maybe hanging onto them, as the lesson was taught, keeps me hindered by who I was when I got them. And some of them were clutter of the mind—ideas that I needed to act on so that I could let them go, or hard feelings about this or that. It was a great message, once I took it to heart and stopped trying to apply it to someone else.

Then, it hit me! This message wasn’t intended for me to hear and then tell someone else that they needed it. This was the message the Universe wanted me to receive on this day. In that moment, so many things became more clear to me. Everyone receives the messages and lessons that he or she needs every day. When I receive a message that seems like it is obviously intended for someone else, then I need to look deeper at myself. I need to find the place where I think I’m better than that message, or evolved beyond needing that lesson, and I need to find where it can truly speak to me.

But this concept can go even further. When I see someone doing something that irritates me and I think, “(S)he needs to learn to drive better (or use better grammar, or stop getting on my nerves),” what is the lesson there that was meant for ME? The lesson that the Universe intended, when this person came into my life for that moment, certainly wasn’t that this person needed to change. (Although they may be receiving a lesson as well that does tell them that, it is not my business and it is not my intended lesson in happening upon them.)  Perhaps it is that I need to work harder at watching for traffic (or get back to my own writing and do a better job of it, or be more tolerant of those who have different ideas than I).

The point is, when you have a poignant moment, and you know it is meaningful, but you can’t see how it can possibly apply to you, take a step back and a fresh look at yourself. Find the message inside the message, and decode how, deep down inside, that message really is yours.


Learning one lesson at a time, my friends!

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