by Michael Rawls
Learning is finding out what we already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers and teachers.
· Richard Bach
How Insight Becomes Example
Most lessons in life come as "lightbulb moments" - a flash of insight into just what is happening, how it affects me, and how I can apply experience and knowledge to the situation. Most times, the challenge isn't one that I haven't already experienced. I am learning, once again, something I already know. Yet, here is the lesson, again. Different form, different place, different people, new circumstances. An old lesson dressed up as a new challenge. Understanding the point that the Universe is trying to get across to me is that "flash of brilliance."
Lessons of love, that is what they are. Almost every lesson I have learned could somehow be distilled down to one word: Love. Love is the lesson that comes to me in many forms. It is a lesson that is likely to come at me again and again, in its various forms, until my life is over. That is why we are here, n'est-il pas?
I could argue that I already know these lessons love, but there will always be more ways that lessons of love can be demonstrated to me. Courage, faith, patience, integrity, loving myself when it appears that nobody else cares. Starting over when it seems that I have started over more times than it seems I should have to. Humility, forgiveness, patience.. all of these and more are lessons of love.
Whatever the lesson is, of this I am sure: in the end, the lesson is love. Getting through lessons of love is a struggle, more often than not. It is difficult when I have to feel the feelings, the darkness and confusion. It is difficult to remember, to trust that the light will return. It is difficult to know, beyond doubt, that whatever befalls me, I am on my path. Thus, I learn.
It is not enough just to learn, I must do, because I am responsible for what I have learned. There are many ways I can demonstrate the lessons of love to others. Forgiveness, generosity, thoughtfulness, contributions of substance, time and effort. Remembering the lonely, comforting the sick, protection of the innocent. Nothing will reduce my problems to relative insignificance more that doing for others, within the bounds of what I am capable of giving. Loving myself enough to know where those boundaries are fuels the light that shines for others to see.
More than this, if I wish to participate in the social and spiritual process of my growth, I must participate in the growth of others. I must truly act the part of teacher to my fellow human beings. Being a student of the lessons of love is not enough. Lessons of love are waiting to be taught to others, and I must be an instrument of that teaching process, too. It is the price of being alive in the Universe.
Most times, the part played by student and teacher go back and forth until all participants have gained. And so, the process of learning, doing and teaching the lessons of love begins again.
Learn. Do. Teach. It's all about love.