What Are You Learning the Hard Way?

 Photo courtesy of Weekly Snaps

Photo courtesy of Weekly Snaps

Let's face it. Learning is hard. Especially for adults. It's as if we've forgotten how to flex our learning muscles, and so the life lessons we're supposed to be learning have to hit us with a stronger and stronger signal.

I have this theory that life taps us on the shoulder frequently, whispering, "Hey, look over here. Why don't you try this? Look up."

But instead we pick up our phones to "like" a dozen or so photos on Facebook or push through seven more emails in our inbox. We're so busy that we don't take notice of the tap-tap-tapping. 

Learning doesn't have to be as hard as we make it out to be.

Maybe this is your story. It's been mine before...

If only I'd have done something differently on one of those mornings driving to work, dreading the eight hours spent using none of my talents, I might not have gotten laid off. I'd have found a different job, one that welcomed me to be myself. 

But no, by this time life is done with the tapping after being ignored day-after-day and overhearing some mumbling in the background about a certain number of years until retirement - maybe 12 or 15. All those years, which add up to thousands of days, at least, continuing to brush off the gifts he's bestowed up on me, or you - like the way I can spin an idea out of thin air faster than you can say brainstorm; or the way you engage your empathy to source just the right words for comforting a friend, or stranger before she has even said "hello."

And then comes our hello.

"Hello? God (Universe, Buddha, or whatever greater, bigger force you may believe in), where are you? I just lost my job. I only had 15 more years until I could have retired. What will I do? How will I provide? How will I survive?"

When life is done being ignored, he (or she) shows up in a way that forces you to listen, to wake up, to see, to hear, to think, to feel, to put away your phone, and quit obsessing over your email. And when you move past the anger and through the despair, you'll find yourself at a crossroads.

You, or I, could head right back to repeat the pattern one more time. Or we could take a few steps in a different direction. We could anchor into the hard lesson and ask: "If by some chance life is FOR me instead of against me, could there be a blessing in this?"

Sometimes, learning is hard, so that life doesn't have to be...

What if instead, you and I, decided to spend the next 15 years doing work that we loved so much that we couldn't tell anymore the difference between work and play?

What if we let go of the expectation, that sense of deserving, and instead embraced a worthiness that would accept nothing less than the kind of hard work that brings joy to our hearts while putting blisters on our hands?