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The School of Life

by Jackie Woods

At the end of each school year, my youngest son would ask, “Will next year be hard?” My reply was always the same “Don’t worry, honey, it will not be more difficult, just different.” Life is very much the same. We pass from one experience to the next with each offering something different to learn. And while at first the new experience may feel a little shaky because it is still unknown, you will soon master it and be ready for the next “grade.”

The newness offered by the ‘School of Life’ can be scary, like it was for my son, or it can be an adventure. Most people love planned adventures, but the unplanned kind usually bring up emotional anxiety, mental grumbling, or both. However, to progress far in the ‘School of Life,’ you need to learn to celebrate the unplanned adventures as much as you do the planned ones.

I teach my students to face each new situation with the question, “What is there to love?” I have found that helps turn the situation into a positive rather than an anxious negative. But recently, I have added another question, which is, “How can I celebrate that love in this creation?” This second question helps me to put legs to the love assignment my heart has asked me to do.

The latest lesson from Life’s School has been very difficult for me. My husband has been diagnosed with ALS. Through this “adventure,” I have found that to truly love the care I am bringing to him, I must celebrate the action as a love offering. This has helped me to change my focus from seeing his needs as a task. Instead, they have become opportunities for me to celebrate the love of care I have to offer.

While probably I would have chosen to skip this present grade, I must say I have learned more about love than I ever could have with an easier assignment. So hopefully my sharing will allow you to glean from my experience something that can help you pass a grade that holds unplanned adventures. Just remember to ask, “What is there to love?” and “How can I celebrate that love in this creation?”

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