Articles: Emotions and Other Adjustments

Life Learnings

It is amazing how life can change in a moment. Ask anyone who has had a loss. One minute you think you have the world by the tail, the situation well in hand, life under control. And in a flash, everything has changed.

There’s a wedding planned for this Saturday. It has been the focus of the young couple and their families for many months now. Arrangements have been made to make this a most memorable day in the lives of two happy people.

But the wedding isn’t going to happen this Saturday!

Three weeks ago, exactly one month before her wedding, Brenda was killed, struck by a car while crossing a busy intersection. In that instant, life changed for her fiancée, Jason. What should have been the best day of his life will probably be one of the saddest.

Counsellors are not supposed to get emotionally involved with clients, but you show me ANY human being that would not be touched by this true story. As he sits in my office with tears pouring down his face, I realize that Jason is struggling not only with the loss of someone he loved very much (bad enough all by itself); but also with many of his hopes and dreams of “living happily ever after”. In that instant, life changed.

By some strange coincidence of fate, I am also currently counselling Lisa, who HAD her wedding day in May, and unbelievably witnessed her husband die of a brain aneurysm while they were on their honeymoon. 

I have been a bit more reflective these last few weeks. Being invited to support Jason and Lisa through this time has been one thing that has made me stop and think a bit … about life, about what is important, and about how we have to take time to appreciate the things we have while we still can.

Andy Rooney is a loveable old curmudgeon who appears on a weekly TV programme called “60 Minutes”. Andy usually has some words of wisdom on a variety of topics, based on his observations of people and situations. The following is based on some of his learning’s about life, with a few of my own added in:

 I’ve learned:

….       That being kind is more important than being right.

….      That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

….      That PEOPLE matter more than THINGS

….      That when you’re in love, it shows.

….      that just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day.

….      That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

….      That you should never say no to a gift from a child.

….      That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help them in some other way.

….      That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

….      That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

….      That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

….      That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

….      That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.

….      That money doesn’t buy class.

….      That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

….      That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

….      That the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

….      That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

….      That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

….      That love, not time, heals all wounds.

….      That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

….      That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

….      That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

….      That life is tough, but I’m tougher.

….      That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

….      That when you harbour bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

….      That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.

….      That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

….      That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

….      That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the  happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

…       That it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is requested and when it is a life threatening situation.

….      That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

….      That I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it. 

Perhaps if I were to ask Jason or Lisa in a few months what some of their learning’s will be, they might say:

…      That life is short, and we have to make the most of every minute.

…      That the people in our lives are special and we cannot afford to take them for granted.

…      That nothing is in life certain and we need to live our lives with that reality firmly in mind.

Or perhaps their learning’s will be something else; something those of us who have not been through the situation cannot even imagine.

What are YOU learning these days? It’s too bad that sometimes we wait until something happens or it is too late, and have to learn the hard way. But it is only as we LEARN that we discover what we need to DO!