When you think of teachers, do you think of people presenting lessons in classrooms and lecture halls? Do you think of those people who helped you understand new concepts and master new skills for success in life? Do you include coaches and instructors beyond the classroom and the world of work? We can all identify the people who have filled these roles in our lives, but do we include those who have inspired or challenged us to grow and deepen within?
Our lives are filled with people who might not be called teachers, but who are teachers nonetheless because of the important life lessons we learn from them. Think of role models who inspire us to do and be better. We look up to these people for what they have accomplished, for what they have overcome with grace and strength, and for the way we feel when we are with them. Their energy empowers us to believe that we can, too. When we are in their presence, we experience a heightened sense of inner power and positive purpose. We feel uplifted and inspired to reach higher and to stretch ourselves further.
These role models are teachers because of who they are and the way in which they live their lives. We admire their integrity and the way in which they conduct themselves with truth, grace, and love. As we observe these teachers and experience their positive energy, we also experience an irresistible pull to emulate them. We sense their innate goodness and groundedness. We are drawn to their inner strength and spiritual presence. These teachers become our heroes, and it is easy to feel gratitude for each of them.
Just as we all know people who inspire us, we also have many teachers who serve as catalysts for growth because their behaviours challenge us to release what no longer serves us and to become all that we are meant to be. These are the people in our lives whom we may have judged as negative influences or those whom we perceive have hurt us. On first glance, it does appear that these people have caused us to stumble and fall, to experience emotional pain and loss, and to lose our way. However, we are called to look again and to see with the eyes of love and the understanding of our lives as an ever-evolving journey. When we look back at our experiences with these teachers, we recognize that their actions caused us to stretch and grow in ways that we wouldn’t have if circumstances had gone the way we had wanted. These teachers serve as catalysts for us to realize what we need to learn about ourselves. They act as mirrors to reflect back to us limiting self-beliefs, and they remind us in profound ways of what we need to release, change, and learn.
Our lessons with these teachers are usually not the “feel-good” lessons that we experience with our role models and heroes. Instead, the process of learning is often filled with emotional pain and the daunting challenge of having to pick ourselves up because we have lost our way or been blocked from further progress down a path that we thought was ours to take. However, it is in the process of picking ourselves up and finding the inner strength to go on that something new is forged within us. As we go through the fires of challenge and change, we deepen inside and gain inner strength and awareness. As our lives crash and burn around us, our search for direction takes us on an essential inner journey. In those dark, desolate moments during which we cry out for guidance and support, we find ourselves because we find our way back to God.
As we embrace our spiritual identities and our eternal connection with God, we can appreciate and give thanks for what we had perceived as negative and hurtful lessons at the hands of these teachers. We are able to recognize the gifts within the painful wrappings of our experiences with them. Let us give thanks to those people who have served as catalysts for transformative lessons in our lives. Let us whisper prayers of gratitude to the teachers who helped to provide the circumstances that caused us to look within and to embrace inner journeys to our true identities and to God. Namaste, my dears :))