Tag: life teachers

Who Are Our Greatest Teachers?

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?

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Forgiveness Is More Than a One-Shot Deal

How many times do we need to forgive before there are no more layers of hurt and betrayal to peel back? I can’t give you a definitive answer. It seems trite to say as many times as you need to forgive, but it is true. I have been working on forgiving those with whom I have experienced the greatest hurts for years now, and I’m still not there. I still haven’t reached a place where there is nothing left to forgive… where I can say with complete truth that I hold nothing but love in my heart for them. If I told you that all I ever feel is love when I think of these people, I would be lying to you and to myself. I can tell you that there are times when I genuinely feel compassion, understanding, and love for them, but then when I least expect it… more […]

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Learning to Set Boundaries

For much of my life, I allowed other people to run over me. When someone asked me to do something, even if I didn’t have the time or desire to do it, I acquiesced and did whatever was asked of me. I gave myself stern talks about learning to say no and standing up for myself. I watched other people say no without the world crashing in around them, and I told myself that I could do it too. I knew the cost of not being able to say no. I knew the sinking feeling in my stomach after I said yes, and I confronted the reality of taking on something I didn’t want to do or that I didn’t have time to do. I would give myself a mental grab by the shoulders, take a deep breath, and find a way to do the thing I had felt compelled […]

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Relationships Provide Our Greatest Teachers: Part 3 — Our Children

As I held you in my arms for the first time      and marveled at your tiny perfection,           how was I to know the magnitude of what you would teach me? As I felt my heart fill and open wide,      how was I to imagine what you would teach me            about the depth and breadth of unconditional love? As I felt the enormity of your complete dependence on me,      how was I to know that your trust and belief            would inspire me to become ever more of whom I am meant to be? How was I to know       that as your parent,           you would be my teacher? As I reflect on the lessons I have learned from my relationships, I realize that my […]

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Relationships Provide Our Greatest Teachers: Part Two — Friendships

As I continue my reflections about the teachers who taught me my greatest lessons, my thoughts turn to my dearest friends. Their lessons have come wrapped in shoulders to cry on, arms to hold me, ears to listen, lips to affirm and witness, and hearts to care and believe in me until I was ready to believe in myself. Think about who comes to mind as you read. Consider the lessons your friends have taught you and reflect on their meaning in your life. What priceless lessons have I learned from my friends? They have extended my definition of family from the one I was born into to a more expanded version composed of those who have held me up, believed in me during my darkest days, and given me the strength to stand on my own. They are the champions who celebrated each step I made forward, who cheered me […]

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Relationships Provide Our Greatest Teachers: Part One – Romantic Relationships

When you think of teachers, do you think of teachers you had in school? Does your mind return to days of lessons and assignments, and of the person at the front of the room who was responsible for setting the homework and due dates you dreaded? I want to expand your understanding of “teacher,” this from someone who wears a “teacher hat” every day in the classroom. My greatest teachers weren’t my classroom teachers; instead they appeared to teach me priceless lessons in this learning experience called life. My most profound lessons came wrapped in pain and loss, but under the wrapping was true growth that expanded who I am, and for that, I am eternally grateful. As broken as I felt after my ex-husband turned on me and my marriage imploded, I realize that his actions and choices caused me to grow beyond anything I had the capacity to […]

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