My four year old niece just started school.  She so far hasn't finished her lunch twice because she's been too busy chatting to a couple of playmates.  To everyone's relief, she likes it.

 

I started thinking about my own school experience and realized that my 20 year High School reunion is next year.  It seems like so long ago that I went through my formal education - back to school shopping, buying books at my college bookstore.  Fall officially started for me the first day back in school.

 

But then I considered the "School of Life" concept.  Is it really true?  Do we really get older and wiser?  Schooling never really ends though, does it?

 

Life is one of the best teachers of all.  These situations that are presented to us each day make us use our own inner books, knowledge, and wisdom to solve the problem.  Sometimes we pass the test with flying colors and sometimes we fail miserably. Luckily, the grades we get are the ones we give ourselves. 

 

The lessons aren't always easy, this is true.  I often wonder why we chose the situations we get ourselves into.  More often than not, though, I hear people say that after they come out on the other side, they wouldn't have changed anything.  There were skills learned, people either came or went and there are changes made that created something different within the self. 

 

The matter in which we internalize those lessons, that is truly what helps us to understand and learn about life.  We may get dragged down by what happens or we may fly afterwards.  It's up to us.

 

One of the best representations of this is in a movie from the 90s called "Defending Your Life".  Albert Brooks dies from a car accident and he is taken to the place of lives between lives to review his life.  Based on this review, it will be decided if he needs to learn more lessons back to earth or if he can move forward to the afterlife.

 

It's not looking good for him - there are many situations where a lesson is presented to him and he retreats.  The theme that emerges is his challenge with being assertive to have the life he wants.  He struggles every time the lesson comes up.  In the meantime, he meets Meryl Streep, a woman whose life they are reviewing "just for fun" because she's ready to move forward.  In true Hollywood style, though, Albert Brooks overcomes his fears and moves forward right at the last minute.  

 

So as we move through life, when opportunities come up in front of us, we can look at what is really true to us.  There are things that are going to help us grow and change - we can face our fears and bust through them.  If we don’t, maybe we are learning how we handle it for the next time.  Always look for the lesson, the silver lining (albeit small sometimes) to what we’ve gone through.

 

We have the opportunity to learn how to handle situations and "move forward" through life.  Each experience helps us grow as a person so never get tired of taking a full course load.  Graduation is going to be amazing.

 

Copyright 2009, Spiritualitygirl