We often hear that we learn our lessons in life through our mistakes and failures, but are they truly are greatest lessons? In order to learn, one must first accept their mistakes, or their failures and understand and accept why they happened for without that a failure is doomed to be repeated again. But how do you know you have learnt your lesson, or when you have understood what went wrong, or if you had the humility to accept what had transpired?
You see, learning from a lesson isn’t so easy or straightforward. I was watching a recent Star Wars film, one of the dreadful ones that Lucas hadn’t written and Yoda made a statement that, ‘Failures are our greatest lessons,’ and I immediately shook my head for I don’t believe failures are our greatest lessons, but they can help us realize some of them. What do I mean by that? We can all fail at something at some point, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have learnt anything. I have seen many people fail at things but they blame others, circumstance, or make up a feeble excuse, and they haven’t actually learnt a thing, therefore, failures don’t necessarily lead to our greatest lessons. The greatest lessons are when you learn humility to accept a mistake, and also forgiveness because (myself included) often we blame ourselves for not realizing errors sooner, or beating yourself up because you feel as if you didn’t do enough.
At face value, many spiritual texts will make the sweeping statement about learning through mistakes, but what is it you actually learn? Not to do the same thing again, that pride and ego may have got in the way, perhaps haste contributed to the outcome, or even selfishness and greed? We also learn about our inner strengths, weaknesses, our ability to be compassionate, tolerant, and humble. How do we learn these things if no one tells us we have made a mistake, and worse still if people don’t tell you for fear of an angry response? I have learnt through watching others handle and react to situations––what not to do, and what I could do better. That’s why you should pick your company wisely, and while I understand you can’t cull a family member who behaves badly so easily, you don’t have to enable their behaviors either.
Learning lessons on a Soul level aren’t time sensitive, and I have had time to peruse what it is we learn, how, and what obstacles people have or choose to have for many (especially younger souls) are reluctant to learn, or they think they have learnt. We don’t need failures to learn some of our greatest lessons, for many of them are traits such as forgiveness, and humility that we encounter in our everyday interactions. In this day and age where technology governs the lives of many, people fail to stop and think and look for reasons or excuses for things without taking responsibility. For example, the map online gave someone the wrong directions so they were late, and they didn’t bother to read the road signs, so they blame the map app whereas they could have looked up the directions earlier and allowed time for any diversions.
I hear other excuses when people say they didn’t get a promotion or job, blaming favoritism, or others bad mouthing them, which both exist but aren’t always necessarily the case. Sometimes it’s a case of someone was better suited to the job advertised, but looking for blame to make you feel better about being rejected and failing to get a coveted job isn’t healthy and you are better off accepting what has happened and to move on. In life we must accept rejection and failure as part of the journey in life, and at times there maybe spiritual reasons why things happen or don’t happen, but a wise spiritualist doesn’t go around blaming Spirit when things don’t go to plan.
Our greatest lessons are when we learn about ourselves in how we choose to react and how we feel when tragedies and failures occur, and learning right from wrong and choosing to act, and to accept the consequences whatever the cost. The latter is hard, for the self often chooses the safe path that benefits them and causes the least harm even if it’s wrong. That’s the balance the Soul must battle with––the spiritual ethics it holds and the human (physical plane) desire for self-preservation and an outcome with the least harm. Being a human isn’t easy, and neither is being an awakened conscious Soul, but don’t forget failure and success are subjective terms on the physical plane, and the Soul knows the truth. There’s no point pretending something was a success to make you feel better, nor it is wise to excuse a failure or to consider something a failure when it wasn’t. We fail ourselves if we choose not to realize and accept the Soul Lessons presented to us, but the failures that occur are not the lessons themselves.