Educating oneself is a lifelong process. Unfortunately, some of us don’t learn as quickly as others that circle within our orbits. Apart from formal coursework, done at the university or collegiate level, there is the learning that occurs as a consequence of having lived.
Hard lessons of life, often related to matters both of the heart and the wallet, are seldom sought after curriculums; they are, however, for better or worse, those that leave the most lasting impressions.
We late bloomers are often reluctant, resistant, fool-hardy, naïve or otherwise clueless to what life is trying to teach us and not every classroom environment yields results. So many wasted years. If I could go back in time (to ponder such a thing, I know, is a monumental waste of energy), I would put more passion and enthusiasm toward being a better mother and living a healthier life – and making better financial choices. The time, money and tears that I frittered away on toxic relationships drained what meager resources I did have at my disposal and only served to damage my own sense of self-worth. I suppose some of those lessons were ultimately learned at last – just not in a timely enough fashion.
Painful as it is to dwell on our own past mistakes and to harbor regrets over what might have been, it’s even more difficult to bear witness to those that we care about while they continue to struggle and fail to pay attention (as we once failed to do as well) in The Classroom of Life. How to respond? What to say? What CAN one do other than to just offer support and alternative paths if pressed for help or if asked for our opinion? The crucial point, is it not? If one’s advice is not sought, it’s difficult to sit still and say nothing, other than to perhaps describe lessons learned from our own pasts and hope that a connection might be made. Aside from inserting ourselves when we observe truly self-destructive behavior, all we can do is offer love and encouragement. Seeing someone suffering and grieving is heart-breaking especially when there is light at the end if only one would steer toward a different tunnel and detour from the path currently taken.
But then that is how the lesson is more stridently learned. To shield those that we care for from these lessons in life would be to deny them the opportunity to grow and develop in ways that only their own experiences and methods of coping can provide.
Life. You are one tough governess.