I came across this quote earlier this week. At first I thought it was pretty awesome. But the more I thought about it, the less awesome it seemed to be be. Let me explain . . . as I write this post, one kid is watching a show, the other kid is “practicing” guitar (we watched School of Rock as a family today and it seems to have inspired the older one to pick up his guitar and start “rocking”) and the Husband is listening to something sports related on his phone. Meaning, I, who would live in a library if given a choice, am forced to practice organizing my thoughts amongst the chaos of a noisy but happy family. When viewed as a form of practice, I am much happier about working through the current chaos. But, when we are faced with far more troubling circumstances, like a serious illness, it’s pretty hard to frame the situation as the universe’s way of telling us we need “practice” at something.
While I freely admit that I did learn lots from going through the experience of having a brain tumour, I’m not sure I “needed” that particular experience to learn those life lessons. As I was working my way through some of these thoughts, I came across a very pertinent article in the New York Times yesterday, and in particular, this line:
“There has to be a reason, because without one, we are left as helpless and possibly as unlucky as everyone else”
Later yesterday afternoon, the whole family went to see Kung Fu Panda 3. While the kids loved it, I think I took away more from it than they did. Why? Well, lines like this one:
“Your real strength flows from being the best you you can be. So what are you good at?”
Which brings me back to the concept of practice. Sometimes in life we encounter bad luck. And we will be forced to practice things that we may not be so good at (yes, having a brain tumour has made me practice over and over and over again the concept of patience – a skill I have yet to master). But in the absence of bad luck, rather than force ourselves to practice things we’re not so good at, maybe we should practice that which we are good at already . . . if we are happy, and in our “element” (like I talked about here), well, that’s where we’ll find our real strength . . . and maybe from there, in a position of strength, we’ll be able to tackle the things we’re not so good at.