The past few weeks I've started to learn a few things.
One of them is that, as much as I want to, I can't control - or even influence - anyone, if they don't want it. And sometimes even if they do want it. And that's okay. I am often so consumed with the need to make people happy, that I make them angry or sad. Ironic eh? But I think it makes sense. Happiness is an intensely personal thing. It can't depend on or originate from another person. It has to be internal, and from God.
Another thing I've learned is that failure is okay. Failure is what we learn from, and we should expect failure, and accept failure. Always strive for success of course, but if things don't turn out like we want them to, it's nothing to be disappointed in. It's part of the process of our lives. Which leads to...
The third thing I've learned is that I need to try to be process-oriented more than product-oriented. In other words, I need to loosen up, balance my life, and enjoy the ride. If I spend my whole life worrying about what will happen at the end of it, nothing will happen in the middle of it...AND nothing will happen at the end! I must appreciate the journey, or I will never be satisfied with the destination.
Finally, I've learned that words can hurt. I can hurt others with my words, and I can be hurt by the words of others. This is a power that I don't like. Words that hurt aren't necessarily true - in fact I think that the truth, if it's really The Truth, by its very nature, builds us up instead of tearing us down - but words can be used for things other than the truth, and often those words can damage feelings and destroy relationships. So, I've determined that I want to let words have less effect on me. I will not provide fuel for any fires, and I will treat people better than they deserve. Hopefully that can stem the flow of hurtful words.
I realize that no one lesson or collection of lessons will take away all struggles in my life. But I have some faith that each lesson I learn will ease those struggles a little, or enable me to deal with them in a healthier way. And that my personal growth will continue.