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Teaching people a lesson, in real life…

March 24, 2011

in Spiritual Growth

That’s me. Or used to be. I hope.

I’m not talking about what the saying ‘teaching them a lesson’ has come to mean in every day speak. I don’t mean deliberately sabotaging things, or setting people up to fail or anything like that.

Over the past 6 months or so I’ve been facing up to what I’d like to call: the teacher in me I least like. That is: the teacher in me that does things a certain way, a not so good way in fact, and rationalizes it as ‘well, perhaps they’ll learn’. At worst it involves a lot of shouting. At best it involves me trying to get through to people this way and that – all the while forcing myself into shapes I just wasn’t meant to have. I think this sciatica of mine is my body shouting NO as loud as it can.

What I’ve come to learn is that:
a) Trying to teach in this way leaves me in a very bad place emotionally. Teaching THEM a lesson is draining. It takes me away from doing things that work for ME.
b) I hate what I become while trying.

The fact is: those I was trying to teach rarely learned what I’d hoped they’d learn. Doesn’t mean I was wrong. Just means it wasn’t my lesson to teach. Reminds me of what an old theosophist in my first lodge used say: hammering a nail won’t help it come out. I understood what she meant, and yet I’ve been hammering an awful lot of nails that didn’t come out.

I’ve had to learn this the hard way: sometimes walking away is the only thing you can do. Leaving them to learn their own lessons is really the only path to take. And really – what kind of control freak tries to shape the lessons other people have to learn anyhow?

I guess this is a roundabout way of saying that I’ve come to a place where I understand what they mean when they say: “take care of yourself first”. They don’t mean you stop giving. They mean you should find a way of giving that doesn’t leave you dry. And maybe, that way, there’s actually something WORTH giving involved.

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