Learning by Experience

Hi all,

I have been MIA for most of the recent months but I missed you all! How is everyone doing? I hope every one of you is feeling great and is enjoying this beautiful day!

The reason I was absent was due to some major problems in my personal life. I probably had some of the hardest weeks I had but now I started seeing all these weeks in a different light, which is what I want to talk about today.

I had the major issue about five weeks ago. The first two weeks were full of sadness and crying. I did not complain but I was sad. Really sad. Then, I started pulling it back together a bit, but not much. Then, it slowly started getting better and right now, I think I am in a good headspace. This allowed me to see what I went through in a different light: not in terms of hardship or suffering but about important life lessons that can make me a better person in the future.

Now I am thinking. Sometimes, we experience seemingly bad things that end up being really good for us eventually. For example, we can lose a friend due to a bad fight pattern. This teaches us how not to fight or it makes see our own weaknesses so we can improve. So, when we make friends next time, we know better how to behave. No matter how many times we are told how not to behave in a situation, sometimes we learn only when we make the “mistake”.

I am also thinking. Why does it have to be this way? Would it not be easier if all of the good behavior was injected into us and we did not have to go through hardship? It sounds great but the fact that it is not what is. So, I end up with the conclusion that we might have to go through some hard experiences to be able to reach good results. And honestly, somehow, once I am past those bad times and find some peace, I often find talking about the experience and my learnings a lot more satisfying than a regular experience. There is something extra satisfactory in this (I do not wish for bad experiences, of course, but I am just saying that is the state of affairs for me). It also helps me relate to people more, which is great because I love connecting with people.

How do you see the hard experiences in your life when you are going through them or when you are past them? Do you have any examples of your learnings in this way? What do you think about the necessity of humans going through such experiences to make new learnings at times? Let’s discuss.


71 thoughts on “Learning by Experience

    1. earlier I tried to replying here, but it wasn’t possible; so I replied on the post that provided a link to this post… I still decided to try replying here, and surprisingly the page os no more blank.

      my reply is somewhat similar to the reply on the post linking to this oneb your post was very touching, and is one which I can relate to it because recently I went through a very difficult time—I actually mean very difficult—It was something I never expected to happen, and even the few people whom I trusted in were nowhere to be found… miraculously, someone whom I just got to know within a few days, was the one who ended up saving me: he is GOD-sent until today…. I will never forget this experience because it is nothing short of a miracle; that’s all I can call it.

      now, back to your statements informing readers or inquiring about why we have to go through hardship: personally, I’ve always thought about this over the years and still wonder until today why it is so…being someone who is from a Christian background amd believes so much in the invisible almighty GOD, I feel there is a purpose for hardships and challenges, a purpose that we might never completely discover while we are alive… I know about the stories of Abraham, the Israelites, Job, Jesus etc., I see the trend: even though they were blessed, they had their fair share of disappointments… Jesus who said we can move mountains even asked GOD why GOD has neglected him… from my own experience, I’ve noticed that each time I’ve had hardship, especially terrible hardship, I either learn lessons of life, grow spiritually, or strengthen my relationship with GOD—I say this from experience…Iike in my last experience, which I briefly hinted about here, in which GOD sent someone who is not from my country, race, and background, and is older than me, I realized that my relationship with GOD only got stronger than it had ever been before… honestly, my faith in GOD grew by some great ans surprising size

      So coupled with many of my past setbacks, I believe that if we take each challenge and hardship in good faith, they can only lead us to progress…once we immediately recognize any hardship, especially if our slates are clean, we should take them positively and believe that all things, challenging and unchallenging, good and bad, will work together for our good

      1. Them, I will put my reply here too:

        I wonder what the technical problem is:( It should work, normally.

        Thanks for sharing this beautiful comment. I am not Christian; I am a Muslim. I am familiar with the stories you mentioned and same goes with Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) too. It was not easy for any of them. There is also a famous Quranic verse that says “So, surely with hardship comes ease” (Quran 94:5)”. This points to something similar. It is best to see it like that and power through it and see it as a way of connection with God. But I am not perfect and I fail to see it this way at times. But later, after the fact, I start seeing the blessings in it. I hope one day, I will see the blessings as I go through them.

      2. Thank you; sane reply on the other post: Initially, I was using the WordPress.com app she when I clicked on the link, then a page (with your link on top) opened on my browser, but the page was blank, and it happened again when I attempted to open it. later after I had replied on this page, I tried opening the link through the browser, and found out that the page didn’t appear blank, and so I just decided to reply there again since that was what I had initially planned on doing

        Amen: I pray you see and experience the blessings… if we don’t experience them and see the blessings in them, then it will be difficult to believe in them, by merely reading them… even with the experience and sight of the blessings, sometimes it takes the grace and power of GOD to help us out… it’s not always easy…

      1. Ha, well, I have had major problems with my ankle and have had enough of lockdown but otherwise I am fine, thank you!
        It is good to see you back here 🙂

  1. The only inevitability in our world is change, which is why there is no single roadmap to a happy life. In the face of constant change, we are in a continuing “meeting engagement” (to use a military term) with the future, and that in turn connotes a lot of unknowns and reliance on trial-and-error. A lot of errors.

    Assigning or internalizing blame for errors is pointless. We’re human and our knowledge of our world remains bounded, so errors will happen. The best we can do is learn, adjust and move on, trying to not repeat our mistakes.

    My basic mantra is “life happens.” We can try to steer, but the lesson from Covid is that our control is limited. It always has been. Whether life is random or under control of some higher authority is a subject for debate. Functionally, it doesn’t matter. We have to deal with what comes.

    1. Very good points! Yes, there is no point in blaming ourselves or others. The best thing to do is to accept what is and move on. It is not the easiest to do but we can learn this too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Yeah.. Experiential learning.. It’s one of the finest ways of evolution of consciousness.. I think one of the beautiful ways of dealing with is trying to enhance our awareness during the process of going through such pain.. Finally it just turns out spiritual..😊👍

  3. Betul, Try to not let other people influence how you feel. You cannot control other people, you only can control yourself, so take control.

    Some days we are emotionally down, for no apparent reason at all. It is proven that excercise helps, so push yourself to take a walk or similar. Yes, it works.

    It is not good to dwell on problems, or to focus on yourself. It just makes the down feeling worse. Anxiety and depression are there to make us realize we should make changes in our lives, but dont let it freeze you into inaction. Do something, anything; cook a nice meal, take a walk, clean a closet, take an online yoga class, learn to play a musical instrument, and let the result be amateurish, it does not matter. You did better than yesterday, and better than the person who did nothing.

    You cannot change your life or feelings quickly, but make sure you make one small improvement for yourself every day, and you are progressing. One small thing every day. Do something positive for yourself today.

    1. I was not able to do this when the situation first occurred, which is why it was hard initially. but later, that is what got me out. I hope one day, I will be able to start applying this earlier in situations.

  4. Romans 12:2 (in the Bible) provides great insight for us. Read it. Merely going through problems doesn’t help us change. But when we establish a relationship with Jesus, He gives us wisdom and insight for making good and Godly decisions.

      1. Thank you for asking.

        “Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

        Those words, within the surrounding context, gives us a powerful message:

        Don’t be like or act like those who live to please themselves. In order to actually live forever in heaven with God, we need to ask God to help us change our lives and change the way we live by by changing the way we think. We start by asking God to forgive us for ignoring or rejecting Him, and begin cooperating with Him. And we can cooperate with Jesus because He is alive.

        I hope you have a pleasant day.

    1. Also, just going through problems without learning anything and/or establishing a stronger spiritual connection with God (if you believe in God) gives us nothing but pain.

      1. Hi Betul. I can relate to those feelings of regret. It is admirable to feel that pain brings wisdom. I’m sure it does, but right now I too am going through some disappointments, and it’s hard to remember what peace and self-esteem feel like. It’s nice of you to make a space for people of different religions to speak about and share wisdom from their traditions in response to your blog. I don’t think they need to be so dogmatic, but it is interesting to see that they hold strong faith and that it works for them. I was raised around Christians, but was fortunate to meet a few good Muslims who changed my world for the better. That’s just the way it happened to me in my life, but am grateful for their example.

      2. I hope you get through this time of disappointments and attain peace and self-esteem again. It can take time but it comes back.
        I think religion, any religion, can help people get through things. There is some comfort in the idea that one can rely on a Higher Power. But eventually, what matters is what works for us. What matters is to find the best way out of our hard times. This may be religion or something else.

  5. I have learned that in life there’s going to be ups and downs as that is the nature of humans, and we’re all having relationships with each other! I have learned to honor my physical limits as well as my mental health during the time of going through the difficulty. Sometimes I Ave more inner resources to draw from and sometimes I have less, so I have learned that I can only do my best in each situation. I let the chips fall where they may and don’t beat myself up over not being capable of more than I am.

    With that inner personal understanding I have learned to be far less judgmental of others as I understand that they’re likely grappling with the very same issues!

    Blessings to you!

    1. I guess I am learning this too. I know I did better than what I would have done like three years ago.
      And yes, this understanding makes us a lot more emphatic and more understanding. This is what the world needs right now. So, we should jeep doing this.

  6. I wrote a book about this, Nine Years in Bangkok: Lessons Learned. Adopting Buddhist philosophy and a ten day silent meditation retreat made me see my life through a different lens.

  7. I was wondering what happened to make you sad, but I guess it was too personal to share. I think how we respond to others and to ourselves varies depending on the situation. Some things we bring on ourselves, and other things just seem to happen. Some things are definitely out of our control, like the death of a parent or someone else we love. Mistakes are inevitable, and yes, we must learn from them. I’m not looking for trouble, but when it comes, I think I’ll be ready for it, or at least I’ll figure out how to deal with it. I suppose we can learn from our experiences. We can learn to avoid certain pitfalls. But life never really repeats itself.

  8. Experienced is the best teacher. We’re just people who made mistake, but the important is we learned in that situation and be a better version of ourselves.

    Have a good day ahead. Thank you for your time.

  9. It’s never easy to look at a situation logically when emotions are running high, then once a bit of time has passed we’re able to look back and understand.

  10. You may go through trying times to toughen you up. It may be to deal with issues you have ignored. It may be so you can have a change of heart.

  11. Hi Betul – Glad to hear from you although I’m sorry to hear about your struggles. Alas life is a series of ups and downs. We are all destined to go through hardships – we are all destined to suffer. My experience is if we can learn to give our suffering meaning it becomes manageable – otherwise it can be torture. I also believe if we can manage to find that we will ultimately find it’s our struggles that come to define us – they are what make us better individuals. For that reason – once the storm has passed, most of us wouldn’t change them. Wishing you the very best Betul 🙏

    1. That is my perspective too. Otherwise, all of this becomes meaningless and we start finding life meaningless, which is not a great mindset. Thanks a lot for the support and the well-wishes! I hope everything is good with you too!

  12. I think sometimes that the only way we grow or change as humans for the better is through painful experiences or transitions. In my life, I believe, they have produced a “better” me. Thanks!

  13. Good to see you bounced back and are in a better headspace where you can see the events in a more neutral way to assess the impact it had and if it was actually a good thing…that’s the power of human resilience..we always bounce back…stronger and tougher 👍🏻💗

  14. The struggle is a part of life.
    They are always with us to make us a better version from yesterday like:
    1)Charcoal transform into an elegant diamond under huge pressure and everybody knows its importance.
    2)A piece of paper after getting inside the printing machine renovated into a valuable currency.
    3) Raw food after getting heated at 100°c transform into yummy food.

    So the struggle is for everyone who is dwelling inside in this Universe. They will come into everyone life to educate a lesson and make them better from there yesterday. So that one can be strong and fierce things or human beings.
    So whenever you found yourself inside the struggle sphere. Try to understand the hidden lessons or puzzle it has for you.

  15. Oh Betul! Welcome back. I’m so sorry for what you were going through but I’m glad you made it to the other side better, stronger and wiser. For me, in the middle of the hardship, it feels like the end of the world, but once the hardship has passed and I see the lesson, i feel much better

  16. It is good to hear from you. I am glad you are feeling better.

    I think we can learn from the experiences of others, just as others can learn from our experiences. But sometimes if we haven’t done the thing we will want to try anyway. Just a few days ago I found myself saying, “Sometimes we don’t know something is a mistake until we’re the one that makes it.”

    There’s a lot to learn in life, and if we’re trying new things, by the laws of probability some of them won’t work out. We can take heart, though, that plenty of them will.

    Thank you for your encouragement to ponder these questions and to share our thoughts. Keep on keeping on being awesome. ❤

    1. Really good points. Yes, often experience is the best teacher. Regardless of how many times we are told something is bad, we learn best when we actually make the mistake. And yes, we need to accept the fact that not everything will work out in life.

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