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  • Writer's pictureNancy Willbern, PhD

The Classroom

We spend most of our lives focused on what’s immediately in front of us. If we have a problem at work, in our relationship or with our health, we tend to think our work, our relationship or our health needs some fixing. More often than not, we then go into problem-solving mode. Sometimes, some things can be improved at this level. We can work on team-building or improve our communication skills or start taking better care of ourselves. But when our daily problems can’t be improved after repeatedly trying, then it helps to go to a wider perspective and remember - this swirling blue ball that we are living on is just a great big classroom. We are in school here. From the widest perspective, we are here to learn.

          Here’s how I have come to experience things: Reality, Truth, Love and the Life Force (We could call this Creativity.) are all synonyms. The planet Earth is a schoolroom for those of us who are not fully aligned with Reality/Truth/Love/Life. We are the ones who still have work to do to experience what it feels like to be in synch with that level of Reality. Each of us has our own personal curriculum built around our own particular blocks to our awareness to Love’s Presence in our lives - or to put another way - to live fully out of Truth.

          In the Earth classroom, we do not sit at desks. The teacher does not stand at the front of the room. Life lessons come to us through life experience. Whenever we experience a problem in life, if we can’t solve it through our rational, problem-solving mind, it is a good idea to stop and ask, “Why is this situation on my plate? What am I supposed to be learning here? What does this relational dynamic tell me about my feeling unloveable or about whether or not I trust that Life is trustworthy? What does it tell me about my level of authenticity? Am I living out of my truth or am I hiding? How does it expose ways that I am shut off from the Creative Force? Does this feel familiar in some way to past experiences? If so, what patterns do I see? What gift could this uncomfortable situation be bringing to me?” We ask these meta-level-questions to begin to address the problem at the level of the problem instead of at the level of the symptom. We shift from the immediate problem (difficulties at work or in my relationship or with this pain in my stomach) to the level of lessons to be learned in the bigger Life-classroom about Love, Truth and Life.

          Making the shift from the presenting problem to the meta-level perspective can do three things: 1.) It can bring some softening around the presenting problem by putting it into a larger context. “Maybe Life is trying to teach me something here. This uncomfortable situation is not here to torture me or to make me feel worse about myself. It is taking me someplace new.” 2.) It brings the focus back onto the self instead of all those difficult people out there or onto the disease. This is the position of power. We can’t control anything else out there. 3.) Owning the problem, even if we don’t quite know yet what the deepest level of the problem is for us can take us on a journey of discovery. It shifts us from being the problem-solver to being the one who is open to being shown something new. We can move into open curiosity, trusting that Life Itself will point the way. It can show us that Life is always conspiring on behalf of our highest good. It uses everything - the good, the bad and the ugly to help us to return to the Truth that past all seemingly contradictory evidence - All there is is Love.

          ...Believe me! If that last sentence is sort of a stretch, know that I am right there with you. I am clearly still in a body living on the planet, Earth. I am still in the classroom here. But I can say from the deepest part of my heart that I have tasted it enough to know that it is true, even when in a given difficult moment, I lose sight of it. That statement - All there is is Love - is the direction that I return to over and over again.

Stock image from Pixabay


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