<h1>David Earl Johnson, MSW, LICSW</h1>

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    Experience

    Category: Key Concepts
    Created on Sunday, 26 July 2009 16:47
    Written by David Earl Johnson, MSW, LICSW
    Hits: 4158

    Experience is the greatest of all teachers. We have many opportunities to learn every day of our lives. Everything we experience we learn from, especially those things that are particularly hard and/or emotional. Find things you can do to enhance your learning. Success can feel very rewarding, but what teaches us the most is the mistakes we make. What teaches us the most from mistakes is the loss we experience.

    Loss is a natural part of life, a challenge to learn and understand life from a new perspective. It’s a time to redefine the value of your own life and re-evaluate what is most important.

    Grief is the natural process we use to recover from loss. It is one of the most important experiences in life. I believe much what we call wisdom emerges from the painful depths of loss and grief. Grief is a personal experience that is largely unique from one person to another. It has no order or clearly identified steps that follow one after another. There are commonalities to the experience that are inherent to the healing process. Understanding the process can help us get back on track if life, your family’s culture or relationships get you off track. Grief unfolds in a purposive and meaningful way from the first awareness of loss. The grief process guides us through the painful reassessment and renegotiation of our needs and goals.

    It is important we don’t hide, shirk or flee from our pain. In order to learn the important lesson, we must endure what cannot be changed. Progress can feel like two steps forward, one step back. Be patient with the temporary setbacks. We will recover, but the road to recovery is never a straight line. It’s more like a winding rough road with ruts, rocks and trees across the road. We must be open to the new lessons we can learn from loss, no matter how painful it may be.

    Talking about our experiences with others brings new information and perspective we might not find on our own. Writing and reflecting about our pain can empower us to gain new insights, recognize fresh opportunities, and move in new directions. Those who recover most heartily from losses are those who work hardest to create meaning and purpose out of the loss. We go on with life despite the loss, wiser with a new sense of priorities.

    Live by the reality that you will survive and grow stronger and be a better person because of your experience.