They have more to learn

Years ago I read a book where a woman described her near-death experience and her visit to Heaven. One thing struck me . . . she related that she met her Heavenly Mother and was complaining about her husband who had had an affair and complaining about his new wife/former mistress. Her Heavenly Mother listened patiently and then said, “Yes, they have more to learn.”
That sentence struck me and sank deep into my heart.
“They have more to learn.”

Since then, it has become a framework for me. Sometimes I grow frustrated with my child who is being selfish and then I stop and think, “Well, he has more to learn.” It allows me to step back and look at his behavior and realize that he is learning and improving step by step and that this area is one where he needs more learning and more experience to change. I see it as part of his learning journey.

In the work I do, I often encounter people who are promoting truly horrendously evil things. When I get upset or frustrated (and sometimes flat out angry), I stop and think, “They just don’t understand. They have more learning to do.” I’m able to release the upset and realize that they are imperfect human beings who are operating from ignorance or yes, from evil intent because they just haven’t yet grown in their learning and understanding.

Interestingly, this has blessed me personally. Sometimes I beat myself up for not being better. I grow frustrated with my own progress–perhaps that I’m not being as kind as I would like to be. Before I get too far down the path of attacking myself, I stop and think, “Well, there it is. I certainly have more to learn!!” And I look at myself with more patience and compassion–realizing that I’m here walking through this mortal experience gaining learning and experience as I go and that it is all part of the process.

We all have more to learn. And we can be more patient with each other as we recognize that we are all learning bit by bit how to be better. Some things we learn quickly–others take more time and perhaps many years. But step by step, we all gain experience and learn from it.

They have more to learn. Yes, and so do I.