Learned from Living

David A. Gershaw, Ph.D.

Recently I received forwarded material via e-mail. Looking it over, I thought these words of wisdom were worth passing on to my readers. However, I do not know the original source, so I cannot give credit where credit is due.

Essentially, these are things that someone has learned from living. Each statement begins with "I’ve learned that...."

• you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

• no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.

• it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

• it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

• you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do, but to the best you can do.

• it’s not what happens to people that is important. It’s what they do about it.

• you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

• no matter how thin you slice it, there are always (at least) two sides.

• it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

• you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

• you can keep going long after you think you can’t.

• we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

• regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades, and there had better be something else to take its place.

• heroes are the people who do what has to be done, when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

• learning to forgive takes practice.

• there are people who love you dearly, but just don’t know how to show it.

• money is a lousy way of keeping score.

• sometimes when I’m angry, I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

• true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. The same goes for true love.

• just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

• maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you have had and what you learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you have celebrated.

• you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

• your family won’t always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren’t related to can take care of you, love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren’t biological.

• no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while, and you must forgive them for that.

• it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

• no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

• our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

• sometimes when my friends fight, I’m forced to choose sides, even when I don’t want to.

• just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. Just because they don’t argue, doesn’t mean they do.

• sometimes you have to put the individual ahead of their actions.

• we don’t have to change friends, if we understand that friends change.

• you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

• two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

• no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt, and you will hurt in the process.

• no matter what the consequences, those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.

• no matter how many friends you have, if you are their pillar, you will feel lonely and lost at the times you need them the most.

• your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.

•even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

• writing, as well as talking, can ease emotional pains.

• credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

• the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon.

• it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings and standing up for what you believe.

Even the wisest of sayings is just a bunch of words,
until you understand their significance.

Discuss these sayings with people who are close to you, so they can understand the significance of the words without enduring the pain that some of these lessons involve. It can help them to live happier and more productive lives.

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