The Real Teacher Here
Life is a classroom. I've already established that as my guiding metaphor. We're here to learn, to grow, to try new things, and to enjoy the process. But this begs a question: If life is a classroom, who is the teacher?
The real teacher in life is not experience. It's not overheard conversations or snippets of songs that float through the ether. It's not lines from movies or stuff you read in books or blogs. It's not even the people who speak or write these things.
No, the real teacher is you. You're the one who gets to decide, out of all the things that come your way, what is valuable and what is not, what is applicable and what is not, what you want to learn now and what you will learn later. You. You get to choose. You are your own teacher.
I always find it interesting that two people can read the same book, watch the same movie, listen to the same podcast, go through the same experience -- and come away with completely different interpretations.
For example, imagine two people are involved in a minor car wreck, a fender-bender with no injuries. One comes away thinking that the wreck was punishment from God for having skipped church this past Sunday. Another comes away thinking that God is so merciful as to have spared her from injury -- even though she skipped church this past Sunday.
Life presents lessons; what you learn is up to you.
I consider myself a teacher, but really all I can do is offer a particular point of view, a possible explanation, a lesson I have learned. From what I offer, you get to say, "Yes, that fits," or "No, that doesn't fit at all," or, "Let me think about that for a while."
If what I say is valuable to you, take it. It's yours. I simply put words around something you already knew but didn't know how to express it.
And, if you listen carefully, you'll hear a voice somewhere deep inside of you. That's the voice of your inner teacher. (I'm using the metaphor of "voice" and "sound" and "hear" -- but you may be able to close your eyes and see it, or sense it, or imagine it.) This voice may not be the loudest voice in there, but it's the most consistent, persistent voice. Others come and go, but this one persists.
What does this voice sound like? It's the one that just said, "I sound like this."
Now, if you're anything like me (and heaven help you if you are), you may have other voices rattling around in your mind. They probably said something like this, "No, I don't sound like that; I sound like this." Possibly you heard a voice say, "This is dumb. There's no such thing as an inner voice." It may even be saying right now, "Multiple voices in one's head. Does he think I'm nuts?"
But beneath and behind all the noise and the fuss, there remains this still, calm voice. And you know it when you hear it. If you listen now, it's probably saying, "I'm here. I have always been here. I'm on your side. I'm rooting for you. I love you."