Rule No. 3: There Are No Mistakes, Only Lessons


 Growth is a process of trial and error:  Experimentation.  The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”

Take a moment and remember yourself five years ago.  Are you the same person?

What have you learned?  Think of something that upset you then.  How would you handle it now?  Does it still upset you?  And, from this distance, whom were you fighting?  In looking back, do you flinch at this view of yourself or smile gently?

Now think of a time when you felt great joy.  What was it that gave you that sense of joy?


Your body is designed to be your best friend.  It is constantly sending you information whether you are listening or not.

Each of us has an inner pendulum that is an indicator of a need to change on our part.  The pendulum begins in the center, balanced and at ease.  A situation comes up in our life and the pendulum begins to swing.  At first, it’s just a small swing out from the center.  You are being sent a message regarding a situation you are not comfortable about.  Perhaps you say to yourself, “Oh, this isn’t too bad.  I can deal with it.  I am too busy to do anything about it right now.”  You ignore the situation.

The pendulum returns to the center for a while.  Pretty soon, the situation becomes more uncomfortable.   This time, the pendulum swings further out from the center point, it’s gaining momentum and you have feelings of discomfort, unease, sometimes anger, defensiveness, irritation and worry.  A little frisson of fear runs its course through your system.  However, you have an extremely busy schedule, you may have been fighting to maintain balance in a relationship, or working to complete a deadline on a project.  You’re tired, cranky and unwilling to take the time to focus on the situation that is bothering you.

“I’ll deal with it later.  I just hope it goes away.  Maybe if I just ignore it, it will solve itself.  I do not want a confrontation right now!”

The pendulum comes back to the center, but now it has momentum and it begins to swing strongly out.  As it reaches its farthest point, you come up against the situation again and, this time, you explode with anger, or your stomach clenches and you find yourself spending a great deal of time in the bathroom.  You might even not want to get out of bed in the morning.


The moment you become aware that you are not comfortable with a situation, that something is off-centered, it is a note being sounded to change it.  Learn to hear that dis-ease, that flat note, whether it be when you are speaking with someone, thinking about a problem, or simply finding you are spending a great deal of energy surmounting obstacles.  It means there is a better way to accomplish your desire.

In The Intruder, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual are a wholly integrated system, designed to work as a team.  When you have a problem physically, from a headache to ulcer to a cold to a broken foot.  Stop!  Take a moment (or several) and focus in on what’s been happening recently.  More often than not, you will find that this  physical ailment is a signal of imbalance.  Not only that, but your system is set to alert you loud and clear.  What part is hurting or feeling discomfort?

I would like to urge here that there is a reason why we were born in this time period of medical expertise, of miracle drugs, and great scientific advancement. I do not recommend bearing something stoically. I believe in medicine and in doctors, I just also think there is balance and harmony in everything.

My own truth is that when I am not feeling well, 90% of the time it’s my indicator that I am out of harmony with something, someone.  In fact, it frequently takes me days to realize I might really be ill.  That good old common cold, for instance. There are times when you really do have a cold and you simply must treat it as such. However, it might also be a message to simply take better care of yourself, be more nurturing to yourself. A sore throat might mean you have not been speaking your highest truth. Your throat is a center of communication and when it’s blocked, it can be that you’re swallowing saying something that might truly clear the air between you and a friend, or you and your boss or employee. It might also be tonsillitis! This is for you to decide. You are truly the only one who can know, really know, what’s wrong and take action to fix it.

The good news is that when you do, you are very quickly rewarded.  That is also a sign that you are on the right track.  There is no need for pain or stress, except as a way to wake you up, to say:  “Hey!  Pay attention!”  And, when you make that a priority, life begins to look very good again.


To be continued…  Rule 4 coming up next.

Note: This is part of the AWOL Manual, “When to Lay the Weapons Down,” copyrighted 1995, renewed 2008

11 thoughts on “Rule No. 3: There Are No Mistakes, Only Lessons

  1. Huntie because I was born with Spina Bifida, I have suffered from arthritis for a good part of my adult life. I have arthritis in my spine, my hips, one knee, most of my toes, my wrists, shoulders, neck & some of my fingers. One thing I learned early on is arthritis is a disease of balance. Have an arthritis flare up? Check to see what you’ve been doing over the last few days. If you’ve been too busy to get enough rest, it could cause a flare up. If you’ve been resting too much, it could also cause a flare up. You need to strike a balance between activity & rest.


  2. Hunt, 5 years ago, I was just starting down this trail, I had only known for a brief period the true depth of my diagnoses. My world had been turned upside down, but I was also over the mopping and bitching part. I was still capability of playing golf, bowling, etc, and all the normal house hold chores. My world had changed but it was still my world. I did not and have not looked back and filched, I wasn’t fighting then and I still am not. Soft smile the time I felt pure joy was the moment my daughter was born. And he birth of my granddaughter. Both events pushed the level of joy within me to a level that is impossible to duplicate.

    Smiling, damn your right, my body had sent me signals for years and years, and at each juncture I chose to ignore the message and the situation that brought it one. “I’ll deal with it later. I just hope it goes away. Maybe if I just ignore it, it will solve itself. I do not want a confrontation right now!” This was my mantra for years in dealing the pending respiratory issues racing towards me. Sure the warning signs were every were, but ignoring them was easy. The most surprising things was when I finally with to the doctor, and found out it was COPD, I felt a massive amount of relief, because I had truly felt that I had the big “C.” The intruder had the vulcan death grip on me for a time, but I believe that I quickly recognized the intruder, and at some point decided to make him for me. This allowed me to gain a level of acceptance, and rebellion at the same time. I pay closer attention to my body now than I have at any point in my life, and it has paid dividends for me.

    The intruder has forced me to evaluate myself on a continuing basis. A cold isn’t a cold anymore, but it doesn’t mean that pneumonia is just around the corner. These are indeed good working lessons for life, and as long as I don’t associate with lawyers I am doing great. Your are a wonderful writer. Thanks, Bill


    • You are way out ahead of the curve, Bill ~ good on you for paying attention to all systems’ communications.

      Being the incredibly spiritual person I am, I am stepping to the side of that red flag you are waving. Toro!


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