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The Value of Life Experience - Walk a Mile in my Shoes

When dealing with the problems and issues that we suffer there is nothing like the voice of life experience. When going through difficult times to whom can you turn, and where should you seek help? Go to someone with life experience. There are many people who think they know what is going on, but until they have been through the same life experience they cannot know the truth, the emotions, feelings, pains and fears that you suffer.

Let me give an example. I have been married to a wonderful wife for the past thirty-five years. Unfortunately she has suffered many life-threatening illnesses over that time and been in and out of hospitals throughout our marriage. She has also had the problem of not being able to take painkillers of any kind except those that can be bought without prescription.

She has had many operations including the removal of her appendix after it had burst, tonsillectomy, gall bladder removal, ectopic pregnancy, hysterectomy, numerous tumours removed and some years ago, open heart surgery. And there were others as well but in all of these she could only take paracetamol as a pain killer.

I cannot imagine going through these things, let alone without powerful pain relief. But she has been through this and still remained positive, not letting her health issues over the years stop her doing all she desires. She says that it is only by the strength from the Lord through her Christian faith that she managed to come through these illnesses.

Now when people are ill with any of these things or suffer in these ways, I cannot help them like my wife can. I can show empathy, but she can say, "I know how you are feeling. I've been there." And she can talk them through the stages of the illness and recovery. She can reassure them that the fears they have are normal and provide comfort about the processes that will occur, in body and mind, as well as the procedures that they will face during the course of the illness and recovery.

If you have ever been in the position of losing someone close to you and gone through the grief process, then you will understand it can take a long, long time. Even after many months or years you can still get emotional at the thought of the loss of the loved one. Well meaning friends may say after several weeks or months to, "Get over it," but it's not that easy. It is usually a sign that they have not been through this situation themselves.

Don't take offence when this happens because they don't understand. They have not walked a mile in your shoes so they cannot understand your feelings. If you need comfort or help, seek out someone who has been there, some who can say, "I know how you feel," someone who has that life experience.

In the case of my wife, I cannot speak to people about their illnesses and issues. But I can talk to people about what it is like to live with someone who has suffered with a history of illness. I can speak to people about what the phases are they will go through and how to deal with the fear that you might lose your beloved partner.

There is nothing that can substitute for life experience, whether in the realm of relationships, business or just life in general. While there is some value in learning the theory of something, until it is experienced it is not real. Until it is experienced it is just an abstract from a textbook because it does not have any emotion attached to it, and man is an emotional animal.

Until a person walks a mile in someone else's shoes they cannot say, "I know," when confronted with that person situation. Seek out the person with life experience because with experience comes wisdom.

I hope that you found something here to help you or add to your own knowledge. If you have any questions, then please feel free to contact me.