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Learning From Life - 11 Lessons

by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

This piece has not been an easy one for me to write or think about. There is much that I would like to forget and get past. 

Also, I searched my motivation for this piece and concluded:  it is based primarily upon the belief- life is the great classroom and we learn much from personal, every day experience.

About 2 months ago I was in hospital with a heart attack; now after the shock waves have subsided a bit, I have had time to reflect on all of this. Also, I am still occupied with the after effects. I am in cardiac rehab, changing certain life habits and still don’t have all my strength or heart capacity back; in multiple ways, this experience has clearly affected members of my family.

Some learning happens right away and other lessons take longer; both the doctors and EMT’s said I was lucky to be alive. There was a 100% blockage in my major heart artery and 60% in another; they have a nick- name for this particular attack: ‘the widow maker.’ 

Fortunately, I was at a family Thanksgiving dinner when this occurred and people acted quickly.

Sometimes, I still wonder why I am here.  Perhaps there is more that I have to do, accomplish and enjoy.

Anyway, while I try to work this out, so far here are 11 things I learned and seem to have relearned again. In some way, I hope sharing this helps.
· Life is fragile and may be over in an instant.
· Flesh is weak and can be broken; yet spirit fights and lives on.
· In order to heal, you need a support system and love of others.  
· After an event like this, fears, pains and sorrows are shared by those who love you.
· When pain enters- it is a game changer- often bringing you to your knees.
· Enjoy this moment- it is all you have. If there is something you want to do- do it now.
· Why one lives and another dies, is beyond our understanding.
· Be kind and generous to others. That is what the Universe wants. Suffering shows you this.
· We carry within the seeds of our own destruction and end.
· Death is part of life; they are tied to one another.
· Healing can be difficult and take a long time.

Now after reading this list, if you would like to share what you learned through personal adversity, I encourage input. 

God/Light willing, may you continue to be healthy, growing closer to your lasting self.
Check out my new book on Amazon: The Appleseed Journal.

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