Experience is the Hardest Kind of Teacher

Everything and everyone has something to teach us in this life, without exception.

“Experience is the hardest kind of teacher.  It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward.” — Oscar Wilde

I truly believe that everything and everyone has something to teach us in this life, without exception.

I’ve learned, in earnest, to become aware of how interconnected we all are and how important and life-changing each new moment can be.

We are born innocent and beautiful and ready to explore; I see this first-hand with my own son. The world is open to us to feel into and learn from. New experiences await us at each turn: experiences that shape us, shock us, heal us, inspire us. And then something happens, as we age into our lives, into the machines of society. That wanderlust and sense of wildness and exploration is tamped down. Extinguished. In favor of time-clocks and labels and exams and judgments and approximations of all that we are, by people who know absolutely nothing about us. And we lean into these lives, we become these people, following the crowd to school, to college, to work, into debt, into retirement, and then death. It sounds somber, but this is the norm for many, many lives. And I’m talking about the privileged ones, the ones who’ve got it made and can basically do what they want, if they make up their minds to. Outside of this life of monotony and privilege though, are inspiring individuals who are born into oppression and corruption, abuse and poverty, and manage to rise above circumstance and make huge moves toward changing not just their world, but our entire way of being. They change the way we do Life, while so many trudge through, disgruntled and miserable about having to sit in traffic for a few minutes. I see a big imbalance here.

It’s in our conditioning, our way of life:

  • We go to school and then college because we’re supposed to
  • We settle down into a relationship because we’re expected to
  • We abandon dreams and desires because we must grow up
  • We abandon creative impulse in favor of routine and job security
  • We have children and decide to stop living our own lives and live solely through them

We wake up one day and wonder…what happened?

None of these things are bad, not at all. I loved going to college, it was an awakening to other worlds for me, at the time. Women’s Studies classes helped me to find my voice and lengthy papers put me back in touch with a love for writing and for genealogy. Marriage can be wonderful for many people, and children are a miracle. What I’m talking about though, is the mindless abandonment of Self in the pursuit of these endeavors; these mile-markers of life as we know it.

When we settle too deeply into a new routine, be it schooling or a relationship or a career… and we get too still… we can become stagnant, which can lead to boredom and bitterness. When we cease to gain experiences, we stop learning. We become stuck, we’re no longer moving. Experience is a hard teacher, but a vital one. The key to happiness in any part of our lives is to keep uncovering, evolving, learning, and rediscovering. To stay awake, alive, alert, and adapt when we need to.

And then what happens when we get what we want, only to have the glow wear off?

This can apply to anything, to any desire that we have. And it’s because the achievement closes the adventure of gaining new experiences. When we are on path to a goal, when we are pursuing a passion, we become lit up from within. We become luminous and open to the elements, to every challenge and obstacle in our path, to every magical moment of serendipity and synchronicity. And we are tested, time and again. We get to discover more of who we are and what we’re made of. We become aware and sensitive to much more than ourselves. We…learn. And in that learning, we evolve and grow. When we arrive at our destination and get what we want, we are no longer traveling. Repetitive experiences can soften and become muted, our senses can become dulled again, and we can drift back into that state of disconnected numbness. We can go back to watching our lives, instead of living in them — fiercely, openly, passionately, on purpose. With purpose. 

When my marriage fell apart, a huge piece of my identity fell away.

I knew that there were far worse things that could happen in life, and they do, so I was blessed with that perspective and it kept me moving forward. But even still, the road to rebuilding a sense of Self is wrought with obstacles and boulder-sized tests that smack us hard, in the face. And when we climb over those boulders, or around them… we realize that we’ve learned something invaluable. We get to see how strong we really are. How much we can stand. We get to decide who we really are and what we want out of life. I wouldn’t have fallen so deeply in love with writing again, for example, if life hadn’t taken that turn. I wouldn’t have found new ways of eating and educating myself about real food and natural medicine. I wouldn’t have experienced the awe of authentic spirituality, of inner peace, of intuition and inner guidance. I’ve become a better and more devoted mother and more compassionate human being, in general, despite my life “falling apart.”

It’s rather amazing, looking back, to the days where the ground beneath me felt so shaky that I thought I might just fall through and never return.

Seeking kind eyes in the strangest of places just to be able to keep going. And they were there, make no mistake. They’re everywhere, if you have the eyes to look. And now, knowing so much more of who I am, what I want and need out of life, what I believe and feel…it’s an entirely new way of being that I’m grateful for every day. Everything happens for a reason. A major life change like divorce, is quite a test of faith, resilience, patience, surrender, and self-acceptance. But come through these, with an open mind, and you will learn more about yourself and the journey of life than you’d ever imagine. It’s not easy, but the wisdom gained, the YOU that you get to be, is irreplaceable.

So… if you’ve just come through a huge obstacle, or life change, or you’ve accomplished something great, then feel proud.

Acknowledge that, it’s amazing. Not everyone can and not everyone does. And be sure to rest and replenish, for you’ve got more walking to do. Each adventure should end at the beginning of a new one if we want to continue to learn and absorb and grow, in this life. Choose to always find new experiences and you will never stop learning. After all, that’s why we’re here.

Get out there, live your life, and make mistakes. Keep learning. It’s worth it.


Stacie Hammond

Stacie Hammond is a public reference librarian by day and a writer by night, and enjoys empowering women to live their best, most fulfilling lives. Ana J. Awakens is her first published novel. She keeps a blog and contributes to other lifestyle and inspirational websites, on occasion. She lives on the North Shore of Long Island, New York, and is Mommy to an amazing little boy. She is loving life while busy working on her next project.

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Tina WorleyOmar njieMelissa Rose RothschildAkiroq Brostpatricia jackson Recent comment authors
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Tina Worley
Tina Worley

Mentoring. Simple advice not really criticisms. . when a person feels overwhelmed or focusing on what works and what does not work. Getting advice from a peer can help.

Omar njie
Omar njie

OK am seachin for a lover to help mi am poor in Africa the place call Gambia is in west Africa

Akiroq Brost

I truly believe this as well. It is just a matter of how we choose to look at things. I love this: “The world is open to us to feel into and learn from. New experiences await us at each turn: experiences that shape us, shock us, heal us, inspire us.” We could apply to that how we look at each and every day. Open mind, and open heart. We are so much stronger and more capable than we think. Our resilience is just amazing. We really need to celebrate ourselves more! All of life is never ending learning, with the goal of our betterment, and an increased quality of life for ourselves. Thank you for this encouraging article Stacie. <3

patricia jackson
patricia jackson

I worked for several years at a full time job raised my daughter. went to college. after twelve years at same job I started experiencing depression. after twelve years I lost the job went on unemployment. soon after I got a job taking care of an elderly lady in her home. I really enjoyed it and the hours were flexible so I could go to all my daughter’s events. I was always in fear that if something happened to her what would I do? where would I work? I worried a lot about it. so in 2007 I went to a small college. while still working. In 2009 I graduated and was so proud of myself and thought my future was secure. in 2009 my daughter was 20 she moved out only 20 minutes away, but to me it was like halfway across the world. she was my whole identity, I raised her, always looked forward to all her school events, sports etc. It was like my only purpose was to be a mom. I missed her all the time just having her there and knowing she needed me made me feel happy. I didn’t want to deal or accept the fact she grew up. I also kept searching and searching for jobs. I went to a temp agency they would not hire me because I had a dwi from 2005. I had to do something so I took a job at Burger King. the boss was not pleasant and I thought I would of definetly found a job with my degree. my mental health got worse, along with drinking, I met a guy who I took drugs with. I was deeply depressed my daughter was gone, my past was haunting me so it was such a waste to even go to college, which was devastating to me, I such high expectations. I was suicidal a lot, and keep rolling the dice with life. my choices and life got worse, I ended up I jail, getting ssd for my mental health cause it was so severe I couldn’t work. I ended up in a very abusive relationship, fearing all the time for my life. he did two jail sentences I put up with so much mental and physical emotional pain, that I cant tell you complete terror. with great support that I kept in was the key to me staying alive and Turning it over to God’s hands. I had not given up hope completely cause I was reaching out going to wonderful support groups etc. when I finally left my ex. I had ptsd very bad, my mental heath was still so bad but I had so much to work on with fear anger shame regret, I did not love myself or really trust anyway. I fell down a lot but still kept with my support I had a glimpse of hope. i ended up getting in a bad fight with my daughter i loved her the most and hurt her the most . my feelings and emotions were just all over the place. i was so angry and sad.. i thought i ruined the relationship with my daughter the person i love most in this world . my hope i was in and out of hospitals , i couldn’t bear the thought of my daughter not being in my life. i was devasted i was existing. maybe it is called an ephiany i started to think differently that my daughter and loved ones would be devasted if i where gone. and all my daughter ever wanted is to see me well. she deserved this at the very least. at my lowest point i changed my environment stayed in therapy, went through a lot of falls but got back up again. it was very difficult at times, but i wanted my daughter to see me well. i got to know myself forgive myself and love myself. I had Great Faith in God. i was more spiritual than in all of my life. i know when i put it in God’s hands i will be okay. through all of this.. i have peace today in joy! it is the best feeling in the world. i can be true to myself. I AM TRULY BLESSED AND GRATEFUL FOR MY GIFT OF LIFE FOR MY LOVED ONES, AND START TO APPRECIARE MORE AND MORE. I HAVE FOUND A PASSION IN LIFE I WANT TO MAKE IT A GREAT PASSIONS AND KEEP LEARNING AND GROWING EVERY DAY ON THIS JOURNEY OF LIFE. I AM BLESSED WITH A SECOND CHANCE MANY PEOPLE DO NOT GET THAT. I WAS SO SELFISH NOW I AM SO SEFLESS. HEALING MY HEART HELPS ME TO INSPRIRE AND HELP OTHER. I HAVE GOALS AND DREAMS THAT I WILL ALWAYS KEEP REACHING FOR. DONT EVER GIVE UP BECAUSE IT IS MY GREATEST TRADGEIES AND STIRUGGLES THAT GO ME TO WHERE I AM TODAY. THOSE PAST EXPERINCES WHICH I THOUGHT WOULD KILL ME THEY MADE ME FEEL MORE ALIVE THAN EVER. NEVER GIVE UP! EVERYHTING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. I WORK ON LIVING MY LIFE TO THE FULLEST AND HOPEFULLY INSPRIRING OTHERS!

Melissa Rose Rothschild


Gail Liming

Thank you for such an inspirational article. And yes we all are interconnected. Our experiences in life do shape us, shock us, inspire us and heal us. Experience is a hard teacher but a vital one. I personally have come through much of what was mentioned in my lifetime, but came out on top as the winner, determined not to be the loser. I learned some really hard-won lessons from it all too, which in the end made me wiser, learning never to repeat the same mistake twice. And was it really a mistake? I ask myself. I did what I did simply because I couldn’t live watching somebody destroying their life anymore. It all came together as the perfect plan that I could only see after I left the situation I was in. My life has continued to grow after that and I found a deeper more meaningful relationship with the Redeemer of mankind. And I did what I did all in the name of LOVE for my children, and LOVE for myself.

Melissa Rose Rothschild


Vasudevan Bhattathir

this is a very good article . I always believe that experiences in life specially bad and unfavorable one’s are teaching us more than good and pleasant ones we always learn more in bad experiences and this is Divine method of testing our rediness for moving forward in our spiritual progress . when a person finds no means of solving his problems he tuns his mind towards Divine . till that time he is after pleasure hunting
Thank you for bringing out such a good article

Arelis Maciel

Life tried to knock me on my a** 4 years ago as I was dx’d with invasive breast cancer. Boy, talk about being strong. This was the hardest battle I have had to fight, but yes, God gave me the wisdom and strength to do just that. I took the bull by the horns and stepped foot on that ground every single day of this long ride (some ride). My complete focus was to beat this evil living inside of me, because my 2 beautiful daughters still needed me in their lives. I also wanted to show them their mommy was not going sit around and become a victim and a survivor. Praising God every single for my resilience, determination to keep going strong. Praising him for my life and another chance. Cancer, you tried to knock me down hard, but I kicked you harder.


Great article! Great comments! I, too went through
a divorce, and I continue to read and l learn so
much about myself. Yes, it has felt like climbing
Mt. Everest, but my Faith in God, He has continually pulled me through horrible circumstances
and He has brought forth good that before
was so bad. I am learning who I am, that I
never would have learned had I stayed in the
destructive marriage I was in. I’m amazed at
55, the wonderful loving supportive people
God brings into my life. My life really is
starting at 55. I’m trying to take a day at
a time and see where God leads me. It’s
exciting to learn and grow every day!

Omar njie
Omar njie

I love you I need a lover hello can I have some one to love an help

Robina fazal

Thanks!Stacie Dear❤💐💐💐for a lovely inspiring article..I do had a mishap.. in life that motivate me to focus on myself myself lead a strong life.. I had a mishap of divorce.. I loved my husband so much.. we care for each other.. so much..issue raised baby birth was bit late..i was young girl…with health and enthusiasm..he can wait a bit but in anger one day without any Solid reason put the divorced my hands.wht I should say when done is done..I moved to my pappa house…and after I came to him..after two years my Mom died of sudden heart attack.. younger brother and pappa were alone.. So I tried my best to deal the whole house systems.. and took care of pappa and pappa was a in his profession he demands from me to be at home and take care of all..Systems.. brother got upset after Moms death…he needs my care too..So that was the period that turned my life…as I have to deal like a Man…pappa trusts me a lot…I feel if you are mentaly physically stròng you can lead life with courage I focused my exercises…my personal activities to get busy even at home..but whenever need for me to deal the outdoors I did my best..i feel to take care of pappa more he was heart patient ..and always cared about his diets…his medicines…his walk he always have me permission to do my exercises and my activities.. at home he knew she takes care of health. And write and learn….so will be a Strong woman one day.. he always want my resistance to be maintained in life…my proper prayers . My exercises..I brought me up like a boy…but he always expect me to do good for myself but don’t cross my limitations.. remain positive and productive.. That’s my Pappas greatness.. but during that period when a lot responsibilities and works I had to deal…as dealing all family members..all…home chores..managing ladies.. club.productice activities.. I got some time upset.. where my as I have to deal my duties..i commited to..but didn’t dishearted I always…manage time for myself…for my as I have to deal my life by living and caring.. and honouring it…although in that long period I had to sacrifice my time…and life..but I was always hope that one day I’ll be ready for my life I’ll make my dreams come wishes come true.. so I always be active..but becoming strong by praying..meditations..exercises..and other healthful activities..that can a source of more positive energy to lead my future life with dignity.. self worth…and challenging goals…The journey took quite long…but as I am now in the Royal Society.. ❤👑💐From two years..and with the Simple reminder groups too now..Thanks to Sir Bryant..Mam Jenni.and all my Sweet Royals for their love care and compassion.. they introduce me to a platform..The Royal Society ..❤👑Through which I am linked with lovely Souls all over the world.. and my mission in future is to work for them.. to let the Souls in them..Support them.. I hope so I’ll get the chance…..Thanks…to all…one thing in the last..we learned a lot in life..but real life is to let our lives healthy and Sound for our own selves..but wht we learned let the other Souls take full benefit from our experiences and learning’s the best life we can have…❤💐💐💐Amen..

Melissa Rose Rothschild


Djaffar Mohamed

Life may have you got in hardship and pain may have filled your heart its fullest. Any sense of hope seems to melt away but when you believe that with God nothing is vain, when you try to see things with the heart instead the eyes, you’ll realize that all of it was only a very short scene of storm from a long beautiful story! So, no matter how dark seems the day, keep moving forward and let God’s Voice guide you through the darkness! There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel! May Allah bless us forever!
Thank you so very much for that beautiful article!