A Lesson From Helen Keller

Let me preface the quote that I am about to share with you with my life lesson of the day. I applied for a teaching position through Teach for America and found out today that I was not selected. It broke my heart. Last night, as I was struggling to find any sort of inner peace and fall asleep, the hymn “It is well with my Soul” popped into my head, and likewise, in my heart. I thought to myself that no matter what the outcome brings, that it will be well with my soul.

I am a big believer in fate and destiny. I believe that God has set out a plan for each and every one of us. Finding that plan and fitting into that plan is never easy. In fact, it is quite painful. Sometimes it feels like drowning and you cannot help but cry out “never let me go” to Him. What you and I forget is that the whole time that we are in turbulent waters, we are in the palm of his hand. Safe. These waters are not a means of drowning, but cleansing.

As the hymn goes:

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
What ever my lot you have taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

This hymn was my divine intervention. I believe that He spoke to me in my time of need. There is peace in my being.

The other important part of my day came from attending a stress management workshop that was held at my university’s counseling center. I realized while I was sitting there listening to this amazing psychologist (I just adore psychologists, she even had the loveliest and most soothing accent) that I am far too stressed. My stress stems from my college lifestyle. While I do worry about other life duties, like money, health, family, etc. I almost feel consumed by the college environment.

Take for an example this afternoon. I had an exam in my Psycholinguistics course and I was nervously trying to sharpen my pencil. My friend in class saw my distress, calmly walked over to his backpack and brought me a mechanical pencil to use. It was the nicest thing anyone has done for me this week.

What I learned from that workshop was simply to breathe. It really helped.

Talking to my mom about my disappointment really helped as well.

She was the one who sent me this quote.

I plan on breathing. I plan on getting lost in this wonderful city that I live in tomorrow. I plan on getting lost in books. I plan on thinking instead of drilling myself with facts. I want to live. I want more than GRE scores and tests and GPAs. I want adventure in the great wide somewhere.

“I began my studies with eagerness. Before me I saw a new world opening in beauty and light, and I felt within me the capacity to know all things. In the wonderland of Mind I should be as free as another [with sight and hearing]. Its people, scenery, manners, joys, and tragedies should be living tangible interpreters of the real world. The lecture halls seemed filled with the spirit of the great and wise, and I thought the professors were the embodiment of wisdom… But I soon discovered that college was not quite the romantic lyceum I had imagined. Many of the dreams that had delighted my young inexperience became beautifully less and “faded into the light of common day.” Gradually I began to find that there were disadvantages in going to college. The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one’s thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures – solitude, books and imagination – outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.”
― Helen Keller


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