I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working

I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working

by Shauna Niequist

In I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet, you’ll get to explore profound themes such as faith, curiosity, self-compassion, and the art of letting go, among others. This book provides a language for the seemingly unspeakable and helps bridge divides between individuals by sharing stories that redefine who we are and what the world means to us. It is a guide to discovering new ways of living when the old ways stop working, helping us find fresh perspectives and meaning in our experiences.

Summary Notes

Practicing Self-Compassion

We all make mistakes at some point in our lives. It's an inherent part of being human. While these mistakes can sometimes leave us feeling down, it's important to remind ourselves that they are perfectly normal and acceptable. This is how we show self-compassion.

Self-compassion is all about being kind and understanding to ourselves, just like we would be toward someone we love. Instead of beating ourselves up over our mistakes, it's about forgiving ourselves and recognizing the effort we've put in.

Studies have shown that self-compassion leads to more lasting change than all those negative emotions like shame, guilt, or self-loathing. It becomes a catalyst for moving forward and embracing positive change.

Actions to take

Seeking Joy in Life's Little Moments

Finding joy in the little moments of life is valuable. Oftentimes, people tend to overlook or take for granted the small experiences that bring happiness and fulfillment. However, it is essential to take the time to appreciate these moments and extract joy from them.

When we're going through tough times, it can be immensely helpful to be there for others, even in small ways. You'd be surprised how much impact small acts of kindness can have. Just offering a listening ear, lending a helping hand, or showing empathy can bring great joy to you and the person you're helping. Likewise, it's also important to be open to accepting help when others offer it. It's a two-way street where joy and support are exchanged. By being supportive and showing up for someone else, you can find comfort and a sense of purpose for yourself too.

Even in moments of darkness, it is important to search for the good, to find the silver linings, and to maintain an attitude of gratitude. Cultivating a grateful mindset helps keep your heart open and ready to embrace the joys that exist despite difficulties.

Actions to take

Developing Resilience

Resilience is all about getting back on your feet when life knocks you down. It's not just about bouncing back after the first fall; it's about finding the strength to bounce back even after multiple setbacks. It's about feeling exhausted and drained but still having the determination to keep moving forward.

Resilience means witnessing your well-thought-out plans crumble right in front of you, grieving for what you've lost, and then summoning the courage to devise a new plan. It's about being open to different possibilities and letting go of rigid expectations.

Every time you've faced challenging moments in the past and managed to rise above them, it has been preparing you for the obstacles you're currently facing. And every time you choose to rise again in the present, you're building up that resilience within you, which will be invaluable for whatever lies ahead in the future.

The choices you're making today—such as staying disciplined, embracing your creativity, and holding onto hope—are gradually shaping who you are. So when the next season of pain and difficulty arrives, it won't feel as overwhelming because you've been strengthening your resilience through the tough choices you're making at this very moment.

Actions to take

Facing Grief Head-On

When we go through a major loss, it's normal to feel angry about it. Grief can make us feel like we've lost control, and anger gives us a temporary sense of power. However, true healing requires us to confront and embrace our grief. We need to acknowledge that we can't control everything and be willing to face the loneliness and quietness that come with the weight of grief.

As we heal, it becomes easier for us to forgive others and show empathy. Initially, what we're going through feels like the biggest, ugliest, and cruelest thing anyone could ever experience. But as we actively work on healing and move forward step by step, we begin to see that other people's losses are just as significant and real as our own. This is a positive sign of healing. Our pain is still real, tender, and terrible, but it no longer consumes our entire world.

With time, we regain emotional energy that we can offer to others through empathy. Instead of hoarding all our resources for our own grief, we develop the ability to recognize and understand the burdens others carry. This newfound empathy allows us to support and connect with others rather than keep all our focus on our own pain.

Actions to take

Investing in Healing and Self-Care

Sometimes, when we have experienced difficult moments in our lives, it can be hard to believe that we deserve good things. We may carry a sense of unworthiness or feel that the challenges we have faced are somehow indicators that we are not deserving of happiness or goodness. But this is simply not true.

Pain and loss are part of the human experience. They are not punishments or judgments on our intrinsic worth as individuals. Life has a way of breaking us down, causing us to feel shattered and lost. But it is in these moments of brokenness that we find the strength to rebuild ourselves, emerging stronger, braver, and freer with every step forward. Remember that goodness, peace, second chances, and joy are not exclusive privileges for those who haven't faced hardships. They're for all of us.

So, it's important to give ourselves permission to heal. We have every right to be happy and invest in our own well-being. We need to be kind to ourselves, showing compassion and love in all sorts of ways.

Actions to take

Don’t just read. Act.
Read comprehensive summaries and discover carefully compiled action lists for active learning