Please Note: Linda's blog has moved to her new website:
From now on, please visit her new website to enjoy all her upcoming blogs

Recognising Teachable Moments

August 7, 2015

I am so grateful for the Virtues Project strategy of Recognizing Teachable Moments, especially when I disappoint myself by indulging in a sudden tempest of temper, and growl someone I love. The idea is to take whatever happens as a life lesson and actually learn from it, instead of blaming others, letting it become a bad habit, or drowning in guilt. Instead of shaming ourselves we name the virtue we need and start to practice it.

To me, the only healthy purpose for guilt is as a signal for change, a red flag that tells me something in me needs Divine help to transform. Recognizing Teachable Moments is to never give up on spiritual growth, engaging in a continual, scrupulous examination of our behavior, and taking full responsibility while seeking God's grace and forgiveness. A man once came to Abdu'l-Baha, the son of the Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith and said, "You speak of God's forgiveness. How can I ever believe I will be forgiven for all the violent and dishonest things I've done? And how can I tell if God has forgiven me?" Abdu'l-Baha smiled at him and said, "You know you are forgiven when you no longer do those things." No matter how old we are or what we have done in the past, it is never too late for redemption by the Ever-Forgiving Lord, as long as we make amends for the past by behaving differently in the present.

To me this attitude of the Teachable Moment requires impeccable integrity and unfailing tenderness toward ourselves and others. How do we live up to such a standard? First, we need to take an honest look in the mirror after a mistake. Mistakes can often be our best teachers IF we have the humility to learn from them.

My beloved brother Tommy came for a visit last week, and I was shocked to discover that even at my age, old family patterns die hard. We had a wonderful time, despite a meltdown on my part. He came late to a meal I had carefully prepared to be ready at the time he had asked for. This may not seem big to you, but for me it triggered old family dynamics in which I felt used but not heard, needed but not loved. I was really embarrassed hearing myself growling him loudly. Was that supposed to help him enjoy the meal?  Oy! My teachable moment was not to prepare breakfast before someone has arrived, and also detachment from past hurts. It really was no big deal.

So I took it into prayer the next day and felt an amazing gentle love surrounding me. Proverbs 2:2-5 says "…incline your ear unto wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yea, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then shall you understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God."

Asking for wisdom and seeking understanding is the first step in a Teachable Moment, trusting that self-awareness is a great treasure. The fear of God, in my humble opinion is not being afraid of God but wanting to please our Creator, and dreading disappointing him by wasting the virtues with which each of us has been entrusted.

We cannot fix our own sin (being off the mark) by focusing on someone else's. Blaming someone else for our part of the problem just covers over the truth we need to see about ourselves.

The real test of whether or not we receive the gift of the Teachable Moment is that we don't sin again in that way. It takes faith, self-discipline, and purity of intention to change, yet it brings a sweet reward. Unity is restored with others, and we have come back on the path of pleasing our Creator.


Author photo
Linda Kavelin-Popov

More Posts:
    (July 23, 2016)

  • Time Management for Spiritual Efficiency
    (July 13, 2016)

  • Virtues are the Keys to Success
    (June 29, 2016)

  • The Gifts of Family
    (June 9, 2016)

  • Family Reunions: Blues or Blessings?
    (June 1, 2016)

  • Mothering
    (May 17, 2016)

  • Learning to Die
    (April 29, 2016)

  • The Power of Presence
    (April 15, 2016)

  • Set Your House in Order
    (March 30, 2016)

  • An Easter Journey
    (March 21, 2016)

  • Living Whole Heartedly
    (March 17, 2016)

  • Determination – the Dream Keeper
    (February 24, 2016)

  • Educating the Whole Child
    (February 3, 2016)

  • Virtues in Paradise
    (January 22, 2016)

  • New Year Hopes for 2016
    (January 12, 2016)

  • Reflections on a Year of Humility
    (December 31, 2015)

  • Home is where the heart is
    (December 15, 2015)

  • Coming Full Circle
    (November 24, 2015)

    (November 14, 2015)

  • Gathering for Gratitude
    Global Mentorship Canada 2015

    (October 30, 2015)

  • Raising the Virtuous
    (October 6, 2015)

  • Too Blessed to be Stressed
    (September 21, 2015)

  • Balance Your Virtues
    (September 8, 2015)

  • Whatever You Do
    (August 30, 2015)

  • Celebrate Life
    (July 27, 2015)

  • Tap the Power of Thought
    (July 2, 2015)

  • Hope
    (June 17, 2015)

  • Call on your A Team
    (June 6, 2015)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (May 24, 2015)

  • Banking on Virtues
    (May 18, 2015)

  • A Mother’s Virtues
    (May 9, 2015)

  • Virtues Shine
    – in a South Pacific College

    (April 28, 2015)

  • Being a Good Spiritual Accountant
    (April 23, 2015)

  • Bullying in the Workplace
    (April 13, 2015)

  • Easter
    (April 2, 2015)

  • The Best Present
    (March 13, 2015)

  • A Virtues Valentine
    (February 14, 2015)

  • Cleaning Up Our Act
    (February 10, 2015)

  • A Pace of Grace for 2015
    (January 18, 2015)

  • Choosing Your Best Life in 2015
    (January 2, 2015)

  • Gifts from the Heart
    (December 22, 2014)

  • Transform Holiday Stressing to Holy Day Blessing
    (December 6, 2014)

  • An Attitude of Gratitude
    (November 27, 2014)

  • Simple Ways to Bring Joy to Children
    (October 25, 2014)

  • A Perfect Day
    (October 8, 2014)

  • Let Peace Begin with Me
    (September 18, 2014)

  • Islands of Love
    (September 4, 2014)

  • Keeping Love Alive
    (August 16, 2014)

  • Integrity: Taking the High Road
    (July 27, 2014)

  • Parenting in Paradise
    (July 18, 2014)

    (July 6, 2014)

  • Help Strikes Again
    (June 24, 2014)

  • Help for Troubled Souls
    (June 13, 2014)

  • Tapping the Power of Wisdom
    (June 1, 2014)

  • Path Finder
    (May 9, 2014)

  • Discover Your Joy Quotient
    (April 17, 2014)

  • Trustworthiness: Lemon with a Twist
    (April 3, 2014)

  • Spring Forward
    (March 20, 2014)

  • Appreciation
    (March 7, 2014)

    (January 22, 2014)

  • Virtues Path for a New Year
    (December 31, 2013)

    (December 17, 2013)

  • Thanksgiving is Conducive to Bounty
    (November 28, 2013)

  • Flow
    (November 11, 2013)

  • SUCCESS-ion Planning
    (October 23, 2013)

  • In the Moment
    (September 22, 2013)

  • Be Here Now
    (September 17, 2013)

  • Grace in Our Tests
    (August 19, 2013)

  • A Pace of Grace Revisited
    (August 5, 2013)

  • Only Us
    (May 29, 2013)

  • Barbecues and Blessings
    (May 8, 2013)

  • Decisions in Paradise
    (April 23, 2013)

  • Daffodil Memorial
    (April 14, 2013)

  • How Full is Your Fruit Bowl?
    (March 20, 2013)

  • Rediscovering Joy
    (March 12, 2013)

  • Planning Your One Wild and Precious Life
    (January 30, 2013)

  • The Power of Intention
    (January 4, 2013)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (December 21, 2012)

  • What can we do – before and after a tragedy?
    (December 15, 2012)

  • The Presence of Light
    (November 30, 2012)

  • Circles of Compassion
    (November 21, 2012)

  • Dare to Stop Postponing Joy
    (November 5, 2012)

  • The Rain of Grief
    (October 27, 2012)

  • Opening to Gratitude
    (October 18, 2012)

  • The Power of Gratitude
    (October 8, 2012)

  • Time to Celebrate
    (September 22, 2012)

  • The Gifts of Waiting
    (September 13, 2012)

  • Linda’s First Post
    (September 1, 2012)