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It's All Learning

Saanich News January 13,2005

Paul Beckow M.Sc. R.P.C.
Individual couple and Family Counsellor

I have a new exciting teacher in my life. My eleven-month-old granddaughter, Emma. We visit Emma every two weeks or so and I am amazed to see how much she learns between our visits.

I watch as she begins to reach out, then grasp, objects. Then she learns to pull them towards her. She learns to hold objects with both hands, to turn them, and study them, and to direct them to her mouth. She masters that skill and moves on. Next visit I see her simply picking up her soother and putting it straight into her mouth then spinning it the right way up. Next time I come she puts the soother in MY mouth!

It’s no surprise Emma is acquiring new skills so quickly. Everything she does in the world is learning. Everything. Her way of being, her existence in life, is constant, ongoing learning and discovery.

She especially learns from her errors, mistakes, and struggles. When trying to steady her self to sit upright – oops – she falls backward. She tries again, and again.. Then she puts in a little correction and she’s sitting now. She’s got it. She’s learned from falling.

I think being in a committed relationship is meant to be this kind of process. Learning to live with, and to love, another is meant to be a practice of continuous learning and discovery.

After all, in the matter of relationships, we are all beginners. There is no course, no curriculum, no handbook. It’s all trial by fire. As Emma does, we learn through awareness, practice, and correction.

In this view, everything that happens in relationship has something to teach us. The difficulties, challenges, and misunderstandings are life calling on us to learn something new about ourselves, about our partner, about the practice of relationship.

The trick to learning is remaining open, undefended, and curious - as my granddaughter Emma so wonderfully reminds me.

Paul Beckow is a certified individual, marriage, and family therapist. He is currently offering his course called “The Flowering of Relationship” for couples beginning in February. If you would like information he can be reached by phoning the Victoria Family Institute at 721 2477 or his website www.paulbeckow.com.

For personal or couple counselling, for more information, or to register for a course - please contact Paul Beckow at The Victoria Family Institute.

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