Learning from bad experiences: find that silver lining

A few weeks ago, I was mugged and had an accident. It happened in a very safe and touristy place, and in broad daylight. Shortly after that, I wounded my head, pretty badly – while running after the thief. (I know, bad idea.)

All in all, it was one really scary experience! But in many ways, also a great experience.

I know that sounds a bit crazy, but – I learned many important life lessons that day. Lessons I am truly grateful for.

Lessons I could have, arguably, learned in other, less painful ways. But it’s also possible this was exactly what I needed, right there and then.

I want to tell you what those lessons are – but more importantly, I want to use this rather extreme example to show you how you can learn from bad experiences, and find the positives in them. Find that silver lining, that we usually overlook.

It is incredibly important to be able to find the positive sides of your experiences – if you want to grow and learn more things about yourself, other people, and life in general. When you extract a life lesson from things that happen to you, especially bad things, you are one step closer to finding your happiness.

So, here you go.



What experience (in love, or life in general) has taught you the most about relationships?

If you have an experience you cannot find a positive side of, tell me about it – I might suggest one.

As always, thank you for sharing!

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5 Responses

  1. Nat says:

    Hello Petra,
    We all go through bad experiences. I am in the middle of one right now and I can see the good side of it, even if it is painful (broke up with a man but I want him back).
    My question is more about a childhood trauma. I can think about it a lot, i don’t see anything positive about it. Incest with my brother. It messed my whole life, I still have to fight it with my therapist, I have lost my mom because of it… I grew up angry and afraid of people, afraid to trust them, afraid to love. So could you help find a positive note on this?

    • Petra says:

      Hi Nat. That is a really tough one – and honestly, I wouldn’t dare to give you an opinion off the top of my head for something that serious as incest, without getting a better idea about how you feel and how this experience has shaped you. It is extremely hard to see the good in such traumatic things. We people sometimes experience seemingly senseless pain and suffering. However, even such experiences can help you grow as a person, and that’s probably what you’ve been doing a lot in your life, I am sure, to overcome the trauma. The principle learning lesson in really harsh, hurtful experiences is to give us a strong incentive to grow, become strong, resilient, learn to love, accept ourselves just as we are, to find meaning in life faster than we would if we hadn’t gone through it. If you manage to heal from something like this, you will really be in a great place with yourself and life. I know that may sound counter-productive, because you surely would have been better off without that experience, but if you try to look at it through that lens – what could you have possibly learnt from it, what life lessons you could extract out of it, you might start seeing (some) sense in a bigger picture of your life. If you feel you’d like to talk about it, happy to. Get in touch over email.

  2. CJ says:

    Hey Petra,
    wishing you quick recovery – get better soon…. sounds like a bad commercial.
    Here is my experience.Not long ago I fell in love with my pretty and smart and very married Mental Health care social worker – in a hospital setting.I thought our meeting was Syncronicity and Divine Intervention.She did not get that.
    We got along very well, she accepted and liked my flirting – after I told her how I felt, she did not know how to handle it, started lying to me and threw me under the bus.
    The 11 month fantasy therapy ended four sessions early , her Administrator called me and ended it on the phone. She cooked up some kakamimi excuse -.why.
    I packed up, and said Asta la Vista to that institute.
    By the way, when Karma knocks on your door,you can not run fast enough
    Your mugger will find that out soon..
    God bless you dear!

    • Petra says:

      Thank you so much for your support and kind words. Well, in this situation – I would say the experience tells you a lot of things. First of all – married people are off limits, it’s best you don’t even go there looking for love – but especially if you want things to be easy and straightforward. She might have enjoyed your attention, but that doesn’t mean she was up for anything more. Second – you fell for your therapist, again a big no no. Honestly, a good therapist should set the boundaries in such a way so that you as a client are not even tempted, or if she sees you are falling for her, she should stop therapy, being honest about the reason (and tactful in delivering it as well, definitely not via phone/assistant), not lying – and then refer you to another therapist. She violated her professional code of conduct by engaging in flirting and crossing the boundaries of the professional relationship. She cannot help you in her professional capacity if she is toying with your feelings. Third thing that’s a learning point – it would be good for you to reflect on why you fell for her. Maybe that will give you clues about some relationship patterns that you want to change or work on in the future. There are probably more things you could come up with, that will help you with your future relationships (romantic or other), but I hope this has helped for a start. Take care

  3. mcao laro says:

    hi here love it

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