Finding Wisdom

life, experience“I’ll give you my wise woman discount,” she said. “Thank you,” I replied, before joking, “Is that your nice way of saying senior?”

The answer both surprised and pleased me. I was told of her belief that seniors have much accumulated wisdom, so she truly thought of them as wise. She also told me that too many people don’t recognize or appreciate this. Needless to say, I was quickly gaining respect for this young woman!

For many years, I didn’t think of myself as wise. I don’t have the formal education that many do. I don’t always make good decisions.  It took a long time to realize that these facts don’t negate the wisdom I’ve gained in my lifetime.

My wisdom has come from experience. I can’t speak for others in my age category, but for me, many of the learning experiences in my life have come from mistakes I’ve made. The longer I live, the more opportunity I have to make mistakes. They are an inevitable part of life. Over the years I’ve discovered that my mistakes have enabled me to gain wisdom.

When any of us are willing to be vulnerable and pass our experiences on to others, wisdom is shared. It’s nice to know that all the mistakes don’t have to be mine. I can learn from yours as well!

One of my favourite sources of wisdom comes from children. I have heard some profound things from my grandchildren. Young children don’t filter their words. They say what they think and feel. I have learned a lot from paying attention to them.

So, while I appreciate being called wise, I know it’s as a result of the mistakes I’ve made and also from paying attention to what I can learn from others. I’m also wise enough to accept the wise woman discount when it’s offered!

The Picture I Show You

idyllic, #inspirationPicture this: I’m sitting on my deck in Mexico, overlooking the sea. My view is of water that changes from green to blue and stretches as far as the horizon, where it meets with a cloudless azure sky.

Three pelicans float on the water. Suddenly they dive under. As their heads emerge I can see the silver glitter of fish in their large beaks. I’m close enough to see them swallow their catch.

A bit farther out, gulls flock around a small boat, hoping to enjoy some of the fisherman’s catch. The only sounds are the lapping of the tide along the shore and an occasional bird call.

This sounds idyllic and it is, but from this vantage point, you haven’t received the full picture.

A few days before strong winds blew in masses of seaweed. It came in with the tide and temporarily has been deposited on our beach. In order to get to the water, I have to walk through piles of seaweed. Some is dry but closer to the water’s edge it is soft and spongy underfoot.#inspiration, vulnerability, picture of life

This picture is an analogy of life. I have the option as to the picture I show you. Will it only be the pretty picture; the idyllic one that leaves you wishing you could experience the same as I am?

How well do you relate to someone who always seems to be under clear, sunny skies? I find it much easier to connect with people I have something in common with. Shared struggles promote closer relationships.

At some point in our lives, all of us have had to walk through weeds to reach our desired destination. The question is, do we turn back or make our way through the unpleasant areas?

I have found it much easier to navigate the rough spots when I’m not alone. The support of others helps me find the strength I need to keep going. When I stumble, it’s nice to know someone will be there to help me get back on my feet. In turn, I can do the same for my companions. This won’t happen if you think my life is perfect.

So, the question is, what picture am I showing to those I want to connect with?

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
― Brené Brown