Have you ever said “I need to go back to the basics” OR “I need to focus on what means the most for me”? How I can be a more effective counselling therapist is to apply the basics of the model of human life that aligns with my values. Since writing my previous article, Aging as the Life Experience, I’ve thought more about aging – the experience of age moving forward – as a lifelong journey. I also reflect on how the topic of aging arouses fear and behaviors of all manners so this reality can hopefully be avoided. And why would individuals in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s even need to think about aging – that’s for those “older” folk!
The Wisdom of Worth
With my days and evenings packed full with activity, I notice how my meditations and reflective times of solitude hold more gentle awareness for me. During one of these moments, I felt gently nudged by God – Glowing Open Discovery – to remember my “tag line” – The Wisdom of Worth. WISDOM is the word that reverberates through my body, heart and soul. When I am with my chiropractor, I remember the phrase The Wisdom of the Body and share my joy of WISDOM as my touchstone, the foundation of my message. What further energizes me is a phrase I have heard or read: Wisdom is the Light that comes from the soul.
Is wisdom the domain only of the most elderly, of the respected aged, of those who have had the most life experiences? When we say: “She is 5 going on 50. At 20, he is wise beyond his years” are we observing wisdom in action – whatever the age? Does wisdom grow with more life experiences? Develop with the opportunity to validate, gain insight and a felt sense of those experiences? Or both?
Do the traits of wisdom lead to longevity? Does wisdom help with the aging experience? I want to believe that curiosity is a wisdom trait and asking questions invites diverse points of view and stimulates growth and healthy aging. At the rate my inquisitive mind goes, I see more years ahead, yes! What characteristics of wisdom will help you create the life you desire? How will you inspire others with your experience?
My AH-HA reconnection with my Wisdom theme is an invitation to my Aging theme to have a place, to belong together. I am content to know that wisdom grows through the years, experiences of thought, feelings and actions have meaning and are worthy of expression – both sadness and jubilation.
As wise life-long learners, we understand and acknowledge the complexities of life. We learn from life experiences as we cope with uncertainty and ambiguity. We integrate both the suffering and the joy and apply the full range of our emotions in constructive ways.
I am reading that wisdom is one of the most important qualities to age successfully when defined as: “maintaining positive well-being and kindness in the face of challenges.” Wisdom is comprised of this benevolent quality as well as a philosophical aspect. Philosophy means “love of wisdom”.
Wisdom in Action
What is practical about wisdom? How do we put wisdom “in action”? From my last article, let’s remember Thomas Moore’s words that it is possible to grow old without aging. When we age, he writes, we accept the invitation to engage and co-operate with life.
What I am learning is that practical wisdom is the willingness to connect in relationships, share vulnerabilities, listen and be interested in others, and grow in courage while facing uncertainty and unpredictability. From a young to a more advanced age, the realization and gratitude for these experiences create a long and healthy life.
I invite you to reflect on how you, at your age, are walking your Wisdom path. The quality of knowing, unique to Wisdom, is within, between and beyond. What a creative way to live in rhythm with the soul!
Your interest is energized so you want to continue the conversation? Know that I welcome your thoughts and words.
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