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The Getting of Wisdom

We all wish for wisdom, but we want it in easy form, like a squeeze packet or maybe a drive-through order. You know, takes a little time but not too much money or emotional investment.

“Here you go: your order of wisdom! Do you need napkins?”

Sounds grand! Unfortunately, life isn’t always grand.

Although we like to believe otherwise, mostly if you put little in, you get little out. Life (like building materials) is often a “you get what you pay for” sort of deal. You pay a little, you get a little. You pay a lot? You learn, even if the results are not what you imagined they would be. 

I recently had a life experience that taught me massive lessons. I’m still figuring it out. At first, I thought there was no pay-off, just me sitting there and thinking, “What the heck just happened?”

Then the lessons started appearing.

And the process of learning accelerated, like a rapid-fire string of tweets but only in my brain. Lesson after lesson after lesson. None of those lessons were things I wanted to learn, but they were things I learned anyhow.

And this is often how life works. Life might take our emotions for a ride or our money for a walk (or both—but that wasn’t me, thank goodness!), yet if we are lucky and paying attention, life gives us wisdom in return! That’s not such a bad payoff when you think about it.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say here is that if you’re one of those people with a bruised or damaged heart, if you’re still flinching from whatever metaphorical beating you just took, maybe it’s time to stop looking at your heart, and to start looking inside your head. I know that’s not what you want to hear, because who wants the consolation prize? None of us! We all want the brass ring! But, sometimes, you need to look at what happened and ask yourself:

  • Are you wiser for your experience, whatever it was?
  • Did you gain knowledge?
  • Are you better prepared for the next situation you find yourself in?

These are the questions to ask, and make sure you wait and listen for those answers. They don’t always come quickly.

Once you have those answers, you can decide that the price for wisdom was too high (or that you would rather not have paid it) but you don’t always get to decide what goes on in your life. Sometimes, you play the fool who gets enlightened after the fact. That’s life. And it moves on, so perhaps you should as well.

  • Patch up your ego.
  • Mend your heart.
  • Prepare.

Life is already rolling. (It never stopped.) Use your hard-won wisdom to prepare for the next adventure. You don’t have to walk the same path again, not if you did the work and learned there’s a big ditch on that path!

Good luck! I’ll see you on the road of life.

__________________

“And when you heal yourself, you help to heal the whole world.” – Marianne Williamson, “A Return to Love”