Friday, 27 May 2016

#12 Embrace Wisdom

true wisdom is not all about head knowledge, it needs to be balanced with heart and soul

This last post in my "Embrace" series for May is all about wisdom. When I ask my husband what the benefits of getting older are, the answer he always comes up with is "wisdom" because it ties in so closely with life experiences gained from living long and well. I see him as being a wise man so I'll have to take his word on this one and I also know there is a lot to be said for knowledge, but wisdom encompasses so much more.

Wisdom is such a valuable life skill and is a hard earned one. It comes from years of interacting with people, living through life's ups and downs and learning that there are not always black and white answers to all the questions that arise. 

Young people often see life much in more simple terms - either they like something or they don't, either they believe something or they don't, either someone is worthwhile or they're not, and the list goes on. With age and wisdom you learn that the edges aren't always so well defined. Things change, they morph and develop and how we think they should be is not always how they turn out.

I think wisdom teaches us to be kinder in our judgements of others, we learn that people can be going through experiences we aren't aware of and may be reacting in ways we don't expect. We learn to give them grace and acceptance rather than writing them off as too hard or too messy.  A quote from Bob Goff sums this up well: "Most people need love and acceptance a lot more than they need advice". Wisdom tells us when to offer advice and when to keep quiet and offer a hug instead.

"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue" Proverbs 31:26 (ESV)

Wisdom is intertwined with grace and kindness, with thoughtfulness and reticence - we learn to be slower to pass judgement because we have often been in similar situations and know life's road can be windy and pot-holed at times. When we do open our mouths it should be to offer empathy and understanding rather than platitudes. Nobody likes a know-all who has all the answers but has never walked a mile in someone else's shoes.

I am hoping that I grow in wisdom as the years go by, that the tough times soften me rather than make me hard. I'd like to think I can offer a listening ear and a wise word or two where needed, and to know when to speak and when to be quiet. I'd like to think that my husband and children can rely on me to be patient and kind, and my friends can rely on me to have their best interests at heart. The idea of gaining wisdom with age makes getting older a lot easier to swallow!

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true wisdom is not all about head knowledge, it needs to be balanced with heart and soul

39 comments:

  1. Wouldn't it be nice Leanne if people could adhere to the proverb you quoted? Open our mouth with wisdom - unfortunately that doesn't happen too often. I do feel I am finally becoming wiser though - it only took 58 years LOL:) x

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    1. I feel like I'm getting there too Sue - slowly but surely because there are setbacks along the way where I could kick myself sometimes!

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  2. You must be getting wiser Leanne because these here words are dripping with wisdom. There is a lot of wise words in Proverbs 31 and a lot of encouragement for women to learn from.

    Kathleen
    Bloggers Pit Stop

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    1. I agree Kathleen - I think you need to read it in the context of it's time and not compare yourself to a woman of privilege and expect to achieve as much as she did, but take snippets and use them wisely.

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  3. Hi I think that's great learning on being wise and once can learn so much by reading this post:)

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  4. I hope I am increasing in wisdom as I age. I think I am. There is a lot to learn from our elders, if only our society valued them. In the United States, too often, they aren't. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Age is not respected in our culture anymore Alana - maybe those of us heading in that direction need to use our wisdom in ways that garner respect and start making some changes in how we are perceived.

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  5. So beautiful - I love this :) I definitely always to be wise in every decision I make, and piece of advice I give. Always learning!

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    1. It's something we all learn as we go along Samara - the more life experience we gain, the more wisdom we have to offer.

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  6. "Be kinder in our judgments..." How true this is. Being kind overall is wisdom we need to pay attention to. I loved this post today.
    Carol
    www.carolcassara.com

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    1. thanks Carol - I think kindness is under-rated - so often people choose to voice their opinions and give their advice without caring how that impacts on the other person - no wisdom there at all.

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  7. Wisdom is different from knowledge in exactly this way...knowing when to listen and accept rather than offer advice! Especially unsolicited advice.

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    1. Exactly Sanch - the more life experience you have, the more you realize people don't really want your opinion (even when they ask for it sometimes!) We learn to care and keep quiet a lot more.

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  8. The first thing I thought was how wise of you to write this post! How wise of you to take a step back and think about all things that make us wise, or hopefully make us wise (!!), as we age. Wonderful words and thoughts, Leanne.

    The second thing I thought is how much I'd love to send this post to a few people I know who could use it. But that would NOT be wise of me..... ;)

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    1. That's wisdom at it's best Cathy - knowing all about the concept of pearls before swine :) I think being wise means we give people grace and hope they get there in their own time and through their own journey (even if they take the hard road).

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  9. This post is full of wisdom. Isn't wisdom a gift? I know I am much kinder and less judgmental than I used to be. I am learning to know when to share my wisdom and when to shut up and just be supportive (which in itself is a form of wisdom.)

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    1. I think wisdom is a rare gift a few are blessed with but mostly it's hard earned and taught through experience. That's how you know when to keep quiet and when it's okay to speak :)

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  10. This thougt stopped me dead in my tracks and took my breath away: "
    Wisdom is intertwined with grace and kindness, with thoughtfulness and reticence - we learn to be slower to pass judgement because we have often been in similar situations and know life's road can be windy and pot-holed at times. When we do open our mouths it should be to offer empathy and understanding rather than platitudes." How beautiful AND WISE! Thank you for that perfectly stated reminder.

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    1. Thanks so much Ruth - I'm glad it spoke to you (probably because you are old enough and wise enough to know it's the truth :) )

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  11. Great post. Wisdom is definitely hard earned. I believe it's by trying and failing and trying once again to get it right that we gain wisdom. And it's often a matter of learning to embrace the gray. Not much black/white in life.

    Wise post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. There seem to be a lot of grey areas in life Lisa - more of them as the years go by because you learn to see life from the perspective of others and realize that your view is not always the only view (or even the right view!)

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  12. I love this post and I love the wisdom that comes with age. Bob Goff is a favorite and it is true - more love/less advice!

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    1. It's nice to think that age has something to offer isn't it Cathy? I like the idea of becoming a wise woman.

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  13. How lovely. We can only hope to reach a wise old state of being!

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    1. One of the nice parts of having a midlife blog is the comments section Haralee - so many lovely people with wise words and kind intentions - I just love it :)

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  14. Beautiful, I too hope that I gain wisdom as I get older. Love your idea of the tough times softening us instead of hardening us. That's a worthy goal that we should all strive for.

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    1. I think you'd understand that Rosie - you have some really generous thoughts in regard to divorce and moving on and co-parenting - choosing the high road is always a sign of wisdom at work :)

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  15. That's certainly a comforting thought to be considered as one of the wise . And yes, people need more love than advice. Oftentimes the live they get helps them make the apt choice

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    1. Choosing to love rather than to judge is the basis of wisdom in my opinion. People figure it out for themselves and having our support can make all the difference.

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  16. Wisdom takes time to learn as well...it can't be forced - but it's a nice gift of getting older.

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    1. I think it's the time + experience that comes with it that adds up to wisdom in the end.

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  17. Beautiful, Leanne. I too am learning to keep my own counsel at lot more.

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    1. you must be getting older and wiser too Corinne x

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  18. People say wisdom has hardly anything to do with age. Wisdom is linked with experience. A beautiful post and so much to learn from.

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    1. I think wisdom is definitely linked to experience - but it takes a lot of experiences to make a wise person and that takes time which brings the circle back to being older and wiser :)

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  19. We finally get the meaning of "There is an exception to every rule."

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  20. We finally get the meaning of "There is an exception to every rule."

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  21. Hmmm...at first, I was reading this and thinking of myself and my husband and our friends (also midlife-ers) and I was totally agreeing...but then I started thinking of my parents and their friends (who are in their twilight years) and how stuck-in-their-ways they seem to be and that made me wonder if this wisdom think peaks at the midlife point, or if I just happen to know only crotchety old people... In any event, I enjoyed this post and am so glad you linked up with us at #FridayFrivolity this week!

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