If Autumn has anything at all to teach us, it is that we can lose much of what we call our life, and still have all we need and more as we face the winter ahead. If knowledge is about acquiring facts and skills, what we learn from the fall is that wisdom is concerned with such things as insight, discernment, and sageness. While these traits may appear to come naturally to some as they age, they are not givens. For most of us they are hard-won, born of meeting multiple challenges over long periods of time, and many autumns. While some become victims of life’s circumstances, others become wise. Here are some signs that you are becoming wise.
The ability to forgive. In place of resentment, you feel empathy and compassion. You are not weak. Rather you have the capacity to tap into inner reservoirs of righteous strength, and, when necessary, fight for what you believe. You also apply the same clear-headedness, empathy, and compassion that you apply to others to yourself, forgiving your shortcomings, failures, and missteps. You are becoming wise.
Knowing What’s Important. You can think through your obligations, listen to your gut, seek out others’ wisdom. You no longer feel the need to agree to interactions and activities that will take more from you than you want to give. You can redirect your energy, thoughts, and heart to commitments and relationships that hold meaning for you. You review your past, assess the present, and plan for the future. You are becoming wise.
Seeing the Bigger Picture. Since you have gained perspective from events in your life, you realize that even if you are in an unpleasant situation, you can find some positives in it. You increasingly remember to see not only your flaws, but the whole of who you are, including all the good. You are becoming wise.
A Rich Inner Life. You no longer feel driven to define success by external standards. Instead, you take time to daydream, contemplate, enjoy the moment as you quietly and confidently move toward your own goals. You appreciate and cultivate the gift of a rich inner life, which includes gratitude, and appreciation of the mystery of life.
(adapted from an article by Carol Osborn, PhD.