Friday, December 10, 2010

Getting Wise

December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Wisdom is one thing. A wise decision is another.

If this year had a goal, it may have been de-naiivifying myself as quickly as possible without permanently damaging my hold on hope. I made a meta-decision early in this process that has translated into daily micro-decisions to give myself some slack.

Two parts.
1) Some. As in not none, and not too much.
2) Slack, as in letting go of my embarrassment at how many stupid things come out of my mouth every day, my disgust at my slow progress on my goals, my disappointment in my relatively small ability to influence and contribute. Slack, as in saying, well, maybe you'll do better tomorrow knowing what you know from today. Slack, as in saying, you're making great progress, your speed is above average, just flow with it, chill out girlie. Giving myself the same compassion and appreciation I hand freely to others.

Oh, and swallowing it whole. That's the part that's mostly magician-work.

This is hard to do, but what's harder is getting into the habit of doing it. Reprogramming the brain is a very slow process. Lots of missteps.

Most days I'm putting myself out in the world more publicly than I'm comfortable with, and I feel less confident about how I'm received than I'd like. I soothe or battle my anxiety depending on the day, or walk quietly if it seems to be sleeping. I might have had to quit by now if it wasn't for deliberately taking the time to comfort and be kind with myself. I might have lost my grip.

I said to @AmyOscar this morning that most of my wisdom is in retrospect, and it's absolutely true. She said that makes it no less wise, and since she's a wise woman herself, I"ll take it. It points to something important. Whenever I try to be smart or knowledgeable, to take my wisdom and make it do something, it forsakes me. When that happens, what takes over, be it reason or emotion, knocks me just enough off course that recovery feels outside my power.

When I go in with nothing, feeling empty and useless, and let myself be in the problem, often the path clears itself for me. But not always, and the fear of public failure makes me loathe to trust it.

When will I get wise?

(the wise old owl sat in an oak. the more he heard, the less he spoke. the less he spoke, the more he heard. why aren't we all like that wise old bird? - as recited by my 3yo from her Nursery Rhyme book)