Growing in wisdom

I believe we grow in wisdom with every aha moment. Every bubble of insight. Every budge of awareness. Every tear in our heart. It grows with every experience we have and our responses to them. Wisdom is cumulative. When we choose to view our life experiences this way, it deepens.

Last week, I told a client she was growing in wisdom. Her silence led me to explain what I meant.

Jenna had just told me about the death of her brother-in-law in a tragic car accident on Christmas day. Her husband received the call as their family was enjoying Christmas dinner with his parents and other siblings. The shock rocked the room.

After digesting what happened, Jenna found herself comforting her husband, her daughter, other family members with words she hadn’t planned to say. Her instinct was to be helpful and to engage her child so she wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the grief.

It was hard getting through that day and those that followed. Two weeks later, they returned to the parents’ home and had to deal with the painful experience over and over with everyone who arrived for the memorial services. Sadness abounded.

Jenna’s genius came through with a simple statement to her daughter, “Let us be light for everyone here today.” Light is a strong word in times of sadness. Light can be interpreted in numerous ways. That was her intent. It became her mental guide.

Amidst the somberness, they brought light. She and her daughter were helpful with everyone who arrived and stayed for hours, days. It was exhausting, but she did it for her husband, their daughter, his family.

I commended Jenna on her resilience and connected her learnings to her growth in wisdom. I reminded her that her brilliant use of “light” as her guide is what she does as a leader at work, too. In every difficult situation she has been light for others. She brings light, seeks light, shares light. And always shines the spotlight on others instead of herself.

Our growth in wisdom, like Jenna’s, evolves as we allow our experiences to percolate through our hearts and minds. How we use our experiences, our earned wisdom, is a choice. Like Jenna, we can choose to use our light to illuminate a better way forward, not only for ourselves but for others as well. Today, let’s make a decision to use the light of our wisdom to make a difference in someone’s world.

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