There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is gleaned from books and observation; little tidbits that you can assemble into a model of how the world works – if you’re astute. There is so much information that it can be hard to pick out the pieces that are important, or the ones that fit with your life.
Wisdom, on the other hand, is hard won. Wisdom comes after a fall, when you’ve picked yourself up and looked back, with blood still in your mouth to see the path you’ve taken, the choices you made that led you to that moment. Wisdom is learning that you are strong and you are the only one responsible for your own actions.
Wisdom is knowing that you are already whole, and that anyone offering to fill you with a part of themselves is, at best, a liar. At worst, he, or she, is something more dangerous: incomplete, or damaged themselves.
Wisdom is knowing that you can’t fix or change other people.
Wisdom is knowing that you can love a person and not love their actions and knowing that leaving them to their own devices is not cruel, but necessary – because they too, need to earn some wisdom.
Wisdom is knowing that blame is useless, as is regret. Your energy is better spent on something more worthwhile, like healing and forgiveness – and moving into a more self-aware and self-assured future.
Wisdom comes from inside you, and not from the outside. No book or mentor is a substitute to hard won self-earned wisdom.
Once you’ve fallen, climbed back to your feet and dusted yourself off, you truly know how strong you are. You know that the worst has happened and your heart is still beating. You know that you can survive upheaval, change, death or abuse and grow from it. And this is what I wish for our sons and daughters: a fall, and the resulting wisdom, rather than blame and destruction.