I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea
Blessed be the longing that brought you here
And quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.
May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
To discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.
May the forms of your belonging–in love, creativity, and friendship–
Be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.
May the one you long for long for you.
May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.
May a secret Providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.
May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world.
May your heart never be haunted by ghost structures of old damage.
May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.
~John O’Donohue, from To Bless the Space Between Us. All rights reserved.
Wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it.
In many parts of this world water is
Scarce and precious.
People sometimes have to walk
A great distance
Then carry heavy jugs upon their
Because of our wisdom, we will travel
Far for love.
All movement is a sign of
Most speaking really says
“I am hungry to know you.”
Every desire of your body is holy;
Every desire of your body is
Why wait until you are dying
To discover that divine
― Hafiz, The Subject Tonight Is Love: 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz
No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.
A friend of mine has a saying, “It takes all kinds of people to make the world go ‘round. Unfortunately.”
Other people are the most challenging aspect of our lives, particularly when we strongly disagree with their views, choices and behaviors. The ideal of unconditional love and acceptance of all people can sometimes seem like reckless folly, but on the other hand we can exhaust ourselves with endless worries about, and judgments of, the actions of others.
Try this idea on for size: the development of individual human beings tends generally from ignorance toward wisdom, and from selfishness toward compassion. In a sense everyone is on their own path toward greater wisdom and compassion, although these paths tend to be circuitous. Over the long term someone’s path leads eventually toward greater wisdom and compassion, but at a given time they may clearly be headed away from these virtues.
Seeing everyone as being on a path of positive growth and development may seem like Pollyanna-ish wishful thinking. It may seem like a hypothesis impossible to prove, but it can actually be confirmed by direct observation of life. It is similar to a hypothesis that every object will eventually fall to the ground. Such a hypothesis is not proven only when every last object has fallen to the ground, because life goes on – there are always still birds, clouds, satellites and planes in the air.
It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools—friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty—and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.
~Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
True intelligence is the capacity of the mind to honor the wisdom of the heart.
Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.
Wisdom tells me I am nothing.
Love tells me I am everything.
And between the two
my life flows.
Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.
…the wise choice does not always mean the safe choice, because wisdom often dictates that you walk the path that offers you the most risk, precisely because you need to rid yourself of your fears rather than be controlled by them.
~Caroline Myss, Defy Gravity