Posted in art and healing, creativity and health

Lessons Learned and Wisdom

Is there a difference between learning and wisdom?  Just because you know something do you use it?  What if it gets in the way of holding on tight to beliefs that aren’t serving you in a particular moment?  What if you’d rather be right than better?  It’s something we all have to face because we’re human and change is a difficult process for us all, especially when it involves a health challenge.  Wisdom is a tricky thing because it is a comprehensive and cumulative experience in our lives.  We aren’t born with wisdom; it’s something we acquire or earn throughout our lives.  Wisdom for many comes a huge cost, but it doesn’t have to if we keep ourselves open to possibility.

If you’ve ever read Pema Chodron you’ve read or know about wisdom.  Pema is a Buddhist nun whose writing isn’t filled with filler, but full of substance.  She cuts to the chase and if we all that in all areas of our lives we’d save a lot of time, effort and energy.  Yesterday I was reading her book “The Places That Scare You”, something we all can relate to, and found the following passage:

         “In vajrayana Buddhism it is said that wisdom is inherent in emotions.  When we struggle against our energy we reject the source of wisdom.  Anger without the fixation against our energy is none other than clear-seeing wisdom.  Pride without fixation is experienced as equanimity.  The energy of passion when it’s free of grasping is wisdom that sees all the angles.” p. 29

I wanted to share that passage with you because many facing health challenges try and keep the emotions at  bay.  Some believe that delving into the emotional realm is like opening Pandora’s Box.  The truth is that we need to open Pandora’s Box, but our own version.  The version that allows our truth to emerge through our emotions.  The emotions aren’t going away because you suppress them.   As humans containment of our emotions is very difficult.  Most of us leak our emotions without even knowing and it comes out in negative ways.  We don’t look at our emotions as wisdom when in fact the are the fountain of wisdom.  They are the lessons learned and taking a cue from them can save you a lot of time and turmoil.

We live in a culture that sings songs like “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” or attach negative emotions by claiming someone is “wearng their heart on their sleeve”.  We imprisoned by how we look to others and don’t honor the truth in our emotions.  It’s our emotions that make us multi-dimensional.  It’s one of the reasons that artists are so important in our culture; they speak, quite vividly, about their emotions through the language of creativity.  They refuse to squelch the wisdom that lies in their experience. 

How will you honor your wisdom?  What will it take to experience the wisdom gained from your emotions?  How wise are you?


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

One thought on “Lessons Learned and Wisdom

  1. Hi Greg,
    Good points! Our emotions don’t lie and suppressing them doesn’t make them go away. I like your analogy of Pandora’s box. Val

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s