“Wisdom is having things right in your life
and knowing why.
If you do not have things right in your life
you will be overwhelmed:
you may be heroic, but you will not be wise.
If you have things right in your life
but do not know why,
you are just lucky, and you will not move
in the little ways that encourage good fortune.
The saddest are those not right in their lives
who are acting to make things right for others:
they act only from the self--
and that self will never be right:
no luck, no help, no wisdom.” -William Stafford
Maybe one of the hardest lessons to learn is that in order to love others well we first need to learn to love ourselves, to believe that God is for us, with us, crazy about us. And to learn how to love ourselves we need to know ourselves, to identify what is working and making sense in our lives. And to identify what isn’t working. I think that Love and Wisdom are close friends.
And maybe that’s the scary part. I have been, at times, afraid to move into the deeper areas of my own consciousness, my deep beliefs, the activity of my soul. It can be far less intimidating to live on the surface. I will talk to you about Jenny Lewis, the ’85 Bears and veggie burritos ALL DAY. And yet I know that love is important. And love is VERY deep. And I want to be wise.
You know that weird little play that begins every time an airplane is taxiing onto the runway? The one where the flight attendant goes through the protocol of how we are to respond if our flight goes down in flames? And we all idly flip through the Skymall with half an ear turned towards these matters of life and death?
The flight attendant always makes it clear that we’re supposed to first attach the oxygen mask to our own face before we start to work on saving the person next to us.
Turns out the same thing might be true in matters of the spirit.
What I hope to learn is that the same Power who is at work inside of me is at work in the lives of everyone around me (to varying degrees, I think, depending on our willingness to allow him space). And I can better identify and encourage that work in the lives of others as I am more familiar with that work in my own life.