Wisdom, Paying Attention to the Present

Today I think to myself how would I describe wisdom if I were asked. I understand how vague that term has become, but still, if I were asked to define what that word means to me, I would say wisdom is the ability to be present. When possible, to try and take a holistic view of a situation and see it from a well-rounded, compassionate perspective without initial judgement.

Of course, there may be, or have been situations in our lives, where we need to trust that what’s happening is dangerous, listen to our innate wisdom and protect ourselves, so we can survive. That’s the beauty of inner wisdom, our survival mechanisms, and I, for one, am grateful every day for the wisdom I employed to survive my past.

The times when people have said to me, “you are wise” it was because I was responding to them in a fully present state. I was listening to what they were saying both verbally and nonverbally. I wasn’t thinking ahead to what I was going to say next, I wasn’t distracted by the noises that were external or internal. I was simply able to hear what they were saying and/or asking and respond in a way that was thoughtful and respectful. And truthfully, sometimes the wisest thing I have said to another person, and to myself is I’m simply not able to be objective, or helpful. There are still some topics that when placed in front of me, I will react from a purely emotional place. No objectivity, compassion or understanding anywhere in my realm of consciousness. I understand that’s an effect of my trauma. 

Sometimes, I still have to work hard at staying present. There are times when it  is one of my most frustrating and biggest challenges. When I’m dealing with flashbacks, and triggers, staying present is often that elusive tool, that I know I have to employ. I think a lot of people, especially those of us who have been through trauma would say that staying present is a constant work in progress. Besides the normal monkey mind we all contend with, I also experience the challenge of climbing out of the vortex’s of the past, that pull me away, sometimes many times a day.

I believe as time goes on, I’m able to be present more often. I notice the birds singing outside the window, the wind gently blowing, the lawn mower of my neighbor, the noise of kids playing at the nearby playground and the sky. I love the sky!  It’s paying attention to the present that keeps me grounded in the wise place where I continue to heal, grow, change and live.





17 thoughts on “Wisdom, Paying Attention to the Present

  1. Thank You and yes I agree living life in the present moment would always be the perferred way. I keep telling my flashbacks the same thing. 🙂 Thank for reading my words and your supportive comment. Have a wonderful day. Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Caroline, I always so appreciate your kind words and support! I love that you are so forthcoming with your own past struggles and where you are currently. Im trying really hard to live in the present. Im still so plagued with flashbacks, and fear that there are days that it is a struggle to even find any perfect moments. But Im continually progressing and learning to live with my PTSD. I think right now the hardest thing is that I have to accept that I may have some if these symptoms for a long long time. But part of that acceptance may be wisdom at play to. Maybe?!? Have a great Friday! Alexis


  3. I totally relate to this post. It was my traumatic past and PTSD that was meaning I was trapped in the past and could not appreciate the present. Through EMDR and medication I loosened the chains of my past and was able to stop it controlling my life. Now I generally live in the present although I do sometimes slip into fantasising about the future. I want to do a course in mindfulness so I am able to more fully live in the present as you seem to be doing so successfully.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Now that I’m about halfway through your book, I read your blog from a totally different perspective. I’d say you’re doing well my dear, even if there is a lapse in presence every now and then.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Being present is very important for all of us – live in the moment. This is difficult for me at times, but you are correct, listening to the birds, the wind, the lawnmower and the kids playing – that keeps us in the moment and grounded in the now. Beautiful post Alexis, thank you for sharing. Happy Day my friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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