How Would You Describe Wisdom?

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 judgment.

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.

There are times that I still have to work hard at staying present. There are times when that 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.

What does wisdom mean to you?




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Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph




51 thoughts on “How Would You Describe Wisdom?

  1. Nitya Rambhadran December 24, 2017 / 1:45 am

    Well said. I completely agree with your point. Being present in the moment and listening to others is one of the biggest characteristics of a wise person.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Philip Kamau August 22, 2017 / 4:21 pm

    Is wisdom a continuum that can’t be exhaustively discussed or something? Been thinking..


  3. Alexis Rose August 5, 2017 / 4:11 am

    I love how you differentiate between knowledge and wisdom. Beautifully said! 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  4. August 5, 2017 / 3:02 am

    Hi Alexis, so exciting to see the progress you are making in being present. Congratulations on the reward for the hard work you are putting in. I would say knowledge is knowing what can be done, and wisdom is knowing under what circumstances / when to do it. The more present you become, hopefully, the more clarity you gain on that. Joyfully, MBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alexis Rose July 17, 2017 / 10:14 pm

    Thank You, wonderful insight Tina. ❤️


  6. Courage Coaching July 17, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    Wisdom is learnt through life’s ups and downs..through self reflection..through travel…Wonderful post! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Alexis Rose July 17, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    I think you’re right. Wisdom cant be taught. It is experiential. 😊


  8. Yinins Thoughts July 17, 2017 / 8:44 am

    I just can’t help of the D&D style definitions of intelligence vs wisdom, where intelligence is essentially book learning and wisdom is street smarts/common sense 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Alexis Rose July 16, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    Agreed! Learning the lessons from our experiences is so important, isnt it! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Christy B July 16, 2017 / 7:51 pm

    Being present is part of it, absolutely. I think it’s using our experiences to learn in that present moment, rather than having gone through hardships and not understanding the lessons from it. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Alexis Rose July 16, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    Thats wonderful insight. Its important to not only know in theory but to also implement our knowing. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. manyofus1980 July 16, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    for me, wisdom is being clear headed, level headed, mindful of things and people around you, and for me, knowing when ti implement that wisdom is just as important. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Alexis Rose July 15, 2017 / 8:47 pm

    That is a fabulous definition. I agree that compassion is hugely important. 😊


  14. Zen Doe July 15, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    Wisdom is experience and knowledge tempered by compassion.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Alexis Rose July 15, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    This is wonderful insight! So true that it takes practice and becomes a practice.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. @vapor_sage July 15, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    Sensitivity, awareness, gratitude, and generosity. I think wisdom can still be there if not totally present, like most things it becomes a practice and flows in a channel created by the practice.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Alexis Rose July 15, 2017 / 3:34 am

    Thank You! And you are as well!! Have a good weekend. We will both be kind to ourselves. 😊


  18. mahbuttitches July 15, 2017 / 3:29 am

    Oh man. I’ve had to have those convos with myself so often it’s become something I actually try to do in my journal. Seemingly silly things like calling myself beautiful in my journal. It’s incredible the self talk you don’t pay attention to, you know? Philosophy- Buddhism and Tao especially – are really opening my eyes to how my mind works, how the chattering in my mind works, and how better to work with, not against myself. You are absolutely worthy 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Alexis Rose July 15, 2017 / 3:25 am

    Oops hit reply to fast…
    A you are worthy conversation with myself. You are right, We have to love ourselves first to enjoy wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Alexis Rose July 15, 2017 / 3:23 am

    So well said. I was just talking to someone this evening how I had to sit down with myself and have a, ” you are worth”


  21. mahbuttitches July 15, 2017 / 3:20 am

    Thanks for prompting it!!! Funny – I’ve been contemplating it myself. Philosophy is the love of wisdom, and I’ve been thinking about how much philosophy has done for me. The love of wisdom is truly the love of self – and both are so necessary to truly grow, live, and be 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Alexis Rose July 15, 2017 / 3:18 am

    Wow! this is an awesome definition of wisdom. Just covers so much in 3 sentences. I agree too, that it’s important to be compassionate. Its something thats easy to forget in this day and age. Thank You so much for sharing this insight!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. mahbuttitches July 15, 2017 / 1:59 am

    Wisdom is the ability to connect your instinct, intuition, and knowledge with the world. To be wise, you must be present, and aware, and use knowledge, understanding, and compassion. It’s the ability to see, hear, and explain truth.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. bethanyk July 14, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    Being present is a wonderful way to view wisdom. I love that. I agree.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Alexis Rose July 14, 2017 / 6:20 pm

    Love this! Sometimes it takes the 51st or 53rd time for me to say, ohhh…okay, got it…maybe, I think. 😁 Have a good weekend my friend. 💕


  26. Alexis Rose July 14, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    Absolutely! That is all so important to keep in mind (and something that can be easy to forget) using critical thinking is so important. Thank You, Shruti. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Shruti Bakshi July 14, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    I agree with wisdon as being present but would add to that ‘discrimination’ or ‘discernment’. Being able to discern right from wrong and in the higher meaning, truth from falsehood and reality from illusion.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. amybelle1 July 14, 2017 / 1:31 pm

    Wisdom is not just knowing but seeing clearly x

    Liked by 3 people

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