New Directions: Focus on the Gift
I have been contemplating “the word”, wisdom for this issue of Garden Spices, finding myself with mixed feelings about not only what to write but if I had the right to write about it at all – do I know enough? And if I did, what direction would an article take since there are so many possibilities and options with a word like wisdom.
While I am up there in years – past the second Saturn cycle astrologically (past 60 for those who aren’t familiar with astrology) which could denote I have the years under my belt to know something about the subject. I wonder if just living those year is enough to profess an ability to speak knowledgeably about it.
While I have had my share of obstacles and heartache in life, which can build character and lead to wisdom, I realize as I look around me how fortunate I have been. My struggles have mostly been in my mind – moving from unconscious to conscious awareness while trying to maintain the sense of wonder and magic that operates when you don’t know any better.
Let me explain – in astrology I have something called Mercury in Pisces attached to my moon – sounds lethal doesn’t it! What it means in layman’s terms is that I don’t naturally think rationally – I come from an intuitive, feeling place most of the time – trusting and naive. As a result, most of my life I have been a bit confused about what I saw around me. Folks saying one thing but from an intuitive standpoint I knew that sometimes they felt something different. Pisces also has the rap for being a sign that can become a victim or martyr easily so I fell naturally into the position that there must be something wrong with what I was perceiving – the fault was within me.
Great Smoky National Park, Bryson City, NC (Photo: Linda Dunn Isbell)
Now not to have you think this is all negative – there is a wonderful “up” side to living in the world this way – for magic is a real possibility. For me, it manifested in actualizing a lot of focused visualizations I worked on. For example, I got several positions in the corporate world that were supposedly closed to me through visualization. I met and married a wonderful guy in the same way. All because I was too naive to know it wasn’t supposed to be possible.
As time passed and I grew, reality finally took on a new face (in astrology planets shift and move as you age and you “progress” into new signs and in the case of Mercury it’s additional ways to think). While the explanation is too lengthy to explore here and everyone has their own path and timing, my real wake-up call was in my early 50’s. Like an explosion, after a major personal betrayal, I could no longer find a way to stay in a world view that didn’t include a real down side to life and for me a cynicism began to grow.
Most of my life had been spent thinking with rose colored glasses and now they were gone. How had I lived this long and not understood that there was a really dark side to life and people. As I focused on the nature of this discovery, I saw more and more evidence all around me that life wasn’t peachy. This trip took me all the way to the opposite edge of magic – a true cynic in major judgment mode.
As I focused on what was going wrong in the world and became more and more cynical, I finally noticed that what was showing up for me was more ways to be cynical. I finally understood consciously how all of this really worked the way I had been taught years ago when I didn’t do “rational”. What you focus on and what is unhealed/unbalanced in you will keep showing up until you heal and really change your focus – on all levels.
So what does this have to do with wisdom. Life offers every manner of experience but true wisdom to me is to know this but choose to act in a way that sees life and all that flows from it as a potential gift offered to help us become whole – something I am working on consciously these days. When you are focused on the gift – even if it’s difficult – healing and balance occur and magic is possible – may it be so!
– Linda Isbell, Columnist ‘New Directions’