As you may remember, I went with words rather than goals in 2023. My main word was surrender, with sub-words of health, fun, connection and creativity. I am proud and satisfied with my intentionality around all of those ideas last year, and there are significant things I am going to keep right on doing in 2024. Surrender feels like a yoga pose in that even as you improve flexibility, continued practice will always allow you to stretch a little further. So I will keep practicing surrender into the new year and beyond.
My word for 2024, though, is wisdom, which I am aware is a lofty ambition.
Some of my thoughts about wisdom come from reading Richard Rohr’s amazing book, Falling Upward, and contemplating what I want my “second half of life” to look like. Deep and profound stuff. Another source of inspiration for my concept of wisdom comes from a slightly less profound place, the TV show The Good Place.
When I first started considering wisdom, it was as the dance between logic and emotion, and about how important it is to allow both thoughts and feelings to guide us in our lives. So I drew a line connecting thought and feeling, with wisdom at a midway point between the two.
Yet as I looked at that line and contemplated the idea of wisdom, I noticed how incomplete that formulation was. Wisdom is learning to integrate many opposing forces, not just thinking and feeling, and it is never a straight, clean line.
Wisdom is a meeting point between self and others, a meandering middle between doing and being, light and shadow, confidence and humility, intentionality and surrender. I realized it looks like “Jeremy Bearimy” from The Good Place, a squiggly, wiggly line with no beginning or end point, only continual motion. It is found in Brené Brown’s messy middle, “where all the magic happens.”
Wisdom is hard and uncomfortable because it is tangled and murky. Yet it is compelling to me at this point in my life. I did not come close to mastering surrender in 2023 and do not expect to achieve wisdom in the next twelve months, but they are points of interest I have pinned on the map to visit on this next leg of my personal growth journey.
And guess what? You will be joining me, as I write about wisdom (and plenty of other things) throughout the year. I hope you’ll join in a dialogue because screaming into the void doesn’t sound very wise!