I’ve learned through life’s experiences that wisdom is more than knowing what to do. It includes knowing when to do it, how to do it, and then actually doing it. It’s allowing yourself to feel and to simply be. Regardless of what those things may feel like or what may come up in our minds, it’s allowing ourselves to accept and fully operate in the here and now.
I have always been one to attempt to rush the processes in life. I’ve often felt like the rest of my peers and the world were so far advanced from me. In my mind, if I could just be better, work harder, do more-than and only then, I would be accomplished. One thing, the most important thing, I never took the time to do was learn myself. I mean, sure, I operated out of what my parents told me I was and what my family and friends thought of me.
I hung on my husband’s every word and fit my life around what they were saying instead of shaping my life around me. I was always taught to live by the Golden Rule, almost to a fault. The things that danced through my mind were always put on the back burner so I could rescue someone or so that I could make someone else’s life easier. I mean, I was being a good friend, daughter, wife, etc. How could life not reward me for those deeds?
“Wisdom is like fire. People take it from others.” – Hema Proverb
About 3 years ago, my husband and I decided that it was time to start a family. Excited and full of hope, I left the doctor’s office facing infertility. I was crushed, and I felt like somehow God betrayed me. I felt like everything I ever did was all in vain. I do wish I could say, at that moment, I had some kind of epiphany and I went on this huge fast and experienced enlightenment, but I can’t. Honestly, I did what I had been doing my whole life. I buried it, I refused to feel it for too long, and I attempted to ease it by pouring myself into works and deeds.
About a month ago, we thought that everything paid off. I just knew that we were going to be able to start our family, finally. Fortunately, that was not the case. Yes, fortunately. That experience opened something up inside of me that allowed me to surrender to myself and finally be naked. For years I buried the pain of molestation, sexual assault, infidelity in my marriage, and infertility that I didn’t realize that I cut everything off. I was simply pretending to be happy. I was acting as if I were in a movie and when the ending credits appeared, I went right back to the void.
So, I finally did it. I exercised my wisdom. It was time for me to cut all of the busy-ness out of my life and start to feel again. Pain, anger, betrayal, fear, worry, anxiety; but also joy, love, peace, comfort, hope, and purity. I stopped worrying about if I was ever going to be a mother and really embraced the process. It is a daily decision and takes practice, but I do it. I stopped getting in the silly debates over race, sexual orientation, and politics and really started to just intercede for these situations.
I ask The Light to guide me, daily. I am slowly, but surely opening myself back up to the Universe and all that it has for me. There is beauty in surrender, and peace in wisdom. The greatest thing I have learned about wisdom is that it is a process. It is a process that must be embraced. It is different for everyone. My wisdom is taking the time to learn who I am, what I am, where I am, and operate in that space. The world looks different. It’s beautiful again. It has a new purpose. I hope by letting go and embracing what is, that not only will I find healing and freedom, but I will be able to share that with others. One Love.
– Nicole West
30 years old Nicole West hails from Winfield, AL. She currently resides in Russellville, AL with her amazing husband of almost 10 years, Lamont West. Nicole is a Preschool Teacher at First United Methodist Church Day School in Florence, AL. She a senior at the University of Alabama, with a major in Early Childhood Education. Nicole’s goal is to complete her Doctorate. She envisions providing services and counseling to children, adolescents, and adults who have suffered sexual abuse. Nicole wishes to use her personal experiences and triumphs to help others.
Photo Courtesy: Lamont West