“What have you learned in life that you would love to go back and share with your younger self?” In a recent conversation with five women I look to as mentors, this delightful question elicited much collective wisdom.
Some answers had similar themes…“Let things go faster, be more forgiving earlier, and be more open to other people’s perspectives.” and “I would say spend less time criticizing how my parents parented me and appreciate every little effort that they made.”
Some words of wisdom related to identity…“My worth is not dependent on what other people think of me or other people’s approval.” and “Set boundaries about who you are and stand confidently in the gifts and identity that God gave you.”
Some related to self-understanding…“I wish I knew more about mental health and anxiety in particular, then I could have addressed mine even earlier than I did.”
Some wisdom was cautionary…“Be careful of our words about other people, not just within our own family, but really watch how we communicate. Speak more life, more positively, more focus on good.”
Some was encouraging…“Just trust life and lean into it. Trust where you are and do your best, and you’ll be fine!”
And some was practical…“I would have taught her more about menstruation and using a diva cup. There’s some things that really don’t need to be taboo, especially women’s health.”
All of the answers came because those women had gained knowledge and experience and reflected on it through the years. That knowledge is essential in how we are able to grow ourselves and also help light the path for those who follow after us. This month these same women share additional insights as we reflect together on the tenet, “We seek after knowledge and wisdom.”
Kaylee writes about the importance of seeing our own gifts. Katrina shares how perspective changes how we see things. Shelli guides us to see that knowledge is about participation, not acquisition. Lisa recounts details of an amazing hike and how preparation and experience both bring necessary knowledge. Emily writes of how her tomato plant helped her better understand the variety of human needs. NiCole encourages us to take every opportunity to seek greater knowledge. And Norma shares nuggets of applied knowledge she calls words from the wise.
Though we can’t go back and share wisdom with our younger selves, we can make a difference in the present by sharing light and wisdom with those in our lives. As you read, consider who you can share one of these articles with, or think of someone who could benefit from your mentorship and reach out to connect. That’s what Big Ocean Women is all about!