When I was little girl, my grandmother said something that seemed so inappropriate and nonsensical to one of my relatives that was misbehaving. A woman who never cursed calmly yet sternly said “A hard head makes a soft ass." At the time, I didn't understand the message she was trying to convey but now it couldn't be more clear. We can either learn the lesson, heed the warning, and take the right route, or suffer the consequence.
Many of our regrets not only stem from mistakes we made, opportunities we foolishly missed out on, or our time we wasted, but also from not listening to people that knew better. It’s one thing to be oblivious to the tactics of people, not knowledgeable of the risks of an investment, or be completely blindsided and confused by something unfamiliar us. It’s another story when people with experience or wisdom tried to pour knowledge into us but we chose to ignore it.
Too often, we foolishly think the people who simply want what's best for us are prying into our business, hating on our happiness, or being out of touch when they're actually just trying to protect us from the personal collision that we can't see ahead. The collision, pitfall, trap, or disaster that they've already experienced and overcame. But no, we do what we want anyway and carry on in just the fashion they warned us about. When all is said and done, it doesn't take long to realize that had we heeded the warnings of the wise counsel around us, refrained from ignoring the now obvious red flags, and taken the time to understand reality instead of moving with rebellious mindset, we could have bypassed so many detours we experienced in our lives.
We all have those family members and friends that never fail to form an almost immediate dislike or apprehension towards a friend or associate of ours before we even get the opportunity to. They could tell us all about that person's home life, outlook, and intentions with just basic information and human interaction. At one time we may have looked at people that did that as judgmental or harsh, but now that we've experienced and learned some things along the way, it makes total sense. They are picking up on attributes, patterns, and vibes that mirror those of people who've taught them a lesson in the past. They can see through any outfit, occupation, or mask and see that person clear as day for who they are. Instead of letting us blindly follow or be deceived by a facade, they call it as they see it.
However, our problem isn’t the inability to see the actions, reactions, views, and overall toxicity of people or ourselves. Sometimes our problem is that we see people’s true colors but try to paint a different, prettier picture. We replay the memories of how they used to be or hold on to the potential of what they’re capable of becoming, but fail to acknowledge that those images are in our minds while the true people are in our face. Other times, we get so wrapped up thinking we are right and taking the direction of our pride and ego that we are too high to let someone give us low news or accept something we don't want to face as fact. In both cases, our stubbornness won't allow us to see or hear anything. Then we turn around and have the nerve to be completely distraught when we are somehow hurt, disappointed, stressed or we have to suffer some consequence.
Anyone that knows me knows that I have an old soul and oftentimes had too naive of a heart and eyes. As great as that may sound or seem, the combination has worked against me. The gap between the two lacked proper balance that left me open for ignorance, inquisitiveness, and intolerance. I would follow what sounded like the right advice from the wrong people, had a skewed view of reality based on my limited experience and emotions, and surrounded myself with those that seemed to accept me but never quite added to me. My overly positive outlook turned to overly sensitive whenever I opened my eyes to a rude awakening and had a spiritual awakening follow suit.
My foolish ideals, thoughts, and tendencies became very apparent but it was knowing how to process and deal with them that became unclear. It was then I realized how important and valuable wise counsel was. I began to surround myself with more people that experienced and overcame a multitude of things. These people that weren't perfect but pursued a life of progress, and listening to them only helped validate the lessons I was learning. It was not always what I wanted to hear but what I needed to hear. Whether it was hearing a trying testimony from a refined person, getting some tough love hard truths, or receiving spiritual, psychology, or encouraging information it made a profound impression that stimulated much needed growth and insight. For that reason, I strive to obtain wisdom over acceptance, and make an effort to receive wisdom from credible sources.
Not everyone is blessed to have wise, empathic, and well rounded people in their lives who would even care to help them. We would be stupid to just disregard it. We don't have to and won't always follow the roads they're trying to lead us down, but the least we can do is try to receive direction from a person that has taken the journey and also made it back in peace.
We need to stop venting and following people who are on our same growth level and below, and listen to people who have advanced on their growth journey, have a wealth of wisdom and are humbly willing to share their acquired gift. We can save ourselves time, tears, and trouble if we heed what we hear. We can listen to the wise or become the fools. The choice is ours.