When we begin our journey within, so do we rediscover the part of our self that carries great wisdom. I’d like to call this the wise self, but you might as well substitute that for the future self, higher self, inner guide, intuition, or God even.
As the rediscovery of this wise self plays such important role on our pilgrimage within, I dedicated today’s article to it. Apart from diving into the idea of the wise self, we will also cover different ways to reconnect with this – often hidden/forgotten – part of us.
What is the Wise Self?
Often when we have questions, going through a rough patch, or are unsure what to do next in life, we’re unaware of a very significant fact: most things we need or want can be found within ourselves.
I call the place or source of this wisdom inside ourselves the “wise self”.
I learned about the existence of my wise self during a therapy sessions, and later on, I recognised the concept was not solely used in psychology. It’s a widespread notion or concept in many religious and spiritual traditions. You might know it as the future self, inner guide, intuition, higher self or God.
Whatever you would like to call it, it refers to the place inside us that can offer us comfort when we are suffering, that guides us on where to go next in life, and that holds the wisdom we need to make important decisions.
The wise self is the highest, most developed part of ourselves. It’s our inner adult. It’s the part of us, that is truest to who we are.
And guess what? We all have one!
Why did I not know?
So when I first learned about the wise self, I was confused. If I have acces to all these resources, I would know… right?
Why would I soothe myself in not-so-healthy ways, when I can comfort myself with understanding and love? Why would I depend on friends, family or google to make a decision, when I know what to do already? Why would I constantly be feeling lost or stuck when I’m already possessing that which I need to find my way?
Yeah. I get it. Confusion.
The thing is that many of us have lost the connection with this place of inner wisdom. It might be due to the (unpleasant) life experiences we have endured, or perhaps it’s the importance our culture or surroundings place on wisdom coming from within ourselves – we’ve ceased to listen to our wise self.
What Role does the Wise Self play in the Inner Pilgrimage?
On our journey within, we will slowly start to reconnect with our wise self.
As pilgrims, we will begin to recognise the things that formed us in our lives to the way we are now, thoughts we hold onto, feelings that we haven’t felt. We might discover where in life we take the roads our wise self wouldn’t want us to follow.
As we reconnect, we are starting to rebuild a relationship with the wisest, truest part of ourselves. First we will learn to listen, then we will learn to lean in, ask questions and turn to ourselves for guidance and comfort.
The more we listen, the louder this inner voice – our wise self – will speak to us. Then, when we start to lean in, that’s when the magic will happen. Our path will become clearer.
Naturally, the things we do will feel more aligned with who we are.
How can we connect with this Wise Self?
You might wonder. So, how does this work? Where do I start? Set the intention to get to know this part of yourself, it takes time and practice. Just like in the beginning of any relationship, getting to know one another doesn’t happen overnight.
Feeling and listening would be the first steps in getting to know your wise self. This can be practiced in different ways.
You could try out a meditation. Meditation is a quiet way to really get into the feeling and listening part of things. Tara Brach, one of my favourite spiritual teachers, has a beautiful meditation to connect with our wise self (she calls it future self).
If meditation is not your gig, you could try is to go for a walk with your wise self. Once you’re outside walking, imagine your wise self walking with you. What would you tell this wise part of you? What questions would you ask, with what issues would you want help in life? Take some time to feel your body, try to listen – what does your wise self has to say to you?
Enjoy writing? Write a letter to your wise self. Just as with the walk, share your worries and ask questions. Once you’ve finished your letter. Write a reply back from your wise self to yourself. You would be curious to find out what wisdom you’re carrying inside you.
Everything you need is already within you.
Remember trusting your wise self, your inner wisdom, is a process. Give yourself time. When you do, beautiful things will happen.