In your life you have the ongoing opportunity to move between “wisdom” and “identity.” There can be a tension between these two ideas, but navigating them successfully can yield a peaceful, centered growth and maturity.
Wisdom is the idea of seeking out new ideas and insights into life. It involves a humility that says, “I do NOT have all the answers, and need help sometimes.” Wisdom invites voices from other perspectives into your life, and can bring about wide-eyed realizations of wrong-thinking, and thus opportunities for growth.
Identity, on the other hand, comes about from deep, thoughtful, and courageous self-reflection, and ultimately results in the awareness of who you uniquely ARE. At its best, identity emerges with the ego, and through identity you are able to understand your place in the world.
Shutting yourself off from new ideas—from wisdom and counsel—can put you into ruts, and even cultivate a sort of arrogance in your life: that you have it all figured out, and that you “know the way the world works.” On the other hand, not ALL wisdom is effective and useful for YOU, and an identity that is humbly and loosely held can help filter when to allow new ideas into your life, and when to graciously say, “no, thank you.” (Or “Not Now.”)
The truth is, you need both wisdom AND identity, and though you going back and forth between the two may feel exhausting sometimes, it’s a necessary tension to manage, AND one that can yield beautiful results.