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Writing the “Whispering Hope” column on life and relationships here at Beliefnet has convinced me that people know more than they think they know. The answers to the questions they have are often just beneath the surface of all the worry, anger and frustration they voice. Sometimes the answer is there in the question itself. The problem is that most folks are afraid to trust their own inner wisdom. Diving within for answers takes some doing, of course. We’ve been taught that knowledge, wisdom, even God and faith, exist “out there,” apart from and independent of us. Thus faith is something to be found. Wisdom is something to be gotten. Answers have to be sought after. And a relationship with God must be earned. We are taught to distrust our own thoughts, feelings and experiences. But consider the possibility that there is a place within us where God, faith and wisdom dwell together. All we have to do is break the surface through our fears and dive beneath to what lies within us.
The prophet Moses said it best:
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. (Deuteronomy 30: 11-14)
Thirty years of journaling has convinced me that journaling is one of the most effective ways I know for diving deep within, for conferring with myself, and for stumbling toward that sacred room within where God dwells with illumination for the spiritual journey. Journaling is a form of prayer, a patient form of prayer in fact because it doesn’t require you to have a point or to get to the point.
In your journal you can stalk a thought, circle an insight, abandon a thought and start over, double back to a hunch, and return to a particular idea that you struck you in the past again and again until the wisdom within begins to make itself known to you. In these pages you are invited to reflect in words and images upon the lessons learned and the wisdom gained from experiences you’ve had but may not have taken the time to process. Hurt, disappointment, loss, love, success, achievement and adventure teach us important lessons about life and ourselves. But you can’t learn what you’re supposed to learn unless you take the time to pay attention. Wisdom comes from observing patterns, making connections and perceiving deeper meaning than what shows up on the surface.
It’s not what’s happening to you that defines who you are, but what’s happening within you that really matters.
In this guide to “How to Trust Your Inner Wisdom,” you are given the chance to stop and pay attention. Pay attention to what’s going on around you and also what’s going on within you. With growing older and growing wiser comes learning how to dive deep inside yourself to get what you need from yourself – and from God. All the information you need to do what you need to do is there waiting for you. It’s a matter of learning how to break the surface and diving deep within for the clues.
Let us go within.
Renita Weems
Check back for twice-weekly prompts from Renita Weems to inspire you as you journal your way toward finding your inner wisdom.

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