People living with the loss of a significant relationship often find themselves buried beneath avalanches of advice and information. Additionally, when we suffer, we tend to seek out material that will help us cope. There is an abundance of wisdom right here at Open to Hope! Throughout this website, you will find incredible gems of wisdom.

Some time ago, I began working on a book on grief I hope to publish one day. As I organized my outline, I was reminded of all the wisdom I had discovered in my own grief journey and was encouraged to put it back to work for me.

Unused Wisdom is Just Words

How often have you learned something that really changed your life? While the idea or concept you learned remains active in your life, you directly benefit from its wisdom. No matter how powerful a Truth is, there is something in human nature which makes it very difficult to continue to live in that Truth for extended periods. The unfortunate reality is that even the most life-changing wisdom is nothing more than ‘pretty words’ unless we consciously make it an active part of our life.

Recognizing a Need is Essential

My 9-5 job is a Human Resources professional. A challenge that I face in that role is that I have become somewhat jaded with the ineffectiveness of training. I believe that this results from learners not recognizing their potential for improvement. Someone who feels that they are already doing great, sees no need to make changes. Even if they are shown something that would undoubtedly be an improvement to the way they are currently operating, there is a ‘why bother?’ attitude.

Always Room for Improvement

I believe that God created us to be perfectly us. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t ample room for us to discover new and better ways to live our lives. Adjustments that bring more pleasure, joy and fulfilment to us and those around us serve to polish our perfection. Life is a process of learning and growth. It is a great thrill to our soul when we continue to develop. If we stop learning, growing, and changing we become stagnant, and our lives can become stale.

Success Can Be a Poor Motivator

At first success is a fabulous motivator. You know how it is – you come into new wisdom – a better way to organize, a way to be more grateful, a change in diet that improves your health. You make the change, and you see the results and for a while, that makes you want to continue. As the success endures, you accept it as the new normal. At that point the enthusiasm – the passion for the new practice is lost and the practice begins to drop off. Before you know it, the thoughts and processes which lifted you up, have been left behind.

The Wisdom of Chronicling

Yes, that is just another way to say journaling. My distaste for journaling is a mystery to me. I love writing but I do not love journaling. Over the years I have come to accept that making a chronicle of life; captivating ideas, realizations, behavioral patterns, random thoughts, and feelings has immense benefits. By recording our lives, we become more aware of what we are experiencing. We begin to see patterns in the tides of life. We can see what worked in the past as well as what didn’t, and we get a reminder to put the wisdom we have collected back to work for us.

 The Golden Zone

When I move back into the thoughts, practices, and attitudes that bring me peace, stability, and love from having let them wane, I am always surprised. I am surprised by how good it feels and I am confounded that I ever let myself slip out of that space. Every single time I ask myself why I let it dissipate. This is when I am most grateful to my chronicles. They afford me the perspective to see that while I am not yet able to reside permanently in the golden zone, I am continually constricting my orbit around it. My deviations are not as deep. The intervals between returns are shorter. I am working my way toward setting up residence in that halo.

Keep the Wisdom Alive

My rambling comes to this. I heartily encourage you to find a way to keep the gifts of Wisdom you are given alive. Now as you struggle with loss, more than ever you will benefit from finding ways to buoy your spirit. Draw the things that bring you comfort close and use whatever means works for you to continue to remind yourself of them. If you look, I think you may find that you have a wealth of wisdom, the challenge lies in not letting it dissolve into mere words.

Read more by Colleen Friesen: Riding the Ebb and Flow of Grief – Open to Hope.

Visit Colleen’s website: 


Colleen Friesen

Who is Colleen Friesen? I am a proud mother, a blessed wife, a blossoming daughter, a compassionate and supportive sister and friend. I have the peace-loving, inclusive heart of a hippie which serves me well in my role as Associate Director of Human Resources at the Community-based non-profit agency that employs me. I am a prairie girl who harbours a love-hate relationship with the climate of the glorious Saskatchewan prairie that is my home. I have loved to use words to lead others along with me through my experiences – both real and imagined throughout my life. I consider myself a word crafter – sometimes choosing to paint, other times sketch, oftentimes sculpt, frequently clip/paste/gluing words and phrases together in such a way that will draw my reader into a soul-synergy with me. It is my hope that I can draw people close, so they are able to experience the reassurances, comforts, and freedoms I have found for myself. I have survived devastating losses; I have healed crushing psychological injuries and I live… I LIVE. I live a life filled with joy, love, peace, and presence. I am enjoying the benefits of years of learning, growing, forgiving, loving, and observing. It is my natural compassion and gift of observation that has led me to yearn to bring those who are suffering to the oasis of Truths that sustains me within this world of challenging experiences. The passing of my eldest son almost 2 ½ years ago coalesced my passions for writing and helping into a focused purpose. My greatest accomplishment has been parenting my sons. Both boys are beautiful souls; loving, kind, compassionate individuals who have blessed the lives of those they touch. That was not an accident nor was it easy, but it has been the most rewarding and fulfilling purpose of my life. When my first-born left this dimension, it became imperative for me to carry his beautiful spirit onward. So, now I craft words with his guidance to bring love, hope and comfort to those who grieve.

More Articles Written by Colleen