A curated collection of quotes that hit me like a fastball right between the eyes.
Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing.
The only way to learn forgiveness is to be betrayed. You might understand the intellectual concept of forgiveness, but you will only learn how to truly forgive when someone has done something that requires you to love them and let it go. Life demands these hurtful experiences for you to learn how forgiveness feels, it could be no other way. If there is anyone in your life that you must forgive, instead of seeing them as someone who has hurt you, try to see them as someone who was sent to teach you forgiveness and thank them for this precious gift – then forgive them, and let it go.
The hardest part about betrayal is that it CAN’T come from your enemies.
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.
Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.
Beauty is not caused. It is.
Beauty is variable, ugliness is constant.
One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, know struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Cherish Ordinary Moments
In our most ordinary days we have moments of happiness, moments of comfort and enjoyment, moments of seeing something that pleased us, something that touched us, moments of contacting the tenderness of our hearts. We can take joy in that. I find that it’s essential during the day to actually note when I feel happiness or when something positive happens, and to begin to cherish those moments as precious. Gradually we can begin to cherish the preciousness of our whole life just as it is, with its ups and downs, its failures and successes, its roughness and smoothness.
Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
~Thich Nhat Hahn
One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.
Compassion is a verb
~Thich Nhat Hanh
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.
The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.
~ Vera Kistiakowsky (MIT physicist)
We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn.
~Mary Catherine Bateson
Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission. The admitting is often very difficult.
None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I’ve wanted to do.
To understand is to forgive, even oneself. ~Alexander Chase To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
~Lewis B. Smedes
Grief starts to become indulgent, and it doesn’t serve anyone, and it’s painful. But if you transform it into remembrance, then you’re magnifying the person you lost and also giving something of that person to other people, so they can experience something of that person.
But nothing can satisfy the ego for long. As long as it runs your life, there are two ways of being unhappy. Not getting what you want is one. Getting what you want is the other.
And she said, It’s okay that you can’t get over it. Maybe you never will. Maybe that hole will never fill. She said, Maybe your learning to leave it empty is the meaning of your life.
There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.
Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you. It is meant to, and it couldn’t do it better. Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition.
People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.
At least once a year, I imagine that I am about to die. Looking back as truthfully as I can at my entire life, I give full attention to the things I wish hadn’t occurred. Recognizing these mistakes honestly but without self-recrimination, I try to rejoice in the innate wisdom that allows me to see so bravely, and I feel compassion for how I so frequently messed up. Then I can go forward. The future is wide open, and what I do with it is up to me.
We cannot waste time. We can only waste ourselves.
~George Matthew Adams
Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.
I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in the darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.
Never regret love. No matter how blind, it improved your world view. No matter how foolish, it made you wiser. And no matter how generous, it made you more.
I realized that… True love is neither physical nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, that has been, that will or even will NOT be.
~Ramesh S. Balsekar
Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
(p.s. I had this quote in my collection long before he ended his life. His death still hurts. It’s hard for me to believe it was his time to go.)
Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.
There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.
Was I ever crazy? Maybe. Or maybe life is… Crazy isn’t being broken or swallowing a dark secret. It’s you or me amplified.
~Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted
Part of being sane is being a little crazy.
All these promises that we make and we break…why is it that you think people get married? Because we need a witness to our lives. There are a billion people on the planet, I mean what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything…the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things…all of it, all the time, every day. You’re saying… your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. your life will not go unwitnessed, because I will be your witness.
~From the chick flick Shall We Dance with Richard Gere and Suan Sarandon
No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have been times when I’ve been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again — till next time. I’ve learned that there will always be a next time, and that I will submerge in darkness and misery, but that I won’t stay submerged.
Healthy and loving sex is a by product of friendship and intimacy, not the cause of them.
Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul.
~Charlie Chaplin in a letter to his daughter Geraldine
What shames us, what we most fear to tell, does not set us apart from others; it binds us together if only we can take the risk to speak it.
The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.
Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.
A single lie discovered is enough to create doubt in every truth expressed.
There isn’t any virtue where there has never been any temptation.
Don’t try to figure out that other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
Your own voice is the voice that carries you through life the best.
Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.