and grind in the mill of a truism, and nothing comes out
but what was put in. But the moment they desert the
tradition for a spontaneous thought, then poetry, wit,
virtue, learning, anecdote, all flock to their aid.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
always that you have not only
to be an
you have an obligation to be one.
cannot make any useful contribution in life
unless you do
to be thyself; and know that those
Who find themselves, lose their misery. -Matthew Arnold
can, always advise people to do what you see they really
want to do,
so long as what they want to do isn't
dangerously unlawful, stupidly unsocial,
impossible. Doing what they want to do, they may
doing what they don't want to do, they won't.
-James Gould Cozzens
|You and I can profit by
asking ourselves: What do I see when I look through
the lens of
my attitude toward myself? Am I more a critic than a
Do I look beyond the surface blemishes to find the truly
and unique person that I am? Or do I play the
destructive "comparison game"?
What verdict does the
juror of my mind pass on me:
"good at heart" or
"guilty on all counts"?
-John Powell, S.J.
to be patient in bearing the defects and infirmities
others, of what sort soever they be; for thou thyself
hast many failings which must be borne with by
another would have done as well as you, do not do it.
What another would have said as well as you, do not
written as well, do not write it. Be
faithful to that
which exists nowhere but in yourself--and
there make yourself indispensable.
|All of us have to seek in our own way to make
our own selves
more noble and to realize our own true worth.
|Compassion for others begins
with kindness to ourselves. -Pema Chödrön
Hasidic rabbi, Zuscha, was asked on his deathbed what he thought
the kingdom of God would be like. He replied, "I don't know.
But one thing I do know. When I get there I am not going
to be asked, 'Why weren't you Moses? Why weren't you
David?' I am only going to be asked, 'Why weren't
you Zuscha? Why weren't you fully you?'"
Each heart is a
You find all
within yourself that you find without.--
To know yourself
you have only to set down a true statement
of these that
ever loved or hated you. -Johann Kasper Lavater
I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people
This rule, equally arduous in actual and
intellectual life, may serve
for the whole distinction
between greatness and meanness. It is the harder,
because you will always find those who think they know
what is your duty
better than you know it. It is
easy in the world to live after the world's opinion;
is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great person is one who
in the midst of the crowd keeps with
the independence of solitude. -Ralph
compromise yourself. You are all you've got.
In solitude all great things
are born. -Moses Harvey
are a child of the universe, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” In
of creation, there has never been anyone like you. Accept this reality
that you are a special, unique human being who has a place on this
that no one else can fill. Acknowledge yourself as a glorious
of your loving Creator. This healthy self-love will form the
of a joyful and satisfying life. Then, as you love and accept
your inner light will shine outward to bless and heal your fellow
human beings. -Douglas Bloch
I shall try to remember all this day that I am a
divine creation with infinite possibilities.
To set us on a clear path, it
is important to communicate well, at least with ourselves.
To know what we want, to know what we mean, and to learn to
express ourselves clearly,
with as little confusion as possible.
If you are confused about yourself, you can expect
to be misunderstood by those around you.
You have to set your mind straight,
and that is a task that no one else can undertake for you.
ourselves as a best friend is an important factor in the quality
of our current living and will be crucial in our last years.
It’s the only way
we can gain an intimate knowledge of who we are and what we need.
Being familiar with – and able to articulate – our wants and
needs gives us
some control of our lives, and is absolutely essential when we are
and may have to rely on others to do what we can no longer do for
cannot fail at
yourself. A cat
to be a
tiger, and you shouldn't
try to be something
process, not a
what you are and to
create that creature.
still won't be
it is about
You are a
. . comes as the infallible result of great acceptances,
great humilities—of not trying to make ourselves this or that
(to conform to some dramatized version of ourselves), but of
surrendering ourselves to the fullness of life—of letting life
flow through us. -David
I can think of myself as loved, I can love and accept others.
If I see myself as forgiven, I can be gracious toward others.
If I see myself as powerful, I can do what I know is right.
If I see myself as full, I can give myself freely to others.
all want recognition for our “specialness.”
But we should never take
our self-worth from our society, feedback from others, or our own
to others. Our
self-esteem should be based in the fact that God created us
with the utmost care and has called His creation good.
In His foresight
we are all made of “the right stuff.”
Our self-worth then comes from
how we use it, in service to our families and communities,
exercising our creative gifts, and becoming one with God.
may study with the highest teachers, but you will find no one but
You may travel the world over, yet find nothing but
reflected the world over.
So if you now find yourself in a cell, take heart
that of all the teachers in the world, out of all the places in
you still have with you the only ultimate ingredient of your
yourself. -Bo Lozoff
like a winner means not always having to defeat someone
It means being able to grow from a situation in which you
fail to reach
It involves not demanding perfection from yourself
single thing you do, but, instead, thinking of yourself as
perfect and thus capable of growing.
It means reminding yourself that perfection
mean staying the same; it means being able to allow
yourself to grow.
Thinking as a winner means not coming down on yourself; it
to allow self-repudiating thoughts into your head.
It involves pushing out
the inclination to evaluate yourself in comparison with
others, and giving yourself permission to be the unique
person you are. -Wayne Dyer
In a world in which we are exposed to more
information, more options,
more philosophies, more perspectives than ever before, in which we
choose the values by which we will live (rather than
some tradition for no better reason than that our own parents
did), we need
to be willing to stand on our own judgment and trust our own
look at the world through our own eyes—to chart our course and
how to achieve the future we want, to commit ourselves to
questioning and learning—to be, in a word, self-responsible.
things we see,” Pistorius said softly, “are the same things
are within us.
That is why so many people live such unreal lives.
They take the images outside them for reality and never allow
the world within to assert itself.”
-Herman Hesse (in Demian)
morning take a few minutes to reflect on how
you give of yourself to the world.
Often we get
caught up in the frenzy of buying and giving things. Look at the ways you give appreciation, friendship,
energy, time, love, and affection, and give of your
own special talents and abilities throughout the year.
Acknowledge yourself for having enriched the lives
Spend some time loving yourself
for the giving light that you are.
As children of the Most High God we are to accept
the natural creation does—which simply is in great beauty,
those people who truly love and accept
themselves are rare. Why do we seek self-worth through social
recognition and acquisition, as though those were needed?
special children of God, the Creator of worlds without measure.
As such each one of us is intrinsically very, very worthy.
more you surrender to the fear of someone’s disapproval, the
more you lose face
in your own eyes, and the more desperate you become for
Within you is a void that should have been filled by self-esteem. When you
attempt to fill it with the approval of others instead, the void
grows deeper and
the hunger for acceptance and approval grows stronger.
The only solution is
to summon the courage to honor your own judgment,
frightening though that may be in the beginning.
we were withholding made us weak
Until we found it was ourselves.
little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me
A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites
me. It takes
very little to raise me up or thrust me down. Often I am
like a small boat
on the ocean, completely at the mercy of its waves. All the
time and energy
I spend in keeping some kind of balance and preventing myself from
tipped over and drowning shows my life is mostly a struggle for
not a holy struggle, but an anxious struggle resulting from
the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me.
-Henri J.M. Nouwen
the labels other people try to tag us with is one of the most
destructive things we can do to ourselves. Because once we
those labels, we allow them to define us--what we can do, what
we should want, what we can and can't have. We start
what others think is right for us instead of using our own
and self-knowledge to make our own best choices.
Over the years I have learned that we can't live genuinely until
we learn to disregard the labels and judgments of others. As
wise person once said, "You aren't what people call you, you
you answer to." The better we become at ignoring
call us, the closer we get to fulfilling our dreams, the easier it
becomes to create the life we really want,
not the life someone else thinks we should have.
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