Archives for Self Awareness

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Smile Through The Tears – Or Not

People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be. ― Abraham Lincoln

There are two ways to read this quote.

Lincoln might be telling us to “accentuate the positive.” That managing our emotions and deciding to be happy will make us feel happy. In which case,  this quote is kind of ironic, given that poor Abe struggled with depression. Seems like there's a little self-loathing mixed into the words.
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Courage

To Tell (Yourself) The Truth

The truth will set you free. – John 8:32

I’m not one to quote chapter and verse often (ever), but this tidbit is too wise to ignore.

I am taking it entirely out of context here so if you want to tell me where it fits into Scripture, please feel free.

But aside from all that—yes, yes, yes.

And I’m not talking about that tangled web we weave when we lie to other people. That’s a whole other...
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Emotions

Don’t Fight The Feelings (Even When They Hurt)

Feel the fear and do it anyway. -- Susan J. Jeffers

This is the title of a self-help classic I read in 1987, when it first came out. I don’t remember much about the book, but the title stuck with me because it's such a useful concept.

Now I’m reading a helpful book called The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher G. Germer that, at least what I’ve read so far, puts...
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General

You Are What You Love And Not What Loves You Back

You are what you love, and not what loves you back.—Jenny Lewis

This is a lyric from a ditty by Jenny Lewis, and it has has taken my brain hostage. This little quote, the song's hook, is on a tape loop in my head.

Lewis is singing about a stuck, mutually exploitive relationship, but I keep finding different shades of nuance in this quote.

You are what you love, and not what loves you back.

In a way,...
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General

It’s Just a Bunch of Crap

If one’s bowels move, one is happy; and if they don't move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it. -- Lin Yutang

Nice to hear the secret of life boiled down to crap, eh?

I don't know the quote's context except that it came from a book called The Importance of Living. And according to one review of the book, "Lin Yutang’s ideal is...
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General

How To Live

I took pleasure when I could. I acted clearly and morally and without regret. -- Jeanne Calment

Jeanne Calment died in 1997 at the age of 122 years, 164 days. I haven’t found the original source for this oft-quoted quote, though one website claims she said it about living to be 120.

Whether or not living Calment’s way can help us live to an overripe old age, this quote makes me happy.

“I took pleasure when I...
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General

Tell Your Stories — Or Not

You own everything that happened to you. – Anne Lamott

Lamott first said this in her fabulous book about the writer's life, Bird by Bird. She then elaborated in a tweet, which read, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better.” 

Haha. And cool. As a writer, I love this, even though it’s easier said than done....
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Creativity

Be Who You Are Not

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. -- Denis Waitley

This one twangs me in all the right ways.

One of the hurdles to becoming a writer is identifying yourself as a writer.

“I’m a writer.”

It sounds so pretentious.

But until you can identify yourself as a writer, you’re just a hobbyist. A dabbler. A person with a day job who writes for fun. (Or frustration. Or both....
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General

Does Happiness Live In A Quiet Room?

The sole cause of man's unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room. -- Pascal

This is a curious quote, and certainly counter to common wisdom, which tells us that connections and community are the road to bliss while solitude and silence lead to serial killing.

Of course, I’m being facetious. As an introvert, I’m all for staying quietly in one’s room, and I find solitude...
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