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

If Only Karma Were Dependable

What goes around comes around.

Yeah, if only.

This comforting quote suggests that revenge is not necessary because karma is a bitch. That person who did you wrong? He'll get his eventually because, you know, what goes around comes around. So just sit back and wait because it’s only a matter of time.

I want to buy it, but I don’t.

I've seen plenty of people do plenty of crummy things and get...
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Emotions

Chocolate-Covered Revenge

Living well is the best revenge.

A fine credo to live by. Noble, even. And win-win. You get your fine life, and you don’t debase yourself with some sort of tawdry act of revenge. And the other guy doesn't have vengeance rain down on him.

I am not by nature a vengeful person. Which is not to say that I don’t hold grudges and fantasize about vengeance. But I don't do anything about it. Instead, I...
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General

Keep Trying, But Don’t Count On A Miracle

The moment you are ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens. Don’t give up.—The Internet*

Usually? Really? Usually when the miracle happens?

If miracles are usual, are they really miracles?

This is one of those squishy motivational quotes that goes around the Internet and makes people feel good, but that has no real substance at all. Scrutinize them too hard and they melt into a sticky mess, like strawberry ice cream...
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Emotions

Regrets You Regret and Regrets You Don’t

I would rather regret the things I have done than the things I haven’t. –Lucille Ball

I’m taking the Internet’s word that Lucille Ball said this, although surely someone must have said it before her. I did find a similar (typically verbose) quote from Henry James: “I don’t regret a single ‘excess’ of my responsive youth—I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn’t embrace.”

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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

How Pessimists Count Their Blessings

At least I’m not internally decapitated.

Thanks to my husband for this one.

I remember exactly the context in which we first heard the term “internally decapitated,” but out of respect, I will leave that out of this discussion. I don’t mean to be flip.

But wouldn’t you agree that internal decapitation sounds like a huge, gigantic, monumental bummer? I mean—you’re alive, yes. And that’s good. Your story isn’t over, as it would be with...
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Family

By Choosing Not To Have Children, I _____

Would raising children make the best use of what you bring to the world, or would not having kids do that? – Carolyn Hax

As Oprah used to say, frequently, raising kids is the hardest job in the world. And I don’t argue with that. (I wouldn’t dare.)

But choosing not to have kids has challenges of a different kind--not the least of which is censure from a segment of society that assumes you must be selfish,...
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General

Stop Moping And Join The Party

Life is a cabaret.—Fred Ebb

Hey, sad sack!

Yeah, you.

You know something? You’re kinda getting on my nerves.

This whole Eeyore thing? No fun at all.

Do you even know how to have fun? Do you know what brings you joy? Or are you going to trudge through life like it’s a chore?

Stop it.

Life is a cabaret, my friend. A goddam cabaret. So come on. Hurry up. Join the fun.

Oh, I'm sympathetic to depression, tragedy, and hard times....
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