Friday, October 30, 2009

two favorite quotations...

One of my most annoying habits is using other people's words (via essays, novels, poems, or songs) to express how I feel. I guess a lifetime studying literature will do that for you. Two quotations stand out, have stood out to me, in recent days with all the changes at Sanctuary Rock, changes with old friends & lovers (RL), and the place I'm at right now.

I constantly try to practice the art of gratitude...seeing that many of the things I take for granted are actually incredible gifts of fortune...from my home, my husband's job, & our health to something like a washing machine, a good cup of coffee, or a talk with a friend. The curse of Modern Life is that it's too time is a gift that most do not know how to use (think of the precious hours of your life squandered in front of the television). When not managed properly, with a sense of purpose & urgency, free time allows one to wallow, to become overly introspective, to become weak. I'm not condemning or pointing a finger; I'm speaking from experience.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was the wife of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Her writings, her activism, her sense of purpose remain inspirations for many still. These are my two favorite statements pulled from her writings.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."

I italicized the second sentence because the implications of it are so powerful to's about challenging yourself, fighting chaos, fighting inertia, & recognizing the time is NOW, and excuses are the surest paths to regret. I'd rather regret the things I did yet failed at than regret NOT doing the things I was too afraid to try. If that makes sense?

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. "

This is probably the way I try to look at every encounter with someone who *seems* to have more than me. Humans are insecure by nature, and no one has the market cornered on feeling sorry for oneself. While some like to beat the "we are all alone" drum, I acknowledge our isolation, but I take solace in the shared needs, the need for love, acceptance, purpose, strength, and laughter.

That's enough philosophical ranting for one day. I suppose the final need, laughter, is the most important to me. If this life is a tragedy, (and it IS going to end badly for us all), then it's the laughs along the way that I need most.