“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be 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.”
“To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly,
to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open
to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely,
in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden, and unconscious,
to grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.”
–William Ellery Channing
“Boundaries are hard when you want to be liked and when you are a pleaser hellbent on being easy, fun, and flexible….When I do something because I feel pushed, pressured, guilt-tripped, or shamed into it, I expect people to be appreciative in addition to being respectful and professional. Ninety percent of the time they are none of the above. How can we expect people to put value on our work when we don’t value ourselves enough to set and hold uncomfortable boundaries?“
–Brene Brown, Rising Strong
“In my biology class, we’d talked about the definitions of life: to be classified as a living creature, a thing needs to eat, breathe, reproduce, and grow…. Fire, by that definition, is vibrantly alive. It eats everything from wood to flesh, excreting the waste as ash, and it breathes air just like a human, taking in oxygen and emitting carbon. Fire grows, and as it spreads, it creates new fires that spread out and make new fires of their own. Fire drinks gasoline and excretes cinders, if fights for territory, it loves and hates. Sometimes when I watch people trudging through their daily routines, I think that fire is more alive than they are–brighter, hotter, more sure of itself and where it wants to go. Fire doesn’t settle; fire doesn’t tolerate; fire doesn’t ‘get by.’
from within Learning to Trust Will Make Us Happy
“…We find ourselves torn by confusion, by conflict, by affirmation and denial, by emotion congested by fear, congealed by pride. We are afraid of the Universe in which we live, suspicious of people around us, uncertain of the salvation of our own souls. All these things negatively react and cause physical disorders.”
–SOM, p. 33
Whenever possible I avoid the practice myself. If God meant us to walk, he would have kept us down on all fours, with well-padded paws. He would have constructed our planet on the model of the simple cube, so that notion of circularity and consequently the wheel might never have arisen. He surely would not have made mountains.
There is something unnatural about walking. Especially walking uphill, which always seems to me not only unnatural but so unnecessary. That iron tug of gravitation should be all the reminder we need that in walking uphill we are violating a basic law of nature. Yet we persist in doing it. No one can explain why George H. Mallory’s asinine rationale for climbing a mountain–‘because it is there’–could easily be refuted with a few well-places hydrogen bombs. But our common sense continues to lag far behind the available technology.
There are some good things to say about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus, it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who’s always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and therefore more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated and anyone can transport himself anywhere, instantly. Big deal, Buckminster. To be everywhere at once, is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me. That’s God’s job, not ours.
The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key. That’s the best thing about walking, the journey itself. It doesn’t matter whether you get where you’re going or not. You get there anyway. Every good hike brings you eventually back home. Right where you started.
Which reminds me of circles. Which reminds me of wheels. Which reminds me my old truck needs another front-end job. Any good mechanics out there wandering along through the smog?”
“We make life difficult when we try to sacrifice ourselves for somebody else. Surely, you are not here to sacrifice yourself for anybody. You are not here to satisfy other people’s opinions or point of view. In the dream of second attention, one of the first challenges is the fear of being yourself–your real self. If you have the courage to face this challenge, you find out that all the reason you were afraid don’t even exist. Then you find out that it’s much easier to be yourself than to try to be what you are not.”
–Don Miguel Ruiz, Don Jose Ruiz with Janet Mills
“Retaining a modicum of skepticism is a wise and discriminatory quality of the reasoning mind, while retaining adamant skepticism only serves to shut the eyes of the reasoning forever.”
–Mary Summer Rain