In every adult there lurks a child—an eternal child, something that is always becoming, is never completed, and calls for unceasing care, attention, and education. That is the part of the human personality which wants to develop and become whole.
If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding.
~The Dalai Lama
Do not be impatient with your seemingly slow progress. Do not try to run faster than you presently can. If you are studying, reflecting and trying, you are making progress whether you are aware of it or not. A traveler walking the road in the darkness of night is still going forward. Someday, some way, everything will break open, like the natural unfolding of a rosebud.
~Vernon Linwood Howard
Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away… and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast…. be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust… and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.
~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
One winter morning I awoke to see magnificent lines of frost stretching across my window panes. They seemed to rise with the sunshine and the bitter cold outside. They looked like little miracles that had been formed in the dark of night. I watched them in sheer amazement and marveled that such beautiful forms could be born during such a winter-cold night. Yet, as I pondered them, I thought of how life is so like that. We live our long, worn days in the shadows, in what often feels like barren, cold winter, so unaware of the miracles that are being created in our spirits. It takes the sudden daylight, some unexpected surprise of life, to cause our gaze to look upon a simple, stunning growth that has happened quietly inside us. Like frost designs on a winter window, they bring us beyond life’s fragmentation and remind us that we are not nearly as lost as we thought we were, that all the time we thought we were dead inside, beautiful things were being born in us.
~Joyce Rupp, Praying Our Goodbyes
A friend of mine has a saying, “It takes all kinds of people to make the world go ‘round. Unfortunately.”
Other people are the most challenging aspect of our lives, particularly when we strongly disagree with their views, choices and behaviors. The ideal of unconditional love and acceptance of all people can sometimes seem like reckless folly, but on the other hand we can exhaust ourselves with endless worries about, and judgments of, the actions of others.
Try this idea on for size: the development of individual human beings tends generally from ignorance toward wisdom, and from selfishness toward compassion. In a sense everyone is on their own path toward greater wisdom and compassion, although these paths tend to be circuitous. Over the long term someone’s path leads eventually toward greater wisdom and compassion, but at a given time they may clearly be headed away from these virtues.
Seeing everyone as being on a path of positive growth and development may seem like Pollyanna-ish wishful thinking. It may seem like a hypothesis impossible to prove, but it can actually be confirmed by direct observation of life. It is similar to a hypothesis that every object will eventually fall to the ground. Such a hypothesis is not proven only when every last object has fallen to the ground, because life goes on – there are always still birds, clouds, satellites and planes in the air.
With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.
~Dr. Wayne Dyer
Photo by Lisa Tate
Walk long enough
and we all trade places.
We are always surrounded and carried by the Whole, while we take turns holding and being held, falling and getting up, listening and trying to say what matters. This reminds me of Nur. She too had cancer and was a model of strength, a feisty blessing. I remember when she died. I was so sad. Yet the light was merciless in its beauty that day, forcing me to begin to heal. It made me realize, in those painfully bright hours, that no matter how I turn away, the magnificent light follows, background to my sadness.
It works the other way, too. I have known such moments of complete simplicity that all my problems and limitations seemed, for the moment, to vanish, Continue reading
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you
Don’t go back to sleep
You must ask for what you really want
Don’t go back to sleep
People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch
The door is round and open
Don’t go back to sleep
I was surprised to realize that I hadn’t posted this verse before, because it’s one of my favorites. It’s been up on my bedroom wall for so long that I just assumed it had already had its day as a quote du jour.
It’s so easy to go back to sleep…to ignore the longing for Continue reading
Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone… Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.
If you try to comprehend air
before breathing it,
you will die.
If you try to understand love
before being held,
you will never feel compassion.
If you insist on bringing God to others
before opening your very small window of life,
you will never have honest friends.
If you try to teach before you learn
or leave before you stay,
you will lose your ability to try. Continue reading