No matter how much you cry, the tears will dry. No matter how many nightmares, flashbacks, visions, or terrors you endure, they will pass. To weather these in order to find your true self and the happiness you deserve, that is not a risk. To waste the time you have in this body, never showing your soul to yourself or anyone else, living in fearful misery – that is really the most dangerous thing you can do.
There is only one important point you must keep in your mind and let it be your guide. No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. Keep to this truth. You must ask yourself how is it you want to live your life. We live and we die, this is the truth that we can only face alone. No one can help us, not even the Buddha. So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?
~Dalai Lama XIV
It’s difficult to make people see that what you have been taught counts for nothing, and that the only things worth having are the things you find out for yourself. Also, that when so many brands of what Chesterton calls ‘fancy souls’ and theories of life are offered you, there is no sense in not looking pretty carefully to see what you are going in for. […] It isn’t a case of ‘Here is the Christian religion, the one authoritative and respectable rule of life. Take it or leave it’. It’s ‘Here’s a muddling kind of affair called Life, and here are nineteen or twenty different explanations of it, all supported by people whose opinions are not to be sneezed at. Among them is the Christian religion in which you happen to have been brought up. Your friend so-and-so has been brought up in quite a different way of thinking; is a perfectly splendid person and thoroughly happy. What are you going to do about it?’ — I’m worrying it out quietly, and whatever I get hold of will be valuable, because I’ve got it for myself; but really, you know, the whole question is not as simple as it looks.
~Dorothy L. Sayers, The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers: 1899-1936: The Making of a Detective Novelist
My belief is that when you’re telling the truth, you’re close to God. If you say to God, “I am exhausted and depressed beyond words, and I don’t like You at all right now, and I recoil from most people who believe in You,” that might be the most honest thing you’ve ever said. If you told me you had said to God, “It is all hopeless, and I don’t have a clue if You exist, but I could use a hand,” it would almost bring tears to my eyes, tears of pride in you, for the courage it takes to get real—really real. It would make me want to sit next to you at the dinner table.
So prayer is our sometimes real selves trying to communicate with the Real, with Truth, with the Light. It is us reaching out to be heard, hoping to be found by a light and warmth in the world, instead of darkness and cold. Even mushrooms respond to light—I suppose they blink their mushroomy eyes, like the rest of us.
Light reveals us to ourselves, which is not always so great if you find yourself in a big disgusting mess, possibly of your own creation. But like sunflowers we turn toward light. Light warms, and in most cases it draws us to itself. And in this light, we can see beyond our modest receptors, to what is way beyond us, and deep inside.
~Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers
Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.
Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
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There is a tribe in Africa where the birth of a child is not counted from when they’ve been born, nor from when they are conceived, but from the day that the child was a thought in the mother’s mind.
And when a woman decides she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love and physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.
And then when the mother is pregnant, she teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. Continue reading