Remember that self-doubt is as self-centered as self-inflation. Your obligation is to reach as deeply as you can and offer your unique and authentic gifts as bravely and beautifully as you’re able.
~Bill Plotkin, Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World
The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.
~Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk in love and reverence.
~Henry David Thoreau
Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued…Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.
Throughout the centuries, people have posed the questions “What am I doing here?” and “What is the meaning of life?” These are, of course, big and almost impossibly profound questions that usually lead us nowhere. But the older we get, the more urgent they seem to become.
There’s a wonderful teaching by Jelaluddin Rumi, the thirteenth century Sufi poet, which can help us see what we’re missing:
There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. Human being come into this world to do particular work. That work is their purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you forget everything else and not this, there’s nothing to worry about. If you remember everything else and forget your true work, then you will have done nothing with your life.
Rumi goes on to explain that the raw material we are given through birth is an incredibly precious material that can be formed into anything at all. “It’s a golden bowl,” he says, “which is being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots.” We’re using what we’ve been given for a far lesser function than its true capacity. We think we are being good, productive citizens because we are cooking up a storm in our bowl, but we’re not seeing what the bowl really is and what food that bowl could provide us if we knew how to look at it differently.
So there is one thing in the world, according to Rumi’s teaching, that must not be forgotten. Continue reading
What we reach for may be different, but what makes us reach is the same.
~Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
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.