I am the decisive element
Goethe

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily
mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

ANYWAY
Mother Theresa

”People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway!
If you do good, people will accuse you
of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway!
If you are successful, you will win
false friends and enemies.
Succeed anyway!
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway!
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway!
What you spend years building may be
destroyed overnight.
Build anyway!
People really need help
but may attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway!
Give the world the best you have, and it will never be enough.

Give your best anyway!

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

The Dilemma

To laugh
is to risk appearing a fool.

To weep
is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out for another
is to risk involvement.

To expose feelings
is to risk rejection.

To place your dreams before the crowd
is to risk ridicule.

To love
is to risk not being loved in return.

To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds
is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken
because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing does nothing,
has nothing, is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love.

Chained by his certitudes,
he is a slave.

He has forfeited his freedom.
Only a person who takes risks is free.

~ anonymous

Your Pain
Kahlil Gibran

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; and you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink the remedy in silence and tranquility: for the hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen.”

The Invitation
ORIAH MOUNTAIN DREAMER

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your hearts longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even if it’s not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from the presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the sliver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you are and how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Life
George Bernard Shaw

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish, little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community. And as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me, it is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

Love
Erich Fromm

“Love is possible only if two persons communicate with each other from the center of their existence, hence if each one of them experiences himself from the center of his existence.  Only in this central experience is human reality, only here is aliveness, only here is the basis for love.  Love, experienced thus, is a constant challenge; it is not a resting place, but a moving, growing, working together; even whether there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves from the essence of their existence, that they are one with each other by being one with themselves, rather than by fleeing from themselves.  There is only one proof for the presence of love: the depth of the relationship, and the aliveness and strength in each person concerned; this is the fruit by which love is recognized.”

Our Deepest Fear
Mariane Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine.

We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Rainer Maria Rilke from “Letters to a Young Poet”

I want to beg of you much as I can to be patient
toward all that’s unsolved in your heart,
and learn to love the questions themselves,
like locked rooms, or like books that are
written in a very foreign tongue.

Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given you,
because you would not be able to live them,
and the point is to live everything.

Live the question now,
perhaps you will then, gradually, without noticing it,
live along some distant day into the answer.