“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” [T.E. Lawrence]
A dream kept silent is nothing more than a muted desire that remains an echo in your mind. For things to change, we need to change, and what better way than to be "dreamers of the day". Pull back the covers and step into your dream.
"Be honest about who you are, flaws and all. You never know who you are inspiring by simply being you." [Mandy Hale]
Perfection doesn't inspire--It intimidates. So much of our worthiness is predicated on what we want others to see us as. The heroes among us our those who transcend their battles, be they spiritual, physical, or emotional. When we are honest about our own fragility, we become superior to circumstance, and along the way, we inspire other weary travelers to embark on their own journey of acceptance.
"The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof." [Barbara Kingsolver]
Often we feel lost, and it's not because we don't have what we want, but for the simple fact we don't even know what it is we want. Don't confuse your "dreams" with your "hopes"—whereas a dream is sheer fancy and not grounded in reality, a hope is the byproduct of self-confidence and courage. Align yourself with your hope, and as Barbara Kingsolver says, "live right in, under its roof."
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly 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.” [C.S. Lewis]
Being in love most definitely is not for the faint at heart. It's not surprising we use the expression "falling in love" because that's exactly what it takes--an ability to freefall and have faith that in letting go of yourself, you find a better "you". One of my favorite Buddhist sayings is that life is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. The bad news is you are falling. The good news is there is no ground.
"I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. " [Joan Didion]
Living an authentic life all comes down to geography--knowing where you've come from, where you are, and where you are headed. We like to think that the ugly parts of our past are disappearing in the rear view mirror; when in fact, they are sitting patiently beside us. Wisdom comes when we respect the space they occupy, but are ever so vigilant not to let them take the wheel.
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. [Proverbs 15:18]
When we feel harmed, abused, or violated in any way, our natural reaction is to immediately lash out and rail against the attacker with the venom our own hatred, justified as self-protection. What we often forget is that hatred is fueled by hatred, and so, the vicious cycle continues. Newton's Third Law teaches us that "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." The "opposite" of toxic hate, most certainly can't be heaping on further toxic hate.
“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.” [Elisabeth Kübler-Ross]
Three of the most deceptive words in the English language are insulated, immune, and unscathed. It's not only unreasonable, but it may in fact be self-destructive to believe that we can move through our lives in a protective bubble, side-stepping adversity, pain, and loss. It's the scars on our body and the discomfort etched on our soul that make us radiate beauty and resilience.
"I used to be afraid of the pain letting go of the past would cause; until I realized how much pain holding on has caused." [Steve Maraboli]
It's remarkable how comfortable we can get with the "uncomfortable". It's as though we nurture that discomfort, and the thought of its absence can be unbearable. Not until we let go of this pain do we realize how much weight it has had on our soul. It is akin to that feeling we get when the motor on our refrigerator cuts out, and we suddenly realize how much white noise we'd been living with. Isn't it time we addressed some of that "white noise" in our lives?
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself-and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is.” [Jim Morrison]
Being a good friend doesn't entail constantly trying to "fix" the other person or attempting to "solve" your friend's problems. There is a huge difference between "being there for someone" and "being there with someone". The deepest friendships are those in which we learn to simply be present for someone we love. It's in that shared space of bearing witness that we embrace our fears, our doubts, our tragedies, and our triumphs.
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” [Abraham Lincoln]
Divisiveness, animosity, and antagonism are the cornerstones of a life based on fear and disconnection. Ironically, we are the most "connected" society in human history, yet we are also the most "egocentric". Buddhist traditions remind us that even our supposedly "worst" enemy can be be our greatest teacher. My enemies also lie inside of me—My battles with addiction and mental health issues have revealed to me inner strengths that would have been left buried were it not for the presence of these "enemies" within me.