self - self
2 - self 4
Very often a change of self
is needed more than
change of scene.
Arthur C. Benson
It is not pride when
the beech-tree refuses to copy the oak. The only chance of any healthy life for it is to be
as full a beech-tree as it can be.
is important is to realize that whether we understand fully
who we are
or what will happen when we die, it's our purpose to grow as
to look within ourselves, to find and build upon that source
of peace and
understanding and strength that is our individual
self. And then to reach out
to others with love and acceptance and patient guidance
in the hope of what we may become together.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
It just makes
life all the harder.
It’ll all come out in the wash
God’s glory eventually will eclipse
everything that goes
wrong on this earth. Lighten
up and learn to laugh at yourself.
None of us is
We make mistakes in life, and more often
they’re funny. Sometimes,
own source of comedy is the most fun of all.
You have within you
all of the strength and wisdom you could
ever need. Never doubt that. Never fear to draw
is the miracle of life: that each person who
heeds him or herself knows what no scientist can
ever know: who he or she is.
Learn to value yourself, which means to fight for
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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If only I may grow: firmer, simpler—quieter, warmer.
Often people attempt to
have more things,
to do more
of what they
want, so they will
The way it actually
is the reverse. You must
first be who
you really are,
then do what you need
in order to have what you want.
One of the most common words in the invalidating,
stories we believe about ourselves or our
situations is the
word “should.” The psychologist Albert Ellis has coined the
“Stop shoulding on yourself.”
When you tell yourself that
should feel or be
another way, you are likely to feel bad
As an alternative, try telling yourself that
okay to feel or be the way you are, even though you
some idea that you should feel or be different.
We usually look outside
ourselves for heroes and teachers. It has not
occurred to most people that they may already be the role
model they seek.
The wholeness they are looking for may be trapped within
beliefs, attitudes, and self-doubt. But our wholeness
exists in us now.
Trapped though it may be, it can be called upon for
and most fundamentally, comfort. It can be remembered.
Eventually we may come to live by it.
easy to see and notice what we like in other people.
it's not as easy to see the attributes and beauty in
It's good to see the beauty in others. But sometimes,
moment and get excited when you notice what's
beautiful in yourself, too.
you love yourself, you take good care of
yourself. But early in life many of us stop
loving ourselves and lose a sense of our own
value. Others grow up with a sense of
self-worth but get beaten down by the difficulties
of life and then give up caring about
themselves. I don't want to criticize people
and tell them what to do. But I would like to
see everyone accept themselves and love themselves
as much as they love their pets. Some people
only learn to love themselves when a
life-threatening illness awakens them. When
they are facing death, they stop smoking and start
eating fruits and vegetables. Why wait until
your life is almost over to realize that you should
care for yourself?
I haven't grown up with influences that focused on
personal power and potential, so I've had a hard time
focusing on it as an adult. It's a lot of work, to be
but work that's well worth it. You are a very
just as valuable as world leaders and
doctors and lawyers and
other people who are constantly in
the news. Your value
may not manifest itself in the
world arena, but when it does
manifest itself, you can be
sure that it provides a great boost
to people other than
yourself. Strive to reach your potential,
not just for
yourself, but for the others who will be
by your actions when you've
acknowledged just how valuable
you truly are.
you move into the day, be aware of
how you treat yourself. As you shower
or bathe, be aware of how you handle your
body. Are you gentle? Or are you rough?
As you eat your meals today, be aware of
how much time, energy, and attention
you give to nourishing yourself. When it
comes to self-nurturing, are you
attentively conscious? Are you
unconsciously rushed? Be aware of
what you do to and for yourself,
because you set the
standard for others.
Don't let the
opinions of other people determine the image
you have of yourself. There is no need to feel either
appreciated or understood. Be even-minded. What
about yourself is everything. What others think about
no value at all, unless you choose to give it value.
When we become
expert at loving and caring for ourselves,
we feel healthy, centered, and strong. We don't need
to escape from
our reality through shopping, eating, drinking, drugging, or
in abusive relationships. We feel warm and safe within
We learn to value everything about ourselves--our bodies and
minds, our feelings and needs, our potential, strengths and
throughout all the seasons of our lives. We feel free
the truth of who we are, realizing that God didn't send us
but to work toward perfection. When we trust
fully, accepting ourselves
not as we wish to be but as we are, we develop a sense of
that brings us joy. We stop hiding and worrying about
else sees our flaws. We aren't defensive or
judgmental. We know
who we are, we know where we stand, and we accept that
we--like everyone else in the world--have some growing to
Susan L. Taylor
things are certain: Life's too short to live for other
people. (I wish
someone had told me that in my twenties.) And
this, too: Life doesn't come
with a rewind button. If we want to live genuinely, we
have to free ourselves
from the beliefs, attitudes, and judgments of others.
We have to strive
to be our truest self. We have to hear and heed the
advice of Children's
Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman: "You
were born God's
original. Try not to become someone's copy."
self - self
2 - self 4
Compare not yourself with anybody else
lest you spoil God's curriculum.
dad always used to say, "If you take a step and it
you must be headed in the right direction." What
he wanted us
to understand was that we needed to measure our progress
an inner compass, using our feelings, our comfort level, and
knowledge of ourselves as the ultimate guide. . . .
I've spent most of my adult life trying to hear
that inner voice
above the noise around me. . . . It says softly that
as simple as having something to look forward to in the
It says, in a low murmur I sometimes have to strain to hear,
that now is the time to have fun.
self exists both inside and outside the physical
just as an image exists inside and outside the
the Ashtavakra Gits
you be a pilgrim on the road to Love? The first condition
is that you make yourself as
humble as dust and ashes.
Ansari of Herat
I will cease to live
as a self and will take
as my self my fellow-creatures.
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Thinkers - the people behind the words
Rather than fitting one's life into the
demands of external conformity,
rather than living one's
life as an imitation of the life of another, one
look to find the authentic self within. One should
develop one's own unique style in crafting one's
soul. An individual
who denies his or her own individuality
articulates life with a voice
other than that which is
uniquely his or her own. One who suppresses
self is in danger of missing the point of one's own
of surrendering what being human means.
Byron L. Sherwin
When we cannot find contentment in ourselves it
is useless to seek it elsewhere.
culture we have does not make people feel good about
themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say
if the culture
doesn't work, don't buy it.
I ever heard the term "emotional dependence," I
knew that, in some
mysterious way, I turned my life over to other people. It
didn't matter who
they were--my parents, husband, kids, friends, coworkers. If
they were happy
with me, then I could be
happy. If they approved of me, then I felt worthwhile.
If they granted permission, then I believed it was okay for
me to do or be something.
I looked to others for approval before feeling confident
enough to take a step or a
stand. I wasn't myself; I was whoever I thought the person I
was trying to please
wanted me to be. Since I wasn't a mind reader, no matter
what form I pretzeled
myself into, I wasn't able to please everyone all of the
time. But I tried. That's emotional dependence!
Denying or sacrificing ourselves on the altar of others'
expectations--or what we
perceive to be their expectations--leaves us with no self.
Without an awareness of
our self, the courage to express who we are, and the willingness to experience the
discomfort and exhilaration that follows, we are not truly
living. We are existing
merely as mirrors, reflecting other people's lives. Until we
are willing to be our
unique and beautiful (and, sometimes, ugly and mundane)
selves, we cannot truly
love either ourselves or others, and love is what life is
Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live
with all your life. Make the most of yourself by
fanning the tiny, inner
sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.
Foster C. Mcclellan
most important aspect is to be yourself and have confidence
in yourself. . . . Triumph can't be had without the
painfully dug up the entire field
so that I could plant my own crop.
on self-knowledge is not easy. Often, the harder
it is, the more important it is. We dig up
things we would rather not see. We resist the
pain. We have a choice between a lifetime dull
ache and a brief acute confrontation.
We settle for the familiar and confuse boredom with
We all have unexpected moments of insight. "Oh,
that's what that was all about." Few of
us seem to be willing to push deeper.
People who refuse to do their personal homework reap
crops sown in the past by their parents' influence and
other powerful experiences. Unwilling to dig
deep enough to set their own values and perceptions,
they are caught forever working over the same small
parts of their past.
Do your homework. Self-knowledge is for the
purpose of contributing. You can change your
perception of the past to bring peace to your present
and our future.
Is the Quality of Your Journey
am convinced, both by faith and experience, that to maintain
one's self on
the earth is not a hardship but a pastime--if we live simply
Henry David Thoreau
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|There is a dangerous threat in the air these
of our being thought for,
regulated, pushed around,
made into Things.
There is only one weapon against
that. The weapon is the Self—the unique and incalculable
reality that is a human soul.
Eric Manners (1953)
along the line of development we discover what we
really are, and then we make our real decision for which we
responsible. Make that decision primarily for
you can never really live anyone else's life, not even your
child's. The influence you exert is through your
own life and what you become yourself.
self - self
2 - self 4
exist. I am. I am here. I am becoming.
I make my life and no one
else makes it for me. I must face my own shortcomings,
transgressions. No one can suffer my non-being as I
do, but tomorrow
is another day, and I must decide to leave my bed and live
And if I fail, I don’t have the comfort of blaming you or
life or God.
Over the years, I have come to realize that
the greatest trap in our life is not
success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection.
Success, popularity, and
power can indeed present a great temptation, but their
seductive quality often
comes from the way they are part of the much larger
temptation to self-rejection.
When we have come to believe in the voices that call us
worthless and unlovable,
then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as
The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as
someone accuses me or
criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or
abandoned, I find myself
thinking, "Well, that proves once again that I am a
nobody. I am no good. . . I
deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and
is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it
contradicts the sacred voice
that calls us the "Beloved." Being the Beloved
the core truth of our existence.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
In thinking of ourselves as divided into “I” and “me,” we easily forget that
consciousness also lives because it is moving. It is as much a part and
product of the stream of change as the body and the whole natural world.
If you look at it carefully, you will see that consciousness—the thing you
call “I”—is really a stream of experiences, of sensations, thoughts, and
feelings in constant motion. But because these experiences include
memories, we have the impression that “I” is something solid and still,
like a tablet upon which life is writing a record.
The Wisdom of Insecurity