Devastating Love Quotes

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In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Did I really want to stay on this road longer, knowing it was only going to end in devastation?
Becca Fitzpatrick (Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2))
The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
livid, adj. Fuck You for cheating on me. Fuck you for reducing it to the word cheating. As if this were a card game, and you sneaked a look at my hand. Who came up with the term cheating, anyway? A cheater, I imagine. Someone who thought liar was too harsh. Someone who thought devastator was too emotional. The same person who thought, oops, he’d gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Fuck you. This isn’t about slipping yourself an extra twenty dollars of Monopoly money. These are our lives. You went and broke our lives. You are so much worse than a cheater. You killed something. And you killed it when its back was turned.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Love thy neighbor -- and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.
Mae West
Accepting death doesn't mean you won't be devastated when someone you love dies. It means you will be able to focus on your grief, unburdened by bigger existential questions like, "Why do people die?" and "Why is this happening to me?" Death isn't happening to you. Death is happening to us all.
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory)
Love isn’t only love, sweetheart. It’s hard work, and trust, and tears, with even a few glimpses of devastation. But at the end of each day, if you can still look at the person at your side and can’t imagine anyone else you’d rather have there, the pain and heartache and the ups and downs of love are worth it.
Nicole Williams (Clash (Crash, #2))
The way of love is not a subtle argument. The door there is devastation. Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall, and falling, they're given wings.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
It was the year they fell into devastating love. Neither one could do anything except think about the other, dream about the other, and wait for letters with the same impatience they felt when they answered them.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
Often it feels like I am breathing today only because a few years back I had no idea which nerve to cut...
Sanhita Baruah
I think anyone who opened their heart enough to love without restraint and subsequently were devastated by loss knows that in that moment you are forever changed; a apart of you is no longer whole. Some will never again love with that level of abandon where life is perceived as innocent and the threat of loss seems implausible. Love and loss, therefore, are linked.
Donna Lynn Hope
Love is the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is not found only at the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arched across the sky on a stormy day. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, and neighbors! Love, like faith, is a gift of God. It is also the most enduring and most powerful virtue.
Gordon B. Hinckley (Standing for Something: Ten Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes)
One day, I learned that a single look can change everything. And since then I have seen it countless times. I have grappled to understand it and failed. For instance, all it took was a look from another man for my wife to fall out of love with me. It baffles me that a simple alignment of eyes can cause so much devastation.
Ali Shaw (The Girl With Glass Feet)
Would you love to hear that I really like you?" he asked. My heart skipped a beat, but I ignored the stupid organ. "Would you be sad if I said no?" "I'd be devastated.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash, #1))
Something in our nature cries out to be loved by another. Isolation is devastating to the human psyche. That is why solitary confinement is considered the cruelest of punishments.
Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts)
HYPOTHESIS: When given a choice between A (a slightly inconveniencing situation) and B (a colossal shitshow with devastating consequences), I will inevitably end up selecting B.
Ali Hazelwood (The Love Hypothesis)
To love someone is firstly to confess: I'm prepared to be devastated by you.
Billy-Ray Belcourt (A History of My Brief Body)
Love is quite violent. It is so painful at times, so devastating. And there is nothing worse or better. We find the highs and lows equally unbearable. But then again, the absence of them is more so.
Danielle Steel
Damon, leather and silk and fine chiseled features. Mercurial and devastating.
L.J. Smith
Her voice trembled. “I’m so glad you’re mine. I won’t ever let you go.” This time, it was Kaleb who said, “I know,” devastated at being so wanted. “You are just a little possessive.
Nalini Singh (Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, #12))
Loving someone should never end in all-consuming devastation.
Tina Reber (Love Unrehearsed (Love, #2))
Shame resilience is the ability to say, “This hurts. This is disappointing, maybe even devastating. But success and recognition and approval are not the values that drive me. My value is courage and I was just courageous. You can move on, shame.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Do you see now? You’re always giving me things that remind you of me, but I’m over here stealing things that remind me of you. I’m not humoring you, Bree. I’m not taking this lightly. I’m so devastatingly in love with you, it hurts sometimes—and I have been since high school.
Sarah Adams (The Cheat Sheet)
Plunging into the depths of hell, re-opening the gates to wounds and emotions that we have long tried to keep sealed and locked within, we discover that that the devil is not the Herculean ruler of darkness that we had imagined, but only a vulnerable and devastated child. With honesty and without judgment, we must muster the courage to meet this innocent child with whom we have come to label as the devil.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.
Robert E. Lee
And life was too short to play chicken with something as important as the person you loved.
Sophie Gonzales (Only Mostly Devastated)
And I learned that sometimes when someone says something so devastatingly perfect, there isn't a need for a response. The words said it all.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opal (Lux, #3))
Forgive my indifference; I'd rather be distant than devastated.
Ahmed Mostafa
I was thinking about framing, and how so much of what we think about our lives and our personal histories revolves around how we frame it. The lens we see it through, or the way we tell our own stories. We mythologize ourselves. So I was thinking about Persephone's story, and how different it would be if you told it only from the perspective of Hades. Same story, but it would probably be unrecognizable. Demeter's would be about loss and devastation. Hades's would be about love.
Kiersten White (The Chaos of Stars)
Millie told me once that the ability to devastate is what makes a song beautiful. Maybe that’s what makes life beautiful too. The ability to devastate. Maybe that’s how we know we’ve lived. How we know we’ve truly loved.
Amy Harmon (The Song of David (The Law of Moses, #2))
Scorned and torn, former love mates aim and shoot childish devastating daggers that penetrate beyond target to pierce the heart of their offspring.
T.F. Hodge (From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph over Death and Conscious Encounters With the Divine Presence)
Love is a religion, and its rituals cost more than those of other religions. It goes by quickly and, like a street urchin, it likes to mark its passage by a trail of devastation.
Honoré de Balzac (Père Goriot)
Love finds you in the forgiveness at the tail end of a fight. Love finds you in the empathy you feel for someone else. Love finds you in the embrace that follows a tragedy. Love finds you in the celebration after the conquering of an illness. Love finds you in the devastation after the surrender to an illness.
Colleen Hoover (Too Late)
Losing a mate to death is devastating but it's not a personal attack like divorce. When somebody you love stops loving you and walks away, it's an insult beyond comparison.
Sue Merrell (Great News Town (A Jordan Daily News Mystery, #1))
if I had fallen in love with a lie, I would’ve been devastated. I just wish he wasn’t such a bad guy. But then he’d be a different man—a man you might not be able to love.
H.D. Carlton (Haunting Adeline (Cat and Mouse, #1))
Love can be a form of self-harm. Craving affection can devastate
Mohamed Ghazi (Honest)
I couldn‘t make sense of the mess in my head. Diego was dead, and that was the main thing, the devastating thing. Other than that, the fight was over, my coven had lost and my enemies had won. But my dead coven was full of people who would have loved to watch me burn, and my enemies were speaking to me kindly when they had no reason to.
Stephenie Meyer (The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (The Twilight Saga, #3.5))
And I was happy...and devastatingly sad too. It was hard, watching someone you had once loved, loving someone else, and loving them more than they'd loved you. But, really, that's exactly what I'd done to Denny with Kellan -Kiera
S.C. Stephens (Effortless (Thoughtless, #2))
The Wind Will Carry Us In my night, so brief, alas The wind is about to meet the leaves. My night so brief is filled with devastating anguish Hark! Do you hear the whisper of the shadows? This happiness feels foreign to me. I am accustomed to despair. Hark! Do you hear the whisper of the shadows? There, in the night, something is happening The moon is red and anxious. And, clinging to this roof That could collapse at any moment, The clouds, like a crowd of mourning women, Await the birth of the rain. One second, and then nothing. Behind this window, The night trembles And the earth stops spinning. Behind this window, a stranger Worries about me and you. You in your greenery, Lay your hands – those burning memories – On my loving hands. And entrust your lips, replete with life's warmth, To the touch of my loving lips The wind will carry us! The wind will carry us!
Forugh Farrokhzad
His touch both consoles and devastates me; I feel my heart pulse, then wither, naked as a stone on the roaring mattress while the lovely, moony night slides through the window to dapple the flanks of this innocent who makes cages to keep the sweet birds in. Eat me, drink me; thirsty, cankered, goblin-ridden, I go back and back to him to have his fingers strip the tattered skin away and clothe me in his dress of water, this garment that drenches me, its slithering odour, its capacity for drowning.
Angela Carter (The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories)
Rejection—It may be a delay. It may be a distraction. It may even be a devastation for a season but it is not your final destination.
Lysa TerKeurst (Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely)
I have to figure out why I worked at a job I hated for years. I have to find out why I can’t see what everyone else sees in me. I don’t feel beautiful. When I look in the mirror, I never saw beautiful. For this to happen to someone like me, it’s devastating, Jonas. I don’t want you to think it’s vanity, it isn’t. I can’t see me and I need to be able to do that. I need to find out what I’m like and what I want. I have to be comfortable in my own skin before I can be in a relationship the way you want.
Christine Feehan (Safe Harbor (Drake Sisters, #5))
We are all too often told by someone that we are too old, too young, too different, too much the same, and those comments can be devastating.
Sharon Salzberg (The Force of Kindness: Change Your Life with Love & Compassion)
And in such bliss does devastation grow.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
I was trying to come round to the idea that there might be an invisible reality capable of interfering in our lives, but the only reason I did so was because of a love I didn't want to believe I felt but which was continuing to grow in a subtle, devastating way. I was content in my universe and didn't want to change it at all, even though I was being propelled in that direction.
Paulo Coelho (The Witch of Portobello)
I shan't mind if you don't," he agreed. "But I'll not let you go, Prudence. Til not pester you, but know this: I will wait until you choose to listen to your heart." "Pshaw." It was a feeble effort. She took a deep breath and tried again. "Humbug! How can you presume to know my heart?" He smiled a slow, devastating smile. "You are my heart." He lifted her hand and kissed it. "And our hearts beat in tune. I know it—I, who used not to believe in such things. And you know it.
Anne Gracie (The Perfect Rake (The Merridew Sisters, #1))
He had illuminated the heartbreaking cruelty of war: When men who fight become nothing, only packages of bones and blood deposited in the earth with no clarion call to memory, those they love are left without a way to make such devastating loss hold meaning.
Patricia O'Brien (The Glory Cloak: A Novel of Louisa May Alcott and Clara Barton)
Fireflies out on a warm summer's night, seeing the urgent, flashing, yellow-white phosphorescence below them, go crazy with desire; moths cast to the winds an enchantment potion that draws the opposite sex, wings beating hurriedly, from kilometers away; peacocks display a devastating corona of blue and green and the peahens are all aflutter; competing pollen grains extrude tiny tubes that race each other down the female flower's orifice to the waiting egg below; luminescent squid present rhapsodic light shows, altering the pattern, brightness and color radiated from their heads, tentacles, and eyeballs; a tapeworm diligently lays a hundred thousand fertilized eggs in a single day; a great whale rumbles through the ocean depths uttering plaintive cries that are understood hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, where another lonely behemoth is attentively listening; bacteria sidle up to one another and merge; cicadas chorus in a collective serenade of love; honeybee couples soar on matrimonial flights from which only one partner returns; male fish spray their spunk over a slimy clutch of eggs laid by God-knows-who; dogs, out cruising, sniff each other's nether parts, seeking erotic stimuli; flowers exude sultry perfumes and decorate their petals with garish ultraviolet advertisements for passing insects, birds, and bats; and men and women sing, dance, dress, adorn, paint, posture, self-mutilate, demand, coerce, dissemble, plead, succumb, and risk their lives. To say that love makes the world go around is to go too far. The Earth spins because it did so as it was formed and there has been nothing to stop it since. But the nearly maniacal devotion to sex and love by most of the plants, animals, and microbes with which we are familiar is a pervasive and striking aspect of life on Earth. It cries out for explanation. What is all this in aid of? What is the torrent of passion and obsession about? Why will organisms go without sleep, without food, gladly put themselves in mortal danger for sex? ... For more than half the history of life on Earth organisms seem to have done perfectly well without it. What good is sex?... Through 4 billion years of natural selection, instructions have been honed and fine-tuned...sequences of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts, manuals written out in the alphabet of life in competition with other similar manuals published by other firms. The organisms become the means through which the instructions flow and copy themselves, by which new instructions are tried out, on which selection operates. 'The hen,' said Samuel Butler, 'is the egg's way of making another egg.' It is on this level that we must understand what sex is for. ... The sockeye salmon exhaust themselves swimming up the mighty Columbia River to spawn, heroically hurdling cataracts, in a single-minded effort that works to propagate their DNA sequences into future generation. The moment their work is done, they fall to pieces. Scales flake off, fins drop, and soon--often within hours of spawning--they are dead and becoming distinctly aromatic. They've served their purpose. Nature is unsentimental. Death is built in.
Carl Sagan (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: Earth Before Humans by ANN DRUYAN' 'CARL SAGAN (1992-05-03))
Love has an immense ability to help heal the devastating wounds that life sometimes deals us. Love also enhances our sense of connection to the larger world. Loving responsiveness is the foundation of a truly compassionate, civilized society.
Sue Johnson (Hold Me Tight: Your Guide to the Most Successful Approach to Building Loving Relationships)
At the beginning of the decade, the people I was close to seemed like friends for life, people I could never imagine not seeing every day. But life happens. Love happens. Loss happens. Change and growth happen at different paces for different people, and sometimes the paces just don’t line up. It’s devastating if I think too much about it, so I usually don’t.
Jennette McCurdy (I'm Glad My Mom Died)
And he took me home and kissed me till my heart looked like pulp and we undressed each other from the inside out and we loved till it was brimming and mama, it was a disaster and it was devastating and it was light.
Azra T.
Apathy is incompatible with hate. Love works okay.
Sophie Gonzales (Only Mostly Devastated)
Now would you do me a favor?' From somewhere inside me came this devastating assault to make me cry. But I withstood. I would not cry. I would merely indicate to Jennifer - by the affirmative nodding of my head - that I would be happy to do her any favor whatsoever. 'Would you please hold me very tight?' she asked. I put my hand on her forearm - Christ, so thin - and gave it a little squeeze. 'No, Oliver,' she said, 'really hold me. Next to me.'I was very, very careful - of the tubes and things - as I got onto the bed with her and put my arms around her. 'Thanks, Ollie.' Those were her last words.
Erich Segal (Love Story (Love Story, #1))
The best thing for disturbances of the spirit is to learn. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love and lose your moneys to a monster, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then--to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the poor mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.
T.H. White (The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King, #1))
No whim of fate, no Freudian trauma, no loss of a loved one will be as devastating to the human spirit as some prolonged ambivalent relationship that leaves us forever unable to say goodbye.
George E. Vaillant (Adaptation to Life)
The most important thing in defining child sexual abuse is the experience of the child. It takes very little for a child’s world to be devastated. A single experience can have a profound impact on a child’s life. A man sticks his hand in his daughter’s underpants, or strokes his son’s penis once, and for that child, the world is never the same again.
Laura Hough (Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child)
We have to take ownership for our words. Words are powerful. They can be devastating. If your words carry hate--if they shame others, if they make them doubt that they are loved--Hannah, you don't want to own words like that.
Kelly Quindlen (Her Name in the Sky)
Real love will take you far beyond yourself; and therefore real love will devastate you.
Ken Wilber
Well, when someone you love needs you, you step up, right?
Sophie Gonzales (Only Mostly Devastated)
He loved her. And she loved him. And in such bliss does devastation grow.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
And your girl,” he says, cocking his head at me. “Your Juliette?” I flinch at the sound of her name. My pulse is racing so fast it feels like a whisper. “If I were to shoot three holes in her head, how would that make you feel?” He stares at me. Watches me. “Disappointed, because you’d have lost your pet project? Or devastated, because you’d have lost the girl you love?
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
What am I?" he asked. "I am Edmund Herondale, and, my lady, I am always and forever at your service. If you will have me." He smiled, and the smile was slow and devastating. In the dark narrow street long past midnight, his eyes were high summer.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
Maybe now I really understood why Elizabeth had run from me all of these months, why she would never allow herself to believe. A love as intense as the one we shared, one that had not dimmed through years of betrayal but had only grown, was terrifying. We had the power to destroy, to devastate and ruin, to lay the other to waste. But I wasn’t running.
A.L. Jackson (Take This Regret (Take This Regret, #1))
All too often, we mask truth in artifice, concealing ourselves for fear of losing the ones we love or prolonging a deception for those we wish to expose. We hide behind that which brings us comfort from pain and sadness or use it to repel a truth too devastating to accept.
Emily Thorne
This woman enabled her husband to cheat, and she wasn't doing either one of them any favors. Instead of leaving him, she would take him home, scold him, and then carry on with business as usual. Inside though, she would be hurting. No woman could love a cheater and not pay the price for it.
Rose Wynters (Delicate Devastation (The Endurers, #3))
I had only to remember that centuries before, men fell in battle for the daughter of Troy, that passions carried greater weight than decorum. It took so little to prove that human life and property are devastatingly temporary. All she had to do was lie down for a prince. They burned the city to the ground.
Brenna Yovanoff
I know you are hurting. Believe me, I know how it feels to get your emotional teeth kicked down your throat so far that it makes you choke on the last shred of your dignity. That sick feeling in your gut that tells you, you can´t take it anymore. That life sucks hard and it won´t ever get better. That you´re walking on the tightrope, trying to hang on with your toes ´cause you ain´t got no safety net, and you´re barely one sneeze away from being a stain on the floor. But you´re not alone. You´re not. You´ve got a lot of people who care about you. People who love you and who would be devastated if something ever happened to you.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, #3))
Maybe instead, I wanted the kind of love that devastates you. The kind that rips your insides open and leaves you gutted, out in the cold. Maybe I wanted that great, epic, once-in-a-lifetime love, that consumes with the brightest of flames. And maybe, even though I knew the hottest fires often burn out the fastest, even though it couldn’t last… it was worth it. People say love isn’t supposed to be painful. But maybe the best things in life are the ones that hurt the most after they’re gone.
Julie Johnson (Say the Word)
Maybe some hidden, fragmented part of me had feared that if I admitted to Bones how much he truly meant to me, then I'd be acknowledging to myself that he had the power to destroy me more thoroughly than anyone, even Apollyon or the vampire council, could. All the rest of the world could only kill or devastate my mind and body. Bones alone held the power to demolish my soul.
Jeaniene Frost (This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5))
When a child is forced to prove himself as capable, results are often disastrous. A child needs love, acceptance, and understanding. He is devastated when confronted with rejection, doubts, and never ending testing.
Virginia M. Axline
I love your laugh. I want to hear it every day. I want to be through all this darkness and devastation. I want happiness now. I want our due. I want what we’ve deserved from the beginning.” He paused and stared deep into her eyes, willing her to understand how much he loved her. “I want you.
Sarah MacLean (No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (The Rules of Scoundrels, #3))
He was playing a character I had invented, which is somewhat telling. In desperate love, it's always like this, isn't it? In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding that they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place...
Elizabeth Gilbert
Love is the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is more than the end of the rainbow. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shinning through death.
Gordon B. Hinckley
Do you think love just goes away? Pops out of existence when it becomes too painful or inconvenient, as if you never felt it?” I looked at him. What did Jericho Barrons know of love? “If only it did. If only it could be turned off. It’s not a faucet. Love’s a bloody river with level-five rapids. Only a catastrophic act of nature or a dam has any chance of stopping it—and then usually only succeeds in diverting it. Both measures are extreme and change the terrain so much you end up wondering why you bothered. No landmarks to gauge your position when it’s done. Only way to survive is to devise new ways to map out life. You loved her yesterday, you love her today. And she did something that devastates you. You’ll love her tomorrow.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
Accepting death doesn’t mean that you won’t be devastated when someone you love dies. It means you will be able to focus on your grief, unburdened by bigger existential questions like “Why do people die?” and “Why is this happening to me?” Death isn’t happening to you. Death is happening to us all.
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory)
He gave her a quick devastating kiss, then drew back, the look in his eyes making her melt. "You know what I want? I want to enjoy you, Chloe. Everything about you, for the rest of my life. Learn all the miracles that make you who you are. Be your best friend, your lover, your everything. I'll worship you, protect you and love you til the day I die. And then I'll defy whatever higher powers are out there to try and keep me away from you, because I won't even let death come between us." "Wow," she whispered, completely dazzled. "And you're going to marry me." "Her eyes went wide, "I am?" "Oh, yeah," he breathed out.
Rhyannon Byrd (Touch of Temptation (Primal Instinct, #6))
I love you,” he whispered as he thrust again. And again. Each movement controlled. Each small movement devastating in its effect. “I love you.” She lost all concept of time. She lost her place and surroundings. She couldn’t remember who he was—who she was. She lost her mind.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4))
She wore a killer smile, absolutely devastating. It was a smile that could twist a man’s heart. A man could fall in love just being on the receiving end of that smile. A man would want to see the smile every day and be the one who could make it appear. He would want it all to himself.
Harlan Coben (Six Years)
It is the first visit in many years for your son, finally a citizen of his new country and free to travel, and you try to suppress your undercurrent of resentment at his decision to absent himself from your presence in so devastatingly severe a manner. You feel a love you know you will never be able to adequately explain or express to him, a love that flows one way down the generations, not in reverse, and is understood and reciprocated only when time has made of a younger generation an older one.
Mohsin Hamid (How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia)
I start to cross the street, stop, turn back. "You are not what I thought." He smiles. A devastatingly beautiful smile. I race across the street to my apartment building, to home, to safety. Because that smile scares me for reasons I can't explain. I only know that it makes me want to see him smile again.
J.A. London (Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn #1))
By definition, a human being is endowed with free will. He can use this to choose between good and evil. If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange - meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil or (since this is increasingly replacing both) the Almighty State. It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil. The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities. This is what the television news is all about. Unfortunately there is so much original sin in us all that we find evil rather attractive. To devastate is easier and more spectacular than to create.
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
It was a warship, after all. It was built, designed to glory in destruction, when it was considered appropriate. It found, as it was rightly and properly supposed to, an awful beauty in both the weaponry of war and the violence and devastation which that weaponry was capable of inflicting, and yet it knew that attractiveness stemmed from a kind of insecurity, a sort of childishness. It could see that—by some criteria—a warship, just by the perfectly articulated purity of its purpose, was the most beautiful single artifact the Culture was capable of producing, and at the same time understand the paucity of moral vision such a judgment implied. To fully appreciate the beauty of the weapon was to admit to a kind of shortsightedness close to blindness, to confess to a sort of stupidity. The weapon was not itself; nothing was solely itself. The weapon, like anything else, could only finally be judged by the effect it had on others, by the consequences it produced in some outside context, by its place in the rest of the universe. By this measure the love, or just the appreciation, of weapons was a kind of tragedy.
Iain M. Banks (Excession (Culture, #5))
I force my eyes upward and look at Mia for the first time. She's still beautiful. Not in an obvious Vanessa LeGrande or Bryn Shraeder kind of way. In a quiet way that's always been devastating to me. Her hair, long and dark, is down now, swimming damply against her bare shoulders, which are still milky white and covered with the constellation of freckles that I used to kiss. The scar on her left shoulder, the one that used to be an angry red weld is silvery pink now. Almost like the latest rage in tattoo accessories. Almost pretty.
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
All my tendencies are deadly ones, he once said to me, everything in me has a deadly tendency to it, it's in my genes, as Wertheimer said, I thought. He always read books that were obsessed with suicide, with disease and death, I thought while standing in the inn, books that described human misery, the hopeless, meaningless, senseless world in which everything is always devastating and deadly. That's why he especially loved Dostoevsky and all his disciples, Russian literature in general, because it actually is a deadly literature, but also the depressing French philosophers.
Thomas Bernhard (The Loser)
The most effective weapon a parent has to control a child is the withdrawal of love or its threat. A young child between the ages of three and six is too dependent on parental love and approval to resist this pressure. Robert's mother, as we saw earlier, controlled him by "cutting him out." Margaret's mother beat her into submission, but it was the loss of her father's love that devastated her. Whatever the means parents use, the result is that the child is forced to give up his instinctual longing, to suppress his sexual desires for one parent and his hostility toward the other. In their place he will develop feelings of guilt about his sexuality and fear of authority figures. This surrender constitutes an acceptance of parental power and authority and a submission to the parents' values and demands. The child becomes "good", which means that he gives up his sexual orientation in favor of one directed toward achievement. Parental authority is introjected in the form of a superego, ensuring that the child will follow his parents' wishes in the acculturation process. In effect, the child now identifies with the threatening parent. Freud says, "The whole process, on the one hand, preserves the genital organ wards off the danger of losing it; on the other hand, it paralyzes it, takes its function away from it.
Alexander Lowen (Fear Of Life)
I don't know what's wrong with me tonight. I feel off, unbalanced. Aching for something. I'm losing sight of my purpose, my sense of direction. I always tell myself that I'm fighting every day for hope, for the salvation of humanity, but every time I survive only to return to yet more loss and devastation, something comes loose inside of me. It's like the people and places I love are the nuts and bolts keeping me upright; without them, I'm just scrap metal.
Tahereh Mafi (Reveal Me (Shatter Me, #5.5))
My spirituality is most active, not in meditation, but in the moments when: I realize God may have gotten something beautiful done through me despite the fact that I am an asshole, and when I am confronted by the mercy of the gospel so much that I cannot hate my enemies, and when I am unable to judge the sin of someone else (which, let’s be honest, I love to do) because my own crap is too much in the way, and when I have to bear witness to another human being’s suffering despite my desire to be left alone, and when I am forgiven by someone even though I don’t deserve it and my forgiver does this because he, too, is trapped by the gospel, and when traumatic things happen in the world and I have nowhere to place them or make sense of them but what I do have is a group of people who gather with me every week, people who will mourn and pray with me over the devastation of something like a school shooting, and when I end up changed by loving someone I’d never choose out of a catalog but whom God sends my way to teach me about God’s love.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People)
I have heard people suggest that because humans are natural that everything humans do or create is natural. Chainsaws are natural. Nuclear bombs are natural. Our economics is natural. Sex slavery is natural. Asphalt is natural. Cars are natural. Polluted water is natural. A devastated world is natural. A devasted phyche is natural. Unbridled exploitation is natural. Pure objectification is natural. This is, of course, nonsense. We are embedded in the natural world. We evolved as social creatures in this natural world. We require clean water to drink, or we die. We require clean air to breathe, or we die. We require food, or we die. We require love, affection, social contact in order to become our full selves. It is part of our evolutionary legacy as social creatures. Anything that helps us to understand all of this is natural: Any ritual, artifact, process, action is natural, to the degree that it reinforces our understanding of our embeddedness in the natural world, and any ritual, artifact, process, action is unnatural, to the degree that it does not
Derrick Jensen (The Culture of Make Believe)
It is never too early to start thinking about your own death and the deaths of those you love. I don’t mean thinking about death in obsessive loops, fretting that your husband has been crushed in a horrific car accident, or that your plane will catch fire and plummet from the sky. But rational interaction, that ends with you realizing that you will survive the worst, whatever the worst may be. Accepting death doesn’t mean that you won’t be devastated when someone you love dies. It means you will be able to focus on your grief, unburdened by bigger existential questions like “Why do people die?” and “Why is this happening to me?” Death isn’t happening to you. Death is happening to us all.
Caitlin Doughty
Know that...there's plenty of food and of course popcorn on the dining-room table. Just...help yourself. If that runs out just let me know. Don't panic. And there's coffee, both caff and decaf, and soft drinks and juice in the kitchen, and plenty of ice in the freezer so...let me know if you have any questions with that.' And lastly, since I have you all here in one place, I have something to share with you. Along the garden ways just now...I too heard the flowers speak. They told me that our family garden has all but turned to sand. I want you to know I've watered and nurtured this square of earth for nearly twenty years, and waited on my knees each spring for these gentle bulbs to rise, reborn. But want does not bring such breath to life. Only love does. The plain, old-fashioned kind. In our family garden my husband is of the genus Narcissus , which includes daffodils and jonquils and a host of other ornamental flowers. There is, in such a genus of man, a pervasive and well-known pattern of grandiosity and egocentrism that feeds off this very kind of evening, this type of glitzy generosity. People of this ilk are very exciting to be around. I have never met anyone with as many friends as my husband. He made two last night at Carvel. I'm not kidding. Where are you two? Hi. Hi, again. Welcome. My husband is a good man, isn't he? He is. But in keeping with his genus, he is also absurdly preoccupied with his own importance, and in staying loyal to this, he can be boastful and unkind and condescending and has an insatiable hunger to be seen as infallible. Underlying all of the constant campaigning needed to uphold this position is a profound vulnerability that lies at the very core of his psyche. Such is the narcissist who must mask his fears of inadequacy by ensuring that he is perceived to be a unique and brilliant stone. In his offspring he finds the grave limits he cannot admit in himself. And he will stop at nothing to make certain that his child continually tries to correct these flaws. In actuality, the child may be exceedingly intelligent, but has so fully developed feelings of ineptitude that he is incapable of believing in his own possibilities. The child's innate sense of self is in great jeopardy when this level of false labeling is accepted. In the end the narcissist must compensate for this core vulnerability he carries and as a result an overestimation of his own importance arises. So it feeds itself, cyclically. And, when in the course of life they realize that their views are not shared or thier expectations are not met, the most common reaction is to become enraged. The rage covers the fear associated with the vulnerable self, but it is nearly impossible for others to see this, and as a result, the very recognition they so crave is most often out of reach. It's been eighteen years that I've lived in service to this mindset. And it's been devastating for me to realize that my efforts to rise to these standards and demands and preposterous requests for perfection have ultimately done nothing but disappoint my husband. Put a person like this with four developing children and you're gonna need more than love poems and ice sculpture to stay afloat. Trust me. So. So, we're done here.
Joshua Braff (The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green)
Getting in touch with the lovelessness within and letting that lovelessness speak its pain is one way to begin again on love's journey. In relationships, whether heterosexual or homosexual, the partner who is hurting often finds that their mate is unwilling to 'hear' the pain. Women often tell me that they feel emotionally beaten down when their partners refuse to listen or talk. When women communicate from a place of pain, it is often characterized as 'nagging.' Sometimes women hear repeatedly that their partners are 'sick of listening to this shit.' Both cases undermine self-esteem. Those of us who were wounded in childhood often were shamed and humiliated when we expressed hurt. It is emotionally devastating when the partners we have chosen will not listen. Usually, partners who are unable to respond compassionately when hearing us speak our pain, whether they understand it or not, are unable to listen because that expressed hurt triggers their own feelings of powerlessness and helplessness. Many men never want to feel helpless or vulnerable. They will, at times, choose to silence a partner with violence rather than witness emotional vulnerability. When a couple can identify this dynamic, they can work on the issue of caring, listening to each other's pain by engaging in short conversations at appropriate times (i.e., it's useless to try and speak your pain to someone who is bone weary, irritable, reoccupied, etc.). Setting a time when both individuals come together to engage in compassionate listening enhances communication and connection. When we are committed to doing the work of love we listen even when it hurts.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn—pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard lifetimes in biology and medicine and theocriticism and geography and history and economics—why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it is time to learn to plough.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
The hard part is that I lost myself. In the midst of life happening all around me, I lost the ability to be okay, I lost the ability to trust. I lost the ability to love myself, and when that happens, you lose everything. And when the one person in the entire world who loves you unconditionally is gone, then you start wondering who will love you? And then when you start wondering, you get scared that you have to even ask that question. But since you have already asked yourself that, you can’t ignore it. Who will love you now? Who could possibly love everything about you, now that the only person in the world who could, is gone? Hell, you don’t even love yourself. Why would someone else? And then when you realize that, the relationship you’re in seems pointless. Because you start believing that they won’t ever be able to withstand your problems and craziness. And then that snowballs to even more insecurities and fear, and you feel trapped in this broken body that can’t ever be healed. And then you feel lost, torn, broken, unfixable, damaged, and like nothing in the entire world could ever possibly be okay again. Because you know from the past, that even when everything seems okay, another devastating blow comes around again and knocks you back down. So you feel even smaller, even weaker. By that point you’re at the bottom, you’re looking up in tears, ready to scream for help. But you’re not sure who’s going to be there, and if the person who does show up, is going to be the person you need, the person who’s going to pick you up, and help you heal. And then you realize again, that you lost yourself. That in the midst of life happening all around you, you lost ability to be okay.
Sabrina K
And are you thirsty,” she asked, “or were you merely being polite?” “I am always polite,” he said with a wicked grin, “but I am thirsty as well.” Kate took one look at that grin, lethally combined with those devastating green eyes, and nearly groaned. “You are a rake as well,” she said with a sigh. Colin choked— on what, she did not know, but he choked nonetheless. “I beg your pardon?” Kate’s face flushed as she realized with horror that she’d spoken aloud. “No, it is I who should beg your pardon. Please forgive me. That was unforgivably rude.” “No, no,” he said quickly, looking terribly interested and not a little bit amused, “do continue.” Kate swallowed. There was really no way to get out of it now. “I was merely—” She cleared her throat. “If I might be frank . . .” He nodded, his sly grin telling her that he could not imagine her being anything but frank. Kate cleared her throat yet again. Really, this was getting ridiculous. She was starting to sound as if she’d swallowed a toad. “It had occurred to me that you might be rather like your brother, that is all.” “My brother?” “The viscount,” she said, thinking it must be obvious. “I have three brothers,” he explained. “Oh.” Now she felt stupid. “I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry, too,” he said with great feeling. “Most of the time they’re a dreadful nuisance.” -Kate & Colin
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
In a devastating of example critical thinking gone bad, highly educated, deeply caring parents avoid the vaccinations that would protect their children from killer diseases. I love critical thinking and I admire scepticism, but only in a framework that respects evidence. So if you are sceptical about the measles vaccinations, I ask you to do two things. First, make sure you know what it looks like when a child dies of measles. Most children who catch measles recover, but there is still no cure and even with the best modern medicine, one or two in every thousand will die from it. Second, ask yourself, “What kind of evidence would convince me change my mind about vaccination. If the answer is ‘no evidence could ever change my mind about vaccination,” then you are putting yourself outside evidence-based rationality, outside the very critical thinking that first brought you to this point. In that case, to be consistent in your scepticism about science, next time you have an operation please ask your surgeon not to bother washing her hands.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
During my travels in India I met a man at an ashram who was about 45-50. A little older than everyone else. He tells me a story. He had retired and he was traveling on a motorcycle with his wife on the back. While stopped at a red light, a truck ran into them from behind and killed his wife. He was badly injured and almost died. He went into a coma and it was unclear if he’d ever walk again. When he finally came out of it and found out what had happened, he naturally was devastated and heartbroken. Not to mention physically broken. He knew that his road ahead of rehabilitation, both physically and psychologically, was going to be hard. While he had given up, he had one friend who was a yoga teacher who said, “We're going to get you started on the path to recovery.” So, she kept going over to his place, and through yoga, helped him be able to walk again. After he could walk and move around again, he decided to head to India and explore some yoga ashrams. While he was there he started to learn about meditation and Hinduism and Buddhism. He told me that he never would have thought he’d ever go down this path. He would have probably laughed at anyone who goes to India to find themselves. I asked, “Did you get what you were hoping for?” He said, "Even though I lost my wife, it turned out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to me because it put me on this path.
Todd Perelmuter (Spiritual Words to Live by : 81 Daily Wisdoms and Meditations to Transform Your Life)
To understand, I destroyed myself. To understand is to forget about loving. I know nothing more simultaneously false and telling than the statement by Leonardo da Vinci that we cannot love or hate something until we’ve understood it. Solitude devastates me; company oppresses me. The presence of another person derails my thoughts; I dream of the other’s presence with a strange absent-mindedness that no amount of my analytical scrutiny can define. Isolation has carved me in its image and likeness. The presence of another person – of any person whatsoever – instantly slows down my thinking, and while for a normal man contact with others is a stimulus to spoken expression and wit, for me it is a counterstimulus, if this compound word be linguistically permissible. When all by myself, I can think of all kinds of clever remarks, quick comebacks to what no one said, and flashes of witty sociability with nobody. But all of this vanishes when I face someone in the flesh: I lose my intelligence, I can no longer speak, and after half an hour I just feel tired. Yes, talking to people makes me feel like sleeping. Only my ghostly and imaginary friends, only the conversations I have in my dreams, are genuinely real and substantial, and in them intelligence gleams like an image in a mirror. The mere thought of having to enter into contact with someone else makes me nervous. A simple invitation to have dinner with a friend produces an anguish in me that’s hard to define. The idea of any social obligation whatsoever – attending a funeral, dealing with someone about an office matter, going to the station to wait for someone I know or don’t know – the very idea disturbs my thoughts for an entire day, and sometimes I even start worrying the night before, so that I sleep badly. When it takes place, the dreaded encounter is utterly insignificant, justifying none of my anxiety, but the next time is no different: I never learn to learn. ‘My habits are of solitude, not of men.’ I don’t know if it was Rousseau or Senancour who said this. But it was some mind of my species, it being perhaps too much to say of my race.
Fernando Pessoa
once there was a beautiful young panther who had a co-wife and a husband. Her name was Lara and she was unhappy because her husband and her co-wife were really in love; being nice to her was merely a duty panther society imposed on them. They had not even wanted to take her into their marriage as co-wife, since there were already perfectly happy. But she was an "extra" female in the group and that would not do. Her husband sometimes sniffed her breath and other emanations. He even, sometimes, made love to her. but whenever this happened, the co-wife, whose name was Lala, became upset. She and the husband, Baba, would argue, then fight, snarling and biting and whipping at each other's eyes with their tails. Pretty soon they'd become sick of this and would lie clutched in each other's paws, weeping. I am supposed to make love to her, Baba would say to Lala, his heartchosen mate. She is my wife just as you are. I did not plan things this way. This is the arrangement that came down to me. I know it, dearest, said Lala, through her tears. And this pain that I feel is what has come down to me. Surely it can't be right? These two sat on a rock in the forest and were miserable enough. But Lara, the unwanted, pregnant by now and ill, was devastated. Everyone knew she was unloved, and no other female panther wanted to share her own husband with her. Days went by when the only voice she heard was her inner one. Soon, she began to listen to it. Lara, it said, sit here, where the sun may kiss you. And she did. Lara, it said, lie here, where the moon can make love to you all night long. and she did. Lara, it said, one bright morning when she knew herself to have been well kissed and well loved: sit here on this stone and look at your beautiful self in the still waters of this stream. Calmed by the guidance offered by her inner voice, Lara sat down on the stone and leaned over the water. She took in her smooth, aubergine little snout, her delicate, pointed ears, her sleek, gleeming black fur. She was beautiful! And she was well kissed by the sun and well made love to by the moon. For one whole day, Lara was content. When her co-wife asked her fearfully why she was smiling, Lara only opened her mouth wider, in a grin. The poor co-wife ran trembling off and found their husband, Baba, and dragged him back to look at Lara. When Baba saw the smiling, well kissed, well made love to Lara, of course he could hardly wait to get his paws on her! He could tell she was in love with someone else, and this aroused all his passion. While Lala wept, Baba possessed Lara, who was looking over his shoulder at the moon. Each day it seemed to Lara that the Lara in the stream was the only Lara worth having - so beautiful, so well kissed, and so well made love to. And her inner voice assured her this was true. So, one hot day when she could not tolerate the shrieks and groans of Baba and Lala as they tried to tear each other's ears off because of her, Lara, who by now was quite indifferent to them both, leaned over and kissed her own serene reflection in the water, and held the kiss all the way to the bottom of the stream.
Alice Walker
Hamish Alexander-Harrington knew his wife as only two humans who had both been adopted by a pair of mated treecats ever could. He'd seen her deal with joy and with sorrow, with happiness and with fury, with fear, and even with despair. Yet in all the years since their very first meeting at Yeltsin's Star, he suddenly realized, he had never actually met the woman the newsies called "the Salamander." It wasn't his fault, a corner of his brain told him, because he'd never been in the right place to meet her. Never at the right time. He'd never had the chance to stand by her side as she took a wounded heavy cruiser on an unflinching deathride into the broadside of the battlecruiser waiting to kill it, sailing to her own death, and her crew's, to protect a planet full of strangers while the rich beauty of Hammerwell's "Salute to Spring" spilled from her ship's com system. He hadn't stood beside her on the dew-soaked grass of the Landing City duelling grounds, with a pistol in her hand and vengeance in her heart as she faced the man who'd bought the murder of her first great love. Just as he hadn't stood on the floor of Steadholders' Hall when she faced a man with thirty times her fencing experience across the razor-edged steel of their swords, with the ghosts of Reverend Julius Hanks, the butchered children of Mueller Steading, and her own murdered steaders at her back. But now, as he looked into the unyielding flint of his wife's beloved, almond eyes, he knew he'd met the Salamander at last. And he recognized her as only another warrior could. Yet he also knew in that moment that for all his own imposing record of victory in battle, he was not and never had been her equal. As a tactician and a strategist, yes. Even as a fleet commander. But not as the very embodiment of devastation. Not as the Salamander. Because for all the compassion and gentleness which were so much a part of her, there was something else inside Honor Alexander-Harrington, as well. Something he himself had never had. She'd told him, once, that her own temper frightened her. That she sometimes thought she could have been a monster under the wrong set of circumstances. And now, as he realized he'd finally met the monster, his heart twisted with sympathy and love, for at last he understood what she'd been trying to tell him. Understood why she'd bound it with the chains of duty, and love, of compassion and honor, of pity, because, in a way, she'd been right. Under the wrong circumstances, she could have been the most terrifying person he had ever met. In fact, at this moment, she was . It was a merciless something, her "monster"—something that went far beyond military talent, or skills, or even courage. Those things, he knew without conceit, he, too, possessed in plenty. But not that deeply personal something at the core of her, as unstoppable as Juggernaut, merciless and colder than space itself, that no sane human being would ever willingly rouse. In that instant her husband knew, with an icy shiver which somehow, perversely, only made him love her even more deeply, that as he gazed into those agate-hard eyes, he looked into the gates of Hell itself. And whatever anyone else might think, he knew now that there was no fire in Hell. There was only the handmaiden of death, and ice, and purpose, and a determination which would not— couldnot—relent or rest. "I'll miss them," she told him again, still with that dreadful softness, "but I won't forget. I'll never forget, and one day— oneday, Hamish—we're going to find the people who did this, you and I. And when we do, the only thing I'll ask of God is that He let them live long enough to know who's killing them.
David Weber (Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington, #12))
Girls aside, the other thing I found in the last few years of being at school, was a quiet, but strong Christian faith – and this touched me profoundly, setting up a relationship or faith that has followed me ever since. I am so grateful for this. It has provided me with a real anchor to my life and has been the secret strength to so many great adventures since. But it came to me very simply one day at school, aged only sixteen. As a young kid, I had always found that a faith in God was so natural. It was a simple comfort to me: unquestioning and personal. But once I went to school and was forced to sit through somewhere in the region of nine hundred dry, Latin-liturgical, chapel services, listening to stereotypical churchy people droning on, I just thought that I had got the whole faith deal wrong. Maybe God wasn’t intimate and personal but was much more like chapel was … tedious, judgemental, boring and irrelevant. The irony was that if chapel was all of those things, a real faith is the opposite. But somehow, and without much thought, I had thrown the beautiful out with the boring. If church stinks, then faith must do, too. The precious, natural, instinctive faith I had known when I was younger was tossed out with this newly found delusion that because I was growing up, it was time to ‘believe’ like a grown-up. I mean, what does a child know about faith? It took a low point at school, when my godfather, Stephen, died, to shake me into searching a bit harder to re-find this faith I had once known. Life is like that. Sometimes it takes a jolt to make us sit and remember who and what we are really about. Stephen had been my father’s best friend in the world. And he was like a second father to me. He came on all our family holidays, and spent almost every weekend down with us in the Isle of Wight in the summer, sailing with Dad and me. He died very suddenly and without warning, of a heart attack in Johannesburg. I was devastated. I remember sitting up a tree one night at school on my own, and praying the simplest, most heartfelt prayer of my life. ‘Please, God, comfort me.’ Blow me down … He did. My journey ever since has been trying to make sure I don’t let life or vicars or church over-complicate that simple faith I had found. And the more of the Christian faith I discover, the more I realize that, at heart, it is simple. (What a relief it has been in later life to find that there are some great church communities out there, with honest, loving friendships that help me with all of this stuff.) To me, my Christian faith is all about being held, comforted, forgiven, strengthened and loved – yet somehow that message gets lost on most of us, and we tend only to remember the religious nutters or the God of endless school assemblies. This is no one’s fault, it is just life. Our job is to stay open and gentle, so we can hear the knocking on the door of our heart when it comes. The irony is that I never meet anyone who doesn’t want to be loved or held or forgiven. Yet I meet a lot of folk who hate religion. And I so sympathize. But so did Jesus. In fact, He didn’t just sympathize, He went much further. It seems more like this Jesus came to destroy religion and to bring life. This really is the heart of what I found as a young teenager: Christ comes to make us free, to bring us life in all its fullness. He is there to forgive us where we have messed up (and who hasn’t), and to be the backbone in our being. Faith in Christ has been the great empowering presence in my life, helping me walk strong when so often I feel so weak. It is no wonder I felt I had stumbled on something remarkable that night up that tree. I had found a calling for my life.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)