Helping Others Before Yourself Quotes

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Before you call yourself a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or any other theology, learn to be human first.
Shannon L. Alder
Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn't matter. Cold or warm. Tired or well-rested. Despised or honored. Dying...or busy with other assignments. Because dying, too, is one of our assignments in life. There as well: "To do what needs doing." Look inward. Don't let the true nature of anything elude you. Before long, all existing things will be transformed, to rise like smoke (assuming all things become one), or be dispersed in fragments...to move from one unselfish act to another with God in mind. Only there, delight and stillness...when jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don't lose the rhythm more than you can help. You'll have a better grasp of the harmony if you keep going back to it.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
The best way is to understand yourself, and then you will understand everything. So when you try hard to make your own way, you will help others, and you will be helped by others. Before you make your own way you cannot help anyone, and no one can help you.
Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice)
Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, sounds. By such means, ...awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world. If we get in touch with the suffering of the world, and are moved by that suffering, we may come forward to help the people who are suffering.
Thich Nhat Hanh
A BILL OF ASSERTIVE RIGHTS I: You have the right to judge your own behavior, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself. II: You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying your behavior. III: You have the right to judge if you are responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems. IV: You have the right to change your mind. V: You have the right to make mistakes—and be responsible for them. VI: You have the right to say, “I don’t know.” VII: You have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them. VIII: You have the right to be illogical in making decisions. IX: You have the right to say, “I don’t understand.” X: You have the right to say, “I don’t care.” YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO, WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY
Manuel J. Smith (When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope - Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy)
I swear, Santiago! You are an idiot!" "I'm only trying to help you along. The guy is all over you and you need to let him know your're interested before some other biker slut, such as yourself, snaps him up with a well-timed blow job.
Shelly Laurenston (Pack Challenge (Magnus Pack, #1))
To make matters worse, everyone she talks to has a different opinion about the nature of his problem and what she should do about it. Her clergyperson may tell her, “Love heals all difficulties. Give him your heart fully, and he will find the spirit of God.” Her therapist speaks a different language, saying, “He triggers strong reactions in you because he reminds you of your father, and you set things off in him because of his relationship with his mother. You each need to work on not pushing each other’s buttons.” A recovering alcoholic friend tells her, “He’s a rage addict. He controls you because he is terrified of his own fears. You need to get him into a twelve-step program.” Her brother may say to her, “He’s a good guy. I know he loses his temper with you sometimes—he does have a short fuse—but you’re no prize yourself with that mouth of yours. You two need to work it out, for the good of the children.” And then, to crown her increasing confusion, she may hear from her mother, or her child’s schoolteacher, or her best friend: “He’s mean and crazy, and he’ll never change. All he wants is to hurt you. Leave him now before he does something even worse.” All of these people are trying to help, and they are all talking about the same abuser. But he looks different from each angle of view.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
The problem with a lot of people who read only literary fiction is that they assume fantasy is just books about orcs and goblins and dragons and wizards and bullshit. And to be fair, a lot of fantasy is about that stuff. The problem with people in fantasy is they believe that literary fiction is just stories about a guy drinking tea and staring out the window at the rain while he thinks about his mother. And the truth is a lot of literary fiction is just that. Like, kind of pointless, angsty, emo, masturbatory bullshit. However, we should not be judged by our lowest common denominators. And also you should not fall prey to the fallacious thinking that literary fiction is literary and all other genres are genre. Literary fiction is a genre, and I will fight to the death anyone who denies this very self-evident truth. So, is there a lot of fantasy that is raw shit out there? Absolutely, absolutely, it’s popcorn reading at best. But you can’t deny that a lot of lit fic is also shit. 85% of everything in the world is shit. We judge by the best. And there is some truly excellent fantasy out there. For example, Midsummer Night’s Dream; Hamlet with the ghost; Macbeth, ghosts and witches; I’m also fond of the Odyessey; Most of the Pentateuch in the Old Testament, Gargantua and Pantagruel. Honestly, fantasy existed before lit fic, and if you deny those roots you’re pruning yourself so closely that you can’t help but wither and die.
Patrick Rothfuss
Just remember that you can't help others before helping yourself first. Like an oxygen mask on a plane, you won't be good for much if you're running out of air as you prioritise everyone's needs over your own.
Daniel Howell (You Will Get Through This Night)
If you consider someone's religion, caste, sex or color before offering your help, well its better you keep your 'precious help' for yourself.
moolesh.k dindoyal
Now, my dear little girl, you have come to an age when the inward life develops and when some people (and on the whole those who have most of a destiny) find that all is not a bed of roses. Among other things there will be waves of terrible sadness, which last sometimes for days; irritation, insensibility, etc., etc., which taken together form a melancholy. Now, painful as it is, this is sent to us for an enlightenment. It always passes off, and we learn about life from it, and we ought to learn a great many good things if we react on it right. (For instance, you learn how good a thing your home is, and your country, and your brothers, and you may learn to be more considerate of other people, who, you now learn, may have their inner weaknesses and sufferings, too.) Many persons take a kind of sickly delight in hugging it; and some sentimental ones may even be proud of it, as showing a fine sorrowful kind of sensibility. Such persons make a regular habit of the luxury of woe. That is the worst possible reaction on it. It is usually a sort of disease, when we get it strong, arising from the organism having generated some poison in the blood; and we mustn't submit to it an hour longer than we can help, but jump at every chance to attend to anything cheerful or comic or take part in anything active that will divert us from our mean, pining inward state of feeling. When it passes off, as I said, we know more than we did before. And we must try to make it last as short as time as possible. The worst of it often is that, while we are in it, we don't want to get out of it. We hate it, and yet we prefer staying in it—that is a part of the disease. If we find ourselves like that, we must make something ourselves to some hard work, make ourselves sweat, etc.; and that is the good way of reacting that makes of us a valuable character. The disease makes you think of yourself all the time; and the way out of it is to keep as busy as we can thinking of things and of other people—no matter what's the matter with our self.
William James
This is when I learned the art of leaving. I knew if I didn’t get away, I’d be no help to anyone. Freeing yourself is mandatory before you can help to free others.
Pamela Anderson (Love, Pamela: Her new memoir, taking control of her own narrative for the first time)
But… all I said was that I was scared." After what you got to experience? That's smart, kid," I said. "I'm scared, too. Every time something like this happens, it scares me. But being strong doesn't get you through. Being smart does. I've beaten people and things who were stronger than I was, because they didn't use their heads, or because I used what I had better than they did. It isn't about muscle, kiddo, magical or otherwise. It's about your attitude. About your mind." She nodded slowly and said, "About doing things for the right reasons." You don't throw down like this just because you're strong enough to do it," I said. "You do it because you don't have much choice. You do it because it's unacceptable to walk away, and still live with yourself later." She stared at me for a second, and then her eyes widened. "Otherwise, you're using power for the sake of using power." I nodded. "And power tends to corrupt. It isn't hard to love using it, Molly. You've got to go in with the right attitude or…" Or the power starts using you," she said. She'd heard the argument before, but this was the first time she said the words slowly, thoughtfully, as if she'd actually understood them, instead of just parroting them back to me. Then she looked up. "That's why you do it. Why you help people. You're using the power for someone other than yourself.
Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
Before allowing yourself to take responsibility for other people’s painful feelings, ask yourself whether there’s something you can do that will actually help, that you can afford to do (given your other commitments), and that isn’t better done by someone else (including the person you’re trying to help).
Michael I. Bennett (F*ck Feelings: One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems)
DRAMA: Be careful about being baited into the personal battles and confusion of others. If you want to help someone out emotionally, be certain he or she has made a commitment to the sacrifice before you intervene for his or her success. If you don’t, you’re likely to be drained of all your healthy energy with his or her selfish petty, pitiful pretending and negotiating. Be encouraged but more importantly if you can’t make it better, whatever you do don’t make it worse, for them and especially yourself
Kerry E. Wagner
Not giving a fuck means taking care of yourself first—like affixing your own oxygen mask before helping others. Not giving a fuck means allowing yourself to say no. I don’t want to. I don’t have time. I can’t afford it. Not giving a fuck—crucially—means releasing yourself from the worry, anxiety, fear, and guilt associated with saying no, allowing you to stop spending time you don’t have with people you don’t like doing things you don’t want to do.
Sarah Knight (The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide Book 1))
It is natural to want to employ your friends when you find yourself in times of need. The world is a harsh place, and your friends soften the harshness. Besides, you know them. Why depend on a stranger when you have a friend at hand? Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit, because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure. TACITUS, c. A.D. 55-120 The problem is that you often do not know your friends as well as you imagine. Friends often agree on things in order to avoid an argument. They cover up their unpleasant qualities so as to not offend each other. They laugh extra hard at each other’s jokes. Since honesty rarely strengthens friendship, you may never know how a friend truly feels. Friends will say that they love your poetry, adore your music, envy your taste in clothes—maybe they mean it, often they do not. When you decide to hire a friend, you gradually discover the qualities he or she has kept hidden. Strangely enough, it is your act of kindness that unbalances everything. People want to feel they deserve their good fortune. The receipt of a favor can become oppressive: It means you have been chosen because you are a friend, not necessarily because you are deserving. There is almost a touch of condescension in the act of hiring friends that secretly afflicts them. The injury will come out slowly: A little more honesty, flashes of resentment and envy here and there, and before you know it your friendship fades. The more favors and gifts you supply to revive the friendship, the less gratitude you receive. Ingratitude has a long and deep history. It has demonstrated its powers for so many centuries, that it is truly amazing that people continue to underestimate them. Better to be wary. If you never expect gratitude from a friend, you will be pleasantly surprised when they do prove grateful. The problem with using or hiring friends is that it will inevitably limit your power. The friend is rarely the one who is most able to help you; and in the end, skill and competence are far more important than friendly feelings.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
I have only one memory of getting here, and even that is just a single image: black ink curling around the side of a neck, the corner of a tattoo, and the gentle sway that could only mean he was carrying me. He turns off the bathroom light and gets an ice pack from the refrigerator in the corner of the room. As he walks toward me, I consider closing my eyes and pretending to be asleep,but then our eyes meet and it's too late. "Your hands," I croak. "My hands are none of your concern," he replies. He rests his knee on the mattress and leans over me,slipping the ice pack under my head. Before he pulls away,I reach out to touch the cut on the side of his lip but stop when I realize what I am about to do, my hand hovering. What do you have to lose? I ask myself. I touch my fingertips lightly to his mouth. "Tris," he says, speaking against my fingers. "I'm all right." "Why were you there?" I ask, letting my hand drop. "I was coming back from the control room. I heard a scream." "What did you do to them?" I say. "I deposited Drew at the infirmary a half hour ago," he says. "Peter and Al ran. Drew claimed they were just trying to scare you.At least,I think that's what he was trying to say." "He's in bad shape?" "He'll live," he replies. He adds bitterly, "In what condition, I can't say." It isn't right to wish pain on other people just because they hurt me first. But white-hot triumph races through me at the thought of Drew at the infirmary, and I squeeze Four's arm. "Good," I say.My voice sounds tight and fierce.Anger builds inside me, replacing my blood with bitter water and filling me, consuming me.I wantt o break something,or hit something, but I am afraid to move,so I start crying instead. Four crouches by the side of the bed, and watches me. I see no sympathy in his eyes.I would have been disappointed if I had. He pulls his wrist free and, to my surprise, rests his hand on the side of my face, his thumb skimming my cheekbone.His fingers are careful. "I could report this," he says. "No," I reply. "I don't want them to think I'm scared." He nods.He moves his thumb absently over my cheekbone, back and forth. "I figured you would say that." "You think it would be a bad idea if I sat up?" "I'll help you." Four grips my shoulder with one hand and holds my head steady with the other as I push myself up.Pain rushes through my body in sharp bursts,but I try to ignore it,stifling a groan. He hands me the ice pack. "You can let yourself be in pain," he says. "It's just me here.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
He hit her with his best smile. Her eyes widened. She took a deep breath. 'Oh no, not that seductive face. I'm overcome with the need to take off these awful clothes. What is happening? I do not understand. Oooh. Ahhh.' She touched her wrist to her forehead. 'Somebody help me. I'm being drenched with my own fluids.' Evil woman. 'See now, you shouldn't have done that,' Kaldar said. She gave him an innocent look. 'You've made yourself into a challenge. Now I'll have to seduce you out of principle.' 'You can try. Not that you'll get anywhere. If you were in love, that would be one thing, but we both know this is pride talking.' Audrey patted his forearm. 'It's all right. I won't tell anybody about your shameful failure. I'll keep it completely confidential.' She pretended to lock her lips and throw away the key. 'I'll remind you of this when you're collapsing on my sheets, all happy and out of breath.' He leaned closer. "I'm picturing it in my head. Mmm, you look lovely.' 'Whatever fantasies help you get through the day.' Audrey said. 'So kind of you.' 'I'm all about being charitable when it doesn't cost me anything.' Charity? For me? Before this was all over, either they would be lovers or they'd kill each other. Right now, he had no idea which it would be.
Ilona Andrews (Fate's Edge (The Edge, #3))
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
Meditation begins now, right here. It can't begin someplace else or at some other time. To paraphrase the great Zen master Dogen, "If you want to practice awareness, then practice awareness without delay." If you wish to know a mind that is tranquil and clear, sane and peaceful, you must take it up now. If you wish to free yourself from the frantic television mind that runs our lives, begin with the intention to be present now. Nobody can bring awareness to your life but you. Meditation is not a self-help program--a way to better ourselves so we can get what we want. Nor is it a way to relax before jumping back into busyness. It's not something to do once in awhile, either, whenever you happen to feel like it. Instead, meditation is a practice that saturates your life and in time can be brought into every activity. It is the transformation of mind from bondage to freedom. In practicing meditation, we go nowhere other than right here where we now stand, where we now sit, where we now live and breathe. In meditation we return to where we already are--this shifting, changing ever-present now. If you wish to take up meditation, it must be now or never.
Steve Hagen (Meditation Now or Never)
Consider how flight attendants explain airline safety to passengers. In the event the cabin decompresses, you’re supposed to put on your oxygen mask before helping others put on their masks. Help yourself first. Then, assist others. These instructions aren’t intended to promote self-preservation. Rather, the airline knows that if you help others first, you risk succumbing to hypoxia. And that would prevent you from helping anyone.
Damon Zahariades (The Art Of Saying NO: How To Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time And Energy, And Refuse To Be Taken For Granted (Without Feeling Guilty!) (The Art Of Living Well Book 1))
Help yourself before you help others.
Jayson Engay
Ask yourself before making a decision; will this decision harm or help myself or others involved in the decision
Kloby
But nothing will help quite so much as just keeping quiet, talking with other people as little as possible, with yourself as much as possible. For conversation has a kind of charm about it, an insinuating and insidious something that elicits secrets from us just like love or liquor. Nobody will keep the things he hears to himself, and nobody will repeat just what he hears and no more. Neither will anyone who has failed to keep a story to himself keep the name of his informant to himself. Every person without exception has someone to whom he confides everything that is confided to himself. Even supposing he puts some guard in his garrulous tongue and is content with a single pair of ears, he will still be the creator of a host of later listeners – such is the way in which what was but a little while before a secret becomes common rumor.
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
Giving up alcohol is an asceticism for the modern do-gooder, drinking being, like sex, a pleasure that humans have always indulged in, involving a loss of self-control, the renunciation of which marks the renouncer as different and separate from other people. To drink, to get drunk, is to lower yourself on purpose for the sake of good fellowship. You abandon yourself, for a time, to life and fate. You allow yourself to become stupider and less distinct. Your boundaries become blurry: you open your self and feel connected to people around you. You throw off your moral scruples, and suspect it was only those scruples that prevented the feeling of connection before. You feel more empathy for your fellow, but at the same time, because you are drunk, you render yourself unable to help him; so, to drink is to say, I am a sinner, I have chosen not to help.
Larissa MacFarquhar (Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help)
VI. FINAL WARNING There are monsters in these pages, but as Ogden Nash pointed out in my first short-story collection, Smoke and Mirrors, where there’s a monster, there’s also a miracle. There are some long stories and some short ones. There are a handful of poems, which perhaps might need their own warning for the people who are frightened, disturbed, or terminally puzzled by poetry. (In my second short-story collection, Fragile Things, I tried to explain that the poems come free. They are bonuses for the kind of people who do not need to worry about sneaky and occasional poems lurking inside their short-story collections.) There. Consider yourself warned. There are so many little triggers out there, being squeezed in the darkness even as I write this. This book is correctly labeled. Now all we have to worry about is all the other books, and, of course, life, which is huge and complicated and will not warn you before it hurts you. Thank you for coming. Enjoy the things that never happened. Secure your own mask again after you read these stories, but do not forget to help others.
Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances)
This is the mystery. When you understand one thing through and through, you understand everything. When you try to understand everything, you will not understand anything. The best way is to understand yourself, and then you will understand everything. So when you try hard to make your own way, you will help others, and you will be helped by others. Before you make your own way you cannot help anyone, and no one can help you. To
Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind)
It is our earth, not yours or mine or his. We are meant to live on it, helping each other, not destroying each other. This is not some romantic nonsense but the actual fact. But man has divided the earth, hoping thereby that in the particular he is going to find happiness, security, a sense of abiding comfort. Until a radical change takes place and we wipe out all nationalities, all ideologies, all religious divisions, and establish a global relationship - psychologically first, inwardly before organizing the outer - we shall go on with wars. If you harm others, if you kill others, whether in anger or by organized murder which is called war, you, who are the rest of humanity, not a separate human being fighting the rest of mankind, are destroying yourself.
J. Krishnamurti (Krishnamurti to Himself: His Last Journal)
There. Consider yourself warned. There are so many little triggers out there, being squeezed in the darkness even as I write this. This book is correctly labeled. Now all we have to worry about is all the other books, and, of course, life, which is huge and complicated and will not warn you before it hurt’s you. Thank you for coming. Enjoy the things that never happened. Secure your own mask again after you read these stories, but do not forget to help others.
Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances)
Junko: That sort of thing happens all the time. You get drunk on your own "correctness," and the more stubborn you get, the further happiness flies away from you. It's a bitter pill to swallow. Madoka: I wonder if there's any way I can help... Junko: Even good advice from others won't bring any clear solutions to someone in that frame of mind. ...Even so, you want to find a solution? Then go ahead and screw up. If she's being too correct, then somebody should make mistakes for her. Madoka: I should screw up...? Junko: Yep! Tell a really bad lie. Run away in the face of something scary. She may not understand what you're trying to do at first, but there are times when you realize in hindsight that a mistake was the right thing to do... During those times when you're just stuck for an answer, making a mistake is one method of unsticking yourself. Madoka, you've grown up to be a good kid. You don't tell lies, and you don't do bad things. You're a girl who works hard at what she thinks is right. You get an "A" as a child. So before you become an adult, you have to start practicing falling down. You see, we adults have our pride and responsibilities, so it becomes harder and harder to make mistakes.
Magica Quartet (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Vol. 2 (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, #2))
I’m also really sorry that I’ve been so rude to you. I’m not normally. I don’t know where all the sarcasm comes from.” Ren raised an eyebrow. “Okay. I have a cynical, evil side that is normally hidden. But when I’m under great stress or extremely desperate, it comes out.” He set down my foot, picked up the other one, and began massaging it with his thumbs. He didn’t say anything, so I continued, “Being cold-hearted and nasty was the only thing I could do to push you away. It was kind of a dense mechanism.” “So you admit you were trying to push me away.” “Yes. Of course.” “And it’s because you’re a radish.” Frustrated, I said, “Yes! Now that you’re a man again, you’ll find someone better for you, someone who complements you. It’s not your fault. I mean, you’ve been a tiger so long that you just don’t know how the world works.” “Right. And how does the world work, Kelsey?” I could hear the frustration in his voice but pressed on. “Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but you could be going out with some supermodel-turned-actress. Haven’t you been paying attention?” Angrily, he shouted, “Oh, yes, indeed I am paying attention! What you are saying is that I should be a stuck-up, rich, shallow, libertine who cares only about wealth, power, and bettering my status. That I should date superficial, fickle, pretentious, brainless women who care more about my connections than they do about me. And that I am not wise enough, or up-to-date enough, to know who I want or what I want in life! Does that sum it up?” I squeaked out a small, “Yes.” “You truly feel this way?” I flinched. “Yes.” Ren leaned forward. “Well, you’re wrong, Kelsey. Wrong about yourself and wrong about me!” He was livid. I shifted uncomfortably while he went on. “I know what I want. I’m not operating under any delusions. I’ve studied people from a cage for centuries, and that’s given me ample time to figure out my priorities. From the first moment I saw you, the first time I heard your voice, I knew you were different. You were special. The first time you reached your hand into my cage and touched me, you made me feel alive in a way I’ve never felt before.” “Maybe it’s all just a part of the curse. Did you ever think of that? Maybe these aren’t your true feelings. Maybe you sensed that I was the one to help you, and you’ve somehow misinterpreted your emotions.” “I highly doubt it. I’ve never felt this way about anyone, even before the curse.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
But what does it really mean to be good? Is it finding a calling that helps other people? Is it running to the bedside of someone who is dying? Is it putting someone else's needs before your own. You could argue, I suppose, that any of those actions are about not selflessness, but martyrdom. Driven not by ethics, but guilt. For that matter, what does it mean to be immoral? Is it pursuing your own dreams at all costs? Is it lying to others, or lying to yourself? [...] I know this much - morality is meant to be a clear line, but it's not really. Things change. Shit happens. Who we are is about not what we do, but why we tell ourselves we do it.
Jodi Picoult (The Book of Two Ways)
Ask someone about their day before you ask yourself how you’re going to get through yours.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Before you can give anyone a hand up, first you must get yourself up there to do so ...
Stephen Richards (Success is Only One Thought Away: Motivational and Inspirational Quotes from Mind Power Professional Stephen Richards)
As a woman, you walk into all kinds of unknown situations that cause you to fall in love, put someone else’s needs before your own, and make unbelievable sacrifices. As time goes by, falling in love has its consequences. You fall in love with your mate, children, family, and job. However, you do not receive a fraction of what you have given in return. Sadly, nobody sees you are beyond exhausted. They want you to go, go and go without complaining. If they carefully pay attention and think about it; when was the last time they saw you smile, truly smile? When was the last time they saw you happy, truly happy? When was the last time they offered to help you, as opposed to asking could you do this or that? When was the last time they gave you a moment to breathe? As you work so hard and give so much of yourself, you think things will finally line up. However, that is not the case. Once you set someone up to help them prosper, things in your life start to crumble, and slowly but surely you begin to feel violated. Your hard work is soon forgotten as they drop you where you stand. Life isn’t fair and it is hard. It’s even harder when you love so hard and lose so much. You are not perfect. You have your flaws, and most definitely you have your moments. However, you have a good heart and you try to treat others how you want to be treated. Time and time again you give people all of your heart by trying to be loving and understanding. You’ve learned that when it comes to some people, nothing would ever be good enough. You have to be willing to accept that you loved them to the best of your ability, and only lost someone who caused you to lose more of yourself. Those people aren’t worth saving because the question is, who will save you? However, the love you gave wasn’t in vain; it helped you to become a better person. The loss opened your eyes to see that you deserve so much better. It is alright to cry. You are finding your strength and you are beginning to find the voice within. You are special. You are unique. You are loved. There’s no need to be afraid. Life is a journey! You will make it. It’s okay to let go of the loss and count it all pure joy!
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Don’t take anything personally because by taking things personally you set yourself up to suffer for nothing. Humans are addicted to suffering at different levels and to different degrees, and we support each other in maintaining these addictions. Humans agree to help each other suffer. If you have the need to be abused, you will find it easy to be abused by others. Likewise, if you are with people who need to suffer, something in you makes you abuse them. It is as if they have a note on their back that says, “Please kick me.” They are asking for justification for their suffering. Their addiction to suffering is nothing but an agreement that is reinforced every day. Wherever you go you will find people lying to you, and as your awareness grows, you will notice that you also lie to yourself. Do not expect people to tell you the truth because they also lie to themselves. You have to trust yourself and choose to believe or not to believe what someone says to you. When we really see other people as they are without taking it personally, we can never be hurt by what they say or do. Even if others lie to you, it is okay. They are lying to you because they are afraid. They are afraid you will discover that they are not perfect. It is painful to take that social mask off. If others say one thing, but do another, you are lying to yourself if you don’t listen to their actions. But if you are truthful with yourself, you will save yourself a lot of emotional pain. Telling yourself the truth about it may hurt, but you don’t need to be attached to the pain. Healing is on the way, and it’s just a matter of time before things will be better for you. If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
Why did you refuse to marry me then?” he demanded. She should be quiet; she should just stay mute. But she was angry and hurt. Only moments before he’d been saying such lovely things; now he was being horrible. “Why can’t you help yourself?” she countered, shouting back. “What?” “Why are you compelled to come after me?” she demanded, setting her hands on her hips. For a moment, he just stared at her as if she was daft. “Because I love you,” he finally said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “What?” She’d waited to hear him say those words for what seemed like an eternity, and now he’d said them just as casually and unconcernedly as he might have said, “I like that dress” or “Spot is a good name for a dog.” “Because I love you,” he repeated. “Why else would I?” “I don’t know. Because you’re mad?” she suggested. How dare he say he loved her here, in such a manner, with so little fanfare? He was watching her carefully. “You seem upset.” “Oh. Do I?” she asked sweetly. Behind her, the horse shifted uneasily. Smart horse. “Perhaps it’s because I do not believe you.
Connie Brockway (The Other Guy's Bride (Braxton, #2))
Why have you done all this for me?" She turned her head to look at him. "Tell me the truth." He shook his head slowly. "I don't think I could have been more terrified of the devil than I was of you," she said, "when it was happening and in my thoughts and nightmares afterward. And when you came home to Willoughby and I realized that the Duke of Ridgeway was you, I thought I would die from the horror of it." His face was expressionless. "I know," he said. "I was afraid of your hands more than anything," she said. "They are beautiful hands." He said nothing. "When did it all change?" she asked. She turned completely toward him and closed the distance between them. "You will not say the words yourself. But they are the same words as the ones on my lips, aren't they?" She watched him swallow. "For the rest of my life I will regret saying them," she said. "But I believe I would regret far more not saying them." "Fleur," he said, and reached out a staying hand. "I love you," she said. "No." "I love you." "It is just that we have spent a few days together," he said, "and talked a great deal and got to know each other. It is just that I have been able to help you a little and you are feeling grateful to me." "I love you," she said. "Fleur." She reached up to touch his scar. "I am glad I did not know you before this happened," she said. "I do not believe I would have been able to stand the pain." "Fleur," he said, taking her wrist in his hand. "Are you crying?" she said. She lifted both arms and wrapped them about his neck and laid her cheek against his shoulder. "Don't, my love. I did not mean to lay a burden on you. I don't mean to do so. I only want you to know that you are loved and always will be." "Fleur," he said, his voice husky from his tears, "I have nothing to offer you, my love. I have nothing to give you. My loyalty is given elsewhere. I didn't want this to happen. I don't want it to happen. You will meet someone else. When I am gone you will forget and you will be happy." She lifted her head and looked into his face. She wiped away one of his tears with one finger. "I am not asking anything in return," she said. "I just want to give you something, Adam. A free gift. My love. Not a burden, but a gift. To take with you when you go, even though we will never see each other again." He framed her face with his hands and gazed down into it. "I so very nearly did not recognize you," he said. "You were so wretchedly thin, Fleur, and pale. Your lips were dry and cracked, your hair dull and lifeless. But I did know you for all that. I think I would still be in London searching for you if you had not gone to that agency. But it's too late, love. Six years too late.
Mary Balogh (The Secret Pearl)
This was not going the way I wanted it to. I felt a desperate need to escape before I said something that would screw up my plans. Ren was the dark side, the forbidden fruit, my personal Delilah-the ultimate temptation. The question was…could I resist? I gave his knee a friendly pat and played my trump card…”I’m leaving.” “You’re what?” “I’m going home to Oregon. Mr. Kadam thinks it will be safer for me anyway, with Lokesh out there looking to kill us and all. Besides, you need time to figure out…stuff.” “If you’re leaving, then I’m going with you!” I smiled at him wryly. “That kind of defeats the purpose of me leaving. Don’t you think?” He slicked back his hair, let out a deep breath, then took my hand and looked intently into my eyes. “Kells, when are you going to accept the fact that we belong together?” I felt sick, like I was kicking a faithful puppy who only wanted to be loved. I looked out at the pool. After a moment, he sat back scowling and said menacingly, “I won’t let you leave.” Inside, I desperately wanted to take his hand and beg him to forgive me, to love me, but I steeled myself, dropped my hands in my lap, then implored, “Ren, please. You have to let me go. I need…I’m afraid…look, I just can’t be here, near you, when you change your mind.” “It’s not going to happen.” “it might. There’s a good chance.” He growled angrily. “There’s no chance!” “Well, my heart can’t take that risk, and I don’t want to put you in what can only be an awkward position. I’m sorry, Ren. I really am. I do want to be your friend, but I understand if you don’t want that. Of course, I’ll return when you need me, if you need me, to help you find the other three gifts. I wouldn’t abandon you or Kishan in that way. I just can’t stay here with you feeling obligated to pity-date me because you need me. But I’d never abandon your cause. I’ll always be there for you both, no matter what.” He spat out, “Pity-date! You? Kelsey, you can’t be serious!” “I am. Very, very serious. I’ll ask Mr. Kadam to make arrangements to send me back in the next few days.” He didn’t say another word. He just sat back in his chair. I could tell he was fuming mad, but I felt that, after a week or two, when he started getting back out in the world, he would come to appreciate my gesture. I looked away from him. “I’m very tired now. I’d like to go to bed.” I got up and headed to my room. Before I closed the sliding door, I asked, “Can I make one last request?” He sat there tight-lipped, his arms folded over his chest, with a tense, angry face. I sighed. Even infuriated he was beautiful. He said nothing so I went on, “It would be a lot easier on me if I didn’t see you, I mean as a man. I’ll try to avoid most of the house. It is yours after all, so I’ll stay in my room. If you see Mr. Kadam, please tell him I’d like to speak with him.” He didn’t respond. “Well, good-bye, Ren. Take care of yourself.” I tore my eyes away from him, shut the door, and drew the curtains. Take care of yourself? That was a lame goodbye. Tears welled in my eyes and blurred my vision. I was proud that I’d gotten through it without showing emotion. But, now, I felt like a steamroller had come along and flattened me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
In 90% of cases, you can start with one of the two most effective ways to open a speech: ask a question or start with a story. Our brain doesn’t remember what we hear. It remembers only what we “see” or imagine while we listen. You can remember stories. Everything else is quickly forgotten. Smell is the most powerful sense out of 4 to immerse audience members into a scene. Every sentence either helps to drive your point home, or it detracts from clarity. There is no middle point. If you don’t have a foundational phrase in your speech, it means that your message is not clear enough to you, and if it’s not clear to you, there is no way it will be clear to your audience. Share your failures first. Show your audience members that you are not any better, smarter or more talented than they are. You are not an actor, you are a speaker. The main skill of an actor is to play a role; to be someone else. Your main skill as a speaker is to be yourself. People will forgive you for anything except for being boring. Speaking without passion is boring. If you are not excited about what you are talking about, how can you expect your audience to be excited? Never hide behind a lectern or a table. Your audience needs to see 100% of your body. Speak slowly and people will consider you to be a thoughtful and clever person. Leaders don’t talk much, but each word holds a lot of meaning and value. You always speak to only one person. Have a conversation directly with one person, look him or her in the eye. After you have logically completed one idea, which usually is 10-20 seconds, scan the audience and then stop your eyes on another person. Repeat this process again. Cover the entire room with eye contact. When you scan the audience and pick people for eye contact, pick positive people more often. When you pause, your audience thinks about your message and reflects. Pausing builds an audiences’ confidence. If you don’t pause, your audience doesn’t have time to digest what you've told them and hence, they will not remember a word of what you've said. Pause before and after you make an important point and stand still. During this pause, people think about your words and your message sinks in. After you make an important point and stand still. During this pause, people think about your words and your message sinks in. Speakers use filler words when they don’t know what to say, but they feel uncomfortable with silence. Have you ever seen a speaker who went on stage with a piece of paper and notes? Have you ever been one of these speakers? When people see you with paper in your hands, they instantly think, “This speaker is not sincere. He has a script and will talk according to the script.” The best speeches are not written, they are rewritten. Bad speakers create a 10 minutes speech and deliver it in 7 minutes. Great speakers create a 5 minute speech and deliver it in 7 minutes. Explain your ideas in a simple manner, so that the average 12-year-old child can understand the concept. Good speakers and experts can always explain the most complex ideas with very simple words. Stories evoke emotions. Factual information conveys logic. Emotions are far more important in a speech than logic. If you're considering whether to use statistics or a story, use a story. PowerPoint is for pictures not for words. Use as few words on the slide as possible. Never learn your speech word for word. Just rehearse it enough times to internalize the flow. If you watch a video of your speech, you can triple the pace of your development as a speaker. Make videos a habit. Meaningless words and clichés neither convey value nor information. Avoid them. Never apologize on stage. If people need to put in a lot of effort to understand you they simply won’t listen. On the other hand if you use very simple language you will connect with the audience and your speech will be remembered.
Andrii Sedniev (Magic of Public Speaking: A Complete System to Become a World Class Speaker)
On behalf of those you killed, imprisoned, tortured, you are not welcome, Erdogan! No, Erdogan, you’re not welcome in Algeria. We are a country which has already paid its price of blood and tears to those who wanted to impose their caliphate on us, those who put their ideas before our bodies, those who took our children hostage and who attempted to kill our hopes for a better future. The notorious family that claims to act in the name of the God and religion—you’re a member of it—you fund it, you support it, you desire to become its international leader. Islamism is your livelihood Islamism, which is your livelihood, is our misfortune. We will not forget about it, and you are a reminder of it today. You offer your shadow and your wings to those who work to make our country kneel down before your “Sublime Door.” You embody and represent what we loathe. You hate freedom, the free spirit. But you love parades. You use religion for business. You dream of a caliphate and hope to return to our lands. But you do it behind the closed doors, by supporting Islamist parties, by offering gifts through your companies, by infiltrating the life of the community, by controlling the mosques. These are the old methods of your “Muslim Brothers” in this country, who used to show us God’s Heaven with one hand while digging our graves with the other. No, Mr. Erdogan, you are not a man of help; you do not fight for freedom or principles; you do not defend the right of peoples to self-determination. You know only how to subject the Kurds to the fires of death; you know only how to subject your opponents to your dictatorship. You cry with the victims in the Middle East, yet sign contracts with their executioners. You do not dream of a dignified future for us, but of a caliphate for yourself. We are aware of your institutionalized persecution, your list of Turks to track down, your sinister prisons filled with the innocent, your dictatorial justice palaces, your insolence and boastful nature. You do not dream of a humanity that shares common values and principles, but are interested only in the remaking of the Ottoman Empire and its bloodthirsty warlords. Islam, for you, is a footstool; God is a business sign; modernity is an enemy; Palestine is a showcase; and local Islamists are your stunned courtesans. Humanity will not remember you with good deeds Humanity will remember you for your machinations, your secret coups d’état, and your manhunts. History will remember you for your bombings, your vengeful wars, and your inability to engage in constructive dialogue with others. The UN vote for Al-Quds is only an instrument in your service. Let us laugh at this with the Palestinians. We know that the Palestinian issue is your political capital, as it is for many others. You know well how to make a political fortune by exploiting others’ emotions. In Algeria, we suffered, and still suffer, from those who pretend to be God and act as takers and givers of life. They applaud your coming, but not us. You are the idol of Algerian Islamists and Populists, those who are unable to imagine a political structure beyond a caliphate for Muslim-majority societies. We aspire to become a country of freedom and dignity. This is not your ambition, nor your virtue. You are an illusion You have made beautiful Turkey an open prison and a bazaar for your business and loved ones. I hope that this beautiful nation rises above your ambitions. I hope that justice will be restored and flourish there once again, at least for those who have been imprisoned, tortured, bombed, and killed. You are an illusion, Erdogan—you know it and we know it. You play on the history of our humiliation, on our emotions, on our beliefs, and introduce yourself as a savior. However, you are a gravedigger, both for your own country and for your neighbors. Turkey is a political miracle, but it owes you nothing. The best thing you can do
Kamel Daoud
My other client, whom I will call Teresa, thought Lorraine had MPD and hoped I could help her. Almost no one recognized this condition in those days. Lorraine was forty years old and had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since she was thirteen. She had had various diagnoses, mainly severe depression, and she had made quite a few serious suicide attempts before I even met her. She had been given many courses of electric shock therapy, which would confuse her so much that she could not get together a coherent suicide plan for quite a while. Lorraine’s psychiatrist was initially opposed to my seeing her, as her friend Teresa had been stigmatized with the "borderline personality disorder" diagnosis when in hospital, so was seen as a bad influence on her. But after Lorraine spent a couple of months in hospital calling herself Susie and acting consistently like a child, he was humble enough to acknowledge that perhaps he could learn some new things, and someone else’s help might be a good idea.
Alison Miller (Becoming Yourself: Overcoming Mind Control and Ritual Abuse)
That's why you look down on me, because you know I lie. At wakes, at funerals, at weddings - yes, I lie. I lie at wakes and funerals to relieve pain. 'Cause reading, writing, and 'rithmetic is not enough. You think that's all the sent you to school for? They send you to school to relieve pain, to relieve hurt - and if you have to lie to do it, then you lie. You lie and you lie and you lie. When you tell yourself you feeling good when you sick, you lying. When you tell other people you feeling well when you feeling sick, you lying. You tell them that 'cause they have pain too, and you don't want to add yours - and you lie. She been lying every day of her life, your aunt in there. That's how you got through that university - cheating herself here, cheating herself there, but always telling you she's all right. I've seen her hands bleed from picking cotton. I've seen the blisters from the hoe and the cane knife. At that church, crying on her knees. You ever looked at the scabs on her knees, boy? Course you never. 'Cause she never wanted you to see it. And that's the difference between me and you, boy; that make me the educated one, and you the gump. I know my people. I know what they gone through. I know they done cheated themself, lied to themself - hoping that one they all love and trust can come back and help relieve the pain.
Ernest J. Gaines (A Lesson Before Dying)
The Words of an Angel As I sit in a world of darkness I look around to see no one The cold wind has filled my soul The rivers have poured inside my body And the weight of the waters holds me back from seeing the light of day What should I do? I feel helpless, Paralyzed in my own fears And lost with no directions or roads to take Suddenly, a felt a laser of energy bolt though my body I yelled, “I’m so tired of feeling this way, I need help” Suddenly, gold light appeared And a man stood before me You foolish man, You choose this path the moment you chose to give up and wallow in your sorrows I cannot help you You need to help yourself. There are no rivers in your soul holding you back from light of the world The strength lies within you Look in my eyes and tell me what you see The lost man looked into the angels eyes and said, I see a man who gets his strength from helping others He does not waste time focusing on useless matters If you dig deep enough my child You will find precious gift inside yourself Gifts you never knew you had Learn from others Then help yourself Once you helped yourself Go out and help the world around you Because many people feel as you do The angel suddenly disappeared The lost man was no longer lost He was determined to waste no time He was going to use his time to help others Just as the angel helped him The man got up He realized the only thing holding him down was himself The room was no longer dark The light of life had entered Dig deep in yourself and lift yourself The answer to your problems lies within Use your gifts For the greatest gift is the gift of giving.
Stacey Chillemi (Life's Missing Instruction Manual)
Joy, laughter, love—real magic that changes things. Actions must be rooted in love, not in anger, even at injustice. To feel those things, you have to heal yourself, and help yourself, before you can truly help others. Change yourself and you change the world around you.
Phyllis Curott (The Love Spell: An Erotic Memoir of Spiritual Awakening)
Many students come to me full of wonderful intentions hoping to change the world; they plan to spend their time helping the poor and disadvantaged. I tell them to first graduate and make a lot of money, and only then figure out how best to help those in need. Too often students can’t meaningfully help the disadvantaged now, even if it makes them feel good for trying to. I have seen so many former students in their late 30s and 40s struggling to make ends meet. They spent their time in college doing good rather than building their careers and futures. I warn students today to be careful how they use their precious time and to think carefully about when is the right time to help. It’s a well-worn cliché, but you have to help yourself before you help others. This is too often lost on idealistic students. I am often asked whether one should
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe Of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
If my life was a story, I said, it’d start like this: Before she left, my mother gave me a compass. But when I tried to use it, when I was really far out, lost at sea, the compass didn’t work. So I tried the other compass, the one my father had given me before he left. But that compass was broken too. So you looked out across the deep waters, Robin said. And you decided, by yourself, and with the help of a clear night and some stars, which way was north and which was south and which way was east and which was west. Yes? Yes, I said. Then I said it again. Yes.
Ali Smith (Girl Meets Boy)
Kyo: ...I can't help it. I'm...not made for interacting with people. Shigure: People aren't born social. Sure it comes easier to some people...but most people, like you, need to work at it. Some more than others. You're just inexperienced. For example, as a martial artist, you have the strength to break the table with your first. But you also have the self-control to stop your fist right before it hits the table. You weren't born with that control, were you? You had to refine it. That's the result of fighting bears in the mountains. Kyo: I DIDN'T FIGHT BEARS! Shigure: You're missing my point. It's the same as interacting with people. But training for that isn't in the mountains--it has to be in town where people live. Mingling with people, hurting them, getting hurt by them...that's how you learn about others...and about yourself. If you don't, you'll never be able to care about anyone but yourself. You may be a black belt fighter, but you're still a white belt in dealing with people. For the sake of the girl who will one day tell you she loves you...don't run away, keep training. Kyo: As if someone would ever tell me that. Shigure: And if someone did, what would you do? Kyo: I can't even imagine. I guess...I'd ask her if she was sane.
Natsuki Takaya
God instructs us to view them: as a heritage for which we should be grateful rather than obligations we dread (Psalm 127:3). That doesn’t mean we can’t say when it’s hard and ask for help—we should, absolutely. But our prevailing message to the world about motherhood should be one of gratitude, not grumbling. In a culture of self-love that’s convincing women that they need to love themselves before they can love other people, our cheerfulness as moms tells a different story: that there is joy in pouring yourself out, even when you don’t feel filled up. That sacrifice is worth it. That even though we’re not enough, that’s okay because God is.
Allie Beth Stuckey (You're Not Enough (and That's Ok): Escaping the Toxic Culture of Self-Love)
Well, well, nobody’s perfect, but” — here Mr. Garth shook his head to help out the inadequacy of words—”what I am thinking of is — what it must be for a wife when she’s never sure of her husband, when he hasn’t got a principle in him to make him more afraid of doing the wrong thing by others than of getting his own toes pinched. That’s the long and the short of it, Mary. Young folks may get fond of each other before they know what life is, and they may think it all holiday if they can only get together; but it soon turns into working day, my dear. However, you have more sense than most, and you haven’t been kept in cotton-wool: there may be no occasion for me to say this, but a father trembles for his daughter, and you are all by yourself here.
George Eliot (Complete Works of George Eliot)
She needs to think you're still a couple. And you'll need to be convincing about it, too. Lots of kissing and stuff in case your mother tries to spy on you." Emma stops chewing. Galen drops his fork. "Uh, I don't think we need to take it that far-" Emma starts. "Oh, no? Teenagers don't kiss their sweethearts anymore?" Rachel crosses her arms, wagging the spatula to the beat of her tapping foot. "They do, but-" "No buts. Come on, sweetie. You think your mom's going to believe you keep your hands off Galen?" "Probably not, but-" "I said no buts. Look at you two. You're not even sitting next to each other! You need some practice, I'd say. Galen, go sit beside her. Hold her hand." "Rachel," he says, shaking his head, "this can wait-" "Fine," Emma grinds out. They both turn to her. Still frowning, she nods. "We'll make it a point to kiss and hold hands when she's around." Galen almost drops his fork again. No way. Kissing Emma is the last thing I need to do. Especially when her lips turn that red. "Emma, we don't have to kiss. She already knows I want to sleep with you." He cringes as soon as he says it. He doesn't have to look up to know the sizzling sound in the kitchen is from Rachel spitting her pineapple juice into the hot skillet. "What I mean is, I already told her I want to sleep with you. I mean, I told her I wanted to sleep with you because she already thinks I do. Want to, I mean-" If a Syrena could drown, this is what it would feel like. Emma holds up her hand. "I get it, Galen. It's fine. I told her the same thing." Rachel plops down beside Emma, wiping the juice spittle from her face with a napkin. "So you're telling me your mom thinks you two want to sleep with each other, but you don't think she'll be expecting you to kiss." Emma shakes her head and shovels a forkful of omelet into her mouth, then chases it with some juice. She says, "You're right, Rachel. We'll let her catch us making out or something." Rachel nods. "That should work." "What does that mean? Making out?" Galen says between bites. Emma puts her fork down. "It means, Galen, that you'll need to force yourself to kiss me. Like you mean it. For a long time. Think you can do that? Do Syrena kiss?" He tries to swallow the bite he forgot to chew. Force myself? I'll be lucky if I can stop myself. It had never occurred to him to kiss anyone-before he met Emma. These days, it's all he can think about, her lips on his. He decides it was better for both of them when Emma kept rejecting him. Now she's ordering him to kiss her-for a long time. Great. "Yes, they kiss. I mean, we kiss. I mean, I can force myself, if I have to." He doesn't meet Rachel's eyes as she plunks more fish onto his plate, but he can almost feel her smirking down at him. "We'll just have to plan it, that's all. Give you time to prepare," Emma tells him. "Prepare for what?" Rachel scoffs. "Kissing isn't supposed to be planned. That's why it's so fun." "Yeah, but this isn't for fun, remember?" Emma says. "This is just for show." "You don't think kissing Galen would be fun?" Emma sighs, putting her hands on her cheeks. "You know, I appreciate that you're trying to help us, Rachel. But I can't talk about this anymore. Seriously, I'm going to break out into hives. We'll make it work when the time comes." Rachel laughs and removes Emma's plate after she declines a second helping. "If you say so. But I still think you should practice.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
He looked at her, and sighed. “I told you before, Katsa. I won’t fight when you’re angry. I won’t solve a disagreement between us with blows.” He lifted the ice and fingered his jaw. He moaned, and held the ice to his face again. “What we do in the practice rooms—that’s to help each other. We don’t use it against each other. We’re friends, Katsa.” Shame pricked behind her eyes. It was so elemental, so obvious. It wasn’t what one friend did to another, yet she’d done it. “We’re too dangerous to each other, Katsa. And even if we weren’t, it’s not right.” “I’ll never do it again,” she said. “I swear to it.” He caught her eyes then, and held them. “I know you won’t. Katsa. Wildcat. Don’t blame yourself. You expected me to fight back. You wouldn’t have struck me otherwise.
Kristin Cashore (Graceling (Graceling Realm #1))
You have everything you need within you to become the best possible version of yourself. Believe that you CAN. Believe that you’re capable of pushing harder and farther than you have before. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, smart enough and strong enough to achieve your goals. Don’t let false beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself. And certainly don’t get sidetracked by other people who are off track.
John Geiger
Shall I stop in to check on Bella before I go?” “Not dressed like that. You would give her palpitations if she knew you were going into danger for her benefit.” “Luckily, I am mostly immune to Bella’s powers and could cure such palpitations with a thought,” Gideon mused. Jacob raised a brow, taking the medic’s measure. He could not recall the last time he had heard the Ancient crack wise about anything. It was not a wholly unpleasant experience, and it amused the Enforcer. “I . . . am aware of what is occurring between you and Legna, as you know,” Jacob mentioned with casual quiet. “I am only recently Imprinted myself, but should you require—” He broke off, suddenly uncomfortable. “Of course, you probably know far more about Imprinting than I ever will.” He is reaching out to you. Legna’s soft encouragement made Gideon suddenly aware of that fact. It was one of those nuances he would have missed completely, rusty as he was with matters of friendship and how to relate better to others. “I am glad for the offer of any help you can provide,” Gideon said quickly. “In fact, I had wanted to ask you . . . something . . .” What did I want to ask him? he asked Legna urgently. I do not know! I did not tell you to engage him, just to graciously accept his offer. Oh. My apologies. Still, you are clever enough to think of something, are you not? Legna knew he was baiting her, so she laughed. Ask him why it is you seem to constantly irritate me. I will ask him no such thing, Magdelegna. Well then, you had better come up with an alternative, because that is the only suggestion I have. “Yes?” Jacob was encouraging neutrally, trying to be patient as the medic seemed to gather his thoughts. “Do you find that your mate tends to lecture you incessantly?” he asked finally. Jacob laughed out loud. “You know something, I can actually advise you about that, Gideon.” “Can you?” The medic actually sounded hopeful. “Give up. Now. While you still have your sanity. Arguing with her will get you nowhere. And, also, never ever ask questions that refer to the whys and wherefores of women, females, or any other feminine-based criticism. Otherwise you will only earn an argument at a higher decibel level. Oh, and one other thing.” Gideon cocked a brow in question. “All the rules I just gave you, as well as all the ones she lays down during the course of your relationship, can and will change at whim. So, as I see it, you can consider yourself just as lost as every other man on the planet. Good luck with it.” “That is not a very heartening thought,” Gideon said wryly, ignoring Legna’s giggle in his background thoughts.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
Don't misunderstand, but how dare you risk your life? What the devil did you think, to leap over like that? You could have stayed safe on this side and just helped me over." Even to her ears, her tone bordered on the hysterical. Beneath her fingers, the white lawn started to redden. She sucked in a shaky breath. "How could you risk your life-your life, you idiot!" She leaned harder on the pad, dragged in another breath. He coughed weakly, shifted his head. "Don't you dare die on me!" His lips twisted, but his eyes remained closed. "But if I die"-his words were a whisper-"you won't have to marry, me or anyone else. Even the most censorious in the ton will consider my death to be the end of the matter. You'll be free." "Free?" Then his earlier words registered. "If you die? I told you-don't you dare! I won't let you-I forbid you to. How can I marry you if you die? And how the hell will I live if you aren't alive, too?" As the words left her mouth, half hysterical, all emotion, she realized they were the literal truth. Her life wouldn't be worth living if he wasn't there to share it. "What will I do with my life if you die?" He softly snorted, apparently unimpressed by-or was it not registering?-her panic. "Marry some other poor sod, like you were planning to." The words cut. "You are the only poor sod I'm planning to marry." Her waspish response came on a rush of rising fear. She glanced around, but there was no one in sight. Help had yet to come running. She looked back at him, readjusted the pressure on the slowly reddening pad. "I intend not only to marry you but to lead you by the nose for the rest of your days. It's the least I can do to repay you for this-for the shock to my nerves. I'll have you know I'd decided even before this little incident to reverse my decision and become your viscountess, and lead you such a merry dance through the ballrooms and drawing rooms that you'll be gray within two years." He humphed softly, dismissively, but he was listening. Studying his face, she realized her nonsense was distracting him from the pain. She engaged her imagination and let her tongue run free. "I've decided I'll redecorate Baraclough in the French Imperial style-all that white and gilt and spindly legs, with all the chairs so delicate you won't dare sit down. And while we're on the subject of your-our-country home, I've had an idea about my carriage, the one you'll buy me as a wedding gift..." She rambled on, paying scant attention to her words, simply let them and all the images she'd dreamed of come tumbling out, painting a vibrant, fanciful, yet in many ways-all the ways that counted-accurate word pictures of her hopes, her aspirations. Her vision of their life together. When the well started to run dry, when her voice started to thicken with tears at the fear that they might no longer have a chance to enjoy all she'd described, she concluded with, "So you absolutely can't die now." Fear prodded; almost incensed, she blurted, "Not when I was about to back down and agree to return to London with you." He moistened his lips. Whispered, "You were?" "Yes! I was!" His fading voice tipped her toward panic. Her voice rose in reaction. "I can't believe you were so foolish as to risk your life like this! You didn't need to put yourself in danger to save me." "Yes, I did." The words were firmer, bitten off through clenched teeth. She caught his anger. Was anger good. Would temper hold him to the world? A frown drew down his black brows. "You can't be so damned foolish as to think I wouldn't-after protecting you through all this, seeing you safely all this way, watching over you all this time, what else was I going to do?
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
[THE DAILY BREATH] What do you do when you've made mistakes and you can't wash away by yourself the guilt you now have to live with? What do you do when you feel you are all alone, struggling in secret with hurt and pain you cannot share with others? What do you do when you reach the point when the books don't work, when your friends can't and won't do anything more for you, when the psychological techniques and the meditations fail, when the experts raise their shoulders because they don't know how to help you, when you feel abandoned with no way out? Religious people will tell you that you cannot come before God because you are dirty or not good enough, but I tell you: go before God because this is the only thing that will truly heal your life. Just as you are, naked, broken, dirty and hurt, walk before Jesus and tell Him everything on your heart. You cannot even grasp now the mercy and grace you receive when you open your heart to Him.
Dragos Bratasanu
Alex here. (...) Ron, I really enjoy all the help you have given me and the times we spent together. I hope that you will not be too depressed by our parting. It may be a very long time before we see each other again. But providing that I get through the Alaskan Deal in one piece you will be hearing form me again in the future. I’d like to repeat the advice I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing or been to hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one piece of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. (...) Once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. (...) Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. (...) You are wrong if you think joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. Ron, I really hope that as soon as you can you will get out of Salton City, put a little camper on the back of your pickup, and start seeing some of the great work that God has done here in the American West. you will see things and meet people and there is much to learn from them. And you must do it economy style, no motels, do your own cooking, as a general rule spend as little as possible and you will enjoy it much more immensely. I hope that the next time I see you, you will be a new man with a vast array of new adventures and experiences behind you. Don’t hesitate or allow yourself to make excuses. Just get out and do it. Just get out and do it. You will be very, very glad that you did. Take care Ron, Alex
Jon Krakauer
She asked, “Are you well?” “Yes.” His voice was a deep rasp. “Are you?” She nodded, expecting him to release her at the confirmation. When he showed no signs of moving, she puzzled at it. Either he was gravely injured or seriously impertinent. “Sir, you’re…er, you’re rather heavy.” Surely he could not fail to miss that hint. He replied, “You’re soft.” Good Lord. Who was this man? Where had he come from? And how was he still atop her? “You have a small wound.” With trembling fingers, she brushed a reddish knot high on his temple, near his hairline. “Here.” She pressed her hand to his throat, feeling for his pulse. She found it, thumping strong and steady against her gloved fingertips. “Ah. That’s nice.” Her face blazed with heat. “Are you seeing double?” “Perhaps. I see two lips, two eyes, two flushed cheeks…a thousand freckles.” She stared at him. “Don’t concern yourself, miss. It’s nothing.” His gaze darkened with some mysterious intent. “Nothing a little kiss won’t mend.” And before she could even catch her breath, he pressed his lips to hers. A kiss. His mouth, touching hers. It was warm and firm, and then…it was over. Her first real kiss in all her five-and-twenty years, and it was finished in a heartbeat. Just a memory now, save for the faint bite of whiskey on her lips. And the heat. She still tasted his scorching, masculine heat. Belatedly, she closed her eyes. “There, now,” he murmured. “All better.” Better? Worse? The darkness behind her eyelids held no answers, so she opened them again. Different. This strange, strong man held her in his protective embrace, and she was lost in his intriguing green stare, and his kiss reverberated in her bones with more force than a powder blast. And now she felt different. The heat and weight of him…they were like an answer. The answer to a question Susanna hadn’t even been aware her body was asking. So this was how it would be, to lie beneath a man. To feel shaped by him, her flesh giving in some places and resisting in others. Heat building between two bodies; dueling heartbeats pounding both sides of the same drum. Maybe…just maybe…this was what she’d been waiting to feel all her life. Not swept her off her feet-but flung across the lane and sent tumbling head over heels while the world exploded around her. He rolled onto his side, giving her room to breathe. “Where did you come from?” “I think I should ask you that.” She struggled up on one elbow. “Who are you? What on earth are you doing here?” “Isn’t it obvious?” His tone was grave. “We’re bombing the sheep.” “Oh. Oh dear. Of course you are.” Inside her, empathy twined with despair. Of course, he was cracked in the head. One of those poor soldiers addled by war. She ought to have known it. No sane man had ever looked at her this way. She pushed aside her disappointment. At least he had come to the right place. And landed on the right woman. She was far more skilled in treating head wounds than fielding gentlemen’s advances. The key here was to stop thinking of him as an immense, virile man and simply regard him as a person who needed her help. An unattractive, poxy, eunuch sort of person. Reaching out to him, she traced one fingertip over his brow. “Don’t be frightened,” she said in a calm, even tone. “All is well. You’re going to be just fine.” She cupped his cheek and met his gaze directly. “The sheep can’t hurt you here.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
If you ask me, there are two options at hand. Both will change you, but only one will get rid of the monster forever." "What's the first option?" she asked. "You can drink all the potions upstairs and return to the woman you were before the curse. You'll never turn another soul into stone and never see a monster in the mirror again. But if you steal from these children, you won't look like a monster anymore - you'll just be one. And that's much worse, in my opinion." "And the second option?" "You can restore all the bottled youth, beauty, and stamina to their rightful owners," the frog man explained. "It won't change how you look, but it will change how you look at yourself. From then on, every time you pass a mirror and see your reflection, you won't see a hideous monster; you'l see a woman who chose to help others instead of helping herself. And anyone who looks into the mirror and sees who they are, over what they are - well, it's impossible to curse someone like that.
Chris Colfer (Worlds Collide (The Land of Stories, #6))
Violet had carefully chosen some long-hanging, loose-fitting basketball shorts to wear over her swimsuit, in hopes of keeping her injuries at least partially hidden. But it didn’t take long before one . . . and then two . . . and then at least twenty of her friends had noticed her bandages peeking out from beneath the swishing fabric, and she was forced to recount her morning accident. Jay loved hearing her tell the story, and every time he heard her talking about it, he would come over so that he could interject, and of course embellish, his role in the events. In his version, he was her champion, practically carrying her from the woods and performing near-miraculous medical feats to save her legs from complete amputation. Violet, and annoyingly every other girl within earshot, couldn’t help but giggle while he jokingly sang his own praises. Violet happened to walk up just in time to hear Jay recounting his version once more to a group of eager admirers. “Hero? I wouldn’t say hero . . .” he quipped. Violet rolled her eyes, turning to Grady Spencer, a friend of theirs from school. “Can you believe him?” Grady gave her a concerned look. “Seriously, are you okay, Violet? It sounds like it was pretty bad.” Violet was embarrassed that Jay’s exaggerations were actually dredging up real sympathy from others. “It’s fine,” she assured him, and when Grady didn’t look convinced, she added, “Really, I just tripped.” She reached out and shoved Jay. “Will you knock it off, hero? You’re making an ass out of yourself.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
They only exist because you have to much pride, and pride is one of the seven deadliest sins. It is pride that will cause you to stay in Hell. Remember the knowledge you read in my books. Remember that there is a Higher Power than yourself. Remember that it is okay to lean on others in your time of need. Go home and prepare your body, mind and soul to be as strong as it can be before The Game begins, and tell the others to do the same. That is the only real advice I can give you, but that advice is what will help you conquer.-Mayor Hercules
Teresa Lo (Hell's Game)
I wish I had asked myself when I was younger. My path was so tracked that in my 8th-grade yearbook, one of my friends predicted— accurately— that four years later I would enter Stanford as a sophomore. And after a conventionally successful undergraduate career, I enrolled at Stanford Law School, where I competed even harder for the standard badges of success. The highest prize in a law student’s world is unambiguous: out of tens of thousands of graduates each year, only a few dozen get a Supreme Court clerkship. After clerking on a federal appeals court for a year, I was invited to interview for clerkships with Justices Kennedy and Scalia. My meetings with the Justices went well. I was so close to winning this last competition. If only I got the clerkship, I thought, I would be set for life. But I didn’t. At the time, I was devastated. In 2004, after I had built and sold PayPal, I ran into an old friend from law school who had helped me prepare my failed clerkship applications. We hadn’t spoken in nearly a decade. His first question wasn’t “How are you doing?” or “Can you believe it’s been so long?” Instead, he grinned and asked: “So, Peter, aren’t you glad you didn’t get that clerkship?” With the benefit of hindsight, we both knew that winning that ultimate competition would have changed my life for the worse. Had I actually clerked on the Supreme Court, I probably would have spent my entire career taking depositions or drafting other people’s business deals instead of creating anything new. It’s hard to say how much would be different, but the opportunity costs were enormous. All Rhodes Scholars had a great future in their past. the best paths are new and untried. will this business still be around a decade from now? business is like chess. Grandmaster José Raúl Capablanca put it well: to succeed, “you must study the endgame before everything else. The few who knew what might be learned, Foolish enough to put their whole heart on show, And reveal their feelings to the crowd below, Mankind has always crucified and burned. Above all, don’t overestimate your own power as an individual. Founders are important not because they are the only ones whose work has value, but rather because a great founder can bring out the best work from everybody at his company. That we need individual founders in all their peculiarity does not mean that we are called to worship Ayn Randian “prime movers” who claim to be independent of everybody around them. In this respect, Rand was a merely half-great writer: her villains were real, but her heroes were fake. There is no Galt’s Gulch. There is no secession from society. To believe yourself invested with divine self-sufficiency is not the mark of a strong individual, but of a person who has mistaken the crowd’s worship—or jeering—for the truth. The single greatest danger for a founder is to become so certain of his own myth that he loses his mind. But an equally insidious danger for every business is to lose all sense of myth and mistake disenchantment for wisdom.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
But I am a paladin,” Cordelia cried. “It’s awful, I loathe it— don’t imagine that I feel anything other than hated for this thing that binds me to Lilith. But they fear me because of it. They dare not touch me—” “Oh?” snarled James. “They dare not touch you? That’s not what it bloody looked like.” “The demon at Chiswick House—it was about to tell me something about Belial, before you shot it.” “Listen to yourself, Cordelia!” James shouted. “You are without Cortana! You cannot even lift a weapon! Do you know what it means to me, that you cannot protect yourself? Do you understand that I am terrified, every moment of every day and night, for your safety?” Cordelia stood speechless. She had no idea what to say. She blinked, and felt something hot against her cheek. She put her hand up quickly—surely she was not crying?— and it came away scarlet. “You’re bleeding,” James said. He closed the distance between them in two strides. He caught her chin and lifted it, his thumb stroking across her cheekbone. “Just a scratch,” he breathed. “Are you hurt anywhere else? Daisy, tell me—” “No. I’m fine. I promise you,” she said, her voice wavering as his intent golden eyes spilled over her, searching for signs of injury. “It’s nothing.” “It’s the furthest thing from nothing,” James rasped. “By the Angel, when I realized you’d gone out, at night, weaponless—” “What were you even doing at the house? I thought you were staying at the Institute.” “I came to get something for Jesse,” James said. “I took him shopping, with Anna—he needed clothes, but we forgot cuff links—” “He did need clothes,” Cordelia agreed. “Nothing he had fit.” “Oh, no,” said James. “We are not chatting. When I came in, I saw your dress in the hall, and Effie told me she’d caught a glimpse of you leaving. Not getting in a carriage, just wandering off toward Shepherd Market—” “So you Tracked me?” “I had no choice. And then I saw you—you had gone to where your father died,” he said after a moment. “I thought—I was afraid—” “That I wanted to die too?” Cordelia whispered. It had not occurred to her that he might think that. “James. I may be foolish, but I am not self-destructive.” “And I thought, had I made you as miserable as that? I have made so many mistakes, but none were calculated to hurt you. And then I saw what you were doing, and I thought, yes, she does want to die. She wants to die and this is how she’s chosen to do it.” He was breathing hard, almost gasping, and she realized how much of his fury was despair. “James,” she said. “It was a foolish thing to do, but at no moment did I want to die—” He caught at her shoulders. “You cannot hurt yourself, Daisy. You must not. Hate me, hit me, do anything you want to me. Cut up my suits and set fire to my books. Tear my heart into pieces, scatter them across England. But do not harm yourself—” He pulled her toward him, suddenly, pressing his lips to her hair, her cheek. She caught him by the arms, her fingers digging into his sleeves, holding him to her. “I swear to the Angel,” he said, in a muffled voice, “if you die, I will die, and I will haunt you. I will give you no peace—” He kissed her mouth. Perhaps it had been meant to be a quick kiss, but she could not help herself: she kissed back. And it was like breathing air after being trapped underground for weeks, like coming into sunlight after darkness.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Thorns (The Last Hours, #3))
None that I could understand, but he did illustrate his point with a thought experiment. It’s called the Infinite Hallway.” Langdon paused, taking another sip of coffee. “Yes, a helpful illustration,” Winston chimed in before Langdon could speak. “It goes like this: imagine yourself walking down a long hallway—a corridor so long that it’s impossible to see where you came from or where you’re going.” Langdon nodded, impressed by the breadth of Winston’s knowledge. “Then, behind you in the distance,” Winston continued, “you hear the sound of a bouncing ball. Sure enough, when you turn, you see a ball bouncing toward you. It is bouncing closer and closer, until it finally bounces past you, and just keeps going, bouncing into the distance and out of sight.” “Correct,” Langdon said. “The question is not: Is the ball bouncing? Because clearly, the ball is bouncing. We can observe it. The question is: Why is it bouncing? How did it start bouncing? Did someone kick it? Is it a special ball that simply enjoys bouncing? Are the laws of physics in this hallway such that the ball has no choice but to bounce forever?” “Gould’s point being,” Winston concluded, “that just as with evolution, we cannot see far enough into the past to know how the process began.” “Exactly,” Langdon said. “All we can do is observe that it is happening.” “This was similar, of course,” Winston said, “to the challenge of understanding the Big Bang. Cosmologists have devised elegant formulas to describe the expanding universe for any given Time—‘T’—in the past or future. However, when they try to look back to the instant when the Big Bang occurred—where T equals zero—the mathematics all goes mad, describing what seems to be a mystical speck of infinite heat and infinite density.” Langdon and Ambra looked at each other, impressed. “Correct again,” Langdon said. “And because the human mind is not equipped to handle ‘infinity’ very well, most scientists now discuss the universe only in terms of moments after the Big Bang—where T is greater than zero—which ensures that the mathematical does not turn mystical.
Dan Brown (Origin (Robert Langdon, #5))
ESTABLISHING A DAILY MEDITATION First select a suitable space for your regular meditation. It can be wherever you can sit easily with minimal disturbance: a corner of your bedroom or any other quiet spot in your home. Place a meditation cushion or chair there for your use. Arrange what is around so that you are reminded of your meditative purpose, so that it feels like a sacred and peaceful space. You may wish to make a simple altar with a flower or sacred image, or place your favorite spiritual books there for a few moments of inspiring reading. Let yourself enjoy creating this space for yourself. Then select a regular time for practice that suits your schedule and temperament. If you are a morning person, experiment with a sitting before breakfast. If evening fits your temperament or schedule better, try that first. Begin with sitting ten or twenty minutes at a time. Later you can sit longer or more frequently. Daily meditation can become like bathing or toothbrushing. It can bring a regular cleansing and calming to your heart and mind. Find a posture on the chair or cushion in which you can easily sit erect without being rigid. Let your body be firmly planted on the earth, your hands resting easily, your heart soft, your eyes closed gently. At first feel your body and consciously soften any obvious tension. Let go of any habitual thoughts or plans. Bring your attention to feel the sensations of your breathing. Take a few deep breaths to sense where you can feel the breath most easily, as coolness or tingling in the nostrils or throat, as movement of the chest, or rise and fall of the belly. Then let your breath be natural. Feel the sensations of your natural breathing very carefully, relaxing into each breath as you feel it, noticing how the soft sensations of breathing come and go with the changing breath. After a few breaths your mind will probably wander. When you notice this, no matter how long or short a time you have been away, simply come back to the next breath. Before you return, you can mindfully acknowledge where you have gone with a soft word in the back of your mind, such as “thinking,” “wandering,” “hearing,” “itching.” After softly and silently naming to yourself where your attention has been, gently and directly return to feel the next breath. Later on in your meditation you will be able to work with the places your mind wanders to, but for initial training, one word of acknowledgment and a simple return to the breath is best. As you sit, let the breath change rhythms naturally, allowing it to be short, long, fast, slow, rough, or easy. Calm yourself by relaxing into the breath. When your breath becomes soft, let your attention become gentle and careful, as soft as the breath itself. Like training a puppy, gently bring yourself back a thousand times. Over weeks and months of this practice you will gradually learn to calm and center yourself using the breath. There will be many cycles in this process, stormy days alternating with clear days. Just stay with it. As you do, listening deeply, you will find the breath helping to connect and quiet your whole body and mind. Working with the breath is an excellent foundation for the other meditations presented in this book. After developing some calm and skills, and connecting with your breath, you can then extend your range of meditation to include healing and awareness of all the levels of your body and mind. You will discover how awareness of your breath can serve as a steady basis for all you do.
Jack Kornfield (A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life)
The game resembles the act of writing in that you can’t help but compete with yourself: no one is watching, but you still desire perfection, even if such a thing is unattainable. In fact, the toss of a Frisbee is a bit like the writing of a sentence. Each must move along a certain line to keep the game going forward. Each can go astray, spin out of control. At times what is called for is a long, unspooling line, a toss that slices and circles and hovers in the wind, feinting one way before turning back in another, just as a sentence can move in spirals around a central idea, curving ever closer to the center, the heart, the rock. Other times you need a direct approach. Straight and crisp. A shot from short range.
Philip Connors (Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout)
I have always felt that putting emotions into words was an exercise in futility, they're often more complex than words can manage and it seems often impossible. And like an injustice to the emotions, like I will never have explained them well enough and it will just feel incomplete and wrong. Also I'm pretty sure you made me do this before heh. All of that said, I shall do my best to manage this. You are incredibly passionate. Straightforward. Funny. I feel like such a god damn idiot spouting random adjectives but I don't know what else to do. O.O You are those things though and I love them. You see the world in a way I feel I can understand at least somewhat, a way many don't. You embrace things others try to stifle. You aren't ashamed of being yourself and yourself is wonderful. Kind and compassionate. You sure helped me and I think I helped you too, we connected on some issues even if our issues weren't the same. We... ugh, I can't do it, I can't distill something as complex, intricate, beautiful, amazing as YOU into mere words. But you are who you are and you stole my heart and I don't mind. I like it. I love you. Can't go wrong with someone that loves music and wants to have lotr snuggle fests! I'm here darlingness. I just kept trying and trying to find the right words. It's difficult. NOT because I have anything less than the utmost massive lovelberry tree gem pie for you. It's just... emotions, y'know? They're hard to explain. o.o
Devouree
But it is the nature of narcissistic entitlement to see the situation from only one very subjective point of view that says “My feelings and needs are all that matter, and whatever I want, I should get.” Mutuality and reciprocity are entirely alien concepts, because others exist only to agree, obey, flatter, and comfort – in short, to anticipate and meet my every need. If you cannot make yourself useful in meeting my need, you are of no value and will most likely be treated accordingly, and if you defy my will, prepare to feel my wrath. Hell hath no fury like the Narcissist denied. Narcissists hold these unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves uniquely special. In social situations, you will talk about them or what they are interested in because they are more important, more knowledgeable, or more captivating than anyone else. Any other subject is boring and won’t hold interest, and, in their eyes, they most certainly have a right to be entertained. In personal relationships, their sense of entitlement means that you must attend to their needs but they are under no obligation to listen to or understand you. If you insist that they do, you are “being difficult” or challenging their rights. How dare you put yourself before me? they seem to (or may actually) ask. And if they have real power over you, they feel entitled to use you as they see fit and you must not question their authority. Any failure to comply will be considered an attack on their superiority. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger rage and self-righteous aggression. The conviction of entitlement is a holdover from the egocentric stage of early childhood, around the age of one to two, when children experience a natural sense of grandiosity that is an essential part of their development. This is a transitional phase, and soon it becomes necessary for them to integrate their feelings of self-importance and invincibility with an awareness of their real place in the overall scheme of things that includes a respect for others. In some cases, however, the bubble of specialness is never popped, and in others the rupture is too harsh or sudden, as when a parent or caretaker shames excessively or fails to offer soothing in the wake of a shaming experience. Whether overwhelmed with shame or artificially protected from it, children whose infantile fantasies are not gradually transformed into a more balanced view of themselves in relation to others never get over the belief that they are the center of the universe. Such children may become self-absorbed “Entitlement monsters,” socially inept and incapable of the small sacrifices of Self that allow for reciprocity in personal relationships. The undeflated child turns into an arrogant adult who expects others to serve as constant mirrors of his or her wonderfulness. In positions of power, they can be egotistical tyrants who will have their way without regard for anyone else. Like shame, the rage that follows frustrated entitlement is a primitive emotion that we first learn to manage with the help of attuned parents. The child’s normal narcissistic rages, which intensify during the power struggles of age eighteen to thirty months – those “terrible twos” – require “optimal frustration” that is neither overly humiliating nor threatening to the child’s emerging sense of Self. When children encounter instead a rageful, contemptuous or teasing parent during these moments of intense arousal, the image of the parent’s face is stored in the developing brain and called up at times of future stress to whip them into an aggressive frenzy. Furthermore, the failure of parental attunement during this crucial phase can interfere with the development of brain functions that inhibit aggressive behavior, leaving children with lifelong difficulties controlling aggressive impulses.
Sandy Hotchkiss (Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism)
For most of human history, when you were born you inherited an off-the-shelf package of religious and cultural constraints. This was a kind of library of limits that was embedded in your social and physical environment. These limits performed certain self-regulatory tasks for you so you didn’t have to take them on yourself. The packages included habits, practices, rituals, social conventions, moral codes, and a myriad of other constraints that had typically evolved over many centuries, if not millennia, to reliably guide – or shall we say design – our lives in the direction of particular values, and to help us give attention to the things that matter most. In the twentieth century the rise of secularism and modernism in the West occasioned the collapse – if not the jettisoning – of many of these off-the-shelf packages of constraints in the cause of the liberation of the individual. In many cases, this rejection occurred on the basis of philosophical or cosmological disagreements with the old packages. This has, of course, had many great benefits. Yet by rejecting entire packages of constraint, we’ve also rejected those constraints that were actually useful for our purposes. “The left’s project of liberation,” writes the American philosopher Matthew Crawford, “led us to dismantle inherited cultural jigs that once imposed a certain coherence (for better and worse) on individual lives. This created a vacuum of cultural authority that has been filled, opportunistically, with attentional landscapes that get installed by whatever ‘choice architect’ brings the most energy to the task – usually because it sees the profit potential.” The German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, in his book You Must Change Your Life, has called for a reclamation of this particular aspect of religion – its habits and practices – which he calls “anthropotechnics.”6 When you dismantle existing boundaries in your environment, it frees you from their limitations, but it requires you to bring your own boundaries where you didn’t have to before. Sometimes, taking on this additional self-regulatory burden is totally worth it. Other times, though, the cost is too high. According to the so-called “ego-depletion” hypothesis, our self-control, our willpower, is a finite resource.7 So when the self-regulatory cost of bringing your own boundaries is high enough, it takes away willpower that could have been spent on something else.
James Williams (Stand out of our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy)
Nous avons ete amies," I added. "There,that's two in French, and using past perfect, no less." I couldn't see his expression clearly. It flet like a long time before he said anything. "Ella..." He paused, then, "What happened? Between you and Anna?" "Other than the fact that I'm a fashion-impaired poor kid who draws doorknobs? Haven't a clue." Alex leaned forward. Now I could see his face. He looked annoyed. "Why do you do that? Diminish yourself?" "I don't-" "Bullshit." I could feel my cheeks flaming, feel my shoulders curving inward. "I don't-" "Right.Don't.Just don't, with me, anyway. I like you better feisty." I couldn't help it; that made me smile. "Did you really just say 'feisty'?" "I did.It's a good word." "It's am old word, favored by granddads and pirates." "Yar," Alex sighed. "Face it.You're just an old-fashioned guy." "Whatever.Three...?" "Three," I said, and changed my mind midthought. "I haven't been able to decide if Willing is the second best thing that ever happened to me, or the second worst." "What are the firsts?" "Nope.Uh-uh.It is not for you to ask, Alexander Bainbridge, but to reveal." He drained his glass and rolled it back and forth between his hands. "I had all these funny admissions planned, but you've screwed up my plans. Hey. Don't go all wounded-wide-eyed on me. It's cute, that Bambi thing you have going, but beside the point.Now I have to rethink." "You don't-" "Quiet.One: My name isn't Alexander." He sat up straight and gave his chest a resounding thump. "Menya zavut Alexei Pavlovich Dillwyn Bainbridge. Not Alexander. I don't think anyone outside my family knows that.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
DYNAMITE (13 Sticks for Immediate Use—Handle with Care) PLAN tomorrow’s work today. Review the events of the day, very briefly before retiring. Keep your voice down. No screamers wanted. Train yourself to write very legibly. Keep your good humor even if you lose your shirt. Defend those who are absent. Hear the other side before you judge. Don’t cry over spilt milk. Learn to do one thing as well as anyone on earth can do it. Use your company manners on the family. If you must be rude, let strangers have it. Keep all your goods and possessions neat and orderly. Get rid of things that you do not use. Every day do something to help someone else. Read the Bible every day. These points may seem to be trite and obvious, but each one has hidden behind it, an invincible law of psychology and metaphysics. Try them.
Emmet Fox (Make Your Life Worthwhile)
The way I help twentysomethings gain confidence is by sending them back to work or back to their relationships with some better information. I teach them about how they can have more mastery over their emotions. I talk to them about what confidence really is. Literally, confidence means “with trust.” In research psychology, the more precise term is self-efficacy, or one’s ability to be effective or produce the desired result. No matter what word you use, confidence is trusting yourself to get the job done—whether that job is public speaking, sales, teaching, or being an assistant—and that trust only comes from having gotten the job done many times before. As was the case for every other twentysomething I’d worked with, Danielle’s confidence on the job could only come from doing well on the job—but not all the time.
Meg Jay (The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now)
A Safety Travel with Sinclair James International Traveling to somewhere completely foreign to you may be challenging but that is what travelers always look for. It can be a good opportunity to find something new and discover new places, meet new people and try a different culture. However, it can involve a lot of risk as well. You may be surprised to find yourself naked and penniless on the side of the road trying to figure out what you did wrong. These kinds of situations come rarely when you are careful and cautious enough but it is not impossible. Sinclair James International Travel and Tours, your Australian based traveling guide can help you travel safely through the following tips: 1. Pack all Security Items In case of emergencies, you should have all the safety tools and security items with you. Carry a card with your name and number with you and don’t forget to scribble down the numbers of local police station, fire department, list of hospitals and other necessary numbers that you may need. Place them in each compartment and on your pockets. If ever you find yourself being a victim of pick pocketing in Manila, Philippines or being driven around in circles in the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, you will definitely find these numbers very helpful. It is also advisable to put your name and an emergency number in case you are in trouble and may need someone else to call. 2. Protect your Passport Passports nowadays have RFID which can be scanned from a distance. We have heard some complaints from fellow travelers of being victims of scams which involves stealing of information through passports. An RFID blocking case in a wallet may come in handy to prevent hackers from stealing your information. 3. Beware of Taxis When you exit the airport, taxis may all look the same but some of them can be hiding a defective scam to rob tourists during their drive. It is better to ask an official before taking a taxi as many unmarked ones claim that they are legitimate. Also, if the fare isn’t flat rate, be sure you know the possible routes. Some drivers will know better and will take good care of you, but others will take longer routes to increase the fare. If you know your options, you can suggest a different route to avoid paying too much. 4. Be aware of your Rights Laws change from state to state, and certainly from country to country, but ignorance to them will get you nowhere. In fact, in many cases you can get yourself out of trouble by knowing the laws that will affect you. When traveling to other countries, make sure to review the laws and policies that can affect your activities. There are a lot of misconceptions and knowing these could save you a headache. Sinclair James International
James Sinclair
When I Find It Difficult to Trust Him Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. PROVERBS 3:5 HAS YOUR HUSBAND ever done something you feel has violated your trust in him? It doesn’t have to be anything as terrible as infidelity. It could be financial irresponsibility, or some kind of lie or deception, or hurtful treatment of you, or a confidence he shared with someone else. Whatever it is, you can find yourself wary—always suspecting he may do the same thing again. Yet there must be trust in your marriage relationship or you can never move forward. Living in such a close relationship without trust is not living at all. It’s remarkably sad to not be able to trust the one we are supposed to trust the most. If this has happened to you, it must be remedied, rectified, and resolved. Only God can truly restore the kind of trust you need to have. If your husband has done something to lose your trust, pray that God will lead him to complete repentance. Pray also that your heart will be willing to forgive him. This can be especially hard if he is a repeat offender, but it is not too hard for God to work forgiveness in your heart if you are willing. Ask God to set you free of all anger, frustration, disappointment, fear, and resentment. The most important thing to do after you have prayed for your husband’s repentance and your forgiveness is to pray you will trust God to work a miracle in your husband’s heart and yours as well. You have to first decide that You will trust God with all your heart and not lean on your own understanding. Then He will enable you to trust your husband again. My Prayer to God LORD, I confess any time when I have lost faith in my husband and don’t have full trust in him. I know that is not the way You want me to live. Help us both to have faith in each other and not live in constant distrust, bracing ourselves for what violation of trust is going to happen next. Where my distrust is unfounded, I pray You would help me to see that and enable me to step out in trust of him again. Where my distrust is legitimate because he has truly violated that trust, I ask for a miracle of restoration. First of all, I pray You would lead my husband to total repentance. Bring him to his knees before You in confession so he can be restored. I pray he will be sincerely apologetic to me as well. Second, help me to forgive him so completely that I can trust him fully without reservation again. And last, but most important of all, help me to trust You with all my heart to rectify this situation. Work powerfully in my husband to make him trustworthy, and do a work in me to make me trusting. Help me to not depend on my own reasoning, but rather to depend on Your ability to transform us both. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional)
PEOPLE FABRICATE ANGER YOUTH: Yesterday afternoon, I was reading a book in a coffee shop when a waiter passed by and spilled coffee on my jacket. I’d just bought it and it’s my nicest piece of clothing. I couldn’t help it; I just blew my top. I yelled at him at the top of my lungs. I’m not normally the type of person who speaks loudly in public places. But yesterday, the shop was ringing with the sound of my shouting because I flew into a rage and forgot what I was doing. So, how about that? Is there any room for a goal to be involved here? No matter how you look at it, isn’t this behaviour that originates from a cause? PHILOSOPHER: So, you were stimulated by the emotion of anger, and ended up shouting. Though you are normally mild-mannered, you couldn’t resist being angry. It was an unavoidable occurrence, and you couldn’t do anything about it. Is that what you are saying? YOUTH: Yes, because it happened so suddenly. The words just came out of my mouth before I had time to think. PHILOSOPHER: Then just suppose you happened to have had a knife on you yesterday, and when you blew up you just got carried away and stabbed him. Would you still be able to justify that by saying, ‘It was an unavoidable occurrence, and I couldn’t do anything about it’? YOUTH: That … Come on, that’s an extreme argument! PHILOSOPHER: It is not an extreme argument. If we proceed with your reasoning, any offence committed in anger can be blamed on anger, and will no longer be the responsibility of the person because, essentially, you are saying that people cannot control their emotions. YOUTH: Well, how do you explain my anger then? PHILOSOPHER: That’s easy. You did not fly into a rage and then start shouting. It is solely that you got angry so that you could shout. In other words, in order to fulfil the goal of shouting, you created the emotion of anger. YOUTH: What do you mean? PHILOSOPHER: The goal of shouting came before anything else. That is to say, by shouting, you wanted to make the waiter submit to you and listen to what you had to say. As a means to do that, you fabricated the emotion of anger.
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness)
We copy editors sometimes get a reputation for wanting to redirect the flow, change the course of the missile, have our way with a piece of prose. The image of the copy editor is of someone who favors a rigid consistency, a mean person who enjoys pointing out other people's errors, a lowly person who is just starting out on her career in publishing and is eager to make an impression, or, at worst, a bitter, thwarted person who wanted to be a writer and instead got stuck dotting the i's and crossing the t's and otherwise advancing the careers of other writers. I suppose I have been all of these. But good writers have a reason for doing things the way they do them, and if you tinker with their work ,taking it upon yourself to neutralize a slightly eccentric usage or zap a comma or sharpen the emphasis of something that the writer was deliberately keeping obscure, you are not helping. In my experience, the really great writers enjoy the editorial process. They weigh queries, and they accept or reject the for good reasons. They are not defensive. The whole point of having things read before publication is to test their effect on a general reader. You want to make sure when you go out there that the tag on the back of your collar isn't poking up—unless, of course, you are deliberately wearing your clothes inside out.
Mary Norris
Where to stash your organizational risk? Lately, I’m increasingly hearing folks reference the idea of organizational debt. This is the organizational sibling of technical debt, and it represents things like biased interview processes and inequitable compensation mechanisms. These are systemic problems that are preventing your organization from reaching its potential. Like technical debt, these risks linger because they are never the most pressing problem. Until that one fateful moment when they are. Within organizational debt, there is a volatile subset most likely to come abruptly due, and I call that subset organizational risk. Some good examples might be a toxic team culture, a toilsome fire drill, or a struggling leader. These problems bubble up from your peers, skip-level one-on-ones,16 and organizational health surveys. If you care and are listening, these are hard to miss. But they are slow to fix. And, oh, do they accumulate! The larger and older your organization is, the more you’ll find perched on your capable shoulders. How you respond to this is, in my opinion, the core challenge of leading a large organization. How do you continue to remain emotionally engaged with the challenges faced by individuals you’re responsible to help, when their problem is low in your problems queue? In that moment, do you shrug off the responsibility, either by changing roles or picking powerlessness? Hide in indifference? Become so hard on yourself that you collapse inward? I’ve tried all of these! They weren’t very satisfying. What I’ve found most successful is to identify a few areas to improve, ensure you’re making progress on those, and give yourself permission to do the rest poorly. Work with your manager to write this up as an explicit plan and agree on what reasonable progress looks like. These issues are still stored with your other bags of risk and responsibility, but you’ve agreed on expectations. Now you have a set of organizational risks that you’re pretty confident will get fixed, and then you have all the others: known problems, likely to go sideways, that you don’t believe you’re able to address quickly. What do you do about those? I like to keep them close. Typically, my organizational philosophy is to stabilize team-by-team and organization-by-organization. Ensuring any given area is well on the path to health before moving my focus. I try not to push risks onto teams that are functioning well. You do need to delegate some risks, but generally I think it’s best to only delegate solvable risk. If something simply isn’t likely to go well, I think it’s best to hold the bag yourself. You may be the best suited to manage the risk, but you’re almost certainly the best positioned to take responsibility. As an organizational leader, you’ll always have a portfolio of risk, and you’ll always be doing very badly at some things that are important to you. That’s not only okay, it’s unavoidable.
Will Larson (An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management)
The pathway is smooth. Why do you throw rocks before you?’ Using the Pain-to-Power Chart to help, you can begin to clear the rocks in front of you. These steps will help you clear the way: 1. Draw a large copy of the Pain-to-Power Chart and stick it on your wall. Just the simple act of making it larger will make you feel a little more powerful. You are already taking action! Remember that much of the trick of moving from pain to power is taking action – action is very powerful! Once the chart is on your wall it will always remind you of where you want to go in life – from pain to power. Awareness, knowledge, is half the battle. Having the chart on your wall will also help you to keep moving forward. 2. Put a pin at the place on the chart where you see yourself at this moment in your life. Are you in the middle, where you sometimes feel depressed and stuck, and at other times more in control? Or do you find yourself on the far left side, where there is little you are able to do to pull yourself out of the rut? Or perhaps you are already on the right side, where you feel you are really moving ahead with your life, with only a few areas that need to be worked on. I doubt that anyone reading this book has reached their goal of gaining total power over the self. Even the Buddhas don’t have power over their selves all the time! There are always new events that challenge a sense of personal power. 3. Each day look at the chart and ask yourself, ‘Do I see myself at the same place, or have I moved?’ Move the pin if you have moved. 4. If you keep in mind the way you want to go, it will help you make choices about what you are doing in your life. Before you take any action in life, ask yourself: ‘Is this action moving me to a more powerful place?’ If it isn’t, think again about doing it. A word of warning – if you go ahead anyway, knowing the action will keep you in a place of pain, don’t get angry with yourself about it. Use your mistakes to learn more about yourself. 5. Make your use of the chart fun. Having it as a game keeps you relaxed about how you are getting on. If you have children, they can create their own charts, and you can make a family game out of the fun of growing. 6. You might want to make different charts for different areas of your life. To be really powerful, you need to be in charge of all aspects of your life – your work, relationships, home, body, and so on. Often people are very powerful in some parts of their lives and very weak in others. For example, I am very powerful in terms of my career, but need to work on the area of exercise. To help you on your Pain-to-Power path, it’s important that you begin to develop Pain-to-Power words. The way you use words has a huge impact on the quality of your life. Certain words make you weaker; others make you powerful. Choose to move to Pain-to-Power Words as follows: PAIN-TO-POWER VOCABULARY • ‘I can’t’ suggests you have no control over your life, but ‘I won’t’ puts an issue in the area of choice. From this moment on, stop saying, ‘I can’t’.
Susan Jeffers (Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway (Quick Reads 2017))
A more vain and absurd animal than you was certainly never allowed to cumber the earth. You had no right to be born, for you make no use of life. Instead of living for, in, and with yourself, as a reasonable being ought, you seek only to fasten your feebleness on some other person’s strength: if no one can be found willing to burden her or himself with such a fat, weak, puffy, useless thing, you cry out that you are ill-treated, neglected, miserable. Then, too, existence for you must be a scene of continual change and excitement, or else the world is a dungeon: you must be admired, you must be courted, you must be flattered - you must have music, dancing, and society - or you languish, you die away. Have you no sense to devise a system which will make you independent of all efforts, and all wills, but your own? Take one day; share it into sections; to each section apportion its task: leave no stray unemployed quarters of an hour, ten minutes, five minutes - include all; do each piece of business in its turn with method, with rigid regularity. The day will close almost before you are aware it has begun; and you are indebted to no one for helping you to get rid of one vacant moment: you have had to seek no one’s company, conversation, sympathy, forbearance; you have lived, in short, as an independent being ought to do. Take this advice: the first and last I shall offer you; then you will not want me or any one else, happen what may. Neglect it - go on as heretofore, craving, whining, and idling - and suffer the results of your idiocy, however bad and insuperable they may be.
Charlotte Brontë
Confidence doesn’t come from the inside out. It moves from the outside in. People feel less anxious—and more confident—on the inside when they can point to things they have done well on the outside. Fake confidence comes from stuffing our self-doubt. Empty confidence comes from parental platitudes on our lunch hour. Real confidence comes from mastery experiences, which are actual, lived moments of success, especially when things seem difficult. Whether we are talking about love or work, the confidence that overrides insecurity comes from experience. There is no other way. It is not uncommon for twentysomething clients to come to therapy hoping I can help them increase their confidence. Some wonder if maybe I do hypnosis and a hypnotherapy session might do the trick (I don’t, and it wouldn’t), or they hope I can recommend some herbal remedy (I can’t). The way I help twentysomethings gain confidence is by sending them back to work or back to their relationships with some better information. I teach them about how they can have more mastery over their emotions. I talk to them about what confidence really is. Literally, confidence means “with trust.” In research psychology, the more precise term is self-efficacy, or one’s ability to be effective or produce the desired result. No matter what word you use, confidence is trusting yourself to get the job done—whether that job is public speaking, sales, teaching, or being an assistant—and that trust only comes from having gotten the job done many times before. As was the case for every other twentysomething I’d worked with, Danielle’s confidence on the job could only come from doing well on the job—but not all the time.
Meg Jay (The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now)
It's a little like being alone on a moving train for the first time. The excitement and wonder at the new experience slowly gives way to the creeping feeling that something isn't quite right. You check your ticket and see that you have made a mistake-- it's not the train that you have intended to be on. At first, you try and deny it. You watch the scenery slipping past and try to find a familiar landmark, and for awhile you take solace in denial. But soon, the terrifyingly unfamiliar terrain outside the window causes you to panic. Crushing fear that you can't ignore makes you rush around, looking for a way off it. But, it's moving too fast that you know there is no getting off until it stops somewhere. So you creep back to your seat and try not to attract any attention to yourself because the strangers in the train have taken on a weird, plastic appearance. Any camaraderie that you may have shared with them before is gone since you're no longer one of them: you're a trespasser meant to be on a different train. The knowledge begins to weigh on you as you slide farther and farther from where you wanted to go. You try to reign in on your fear and convince yourself that maybe this new destination will be better than the one you had planned for yourself. Then, somewhere along the way you discover that all your baggage is wrong, too, and you find that you're ill equipped to survive on the trip you're on, but then... then you notice that the stranger sitting next to you isn't like the other passengers... that even though you sat in his seat, he is going to try and help you sort out the tangle you're in. And, because this stranger is so perfect, you begin to relax a little and forget that you are on the wrong train at all.
Amy A. Bartol (Incendiary (The Premonition, #4))
In your war, the first, how did you endure?" asked Sebastian. "My war was nothing," said Hilary hastily, "nothing at all compared with yours, or even David's. Yet I had a way, then, that helped with other things later. For there is always the Thing, you know, the hidden Thing, some fear or pain or shame, temptation or bit of self-knowledge that you can never explain to another. . . . And even in those very few healthy insensitives who do not seem to suffer, a love of something—of their work, perhaps—that they would not want to talk about and could not if they would. For it is the essence of it that it is, humanly speaking, a lonely thing. . . . Returning to the sensitives, if you just endure it simply because you must, like a boil on the neck, or fret yourself to pieces trying to get rid of it, or cadge sympathy for it, then it can break you. But if you accept it as a secret burden borne secretly for the love of Christ, it can become your hidden treasure. For it is your point of contact with Him, your point of contact with that fountain of refreshment down at the root of things. "Oh Lord, thou fountain of living waters.' That fountain of life is what Christians mean by grace. That is all. Nothing new, for it brings us back to where we were before. In those deep green pastures where cool waters are there is no separation. Our point of contact with the suffering Christ is our point of contact with every other suffering man and woman, and is the source of our life. " "You could put it another way," said Sebastian. "We are all the branches of the vine, and the wine runs red for the cleansing of the world." "The symbols are endless," agreed Hilary. "Too many, perhaps. They complicate the simplicity of that one act of secret acceptance and dedication.
Elizabeth Goudge (The Heart of the Family (Eliots of Damerosehay, #3))
JANUARY 26 Being Kind-I You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.” The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pastures. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish. —KAHLIL GIBRAN The great and fierce mystic William Blake said, There is no greater act than putting another before you. This speaks to a selfless giving that seems to be at the base of meaningful love. Yet having struggled for a lifetime with letting the needs of others define me, I've come to understand that without the healthiest form of self-love—without honoring the essence of life that this thing called “self” carries, the way a pod carries a seed—putting another before you can result in damaging self-sacrifice and endless codependence. I have in many ways over many years suppressed my own needs and insights in an effort not to disappoint others, even when no one asked me to. This is not unique to me. Somehow, in the course of learning to be good, we have all been asked to wrestle with a false dilemma: being kind to ourselves or being kind to others. In truth, though, being kind to ourselves is a prerequisite to being kind to others. Honoring ourselves is, in fact, the only lasting way to release a truly selfless kindness to others. It is, I believe, as Mencius, the grandson of Confucius, says, that just as water unobstructed will flow downhill, we, given the chance to be what we are, will extend ourselves in kindness. So, the real and lasting practice for each of us is to remove what obstructs us so that we can be who we are, holding nothing back. If we can work toward this kind of authenticity, then the living kindness—the water of compassion—will naturally flow. We do not need discipline to be kind, just an open heart. Center yourself and meditate on the water of compassion that pools in your heart. As you breathe, simply let it flow, without intent, into the air about you. JANUARY 27 Being Kind-II We love what we attend. —MWALIMU IMARA There were two brothers who never got along. One was forever ambushing everything in his path, looking for the next treasure while the first was still in his hand. He swaggered his shield and cursed everything he held. The other brother wandered in the open with very little protection, attending whatever he came upon. He would linger with every leaf and twig and broken stone. He blessed everything he held. This little story suggests that when we dare to move past hiding, a deeper law arises. When we bare our inwardness fully, exposing our strengths and frailties alike, we discover a kinship in all living things, and from this kinship a kindness moves through us and between us. The mystery is that being authentic is the only thing that reveals to us our kinship with life. In this way, we can unfold the opposite of Blake's truth and say, there is no greater act than putting yourself before another. Not before another as in coming first, but rather as in opening yourself before another, exposing your essence before another. Only in being this authentic can real kinship be known and real kindness released. It is why we are moved, even if we won't admit it, when strangers let down and show themselves. It is why we stop to help the wounded and the real. When we put ourselves fully before another, it makes love possible, the way the stubborn land goes soft before the sea. Place a favorite object in front of you, and as you breathe, put yourself fully before it and feel what makes it special to you. As you breathe, meditate on the place in you where that specialness comes from. Keep breathing evenly, and know this specialness as a kinship between you and your favorite object. During your day, take the time to put yourself fully before something that is new to you, and as you breathe, try to feel your kinship to it.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
Don’t provoke Cheat,” Arin said as they stepped out of the carriage and onto the dusky path that led to the governor’s palace, which looked eerie to Kestrel because its impressive façade was the same as the night before, but the lights burning in the windows were now few. “Kestrel, do you hear me? You can’t toy with him.” “He started it.” “That’s not the point.” Gravel crunched under Arin’s heavy boots as he stalked up the path. “Don’t you understand that he wants you dead? He’d leap at the chance,” Arin said, hands in pockets, head down, almost talking to himself. He strode ahead, his long legs quicker than hers. “I can’t--Kestrel, you must understand that I would never claim you. Calling you a prize--my prize--it was only words. But it worked. Cheat won’t harm you, I swear that he won’t, but you must…hide yourself a little. Help a little. Just tell us how much time we have before the battle. Give him a reason to decide you’re not better off dead. Swallow your pride.” “Maybe that’s not as easy for me as it is for you.” He wheeled on her. “It’s not easy for me,” he said through his teeth. “You know that it’s not. What do you think I have had to swallow, these past ten years? What do you think I have had to do to survive?” They stood before the palace door. “Truly,” she said, “I haven’t the faintest interest. You may tell your sad story to someone else.” He flinched as if slapped. His voice came low: “You can make people feel so small.” Kestrel went hot with shame--then was ashamed of her own shame. Who was he, that she should apologize? He had used her. He had lied. Nothing he said meant anything. If she was to feel shame, it should be for having been so easily fooled. He ran fingers through his cropped hair, but slowly, anger gone, replaced by something heavier. He didn’t look at her. His breath smoked the chill air. “Do what you want to me. Say anything. But it frightens me how you refuse to see the danger you risk with others. Maybe now you’ll see.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Take the famous slogan on the atheist bus in London … “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” … The word that offends against realism here is “enjoy.” I’m sorry—enjoy your life? Enjoy your life? I’m not making some kind of neo-puritan objection to enjoyment. Enjoyment is lovely. Enjoyment is great. The more enjoyment the better. But enjoyment is one emotion … Only sometimes, when you’re being lucky, will you stand in a relationship to what’s happening to you where you’ll gaze at it with warm, approving satisfaction. The rest of the time, you’ll be busy feeling hope, boredom, curiosity, anxiety, irritation, fear, joy, bewilderment, hate, tenderness, despair, relief, exhaustion … This really is a bizarre category error. But not necessarily an innocent one … The implication of the bus slogan is that enjoyment would be your natural state if you weren’t being “worried” by us believer … Take away the malignant threat of God-talk, and you would revert to continuous pleasure, under cloudless skies. What’s so wrong with this, apart from it being total bollocks? … Suppose, as the atheist bus goes by, that you are the fifty-something woman with the Tesco bags, trudging home to find out whether your dementing lover has smeared the walls of the flat with her own shit again. Yesterday when she did it, you hit her, and she mewled till her face was a mess of tears and mucus which you also had to clean up. The only thing that would ease the weight on your heart would be to tell the funniest, sharpest-tongued person you know about it: but that person no longer inhabits the creature who will meet you when you unlock the door. Respite care would help, but nothing will restore your sweetheart, your true love, your darling, your joy. Or suppose you’re that boy in the wheelchair, the one with the spasming corkscrew limbs and the funny-looking head. You’ve never been able to talk, but one of your hands has been enough under your control to tap out messages. Now the electrical storm in your nervous system is spreading there too, and your fingers tap more errors than readable words. Soon your narrow channel to the world will close altogether, and you’ll be left all alone in the hulk of your body. Research into the genetics of your disease may abolish it altogether in later generations, but it won’t rescue you. Or suppose you’re that skanky-looking woman in the doorway, the one with the rat’s nest of dreadlocks. Two days ago you skedaddled from rehab. The first couple of hits were great: your tolerance had gone right down, over two weeks of abstinence and square meals, and the rush of bliss was the way it used to be when you began. But now you’re back in the grind, and the news is trickling through you that you’ve fucked up big time. Always before you’ve had this story you tell yourself about getting clean, but now you see it isn’t true, now you know you haven’t the strength. Social services will be keeping your little boy. And in about half an hour you’ll be giving someone a blowjob for a fiver behind the bus station. Better drugs policy might help, but it won’t ease the need, and the shame over the need, and the need to wipe away the shame. So when the atheist bus comes by, and tells you that there’s probably no God so you should stop worrying and enjoy your life, the slogan is not just bitterly inappropriate in mood. What it means, if it’s true, is that anyone who isn’t enjoying themselves is entirely on their own. The three of you are, for instance; you’re all three locked in your unshareable situations, banged up for good in cells no other human being can enter. What the atheist bus says is: there’s no help coming … But let’s be clear about the emotional logic of the bus’s message. It amounts to a denial of hope or consolation, on any but the most chirpy, squeaky, bubble-gummy reading of the human situation. St Augustine called this kind of thing “cruel optimism” fifteen hundred years ago, and it’s still cruel.
Francis Spufford
What possibilities are there for preventing actions with negative consequences, actions that we may later regret? One possibility is dhyāna, which in this context means “reflection.”3 Reflection can take many forms. For example, when faced with an important decision, you could imagine what would happen if you did the exact opposite of what your instincts suggest.4 Try to make the consequence of your decision as real as possible in your imagination. No matter what it is or what you feel, before you make an important decision and take action you should give yourself the opportunity to consider the matter with an open mind and a certain degree of objectivity. Dhyāna in this respect is a quiet, alert consideration, a meditation. The aim is to free yourself of preconceptions and avoid actions that you may later regret and that may create new troubles (duḥkha) for you. Dhyāna strengthens self-sufficiency. Yoga makes us independent. We all want to be free, although many of us are dependent on psychologists, gurus, teachers, drugs, or whatever. Even if advice and guidance are helpful, in the end we ourselves are the best judge of our own actions. No one is more interested in me than me. With the help of dhyāna we find our own methods and systems for making decisions and better understand our behavior. There are other ways of distancing ourselves from our actions than reflecting on how it would be if we were to act differently from what we intend. We might go to a concert or go for a walk or do something else that calms the thoughts. All the while the mind goes on working unconsciously, without any external pressure. In the pursuit of other activities we gain a certain distance. However short it may be, time becomes available to cast the mind over everything surrounding the decision that has to be made. Perhaps with ease and distance we will make a better decision. Stepping out of a situation in order to get a better look at it from another standpoint is called pratipakṣa. The same word describes the process of considering other possible courses of action.5 The time spent in dhyāna is extremely important. Through self-reflection our actions gain in quality.
T.K.V. Desikachar (The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice)
CONGRUENCE Have you ever felt stuck? Maybe you haven’t recruited anyone in a while, and you just can’t seem to break the streak of no success. This causes you to not feel like picking up the phone and getting any more rejection. You don’t feel like talking about the business that day, so you don’t. Can you relate? This is critical for you to always remember. You cannot avoid rejection. Ninety percent of people are always going to tell you that your business is not for them. You have to go through the no’s to get to the yeses. There is no other way around it. You may not like making calls and accepting no’s, but you will like the results and income you will get by doing it consistently enough. Bank on it. So here’s what happens to everyone, myself included. You have a bad day, where everyone says no. You wake up the next day and you just cannot get yourself to make some calls. The whole day goes by and you did nothing to grow your business. The next day, you have a nagging little feeling of guilt about doing nothing the day before, so you start to internalize it. You question whether you know what you are doing. Does the business work? Is it worth the effort? You know the answer is yes, so you don’t quit — but you also do no activity. The next day, that little guilt feeling has mushroomed even bigger. And as time goes on, the guilt turns into self-loathing. You get down on yourself for not performing like you know you could and should. You begin to beat yourself up and even compare yourself to others. Sadly, this can become a downward spiral that is self-inflicted and hard to break out of. Without being wise enough to seek direct help from an upline expert, some people never recover. Instead of fixing their mindset and bringing their goals and the actions back into alignment — getting congruent — they quit the business. These are the blamers who walk the Earth claiming the business didn’t work. No! They stopped working! Don’t be a blamer. Be congruent. Make your activity match up with your WHY in the business. Pick up the phone and snap back into action. Don’t allow yourself to be depressed, because it is a form of depression. Your upline can help you snap out of it. How
Brian Carruthers (Building an Empire:The Most Complete Blueprint to Building a Massive Network Marketing Business)
And then, with a shock like high-voltage coursing through me, the phone beside me started pealing thinly. I just stood there and stared at it, blood draining from my face. A call to a tollbooth? It must, it must be a wrong number, somebody wanted the Information Booth or-! It must have been audible outside, with all I had the slide partly closed. One of the redcaps passing by turned, looked over, then started coming across toward where I was. To get rid of him I picked up the receiver, put it to my ear. 'You'd better come out now, time's up,' a flat, deadly voice said. 'They're calling your train, but you're not getting on that one - or any other.' 'Wh-where are talking from?' 'The next booth to yours,' the voice jeered. 'You forgot the glass inserts only reach halfway down.' The connection broke and a man's looming figure was shadowing the glass in front of my eyes, before I could even get the receiver back on the hook. I dropped it full-length, tensed my right arm to pound it through his face as soon as I shoved the glass aside. He had a revolver-bore for a top vest-button, trained on me. Two more had shown up behind him, from which direction I hadn't noticed. It was very dark in the booth now, their collective silhouettes shut out all the daylight. The station and all its friendly bustle was blotted out, had receded into the far background, a thousand miles away for all the help it could give me. I slapped the glass wearily aside, came slowly out. One of them flashed a badge - maybe Crow had loaned him his for the occasion. 'You're being arrested for putting slugs in that phone. It won't do any good to raise your voice and shriek for help, try to tell people different. But suit yourself.' I knew that as well as he; heads turned to stare after us by the dozens as they started with me in their midst through the station's main-level. But not one in all that crowd would have dared interfere with what they mistook for a legitimate arrest in the line of duty. The one with the badge kept it conspicuously tilted in his upturned palm, at sight of which the frozen onlookers slowly parted, made way for us through their midst. I was being led to my doom in full view of scores of people. ("Graves For The Living")
Cornell Woolrich
Easing Your Worries I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? —MATTHEW 6:25     I don’t know how things are in your world, but I can tell you that in Southern California we live in an age of anxiety. My neighbors and I have it much easier than our parents, but we certainly are much uneasier than our parents were. We seem to be anxious about temporal things, more so than past generations. They never worried about whether they were eating at the new vogue eatery, vacationing at the best island hotel with the largest pool, wearing the most prestigious label, or keeping their abs in shape. I watched the previous generation closely; they wanted a home for their families, a car that ran efficiently, and a job that provided for their basic needs. It seems our main concerns and drives today are physical and earth possessed. A large number of people actually believe that if they have the best food, clothing, education, house, and trainer, they have arrived. What else could one want for a perfect life? Our culture actually places more importance on the body and what we do with it than ever before in modern history. Thus we have created a mind set that causes us as women to be more concerned with life’s accommodations along life’s journey than with our final destination. Many women are going through their lives with a vast vacuum on the inside. In fact, the woman that you might sometimes envy because of her finely dressed family and newly remodeled kitchen is probably spending most of her day anxious and unsatisfied. Maybe that woman is you? This thing called life is more important than food, and the body is more important than what we wear. All the tangible distractions don’t satisfy the soul; they have become cheap substitutes for our spiritual wholeness and well-being. Let Christ help you overcome the anxieties of life. • Stop chasing the temporal things of life. Seek the kingdom of God as it is revealed in Jesus. Cast all your cares on Him. • Take your eyes off yourself and focus them on God first. Much of our anxieties are rooted in our self-centeredness. • Spend most of your prayer time praying for others.
Emilie Barnes (Walk with Me Today, Lord: Inspiring Devotions for Women)
FROM THE WAVERLEY KITCHEN JOURNAL Angelica - Will shape its meaning to your need, but it is particularly good for calming hyper children at your table. Anise Hyssop - Eases frustration and confusion. Bachelor’s Button - Aids in finding things that were previously hidden. A clarifying flower. Chicory - Conceals bitterness. Gives the eater a sense that all is well. A cloaking flower. Chive Blossom - Ensures you will win an argument. Conveniently, also an antidote for hurt feelings. Dandelion - A stimulant encouraging faithfulness. Frequent side effects are blindness to flaws and spontaneous apologies. Honeysuckle - For seeing in the dark, but only if you use honeysuckle from a brush of vines at least two feet thick. A clarifying flower. Hyacinth Bulb - Causes melancholy and thoughts of past regrets. Use only dried bulbs. A time-travel flower. Lavender - Raises spirits. Prevents bad decisions resulting from fatigue or depression. Lemon Balm - Upon consumption, for a brief period of time the eater will think and feel as he did in his youth. Please note if you have any former hellions at your table before serving. A time-travel flower. Lemon Verbena - Produces a lull in conversation with a mysterious lack of awkwardness. Helpful when you have nervous, overly talkative guests. Lilac - When a certain amount of humility is in order. Gives confidence that humbling yourself to another will not be used against you. Marigold - Causes affection, but sometimes accompanied by jealousy. Nasturtium - Promotes appetite in men. Makes women secretive. Secret sexual liaisons sometimes occur in mixed company. Do not let your guests out of your sight. Pansy - Encourages the eater to give compliments and surprise gifts. Peppermint - A clever method of concealment. When used with other edible flowers, it confuses the eater, thus concealing the true nature of what you are doing. A cloaking flower. Rose Geranium - Produces memories of past good times. Opposite of Hyacinth Bulb. A time-travel flower. Rose Petal - Encourages love. Snapdragon - Wards off the undue influences of others, particularly those with magical sensibilities. Squash and Zucchini Blossoms - Serve when you need to be understood. Clarifying flowers. Tulip - Gives the eater a sense of sexual perfection. A possible side effect is being susceptible to the opinions of others. Violet - A wonderful finish to a meal. Induces calm, brings on happiness, and always assures a good night’s sleep.
Sarah Addison Allen (Garden Spells (Waverly Family #1))
Saphira? he asked. Flecks of purple light danced around the interior of the pavilion as she twisted her neck and fixed her eyes upon Eragon’s. Little one? Should I go? I think you must. He pressed his lips together in a rigid line. And what of you? You know I hate to be separated from you, but Nasuada’s arguments are well reasoned. If I can help keep Murtagh and Thorn away by remaining with the Varden, then perhaps I should. His emotions and hers washed between their minds, tidal surges in a shared pool of anger, anticipation, reluctance, and tenderness. From him flowed the anger and reluctance; from her other, gentler sentiments—as rich in scope as his own—that moderated his choleric passion and lent him perspectives he would not otherwise have. Nevertheless, he clung with stubborn insistence to his opposition to Nasuada’s scheme. If you flew me to Farthen Dûr, I would not be gone for as long, meaning Galbatorix would have less of an opportunity to mount a new assault. But his spies would tell him the Varden were vulnerable the moment we left. I do not want to part with you again so soon after Helgrind. Our own desires cannot take precedence over the needs of the Varden, but no, I do not want to part with you either. Still, remember what Oromis said, that the prowess of a dragon and Rider is measured not only by how well they work together but also by how well they can function when apart. We are both mature enough to operate independently of each other, Eragon, however much we may dislike the prospect. You proved that yourself during your trip from Helgrind. Would it bother you fighting with Arya on your back, as Nasuada mentioned? Her I would mind least of all. We have fought together before, and it was she who ferried me across Alagaësia for nigh on twenty years when I was in my egg. You know that, little one. Why pose this question? Are you jealous? What if I am? An amused twinkle lit her sapphire eyes. She flicked her tongue at him. Then it is very sweet of you…. Would you I should stay or go? It is your choice to make, not mine. But it affects us both. Eragon dug at the ground with the tip of his boot. Then he said, If we must participate in this mad scheme, we should do everything we can to help it succeed. Stay, and see if you can keep Nasuada from losing her head over this thrice-blasted plan of hers. Be of good cheer, little one. Run fast, and we shall be reunited in short order. Eragon looked up at Nasuada. “Very well,” he said, “I will go.
Christopher Paolini (Brisingr (Inheritance, #3))
a guitar. A hammock is swung near the table. It is three o'clock in the afternoon of a cloudy day. MARINA, a quiet, grey-haired, little old woman, is sitting at the table knitting a stocking. ASTROFF is walking up and down near her. MARINA. [Pouring some tea into a glass] Take a little tea, my son. ASTROFF. [Takes the glass from her unwillingly] Somehow, I don't seem to want any. MARINA. Then will you have a little vodka instead? ASTROFF. No, I don't drink vodka every day, and besides, it is too hot now. [A pause] Tell me, nurse, how long have we known each other? MARINA. [Thoughtfully] Let me see, how long is it? Lord—help me to remember. You first came here, into our parts—let me think—when was it? Sonia's mother was still alive—it was two winters before she died; that was eleven years ago—[thoughtfully] perhaps more. ASTROFF. Have I changed much since then? MARINA. Oh, yes. You were handsome and young then, and now you are an old man and not handsome any more. You drink, too. ASTROFF. Yes, ten years have made me another man. And why? Because I am overworked. Nurse, I am on my feet from dawn till dusk. I know no rest; at night I tremble under my blankets for fear of being dragged out to visit some one who is sick; I have toiled without repose or a day's freedom since I have known you; could I help growing old? And then, existence is tedious, anyway; it is a senseless, dirty business, this life, and goes heavily. Every one about here is silly, and after living with them for two or three years one grows silly oneself. It is inevitable. [Twisting his moustache] See what a long moustache I have grown. A foolish, long moustache. Yes, I am as silly as the rest, nurse, but not as stupid; no, I have not grown stupid. Thank God, my brain is not addled yet, though my feelings have grown numb. I ask nothing, I need nothing, I love no one, unless it is yourself alone. [He kisses her head] I had a nurse just like you when I was a child. MARINA. Don't you want a bite of something to eat? ASTROFF. No. During the third week of Lent I went to the epidemic at Malitskoi. It was eruptive typhoid. The peasants were all lying side by side in their huts, and the calves and pigs were running about the floor among the sick. Such dirt there was, and smoke! Unspeakable! I slaved among those people all day, not a crumb passed my lips, but when I got home there was still no rest for me; a switchman was carried in from the railroad; I laid him on the operating table and he went and died in my arms under chloroform, and then my feelings that should have been deadened awoke
Anton Chekhov (Uncle Vanya)
So are you planning on dressing me in addition to everything else?” she asked once they’d cleared a challenging rise. “I planned to pack as much as I could this morning, so you could sleep later,” he lowered his voice, “or take care of what went unfinished last night.” He’d amazed himself by behaving so unselfishly as that. Her unfulfilled desire made it more likely that he’d get her into bed with him, and yet, he couldn’t stand to think of her suffering. “I was attempting to be considerate. Though I’ve little experience with it.” “I’m not talking to you about this. I’m just not.” “I can feel your need as strong as my own.” “Maybe I do have these needs—doesn’t mean you’re the one I’ll choose to help me work them out.” Her gaze drifted to Cade, who was greedily chugging water. His voice low and seething, Bowe said, “You regard him with an appraising eye one more time, Mariketa, and you’re going to get that demon killed. All he wants is to ‘attempt’ you. Do you ken what that means?” “In fact, I do ken what it means. In the throes, you know. One of my boyfriends was a demon.” “Boyfriends?” He frowned. “You mean lovers. How bloody many have you had?” He stopped. “Are you free with yourself, then? With other males? Because that’ll be ending—” “What’d you think?” she asked over her shoulder. “That I was a virgin?” “You’re only twenty-three,” he said, sounding very stodgy, even to himself. “And I try no’ to think of any male before me. But if you were no’ an innocent, then I’d hoped it would have been once, in the dark, with a ham-handed human who was so bad you had to stifle a yawn or fight against laughing.” She shrugged. “I’m sure the number of notches in my bedpost can’t compare to yours.” “Aye, but I’m twelve hundred years old! Even if I had one female a year, you’d understand how they could accumulate.” “Well, I am young.” Just as he felt a flicker of ease, she murmured in a sexy voice, “But, baby, I’ve been busy.” His fists clenched. “Jealous?” She probably wouldn’t think he’d admit to it, but in a low tone, he said, “Aye, I envy any man that’s had his hands on you.” She gave him an enigmatic, studying expression. “Now, if I guess the number you’ve taken into your bed, then you’ll tell me if I’m right.” She hastily faced forward once more. “Not playing. Get bent.” He narrowed his eyes. “One. You’ve had one.” Her shoulders stiffened barely perceptibly, and he wanted to sag with relief. “Because any male worthy of you would kill a rival who tried to steal you from him. I’m guessing the demon was your first and last. And how did you get him to let you go, then?” “What if I told you I was still seeing him?” Bowen shook his head. “No’ considering the way you were with me that first night. Besides, if he allowed you to enter the Hie without being there to guard you, he does no’ deserve you. When we return, I’ll kill him on principle.
Kresley Cole (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals After Dark, #3))
Romans 14 The Danger of Criticism 1 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. 2 For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. 3 Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval. 5 In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. 6 Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. 7 For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. 8 If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. 10 So why do you condemn another believer[*]? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For the Scriptures say,    “‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD,    ‘every knee will bend to me,        and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.[*]’” 12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. 14 I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. 15 And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. 16 Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. 17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. 19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. 20 Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.[*] 22 You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. 23 But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.[*]
Anonymous (Holy Bible Text Edition NLT: New Living Translation)
Don’t provoke Cheat,” Arin said as they stepped out of the carriage and onto the dusky path that led to the governor’s palace, which looked eerie to Kestrel because its impressive façade was the same as the night before, but the lights burning in the windows were now few. “Kestrel, do you hear me? You can’t toy with him.” “He started it.” “That’s not the point.” Gravel crunched under Arin’s heavy boots as he stalked up the path. “Don’t you understand that he wants you dead? He’d leap at the chance,” Arin said, hands in pockets, head down, almost talking to himself. He strode ahead, his long legs quicker than hers. “I can’t--Kestrel, you must understand that I would never claim you. Calling you a prize--my prize--it was only words. But it worked. Cheat won’t harm you, I swear that he won’t, but you must…hide yourself a little. Help a little. Just tell us how much time we have before the battle. Give him a reason to decide you’re not better off dead. Swallow your pride.” “Maybe that’s not as easy for me as it is for you.” He wheeled on her. “It’s not easy for me,” he said through his teeth. “You know that it’s not. What do you think I have had to swallow, these past ten years? What do you think I have had to do to survive?” They stood before the palace door. “Truly,” she said, “I haven’t the faintest interest. You may tell your sad story to someone else.” He flinched as if slapped. His voice came low: “You can make people feel so small.” Kestrel went hot with shame--then was ashamed of her own shame. Who was he, that she should apologize? He had used her. He had lied. Nothing he said meant anything. If she was to feel shame, it should be for having been so easily fooled. He ran fingers through his cropped hair, but slowly, anger gone, replaced by something heavier. He didn’t look at her. His breath smoked the chill air. “Do what you want to me. Say anything. But it frightens me how you refuse to see the danger you risk with others. Maybe now you’ll see.” He opened the door to the governor’s home. The smell struck her first. Blood and decaying flesh. It pushed at Kestrel’s gut. She fought not to gag. Bodies were piled in the reception hall. Lady Neril was lying facedown, almost in the same place where she had stood the night of the ball, greeting guests. Kestrel recognized her by the scarf in her fist, fabric bright in the guttering torchlight. There were hundreds of dead. She saw Captain Wensan, Lady Faris, Senator Nicon’s whole family, Benix… Kestrel knelt next to him. His large hand felt like cold clay. She could hear her tears drip to his clothes. They beaded on his skin. Quietly, Arin said, “He’ll be buried today, with the others.” “He should be burned. We burn our dead.” She couldn’t look at Benix anymore, but neither could she get to her feet. Arin helped her, his touch gentle. “I’ll make certain it’s done right.” Kestrel forced her legs to move, to walk past bodies heaped like rubble. She thought that she must have fallen asleep after all, and that this was an evil dream. She paused at the sight of Irex. His mouth was the stained purple of the poisoned, but he had sticky gashes in his side, and one final cut to the neck. Even poisoned, he had fought. Tears came again. Arin’s hold tightened. He pushed her past Irex. “Don’t you dare weep for him. If he weren’t dead, I would kill him myself.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
PATTERNS OF THE “SHY” What else is common among people who identify themselves as “shy?” Below are the results of a survey that was administered to 150 of my program’s participants. The results of this informal survey reveal certain facts and attitudes common among the socially anxious. Let me point out that these are the subjective answers of the clients themselves—not the professional opinions of the therapists. The average length of time in the program for all who responded was eight months. The average age was twenty-eight. (Some of the answers are based on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest.) -Most clients considered shyness to be a serious problem at some point in their lives. Almost everyone rated the seriousness of their problem at level 5, which makes sense, considering that all who responded were seeking help for their problem. -60 percent of the respondents said that “shyness” first became enough of a problem that it held them back from things they wanted during adolescence; 35 percent reported the problem began in childhood; and 5 percent said not until adulthood. This answer reveals when clients were first aware of social anxiety as an inhibiting force. -The respondents perceived the average degree of “sociability” of their parents was a 2.7, which translates to “fair”; 60 percent of the respondents reported that no other member of the family had a problem with “shyness”; and 40 percent said there was at least one other family member who had a problem with “shyness.” -50 percent were aware of rejection by their peers during childhood. -66 percent had physical symptoms of discomfort during social interaction that they believed were related to social anxiety. -55 percent reported that they had experienced panic attacks. -85 percent do not use any medication for anxiety; 15 percent do. -90 percent said they avoid opportunities to meet new people; 75 percent acknowledged that they often stay home because of social fears, rather than going out. -80 percent identified feelings of depression that they connected to social fears. -70 percent said they had difficulty with social skills. -75 percent felt that before they started the program it was impossible to control their social fears; 80 percent said they now believed it was possible to control their fears. -50 percent said they believed they might have a learning disability. -70 percent felt that they were “too dependent on their parents”; 75 percent felt their parents were overprotective; 50 percent reported that they would not have sought professional help if not for their parents’ urging. -10 percent of respondents were the only child in their families; 40 percent had one sibling; 30 percent had two siblings; 10 percent had three; and 10 percent had four or more. Experts can play many games with statistics. Of importance here are the general attitudes and patterns of a population of socially anxious individuals who were in a therapy program designed to combat their problem. Of primary significance is the high percentage of people who first thought that “shyness” was uncontrollable, but then later changed their minds, once they realized that anxiety is a habit that can be broken—without medication. Also significant is that 50 percent of the participants recognized that their parents were the catalyst for their seeking help. Consider these statistics and think about where you fit into them. Do you identify with this profile? Look back on it in the coming months and examine the ways in which your sociability changes. Give yourself credit for successful breakthroughs, and keep in mind that you are not alone!
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
22. Giving up Distraction Week #4 Saturday Scripture Verses •Hebrews 12:1–2 •Mark 1:35 •John 1:14–18 Questions to Consider •What distracts you from being present with other people around you? •What distracts you from living out God’s agenda for your life? •What helps you to focus and be the most productive? •How does Jesus help us focus on what is most important in any given moment? Plan of Action •At your next lunch, have everyone set their phone facing down at the middle of the table. The first person who picks up their phone pays for the meal. •Challenge yourself that the first thing you watch, read, or listen to in the morning when you wake up is God’s Word (not email or Facebook). •Do a digital detox. Turn off everything with a screen for 24 hours. Tomorrow would be a great day to do it, since there is no “40 Things Devotion” on Sunday. Reflection We live in an ever connected world. With smart phones at the tip of our fingers, we can instantly communicate with people on the other side of the world. It is an amazing time to live in. I love the possibilities and the opportunities. With the rise of social media, we not only connect with our current circle of friends and family, but we are also able to connect with circles from the past. We can build new communities in the virtual world to find like-minded people we cannot find in our physical world. Services like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram all have tremendous power. They have a way of connecting us with others to shine the light of Jesus. While all of these wonderful things open up incredible possibilities, there are also many dangers that lurk. One of the biggest dangers is distraction. They keep us from living in the moment and they keep us from enjoying the people sitting right across the room from us. We’ve all seen that picture where the family is texting one another from across the table. They are not looking at each other. They are looking at the tablet or the phone in front of them. They are distracted in the moment. Today we are giving up distraction and we are going to live in the moment. Distraction doesn’t just come from modern technology. We are distracted by our work. We are distracted by hobbies. We are distracted by entertainment. We are distracted by busyness. The opposite of distraction is focus. It is setting our hearts and our minds on Jesus. It’s not just putting him first. It’s about him being a part of everything. It is about making our choices to be God’s choices. It is about letting him determine how we use our time and focus our attention. He is the one setting our agenda. I saw a statistic that 80% of smartphone users will check their phone within the first 15 minutes of waking up. Many of those are checking their phones before they even get out of bed. What are they checking? Social media? Email? The news of the day? Think about that for a moment. My personal challenge is the first thing I open up every day is God’s word. I might open up the Bible on my phone, but I want to make sure the first thing I am looking at is God’s agenda. When I open up my email, my mind is quickly set to the tasks those emails generate rather than the tasks God would put before me. Who do I want to set my agenda? For me personally, I know that if God is going to set the agenda, I need to hear from him before I hear from anyone else. There is a myth called multitasking. We talk about doing it, but it is something impossible to do. We are very good at switching back and forth from different tasks very quickly, but we are never truly doing two things at once. So the challenge is to be present where God has planted you. In any given moment, know what is the one most important thing. Be present in that one thing. Be present here and now.
Phil Ressler (40 Things to Give Up for Lent and Beyond: A 40 Day Devotion Series for the Season of Lent)
flicker?" He points to the screen and pauses the vid. "That's when they switched the footage." I stare at the screen. "How do I know you're not the ones lying?" "You saw it yourself on the street," Meyer says. I glance up from the pad and lock eyes with Meyer. "What else are they lying about?" Jayson chuckles. "Well… that's going to take longer than we have." "Here's one," Meyer says. "Remember that last viral outbreak that killed a bunch of Level Ones?" "3005B?" My heart races. That's the virus that ultimately killed Ben thirteen years ago. "That's it. The one they use in all the broadcasts to remind citizens how important it is to get your MedVac updates? It wasn't an accident." We were always told a virus swept through Level One because they hadn't gotten their updated VacTech yet. Hundreds of people died in the day it took to get everyone up to date. "My brother died because of that." Everything I've found out over the last week suddenly grips me with fear. This can't be real. My breath shortens, and suddenly my head starts slowly spinning. Everything goes blurry. Then black. ~~~ "It's all right, kid," a distant voice, which must be Jayson's, echoes in the back of my mind. The room swirls around me. Their faces blur in and out of focus. "Meyer, get her." Blinking a couple of times, I try to sit up. I guess I fell. Meyer's warm hands rest on the back of my neck, my head in his lap. "Don't stand. You could pass out again," he says. He helps me sit up. "Are you okay?" "No, I'm not okay," I mumble. "This is too much." I feel like I should be crying, but I'm not. The reality is that the anger I feel is so much greater than any sadness. Neither Meyer nor Jayson speak, and let me mull over what I've just heard. "Why did they do that?" I eventually ask. "Two reasons, kid," Jayson says. "To cull the Level Ones, and to scare Elore into taking the VacTech. If viral outbreaks are still a threat, no one questions it, and continues believing inside the perimeter is the safest place for them." "I'm sorry about your brother," Meyer says as he stands, offering me his hand. His words are genuine, filled with the emotions of someone who has also experienced loss. "I hate to end this," Jayson interrupts, "but it's time to go." Meyer eyes Jayson, and then me. "I understand if you're not ready, but you need to choose soon. Within the next few days." I take his hand and pull myself to my feet. Words catch somewhere between my heart and throat. The old me wants to tell them to get lost and to never bother me again. It's so risky. Then again, I can't stand by while Manning and Direction kill people to keep us in the dark. Joining is the right thing to do. Feelings I've never experienced before well inside my chest, and I long to shout, When do we start? Instead, I stuff them down and stare at the ground. Subtle pressure squeezes my hand, bringing me back to the present. I never let go of Meyer's hand. How long have we been like that? He releases my hand as he mutters and steps back. The heat from his touch still flickers on my skin. You didn't have to go. I clear my throat and turn toward Meyer. Our eyes lock. "I've already decided," I tell him. "I'll do it. For Ben. Direction caused his death, and there's no way I'm standing by and letting them do this to more people." I barely recognize my own voice as I ask, "What do I do?" A slap hits my back and I choke. Jayson. "Atta girl. Meyer and I knew you had it in you." "Jayson, you have to give Avlyn some time." Meyer steps toward me and holds his handheld in the air toward Jayson. "I'll bring her up to speed." "Sure thing." Jayson throws his hands in the air and walks to the other side of the room. "Sorry," Meyer murmurs. "Jayson is pretty… overwhelming. At least until you know him. Even then…" "Oh, it's fine." A white lie. "He's a nice guy. Now, why don't you tell me the instructions
Jenetta Penner (Configured (Configured, #1))
a serious contender for my book of year. I can't believe I only discovered Chris Carter a year ago and I now consider him to be one of my favourite crime authors of all time. For that reason this is a difficult review to write because I really want to show just how fantastic this book is. It's a huge departure from what we are used to from Chris, this book is very different from the books that came before. That said it could not have been more successful in my opinion. After five books of Hunter trying to capture a serial killer it makes sense to shake things up a bit and Chris has done that in best possible way. By allowing us to get inside the head of one of the most evil characters I've ever read about. It is also the first book based on real facts and events from Chris's criminal psychology days and that makes it all the more shocking and fascinating. Chris Carter's imagination knows no bounds and I love it. The scenes, the characters, whatever he comes up with is both original and mind blowing and that has never been more so than with this book. I feel like I can't even mention the plot even just a little bit. This is a book that should be read in the same way that I read it: with my heart in my mouth, my eyes unblinking and in a state of complete obliviousness to the world around me while I was well and truly hooked on this book. This is addictive reading at its absolute best and I was devastated when I turned the very last page. Robert Hunter, after the events of the last few books is looking forward to a much needed break in Hawaii. Before he can escape however his Captain calls him to her office. Arriving, Hunter recognises someone - one of the most senior members of the FBI who needs his help. They have in custody one of the strangest individuals they have ever come across, a man who is more machine than human and who for days has uttered not a single word. Until one morning he utters seven: 'I will only speak to Robert Hunter'. The man is Hunter's roommate and best friend from college, Lucien Folter, and found in the boot of his car are two severed and mutilated heads. Lucien cries innocence and Hunter, a man incredibly difficult to read or surprise is played just as much as the reader is by Lucien. There are a million and one things I want to say but I just can't. You really have to discover how this story unfolds for yourself. In this book we learn so much more about Hunter and get inside his head even further than we have before. There's a chapter that almost brought me to tears such is the talent of Chris to connect the reader with Hunter. This is a character like no other and he is now one of my favourite detectives of all time. We go back in time and learn more about Hunter when he was younger, and also when he was in college with Lucien. Lucien is evil. The scenes depicted in this book are some of the most graphic I've ever read and you know what, I loved it. After five books of some of the scariest and goriest scenes I've ever read I wondered whether Chris could come up with something even worse (in a good way), but trust me, he does. This book is horrifying, terrifying and near impossible to put down until you reach its conclusion. I spent my days like a zombie and my nights practically giving myself paper cuts turning the pages. If when reading this book you think you have an idea of where it will go, prepare to be wrong. I've learnt never to underestimate Chris, keeping readers on their toes he takes them on an absolute rollercoaster of a ride with the twistiest of turns and the biggest of drops you will finish this book reeling. I am on a serious book hangover, what book can I read next that can even compare to this? I have no idea but if you are planning on reading An Evil Mind I cannot reccommend it enough. Not only is this probably my book of the year it is probably the best crime fiction book I have ever read. An exaggeration you might say but my opinion is my own and this real
Ayaz mallah