Shield Yourself Quotes

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Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve.
Carol Shields (The Republic of Love)
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love – for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you from misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Max Ehrmann (Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life)
As paradoxical as it sounds: The best way to shield yourself from nasty surprises is to anticipate them.
Rolf Dobelli (The Art of Thinking Clearly)
When your mind wants to bolt, but your heart hangs on, it is because you don’t know with absolute certainty what the truth is. When you waste so much time on something that you want to believe is true, you begin to overthink things. Eventually, something obvious becomes twisted into something absurd, which keeps us from believing a simpler answer. Over time, you believe your own lies and fantasies to shield yourself from hurt, when following what is logical would have been the quickest way to healing. It is through your own self-imposed delusions that you lose your perspective. The world then becomes different to you when in fact you are different. Why? Because your own ego gets in the way. Everyone wants to feel special. Everyone wants to have faith in others. Everyone wants to believe in fairytales, happy endings and have all bad interactions with others explained. It is easier to sit in denial with your delusions and pray God will intervene, not realizing he has. He gave you commonsense and intuition, but you didn’t like how it made you feel. This is what true mental illness really is: Following your gut instinct through hell because you want to prove you are right, either to yourself or others. You sacrifice choosing to do right, in order to avoid pain. However, you don't realize that you have been in pain for a really long time and believed this was how happiness felt.
Shannon L. Alder
The first cut is always the deepest, but not every cut leaves a scar. If you spend your whole life worrying about getting hurt, then you aren't really living. You dont want to shield yourself so much from the bad stuff that nothing good gets to you, either.
Chris Colfer
The one thing I can tell you is that you wont survive for yourself. I know because I would never have come this far. A person who had no one would be well advised to cobble together some passable ghost. Breathe it into being and coax it along with words of love. Offer it each phantom crumb and shield it from harm with your body. As for me my only hope is for eternal nothingness and I hope it with all my heart.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for a person is to shield them from that which will not help them. Make the decision and then carry the burden yourself, bear the weight so that they don't have to.
Lynn Weingarten (Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls)
The first language humans had was gestures. There was nothing primitive about this language that flowed from people’s hands, nothing we say now that could not be said in the endless array of movements possible with the fine bones of the fingers and wrists. The gestures were complex and subtle, involving a delicacy of motion that has since been lost completely. During the Age of Silence, people communicated more, not less. Basic survival demanded that the hands were almost never still, and so it was only during sleep (and sometimes not even then) that people were not saying something or other. No distinction was made between the gestures of language and the gestures of life. The labor of building a house, say, or preparing a meal was no less an expression than making the sign for I love you or I feel serious. When a hand was used to shield one’s face when frightened by a loud noise something was being said, and when fingers were used to pick up what someone else had dropped something was being said; and even when the hands were at rest, that, too, was saying something. Naturally, there were misunderstandings. There were times when a finger might have been lifted to scratch a nose, and if casual eye contact was made with one’s lover just then, the lover might accidentally take it to be the gesture, not at all dissimilar, for Now I realize I was wrong to love you. These mistakes were heartbreaking. And yet, because people knew how easily they could happen, because they didn’t go round with the illusion that they understood perfectly the things other people said, they were used to interrupting each other to ask if they’d understood correctly. Sometimes these misunderstandings were even desirable, since they gave people a reason to say, Forgive me, I was only scratching my nose. Of course I know I’ve always been right to love you. Because of the frequency of these mistakes, over time the gesture for asking forgiveness evolved into the simplest form. Just to open your palm was to say: Forgive me." "If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms – if you find yourself at a loss for what to do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignness of your own body – it’s because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what’s inside and what’s outside, was so much less. It’s not that we’ve forgotten the language of gestures entirely. The habit of moving our hands while we speak is left over from it. Clapping, pointing, giving the thumbs-up, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together. And at night, when it’s too dark to see, we find it necessary to gesture on each other’s bodies to make ourselves understood.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
If you spend your whole life worrying about getting hurt, then you aren't really living. You don't want to shield yourself so much from the bad stuff that nothing good gets to you either.
Chris Colfer (A Grimm Warning (The Land of Stories, #3))
Questions are swords and answers are shields,” persisted Sammy, still staring at Sara. “I’m begging you, armor yourself.
Stuart Turton (The Devil and the Dark Water)
Instead of trying to “shield” yourself as an empath, try to create boundaries instead -- this is a much more healthy, sustainable, and long term practice.
Mateo Sol (Awakened Empath: The Ultimate Guide to Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Healing)
To keep Velaris safe, to keep Mor and Amren and Cassian and Azriel and… Rhys safe. I said to Lucien, low and quiet and as vicious as the talons that formed at the tips of my fingers, as vicious as the wondrous weight between my shoulder blades, “When you spend so long trapped in darkness, Lucien, you find that the darkness begins to stare back.” A pulse of surprise, of wicked delight against my mental shields, at the dark, membranous wings I knew were now poking over my shoulders. Every icy kiss of rain sent jolts of cold through me. Sensitive—so sensitive, these Illryian wings. Lucien backed up a step. “What did you do to yourself?” I gave him a little smile. “The human girl you knew died Under the Mountain. I have no interest in spending immortality as a High Lord’s pet.” Lucien started shaking his head. “Feyre—” “Tell Tamlin,” I said, choking on his name, on the thought of what he’d done to Rhys, to his family, “if he sends anyone else into these lands, I will hunt each and every one of you down. And I will demonstrate exactly what the darkness taught me.” There was something like genuine pain on his face. I didn’t care. I just watched him, unyielding and cold and dark. The creature I might one day have become if I had stayed at the Spring Court, if I had remained broken for decades, centuries… until I learned to quietly direct those shards of pain outward, learned to savor the pain of others.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
Question your assumptions, be kind to yourself, live for the moment, loosen up, pray, scream, curse the world, count your blessings, just let go, just be.
Carol Shields (The Stone Diaries)
You put up this steel armor around yourself in the form of hostility and disinterest—whichever works to shield you best at the moment, but that’s not who you are.
Pauline Creeden (Armored Hearts (Armored Hearts, #1))
When you are sixteen you do not know what your parents know, or much of what they understand, and less of what's in their hearts. This can save you from becoming an adult too early, save your life from becoming only theirs lived over again--which is a loss. But to shield yourself--as I didn't do--seems to be an even greater error, since what's lost is the truth of your parents' life and what you should think about it, and beyond that, how you should estimate the world you are about to live in.
Richard Ford (Wildlife)
The stories don't fit back together, and it's the end of stories, those devices we carry like shells and shields and blinkers and occasionally maps and compasses. The people close to you become mirrors and journals in which you record your history, the instruments that help you know yourself and remember yourself, and you do the same for them. When they vanish so does the use, the appreciation, the understanding of those small anecdotes, catchphrases, jokes: they become a book slammed shut or burnt... The stories shatter. Or you wear them out or leave them behind. Over time the memory loses power. Over time you become someone else.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
writing is about shedding your shield and allowing yourself to be vulnerable it is about forcing yourself to confront your demons and to let yourself feel -this is also what healing is about
Ellen Everett (I Saw You As A Flower: A Poetry Collection)
When you have to hide who you really are to the world, you create a shell around yourself over time. A painted on coating of lies. It becomes your shield...and your prison.
Selena Kitt (Grace (Under Mr. Nolan's Bed, #3))
If you don’t know the truth, or if you don’t act on the truth, the shield of faith is impotent. In order to have faith, you have to know and respond to truth. And as we saw earlier, truth is fundamentally God’s viewpoint on a matter.
Tony Evans (Victory in Spiritual Warfare: Outfitting Yourself for the Battle)
A pulse of surprise, of wicked delight against my mental shields, at the dark, membranous wings I knew were now poking over my shoulders. Every icy kiss of rain sent jolts of cold through me. Sensitive-so sensitive, these Illyrian wings. Lucien backed up at step. "What did you do to yourself?" I gave him a little smile. "The human girl you knew died Under the Mountain. I have no interest in spending immortality as a High Lord's pet
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
What is love if not a shield thrown up around you when you are too injured to throw it up yourself?
Akwaeke Emezi (Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir)
I guess if you were really determined, you could find a way to get yourself killed by exposing the power connectors under the panels and shielding and, I don’t know, licking them or something, but this dead human clearly hadn’t.
Martha Wells (Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries, #6))
Buddha is our inherent nature—our buddha nature—and what that means is that if you’re going to grow up fully, the way that it happens is that you begin to connect with the intelligence that you already have. It’s not like some intelligence that’s going to be transplanted into you. If you’re going to be fully mature, you will no longer be imprisoned in the childhood feeling that you always need to protect yourself or shield yourself because things are too harsh. If you’re going to be a grown-up—which I would define as being completely at home in your world no matter how difficult the situation—it’s because you will allow something that’s already in you to be nurtured. You allow it to grow, you allow it to come out, instead of all the time shielding it and protecting it and keeping it buried. Someone once told me, “When you feel afraid, that’s ‘fearful buddha.’” That could be applied to whatever you feel. Maybe anger is your thing. You just go out of control and you see red, and the next thing you know you’re yelling or throwing something or hitting someone. At that time, begin to accept the fact that that’s “enraged buddha.” If you feel jealous, that’s “jealous buddha.” If you have indigestion, that’s “buddha with heartburn.” If you’re happy, “happy buddha”; if bored, “bored buddha.” In other words, anything that you can experience or think is worthy of compassion; anything you could think or feel is worthy of appreciation.
Pema Chödrön (Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living)
Take the Cup, Sophia Collins,"she said, and the room was breathlessly silent. The Council chamber was not full, but the row Tessa sat at the end was:Gideon and Gabriel, Cecily and Henry, and her and Will, all leaning forward eagerly, waiting for Sophie to Ascend. At each end of the dais stood a Silent Brother, their heads bent, their parchment robes looking as if they had been carved out of marble. Charlotte lowered the Cup, and held it out to Sophie, who took it carefully. "Do you swear, Sophia Collins, to forsake the mundane world and follow the path of the Shadowhunter? Will you take into yourself the blood of the Angel Raziel and honor that blood? Do you swear to serve the Clave, to follow the Law as set forth by the Covernant, and to obey the word of the Council? Will you defend that which is human and mortal, knowing that for your service there will be no recompense and no thanks but honor?"I swear,"said Sophie, her voice very steady. "Can you be a shield for the weak, a light in the dark, a truth among falsehoods, a tower in the flood, an eye to see when all others are blind?" I can." "And when you are dead, will you give up your body to the Nephilim to be burned, that your ashes may be used to build the City of Bones?" "I will." "The drink,"said Charlotte. Tessa heard Gideon draw in his breath. This was the dangerous part of the ritual. This was the part that would kill the untrained and unworthy. Sophie bent her dark head and set the Cup to her lips. Tessa sat forward, her chest tight with aprehension. She felt Will's hand slide over hers, a warm, comforting weight. Sophie's throat moved as she swallowed. The circle that surrounded her and Charlotte flared up once with a cold, blue-white light, obscuring them both. When it faded, Tessa was left blinking stars from her eyes as the light dwindled. She blinked hastily, and saw Sophie hold up the Cup. there was a glow about the Cup she held as she handed it back to Charlotte, who smiled broadly. "You are Nehilim now,"she said. "I name you Sophia Shadowhunter, of the blood of Jonathan Shadowhunter, child of the Nehilim. Arise, Sophia.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
If someone contacts you and asserts that you’re infringing on their patent, you’ll need a lawyer to shield you from the accusation that you are willfully infringing. Never, ever respond yourself. At the same time, you’re not left with whatever your lawyer tells you to do. If you have patents of your own (which you should), disputes don’t have to come to litigation, damages, and bankruptcy. In my experience, the best way to settle IP infringement suits out of the courtroom is through cross-licensing—an agreement between all parties to give each other a license to use their patents.
JiNan George (The IP Miracle: How to Transform Ideas into Assets that Multiply Your Business)
-Desiderata- Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann (Desiderata of Happiness)
It’ll never get easier. If you had a strict rule, maybe, to always show mercy or always punish, you could use it as a shield to protect your spirit. But that would be distancing yourself from your duty. Determining the fates of others on a case-by-case basis, considering the infinite combinations of circumstance, will wear on you like rain on the mountain. Give it enough time, and you’ll bear the scars.” He spoke out of kindness and sorrow, perhaps not as immutable as he claimed to be. “You will never be perfectly fair, and you will never be truly correct,” Lao Ge said. “This is your burden.” To keep deciding, over and over again.
F.C. Yee (Avatar: The Rise of Kyoshi (The Kyoshi Novels, #1))
If you weren’t ready to suffer yourself, you had no place making anyone else suffer.
Aneko Yusagi (The Rising of the Shield Hero Volume 10)
Sanity is actually a pretence, a way we learn to behave. We keep this pretence up because we don't want to be rejected by other people - and being classified insane is to be shut out of the group in a very complete way. Most people I meet are secretly convinced that they're a little crazier than the average person. People understand the energy necessary to maintain their own shields, but not the energy expended by other people. They understand that their own sanity is a performance, but when confronted by other people they confuse the person with the role. Sanity has nothing directly to do with the way you think. Its a matter of presenting yourself as safe.
Keith Johnstone (Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre)
You want to build your walls, darling phantom? Shield yourself inside these haunted spaces? That’s fine,” I tell her with a nod, my thumb pressing into her neck deeply. “But you make sure I’m inside before you shut those doors. You can shut the entire world out. Not me. Never me.
Monty Jay (The Blood We Crave: Part One (The Hollow Boys, #3))
Does it occur to you that if he set his mind to it, Steve could be a truly excellent supervillain?” Clint said into the comm unit, not bothering with any sort of segue. He knew very well who it was. “We have a contingency plan in place for that,” Coulson said without missing a beat. In the background, Steve said, “Wait, what?” “Oh, c'mon.” Stark sounded seriously insulted. “If anyone here is going to go the black leather and weather control ray route, it's gonna be me, let's not even kid ourselves.” “Every active SHIELD employee has a wallet card instructing them what to do in the event you go supervillain, Stark. It's standard equipment.” A beat of silence. “What?” Tony asked. “I got one,” Bruce said. “Want to see it?” “If you show it to him, it'll defeat the purpose of having a plan,” Natasha said. “And I like this plan, it's a good plan, I do not want to go through them trying to come up with something else.” “Yes, I want to see it,” Tony said. “Thor, did you get a card?” “Verily. Their plan is most sound. I believe we will be able to subdue you with great swiftness, before you have much chance to hurt yourself or others. The damage to property will, of course, be massive, but such things are to be expected.” “What the hell? You will not be able to subdue me quickly. Screw you, I am wily and brilliant.” “I didn't get one,” Steve said, and there was a loud sound of no one being surprised. “It's not a good idea to warn the bait that-” Clint started...
Scifigrl47 (Ordinary Workplace Hazards, Or SHIELD and OSHA Aren't On Speaking Terms (In Which Tony Stark Builds Himself Some Friends (But His Family Was Assigned by Nick Fury), #2))
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
Max Ehrmann (Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life)
A happy love is a single story, a disintegrating one is two or more competing, conflicting versions, and a disintegrated one lies at your feet like a shattered mirror, each shard reflecting a different story, that it was wonderful, that it was terrible, if only this had, if only that hadn't. The stories don't fit back together, and it's the end of stories, those devices we carry like shells and shields and blinkers and occasionally maps and compasses. The people close to you become mirrors and journals in which you record your history, the instruments that help you know yourself and remember yourself, and you do the same for them. When they vanish so does the use, the appreciation, the understanding of those small anecdotes, catchphrases, jokes: they become a book slammed shut or burnt.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
The silence. End of all poetry, all romances. Earlier, frightened, you began to have some intimation of it: so many pages had been turned, the book was so heavy in one hand, so light in the other, thinning toward the end. Still, you consoled yourself. You were not quite at the end of the story, at that terrible flyleaf, blank like a shuttered window: there were still a few pages under your thumb, still to be sought and treasured. Oh, was it possible to read more slowly? - No. The end approached, inexorable, at the same measured pace. The last page, the last of the shining words! And there - the end of the books. The hard cover which, when you turn it, gives you only this leather stamped with old roses and shields. Then the silence comes, like the absence of sound at the end of the world. You look up. It's a room in an old house. Or perhaps it's a seat in a garden, or even a square; perhaps you've been reading outside and you suddenly see the carriages going by. Life comes back, the shadows of leaves. Someone comes to ask what you will have for dinner, or two small boys run past you, wildly shouting; or else it's merely a breeze blowing a curtain, the white unfurling into a room, brushing the papers on a desk. It is the sound of the world. But to you, the reader, it is only a silence, untenanted and desolate.
Sofia Samatar (A Stranger in Olondria)
The true way to mourn the dead is to take care of the living—including yourself.
Misty Hayes (Shield & Shade)
Strong is on the inside, a root that keeps you standing whatever might hit you. But hard is only on the outside, this shield you put up to keep all the pain on the inside from showing. The soft inside is still there even when you don't let yourself see it. And the shell keeps you safe, but it also keeps the good things from penetrating; love and trust and joy.
Elizabeth Joy Arnold (The Book of Secrets)
You can become unhinged and cut loose from the world. You can believe you are a permanent outsider. But the innocence of a child will bring you back and give you the shield of joy with which to protect yourself. I have learned this late in life but not too late. It’s never too late.
Michael Connelly (The Narrows (Harry Bosch, #10; Harry Bosch Universe, #14))
One, the search for the fang-free dragon taught me that fear and intimidation might not be the best way to train dragons. Two, the sword: that sometimes best is second-best. Three, the shield: that sometimes freedom must be fought for. Four, the ticking-thing: that when you fight for your friend, you are also fighting for yourself. Five, the ruby heart’s stone: that love never dies. Six, the arrow from the land-that-does-not-exist: that you must make things right in the Old World before you go looking for the New, and sometimes the things that you are looking for are right at home. Seven, the key-that-opens-all-locks: that accidents happen for a reason. Eight, the Throne: that power can corrupt. Nine, the Crown: that you have to keep on trying even though you are beaten before you even star. And Ten, the dragon Jewel," finished Hiccup. "You need to know what it is to be a slave, before you can be a King.
Cressida Cowell (How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (How To Train Your Dragon, #12))
If you couldn't sense heat, you'd not be alive. And if that heat never grew uncomfortable, you would never move. And if you were stagnant—unchallenged by unpredictable flares—you would never grow capable of shielding yourself from harsher flames. So yes, life was meant to drag you straight through the fire.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
Mistakes will cause you pain, but you shouldn’t try to shield yourself or others from it. Pain is a message that something is wrong and it’s an effective teacher that one shouldn’t do that wrong thing again.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
Don't let time get away from you. I know you've got a lot going on, and you worry about things. And sometimes you shield yourself away. Armor is all well and good until one day you forget that it's there and never take it off.
T.J. Klune (Why We Fight (At First Sight, #4))
One, the search for the fang-free dragon taught me that fear and intimidation might not be the best way to train dragons. "Two, the sword: that sometimes best is second-best. "Three, the shield: that sometimes freedom must be fought for. "Four, the ticking-thing: that when you fight for your friend, you are also fighting for yourself. "Five, the ruby heart’s stone: that love never dies. "Six, the arrow from the land-that-does-not-exist: that you must make things right in the Old World before you go looking for the New, and sometimes the things that you are looking for are right at home. "Seven, the key-that-opens-all-locks: that accidents happen for a reason. "Eight, the Throne: that power can corrupt. "Nine, the Crown: that you have to keep on trying even though you are beaten before you even star. "And Ten, the dragon Jewel," finished Hiccup. "You need to know what it is to be a slave, before you can be a King.
Cressida Cowell (How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (How To Train Your Dragon, #12))
I’ve recently discovered what I suspected all along – cynicism is overrated and overvalued. It’s the shield people hide behind in the mistake belief that it makes them appear cool, strong and impenetrable. But true bravery isn’t about following the crowd or pretending not to care – it’s about daring to trust in yourself and staying true to your heart in the face of dissent. True courage is going out on a limb for the people you love because it’s the right thing to do.
Alyson Noel (Horizon (The Soul Seekers, #4))
If first you rid yourself of hope and fear you have disarmed the tyrant's wrath: but whosoever quakes in fear or hope, drifting and losing master, has cast away his shield, has left his place, and binds the chains with which he will be bound.
Boethius (Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy;)
Mortality is like the cold. It cannot be altered by human conceit or solidarity, and at the end you will be on your knees, in shock and amazement, and then you'll have only one sword, one shield, one great thing to carry you through." Alessandro waited to hear what that was, but his father would not say. "If you don't discover it yourself, it will be nothing more than an exhortation from me.
Mark Helprin (A Soldier of the Great War)
The first cut is always the deepest, but not every cut leaves a scar,” she said. “If you spend your whole life worrying about getting hurt, then you aren’t really living. You don’t want to shield yourself so much from the bad stuff that nothing good gets to you, either.
Chris Colfer (A Grimm Warning (The Land of Stories, #3))
You rose because hundreds of years ago, when a woman entered a room full of men, she wasn’t exactly safe. Especially if she was beautiful or had holdings. Our magic is just as deadly, but physically, an average male is stronger than an average woman, so when a woman entered the room, men who knew her stood up to indicate that they would shield her from danger. The three of you just declared yourself my protectors.” They
Ilona Andrews (Steel's Edge (The Edge, #4))
there is love at first sight - so the troubadours say - and there is the love that you take on piece by piece - like armouring yourself . . .' A thoughtful look crossed his face. 'Or perhaps like removing your armour. How many people would you allow within the space between your heart and your shield
Elizabeth Chadwick (The Falcons of Montabard)
LOOK, I’M ONLY IN THIS FOR THE PIZZA. The publisher was like, “Oh, you did such a great job writing about the Greek gods last year! We want you to write another book about the Ancient Greek heroes! It’ll be so cool!” And I was like, “Guys, I’m dyslexic. It’s hard enough for me to read books.” Then they promised me a year’s supply of free pepperoni pizza, plus all the blue jelly beans I could eat. I sold out. I guess it’s cool. If you’re looking to fight monsters yourself, these stories might help you avoid some common mistakes—like staring Medusa in the face, or buying a used mattress from any dude named Crusty. But the best reason to read about the old Greek heroes is to make yourself feel better. No matter how much you think your life sucks, these guys and gals had it worse. They totally got the short end of the Celestial stick. By the way, if you don’t know me, my name is Percy Jackson. I’m a modern-day demigod—the son of Poseidon. I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old-school hard-luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. Let’s pick twelve of them. That should be plenty. By the time you finish reading about how miserable their lives were—what with the poisonings, the betrayals, the mutilations, the murders, the psychopathic family members, and the flesh-eating barnyard animals—if that doesn’t make you feel better about your own existence, then I don’t know what will. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion-skin cape. Polish your shield, and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes (A Percy Jackson and the Olympians Guide))
Peter, Adam's Son," said Father Christmas. "Here, sir," said Peter. "These are your presents," was the answer, "and they are tools, not toys. The time to use them is perhaps near at hand. Bear them well." With these words he handed to Peter a shield and a sword. The shield was the color of silver and across it there ramped a red lion, as bright as a ripe strawberry at the moment when you pick it. The hilt of the sword was of gold and it had a sheath and a sword belt and everything it needed, and it was just the right size and weight for Peter to use. Peter was silent and solemn as he received these gifts, for he felt they were a very serious kind of present. "Susan, Eve's Daughter," said Father Christmas. "These are for you," and he handed her a bow and a quiver full of arrows and a little ivory horn. "You must use the bow only in great need," he said, "for I do not mean you to fight in the battle. It does not easily miss. And when you put this horn to your lips and blow it, then, wherever you are, I think help of some kind will come to you." Last of all he said, "Lucy, Eve's Daughter," and Lucy came forward. He gave her a little bottle of what looked like glass (but people said afterwards that it was made of diamond) and a small dagger. "In this bottle," he said, "there is a cordial made of the juice of one of the fire-flowers that grow on the mountains of the sun. If you or any of your friends is hurt, a few drops of this will restore them. And the dagger is to defend yourself at great need. For you also are not to be in the battle." "Why, sir?" said Lucy. "I think- I don't know- but I think I could be brave enough." "That is not the point," he said. "But battles are ugly when women fight.
C.S. Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1))
First, there is the burden of pride. The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart's fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. Yet the sons of earth are carrying this burden continually, challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them. Such a burden as this is not necessary to bear. Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort. He develops toward himself a kindly sense of humor and learns to say, "Oh, so you have been overlooked? They have placed someone else before you? They have whispered that you are pretty small stuff after all? And now you feel hurt because the world is saying about you the very things you have been saying about yourself? Only yesterday you were telling God that you were nothing, a mere worm of the dust. Where is your consistency? Come on, humble yourself, and cease to care what men think.
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
however, your childhood ruptures didn’t come with loving repairs, it will take some practice for you to tolerate the ruptures, to stop believing that every rupture signals the end, and to trust that even if a relationship doesn’t work out, you will survive that rupture too. You will heal and self-repair and sign up for another relationship full of its own ruptures and repairs. It’s not ideal, opening yourself up like this, putting your shield down, but if you want the rewards of an intimate relationship, there’s no way around it.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
Bravado may feel like a shield, but when you're telling yourself lies, it becomes a prison.
Jason Arnopp (The Last Days of Jack Sparks)
It’s true: she’s looking for the book just not for voice or the shortcuts to the strength. Deep down, she knows she’s looking for her purpose, too. And if her alarms say this Devil’s Book, a book believed to be written by the devil, will take her to her purpose, shouldn’t she look for it? Magic Mama says, “The place where you are, shows your purpose.” Monk Minakshi in her books says: ‘Your past shapes your purpose.’ But what if she has no past? And what if this place isn’t her place? Because a nameless, ghost-like woman warned her not to look for the book, should she now stop searching for it? Stop searching for her purpose? How can someone stop searching for purpose? What remains if the purpose is lost? Exams? Grade training? Dance lessons for flawless body language? Why would she need flawless body-language in the first place? Because High Grades have it? Because if you don’t shield yourself with it, others will use theirs on you? So everything she must do is only to shield herself from what others might do? And this should be her purpose—shielding herself from inside a cocoon? For a weak? Yes, sweetie. So living means only ‘defending’ yourself? For a woman? Yes, sweetie. Kusha imagines how Meera would’ve answered her now. They say life is beautiful. But they don’t say life is beautiful only if you free yourself from your fears, only if you stop fantasizing about future damages. And you conquer fear when you are strong, when you are sovereign.
Misba (The High Auction (Wisdom Revolution, #1))
A Prince is likewise esteemed who is a stanch friend and a thorough foe, that is to say, who without reserve openly declares for one against another, this being always a more advantageous course than to stand neutral. For supposing two of your powerful neighbours come to blows, it must either be that you have, or have not, reason to fear the one who comes off victorious. In either case it will always be well for you to declare yourself, and join in frankly with one side or other. For should you fail to do so you are certain, in the former of the cases put, to become the prey of the victor to the satisfaction and delight of the vanquished, and no reason or circumstance that you may plead will avail to shield or shelter you; for the victor dislikes doubtful friends, and such as will not help him at a pinch; and the vanquished will have nothing to say to you, since you would not share his fortunes sword in hand.
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
You aren’t afraid of love. You’re afraid of all the junk you’ve yoked to love. And you’ve convinced yourself that withholding one tiny word from the woman you think you love will shield you from that junk.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Someone Who's Been There)
Courage, traveler. Weird. It's coming from inside her. Hold your little map and shout to the darkness, it says. Shout this: You are nothing, darkness, against something as old as love. Shout: I will walk right through you, darkness, because I am, and I will be. This boldness-she's felt it before. In the truck, when she first saw Billy. No, before that, when she was brave, so brave, and brought Anna to the shore. This is how you save yourself? This small voice inside? This microscopic cell of belief, allowed to divide? Yep. Uh-huh. The voice is your own personal sword and shield-remember that. Remember that every hard day.
Deb Caletti (Essential Maps for the Lost)
I felt disoriented. Didn't I already know my gift? I had my super-self-control that had allowed me to skip right over the horrifying newborn year. Vampires only had one extra ability at most, right? Or had Edward been correct in the beginning? Before Carlisle had suggested that my self-control could be something beyond the natural, Edward had thought my restraint was just a product of good preparation- focus and attitude, he'd declared. Which one had been right? Was there more I could do? A name and a category for what I was?" "Can you project?" Kate asked interestedly. "Project?" I asked. "Push it out from yourself," Kate explained. "Shield someone besides yourself." ... I wished fervently that I might be good at this projecting thing, too, like I was somehow mysteriously good at all the other aspects of being a vampire. My human life had not prepared me for things that came naturally, and I couldn't make myself trust this aptitude to last. It felt like I had never wanted anything so badly before this: to be able to protect what I loved.
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, #4))
The paper comes in plastic, a little thinner each week, a few more ads. Pretty soon there'll be no news. We'll be underwhelmed, over-bored & all storied out. The clouds ready to burst with our blue-skinned memories. Everyone with a blog, a website, an online store, dedicated server & two-dimensional quick-response-coded documentary made about their precious life. Our brains at maximum capacity, running optimization programs to recover what's left of our sanity. Still, we hope. We go see the latest blockbuster, buy the latest iPhone, zone out in front of our schizo-screens drinking jugs of moonshine corn syrup with our latent mutant meals. Facebook keeps us chained to our pasts, our posts, screwed in our seats... Scarecrows surrounded by night soil & spirits. Your acid shield may protect you from outside threat, but it'll never protect you from yourself.
Eric Erlandson (Letters to Kurt)
You want to put in a little bit of David—the safe part of David—the David that you wouldn’t be afraid to show anybody, but there is a David that you don’t want to be in the film, and that’s what you should try to put in, if you don’t dare face yourself other ways. Confess things to the camera. Say the things you’re most ashamed of, things you don’t want to remember, things you don’t want anybody to know. Maybe that way there’ll be some truth.
David Shields (Reality Hunger)
Being with other people was, to me, the feeling of being realised. This was why I wanted to be in love. In love, you don't need the minute-to-minute physical presence of the beloved to realise you. Love itself sustains and validates the rotten moments you would otherwise be wasting while you practise being a person, pacing back and forth in your shitty apartment, holding off till seven to open the wine. Being in love blesses you with a sort of grace. A friend once told me he imagined his father or God watching him while he works, to help force productivity. Being in love was like that to me, a shield, a higher purpose, a promise to something outside of yourself.
Megan Nolan (Acts of Desperation)
You have no reason to be sorry for anything, ma petite." Her clenched fist lay over his heart, the three diamonds in her palm. "You think I can't read your body? Feel the heaviness in your mind as you try to shield me? I can't change who I am, not even for you. I know I'm failing you, causing you discomfort." A slow smile curved his mouth. Discomfort. Now,there was a word for it. His hand crushed her hair, ran it through his fingers. "I have never asked you to change, nor would I want you to. You seem to forget that I know you better than anyone. I can handle you." She turned her head so that he could see the silver stars flashing in her blue eyes, a smoldering warning. "You are so arrogant,Gregori, it makes me want to throw things.Do you hear yourself? Handle me? Ha! I try to say I'm sorry for failing you, and you act the lord of the manor. Being born centuries ago when women were chattel does not give you an excuse.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Thirty paces, twenty, and you can see the eyes of the men who will try to kill you, and see the spear-blades, and the instinct is to stop, to straighten the shields. We cringe from battle, fear claws at us, time seems to stop, there is silence though a thousand men shout, and at that moment, when terror savages the heart like a trapped beast, you must hurl yourself into the horror. Because the enemy feels the same. And you have come to kill him. You are the beast from his nightmares.
Bernard Cornwell (Warriors of the Storm (The Saxon Stories, #9))
By late August, most New Orleanians have grown accustomed to the summer heat. They are not fond of it, but they know it. It has been hot since April. Was there ever a time when it was not this hot in New Orleans? They can no longer recall. Their will has been broken. Wake up, it’s hot. All day, hot. Nighttime, it feels cooler, but it’s a lie; it’s still hot. And wet. Everyone’s skin glows. People feel sexy and miserable at the same time. Hide inside. Hydrate. Shield yourself. Too hot.
Jami Attenberg (All This Could Be Yours)
Some people engage in retail therapy, buying new things to make themselves feel more secure, and others engage in knowledge therapy, amassing new ideas to make themselves feel like they know something. We consume for comfort. We rely on certainty to shield us from the pain of confusion. The truth is staggering, colossal, unfathomable, so we cling to our bite-sized lies. We organize knowledge into bulleted lists and line graphs while the wisdom of the present moment sits patiently at the doors of our perception.
Vironika Tugaleva (The Art of Talking to Yourself)
AM YOUR STRENGTH AND SHIELD. I plan out each day and have it ready for you long before you arise from bed. I also provide the strength you need each step of the way. Instead of assessing your energy level and wondering about what’s on the road ahead, concentrate on staying in touch with Me. My Power flows freely into you through our open communication. Refuse to waste energy worrying, and you will have strength to spare. Whenever you start to feel afraid, remember that I am your Shield. But unlike inanimate armor, I am always alert and active. My Presence watches over you continually, protecting you from both known and unknown dangers. Entrust yourself to My watchcare, which is the best security system available. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. PSALM 28:7; MATTHEW 6:34; PSALM 56:3–4; GENESIS 28:15
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
Remember something, Drake,” she said. “The world moves for love. It bows down before love in awe, it weeps at the beauty of it. If you truly love her, then allow yourself to be led by love and not resentment. Give the woman you love a second chance to prove she is worthy of it.
Kathryn Le Veque (Swords and Shields (Reign of the House of de Winter, #2))
When we were acquaintances, you let me be myself, but now you're always protecting me. I won't be protected. I will choose for myself what is ladylike and right. To shield me is an insult. Can't I be trusted to face the truth but I must get it second-hand through you? A woman's place...Cecil you're that, for you may understand beautiful things, but you don't know how to use them; and you wrap yourself up in art and books and music, and would try to wrap me up. I won't be stifled, not by the most glorious music, for people are more glorious, and you hide them from me. That's why I break off my engagement.
E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
You have becomes used to administering your mother's medication. So perhaps it is as if you are coming off medication, too? You are using your mother like a shield to protect yourself from making a life. Medication is a ritual which I have now erased from both your lives. Attention! You will have to invent another one.
Deborah Levy (Hot Milk)
Liev Andropoulous!” the boy shouted. “You are under arrest for racketeering, slavery, and murder! You are not required to participate in questioning without the presence of an attorney or union representative!” Tiny flecks of spittle dotted the inside of the face shield. The boy’s wide eyes were almost jittering with fear. Liev sighed. “Ask me,” he said slowly, enunciating very clearly, “if I understand.” “What?” the boy shouted. “You’ve told me the charges and made the questioning statement. Now you have to ask me if I understand.” “Do you understand?” the boy barked, and Liev nodded. “Good. Better,” Liev said. “Now go fuck yourself.
James S.A. Corey (The Churn (The Expanse, #3.5))
The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart’s fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. Yet the sons of earth are carrying this burden continually, challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them. Such a burden as this is not necessary to bear. Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method (p. 112).
A.W. Tozer
Sister,” Gramps said, his voice a growl again, as if he hadn’t heard anything we’d been saying. “I’m sure that painful things have happened to you. Even marrying Jesus can’t entirely shield you from the realities of life. I ask you now to take a moment to remember those terrible things. I remind you, now, to remember them. There. Don’t you feel healed? Maybe you should tell us about them. Don’t you feel, don’t you feel . . . so much better? Do they fill you with fondness? Do you find yourself joyful?” “Mr.
Nina LaCour (We Are Okay)
As a southerner I had been brought up to believe that through conditioning and experience you could accept with some measure of tranquility any of the flaws in the human situation. But death is one flaw that always lands like a fist in the center of the forehead. No matter how many times you see it, or smell its gray rotting odor, or come close to buying it yourself, each time is always like the first. No amount of earlier experience prepares you for it, and after it happens the world is somehow unfairly diminished and bent out of shape.
James Lee Burke (Lay Down My Sword And Shield (Hackberry Holland, #1))
focus and attitude, he’d declared. Which one had been right? Was there more I could do? A name and a category for what I was? “Can you project?” Kate asked interestedly. “Project?” I asked. “Push it out from yourself,” Kate explained. “Shield someone besides yourself.” “I don’t know. I’ve never tried. I didn’t know I should do that.” “Oh, you might not be able to,” Kate said quickly. “Heavens knows I’ve been working on it for centuries and the best I can do is run a current over my skin.” I stared at her, mystified. “Kate’s got an offensive skill,” Edward said. “Sort of like Jane.” I flinched away from Kate automatically, and she laughed. “I’m not sadistic about it,” she assured me. “It’s just something that comes in handy during a fight.” Kate’s words were sinking in, beginning to make connections in my mind. Shield someone besides yourself, she’d said. As if there were some way for me to include another person in my strange, quirky silent head. I remembered Edward cringing on the ancient stones of the Volturi castle turret. Though this was a human memory, it was sharper, more painful than most of the others—like it had been branded into the tissues of my brain. What if I could stop that from happening ever again? What if I could protect him? Protect
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4))
When they rolled to a stop, she found herself pinned by a tremendous, huffing weight. And pierced by an intense green gaze. “Wh-?” Her breath rushed out in question. Boom, the world answered. Susanna ducked her head, burrowing into the protection of what she’d recognized to be an officer’s coat. The knob of a brass button pressed into her cheek. The man’s bulk formed a comforting shield as a shower of dirt clods rained down on them both. He smelled of whiskey and gunpowder. After the dust cleared, she brushed the hair from his brow, searching his gaze for signs of confusion or pain. His eyes were alert and intelligent, and still that startling shade of green-as hard and richly hued as jade. 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.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
While poutine is a dish unique to Eastern Canada (Montreal and Ottawa), the concoction of French fries covered in cheese curds and (for no apparent reason) gravy, clearly deciphers Canadian culture. First, heart-blocking poutine is the easiest explanation for Canada’s adoption of universal health care coverage. I’m pretty sure I’m still digesting the poutine I had in May 2006. Poutine also serves as a sedative, making you so drowsy and serene you find yourself saying “a-boot” instead of “about.” The extra pounds you immediately gain help shield you against the bitter climate. The irrational love of hockey still remains a mystery to me, but I’m convinced it has something to do with poutine.
Jim Gaffigan (Food: A Love Story)
At the point where you find yourself closing down from communicating openly in a relationship, you have a choice about how you would like to proceed. One way forward is to lay fresh layers of protection around your vulnerable heart. You are dampening the other person’s ability to hurt you, but you are also less able to communicate your own love genuinely. You are essentially preparing yourself for an inevitable breakup. The alternative is loosening up your expectations and reconnecting with that curiosity you were able to offer at the beginning of the relationship. You commit to exploring where you are stuck, where you have put up that protective shielding, and how you can open yourself more to your partner. This is a way to deepen a relationship, by recommitting to applying gentle curiosity toward learning about your lover.
Lodro Rinzler (The Buddha Walks into a Bar...: A Guide to Life for a New Generation)
Bask in God’s acceptance and delight. You can’t make everyone like you; in this toxic world, it is certain that everyone won’t like you. So put your identity in the One who loves you dearly, who says, “I chose you and will keep choosing you.” Your best defense against toxic people’s rejection is your holy Father’s acceptance. Your best shield from the world’s animosity is the Creator’s passionate pursuit. You don’t have to defend yourself. You don’t have to engage your enemies. Simply lift up your hands and be loved. Embrace your mission and walk away with Jesus from anyone who seeks to stop you from doing what God has called you to do or from being the person God has called you to be. God’s grace, God’s beauty, God’s acceptance, and God’s affirmation are the most powerful antidotes against the toxicity found in this fallen world. Let’s all choose to live out of his affirmation.
Gary L. Thomas (When to Walk Away: Finding Freedom from Toxic People)
Dorian Fairchester Faddington IV was a promiscuous poetaster of whom even his best friends declared that he "went from bed to verse." Though he was sexually omnivorous and on occasion preferred camels, like nine out of ten doctors, ordinarily his taste ran to women. Hermione Fingerforth was a woman-or so she liked to assume-and whenever she ran into Dorian it was not long before their lips met in a succession of interesting poses. "The skin is the largest organ of the body," she once nonchalantly remarked to him as they were sunbathing in the nude together on the terrace of her penthouse in Flatbush. "Speak for yourself," he declared, leaping on top of her in a sudden paroxysm of passion. "Out, out of my damned twat!" she yelled, pushing him away and shielding her much-vaunted virginity with a silver-foil sun reflector. "I take it you want me to reflect on what I'm doing," he quipped. "Jesus Christ," she said crossly, "men are only interested in women in spurts.
Erica Jong (Fear of Flying)
He looked up at her and saw that she wore the face of Everyone. It was the face of the two women who talked in the seat behind him on the bus; it was the face of Mrs. Leslie, saying to him, "Some of us are going to organize a Pretentionist Club ..." It was the face of those who did not dare sit down and talk with themselves, the people who could not be alone a minute, the people who were tired without knowing they were tired and afraid without knowing that they were afraid. And, yes, it was the face of Mrs. Leslie's husband, crowding drink and women into a barren life. It was the grinding anxiety that had become commonplace, that sent people fleeing for psychological shelters against the bombs of uncertainty. Gaiety no longer was sufficient, cynicism had run out, and flippancy had never been more than a temporary shield. So now the people fled to the drug of pretense, identifying themselves with another life and another time and place--at the movie theater or on the television screen or in the Pretentionist movement. For so long as you were someone else you need not be yourself. Clifford D. Simak. Ring Around the Sun (Kindle Locations 1207-1215). Avon. Kindle Edition.
Clifford D. Simak (Ring Around the Sun (Masters of Science Fiction))
Lies always hurt. Shirley made it clear to me that she would accept nothing but 100 percent honesty in our relationship. That slap across the face was an eye-opener. It made me feel that I didn’t need to sneak around behind her back. It gave me the freedom for the first time in my life to let go of my secrets. It’s a lesson that I continue to learn--if you lie, no matter how good your intentions, you carry the lie with you. It weighs you down, it holds you back, and you start to lose respect for yourself. The biggest lies of all are those we tell ourselves. Every time you say, “I can’t do that,” “I don’t have what it takes,” “It’s too late,” or “I’m not good enough,” you’re keeping yourself from living your truth. This is always a tough one for me, and something I continually have to work on. Why do we lie to ourselves? Because a lie feels easy and comfortable. It keeps fear and pain away; it shields you from the unknown. But you deserve more. You deserve not to settle, not to be distracted, and not to deny yourself your highest potential. As the saying goes, “The truth shall set you free.” Be honest about what you want, what you need, and what you’re capable of. Tune out the negative voices in your head that hold you back. Change your mind, change yourself.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
If you’re going to give me the third degree,” she tells him, “let’s get it over with. Best to withhold food or water; water is probably best. I’ll get thirsty before I get hungry.” He shakes his head in disbelief. “Do you really think I’m like that? Why would you think that?” “I was taken by force, and you’re keeping me here against my will,” she says, leaning across the table toward him. She considers spitting in his face, but decides to save that gesture as punctuation for a more appropriate moment. “Imprisonment is still imprisonment, no matter how many layers of cotton you wrap it in.” That makes him lean farther away, and she knows she’s pushed a button. She remembers seeing those pictures of him back when he was all over the news, wrapped in cotton and kept in a bombproof cell. “I really don’t get you,” he says, a bit of anger in his voice this time. “We saved your life. You could at least be a little grateful.” “You have robbed me, and everyone here, of their purpose. That’s not salvation, that’s damnation.” “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Now it’s her turn to get angry. “Yes, you’re sorry I feel that way, everyone’s sorry I feel that way. Are you going to keep this up until I don’t feel that way anymore?” He stands up suddenly, pushing his chair back, and paces, fern leaves brushing his clothes. She knows she’s gotten to him. He seems like he’s about to storm out, but instead takes a deep breath and turns back to her. “I know what you’re going through,” he says. “I was brainwashed by my family to actually want to be unwound—and not just by my family, but by my friends, my church, everyone I looked up to. The only voice who spoke sense was my brother Marcus, but I was too blind to hear him until the day I got kidnapped.” “You mean see,” she says, putting a nice speed bump in his way. “Huh?” “Too blind to see him, too deaf to hear him. Get your senses straight. Or maybe you can’t, because you’re senseless.” He smiles. “You’re good.” “And anyway, I don’t need to hear your life story. I already know it. You got caught in a freeway pileup, and the Akron AWOL used you as a human shield—very noble. Then he turned you, like cheese gone bad.” “He didn’t turn me. It was getting away from my tithing, and seeing unwinding for what it is. That’s what turned me.” “Because being a murderer is better than being a tithe, isn’t that right, clapper?” He sits back down again, calmer, and it frustrates her that he is becoming immune to her snipes. “When you live a life without questions, you’re unprepared for the questions when they come,” he says. “You get angry and you totally lack the skills to deal with the anger. So yes, I became a clapper, but only because I was too innocent to know how guilty I was becoming.” ... “You think I’m like you, but I’m not,” Miracolina says. “I’m not part of a religious order that tithes. My parents did it in spite of our beliefs, not because of ii.” “But you were still raised to believe it was your purpose, weren’t you?” “My purpose was to save my brother’s life by being a marrow donor, so my purpose was served before I was six months old.” “And doesn’t that make you angry that the only reason you’re here was to help someone else?” “Not at all,” she says a little too quickly. She purses her lips and leans back in her chair, squirming a bit. The chair feels a little too hard beneath her. “All right, so maybe I do feel angry once in a while, but I understand why they did it. If I were them, I would have done the same thing.” “Agreed,” he says. “But once your purpose was served, shouldn’t your life be your own?” “Miracles are the property of God,” she answers. “No,” he says, “miracles are gifts from God. To calthem his property insults the spirit in which they are given.” She opens her mouth to reply but finds she has no response, because he’s right. Damn him for being right—nothing about him should be right! “We’ll talk again when you’re over yourself,” he says.
Neal Shusterman (UnWholly (Unwind, #2))
had made acquaintance with convicts in Tobolsk; at Omsk I settled myself down to live four years in common with them. They are rough, angry, embittered men. Their hatred for the nobility is boundless; they regard all of us who belong to it with hostility and enmity. They would have devoured us if they only could. Judge then for yourself in '-hat danger we stood, having to cohabit with these people for some years, eat with them, sleep by them, and with no possibility of complaining of the affronts which were constantly put upon us. " You nobles have iron beaks, you have torn us to pieces. When you were masters, you injured the people, and now, when it's evil days with you, you want to be our brothers." This theme was developed during four years. A hundred and fifty foes never wearied of persecuting us—it was their joy, their diversion, their pastime; our sole shield was our indifference and our moral superiority, which they were forced to recognize and respect; they were also impressed by our never yielding to their will. They were for ever conscious that we stood above them. They had not the least idea of what our offence had been. We kept our own counsel about that, and so we could never come to understand one another; we had to let the whole of the vindictiveness, the whole of the hatred, that they cherish against the nobility, flow over us.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Letters of Fyodor Michailovitch Dostoyevsky to his family and friends)
The calf is capable of walking quite well now," Dazu said. "He never stumbles." "But I told you to carry him back here," the teacher said. "The first thing a soldier must learn is to obey orders." Every day, the calf grew a little heavier, and every day, Dazu had to struggle a little harder. He would collapse, exhausted, when he finally got to the ranch, and the calf would bound out of his arms, glad to be able to walk on his own and stretch out. When winter rolled around again, Médo handed him a wooden sword and asked him to strike as hard as he could at the practice dummy. Dazu looked with distaste at the crude weapon with no edge, but he swung obediently. The wooden dummy fell in half, cut clean through. He looked at the sword in his hand with wonder. "It's not the sword," his teacher said. "Have you looked at yourself lately?" He brought Dazu to stand in front of a brightly polished shield. The young man could hardly recognize the reflection. His shoulders filled the frame of the mirror. His arms and thighs were twice as thick as he remembered, and his chest bulged over his narrow waist. "A great warrior trusts not his weapons, but himself. When you possess true strength, you can deal a killing blow even if all you have is a blade of grass. "Now you're finally ready to learn from me. But first, go thank the calf for making you strong.
Ken Liu (The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1))
which is to say, everyone with a heartbeat. I explained to her that even in the best possible relationship, you’re going to get hurt sometimes, and no matter how much you love somebody, you will at times hurt that person, not because you want to, but because you’re human. You will inevitably hurt your partner, your parents, your children, your closest friend—and they will hurt you—because if you sign up for intimacy, getting hurt is part of the deal. But, I went on, what was so great about a loving intimacy was that there was room for repair. Therapists call this process rupture and repair, and if you had parents who acknowledged their mistakes and took responsibility for them and taught you as a child to acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them too, then ruptures won’t feel so cataclysmic in your adult relationships. If, however, your childhood ruptures didn’t come with loving repairs, it will take some practice for you to tolerate the ruptures, to stop believing that every rupture signals the end, and to trust that even if a relationship doesn’t work out, you will survive that rupture too. You will heal and self-repair and sign up for another relationship full of its own ruptures and repairs. It’s not ideal, opening yourself up like this, putting your shield down, but if you want the rewards of an intimate relationship, there’s no way around it.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart's fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. Yet the sons of earth are carrying this burden continually, challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them. Such a burden as this is not necessary to bear. Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort. He develops toward himself a kindly sense of humor and learns to say, "Oh, so you have been overlooked? They have placed someone else before you? They have whispered that you are pretty small stuff after all? And now you feel hurt because the world is saying about you the very things you have been saying about yourself? Only yesterday you were telling God that you were nothing, a mere worm of the dust. Where is your consistency? Come on, humble yourself, and cease to care what men think.
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
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Gina 'The Veggie Goddess' Matthews (Healthy Living: How to Purify Your Body in a Polluted World (Healthy Living Book))
Penetrating the literary inferno, you will come to learn its artifices and its arsenic; shielded from the immediate, that caricature of yourself, you will no longer have any but formal experiences, indirect experiences; you will vanish into the Word. Books will be the sole object of your discussions. As for literary people, you will derive no benefit from them. But you will find this out too late, after having wasted your best years in a milieu without density or substance. The literary man? An indiscreet man, who devaluates his miseries, divulges them, tells them like so many beads: immodesty - the sideshow of second-thoughts - is his rule; he offers himself. Every form of talent involves a certain shamelessness. Only sterility is truly distinguished - the man who effaces himself along with his secret, because he disdains to parade it: sentiments expressed are an agony for irony, a slap at humor. To keep one's secret is the most fruitful of activities. It torments, erodes, threatens you. Even when confession is addressed to God, it is an outrage against ourselves, against the mainspring of our being. The apprehensions, shames, fears from which both religious and profane therapeutics would deliver us constitute a patrimony we should not allow ourselves to be dispossessed of, at any cost. We must defend ourselves against our healers and, even if we die for it, preserve our sickness and our sins. The confessional? a rape of conscience perpetrated in the name of heaven. And that other rape, psychological analysis! Secularized, prostituted, the confessional will soon be installed on our street corners: except for a couple of criminals, everyone aspires to have a public soul, a poster soul.
Emil M. Cioran
If I can keep fighting,” she said, “then so can you.” “Back to the stone,” he said in a harsh voice. “I know you’re not a coward, Murtagh. Better to die than to live as a slave to one such as Galbatorix. At least then you might accomplish some good, and your name might be remembered with a measure of kindness after you’re gone.” “Back to the stone,” he growled, grabbing her by the arm and dragging her over to the slab. She allowed him to push her onto the ash-colored block, fasten the restraints around her wrists and ankles, and then tighten the strap around her head. When he finished, he stood looking at her, his eyes dark and wild, the lines of his body like cords stretched taut. “You have to decide whether you are willing to risk your life in order to save yourself,” she said. “You and Thorn both. And you have to decide now, while there is still time. Ask yourself: what would Tornac have wanted you to do?” Without answering, Murtagh extended his right arm and placed his hand upon the upper part of her chest, his palm hot against her skin. Her breath hitched at the shock of the contact. Then, hardly louder than a whisper, he began to speak in the ancient language. As the strange words tumbled from his lips, her fear grew ever stronger. He spoke for what seemed like minutes. She felt no different when he stopped, but that was neither a favorable nor an unfavorable sign where magic was concerned. Cool air washed over the patch on her chest, chilling it as Murtagh lifted his hand away. He stepped back then and started to walk past her, toward the entrance of the chamber. She was about to call out to him--to ask what he had done to her--when he paused and said, “That should shield you from the pain of most any wound, but you’ll have to pretend otherwise, or Galbatorix will discover what I’ve done.” And then he left. “Thank you,” she whispered to the empty room.
Christopher Paolini (Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4))
Am I right in thinking you’re deliberately keeping me here?” Mikhail shrugged his broad shoulders. “Yes and no. I do not want to force you against your will, but as to my wanting you to stay, I believe us to be lifemates, bound more irrevocably than by your marriage ceremony. I would be extremely uncomfortable without you here, both in body and mind. I do not know how I would react to your contact with another man, and quite frankly, I fear it.” “We really are from two different worlds, aren’t we?” she asked sadly. He brought her hand to the warmth of his mouth. “There is such a thing as compromise, little one. We can move between the two worlds or create our own.” Her blue eyes slid over him, a faint smile touching her mouth. “That sounds so good, Mikhail, so twentieth-first century, but somehow I think it’s more likely I would be the one compromising.” With his strange Old World courtesy, Mikhail held up a branch for her to pass beneath. The path was a large oval leading back to his home. “Perhaps you are right”--male amusement again--“but then, it has always been my nature to control and protect. I have no doubt you are more than a match for me.” “Then why are we back at your house instead of at the inn?” she asked, one hand on her hip and a smile dancing in her blue eyes. “What would you do there so late at night, anyway?” His voice was pure velvet, more enticing than ever. “Stay with me tonight. You can read while I work, and I will teach you how to build better shields to protect yourself from the unwanted emotions of those around you.” “What can you do for my hearing? Your little medicinal concoctions have increased my hearing to the point of absurdity.” She arched an eyebrow at him. “Do you have any idea what else is going to happen to me?” His teeth grazed the back of her neck, his fingers brushed across her breast possessively. “I have all kinds of ideas, little one.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
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)
There was a bell clanging in the tower of the building next to the black-shrike-thorn-cave. She found the noise irritating, so she twisted her neck and loosed a jet of blue and yellow flame at it. The tower did not catch fire, as it was stone, but the rope and beams supporting the bell ignited, and a few seconds later, the bell fell crashing into the interior of the tower. That pleased her, as did the two-legs-round-ears who ran screaming from the area. She was a dragon, after all. It was only right that they should fear her. One of the two-legs paused by the edge of the square in front of the black-shrike-thorn-cave, and she heard him shout a spell at her, his voice like the squeaking of a frightened mouse. Whatever the spell was, Eragon’s wards shielded her from it--at least she assumed they did, for she noticed no difference in how she felt or in the appearance of the world around her. The wolf-elf-in-Eragon’s-shape killed the magician for her. She could feel how Blödhgarm grasped hold of the spellcaster’s mind and wrestled the two-legs-round-ears’ thoughts into submission, whereupon Blödhgarm uttered a single word in the ancient-elf-magic-language, and the two-legs-round-ears fell to the ground, blood seeping from his open mouth. Then the wolf-elf tapped her on the shoulder and said, “Ready yourself, Brightscales. Here they come.” She saw Thorn rising above the edge of the rooftops, Eragon-half-brother-Murtagh a small, dark figure on his back. In the light of the morning sun, Thorn shone and sparkled almost as brilliantly as she herself did. Her scales were cleaner than his, though, as she had taken special care when grooming earlier. She could not imagine going into battle looking anything but her best. Her enemies should not only fear her, but admire her. She knew it was vanity on her part, but she did not care. No other race could match the grandeur of the dragons. Also, she was the last female of her kind, and she wanted those who saw her to marvel at her appearance and to remember her well, so if dragons were to vanish forevermore, two-legs would continue to speak of them with the proper respect, awe, and wonder.
Christopher Paolini (Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4))
When an ovulating woman offers herself to you, she's the choicest morsel on the planet. Her nipples are already sharp, her labia already swollen, her spine already undulating. Her skin is damp and she pants. If you touch the center of her forehead with your thumb she isn't thinking about her head—she isn't thinking at all, she's imagining, believing, willing your hand to lift and turn and curve, cup the back of her head. She's living in a reality where the hand will have no choice but to slide down that soft, flexing muscle valley of the spine to the flare of strong hips, where the other hand joins the first to hold both hip bones, immobilize them against the side of the counter, so that you can touch the base of her throat gently with your lips and she will whimper and writhe and let the muscles in her legs go, but she won't fall, because you have her. She'll be feeling this as though it's already happening, knowing absolutely that it will, because every cell is alive and crying out, Fill me, love me, cherish me, be tender, but, oh God, be sure. She wants you to want her. And when her pupils expand like that, as though you have dropped black ink into a saucer of cool blue water, and her head tips just a little, as though she's gone blind or has had a terrible shock or maybe just too much to drink, to her she is crying in a great voice, Fuck me, right here, right now against the kitchen counter, because I want you wrist-deep inside me. I hunger, I burn, I need. It doesn't matter if you are tired, or unsure, if your stomach is hard with dread at not being forgiven. If you allow yourself one moment's distraction—a microsecond's break in eye contact, a slight shift in weight—she knows, and that knowledge is a punch in the gut. She will back up a step and search your face, and she'll feel embarrassed—a fool or a whore—at offering so blatantly what you're not interested in, and her fine sense of being queen of the world will shiver and break like a glass shield hit by a mace, and fall around her in dust. Oh, it will still sparkle, because sex is magic, but she will be standing there naked, and you will be a monster, and the next time she feels her womb quiver and clench she'll hesitate, which will confuse you, even on a day when there is no dread, no uncertainty, and that singing sureness between you will dissolve and very slowly begin to sicken and die. The body knows. I listened to the deep message—but carefully, because at some point the deep message also must be a conscious message. Active, not just passive, agreement. I took her hand and guided the wok back down to the gas burner. Yes, her body still said, yes. I turned off the gas, but slowly, and now she reached for me.
Nicola Griffith (Always (Aud Torvingen #3))
In the course of my discussion with Ravenswood, I tried to get him to tell me how you got your scar, but he wouldn’t. He said I’d have to ask you.” Jane’s words came suddenly into his head: That’s why you haven’t shared this with your own family? That’s why you keep all of us out? Because you think it was your fault? Oh, my sweet darling, none of it was your fault. When Dom didn’t answer right away, Tristan went on, “I told Ravenswood you’d always brushed off the question with some nonsense about a fight you got into. But that isn’t true, I assume.” Dom ventured a glance at his brother and winced to see the hurt on his face. Jane had said, Every time you refuse to reveal your secrets, Dom, I assume that you find me unworthy to hear them. Apparently, that was how he’d made all of them feel. As if he were somehow too important to let them into his life. Only God could have stopped this disaster, and contrary to what you think, you aren’t God. When she’d said it, he hadn’t understood why she would accuse him of such a thing. Why she sometimes called him “Dom the Almighty.” But he understood now. By shielding his guilt from the world, he’d shut himself off from his family. From her. He’d pushed away the very people he should have embraced. Having just watched Jane retreat into fear and shut him out, he now knew precisely how painful it could feel to be on the receiving end. If he wanted to change all that, he would have to start opening his heart, letting his family--and her--see the things he was most ashamed of, most worried about. He would have to trust them to understand, to empathize, to love him in spite of everything. The only other choice was to keep closing himself up until, as she’d said at that ball last year: One day that church you’re building around yourself shall become your crypt. He didn’t want that. He took a steadying breath as he and Tristan walked up the steps to Ravenswood’s manor house. “As it happens, I did receive my scar in a fight. But it was a fight against the militia at the Peterloo Massacre.” When Tristan shot him a startled look, Dom halted at the top of the steps to face him. “If you want to hear the story, I’ll tell you all about it. Right now, if you wish.” Tristan searched his face, as if not quite sure he believed what he was hearing. “I’d like that very much.” Then he broke into a grin. “But only if we do it over a glass of Ravenswood’s brandy. That’s the best damned brandy I’ve ever tasted.” “One of the privileges of being a spymaster is that you can get your hands on the good stuff,” Dom said lightly, though his stomach churned at the thought of revealing his most humiliating secret, even to his brother. Still, as they headed inside, Tristan clapped him on the shoulder, and that reassured him. Telling Tristan about Peterloo represented a beginning of sorts, toward a closer friendship than Dom had allowed himself to have with his brother in recent years. Jane would be proud.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
Derian pulled the blanket snug around himself. “This is my added assurance.” Eena wrinkled her nose as if she thought his answer was odder than his actions. “It’s your what?” “If you recall the last time we were here standing in this very spot, you pelted me with neumberries.” He held up a single berry before popping it into his mouth. “I doubt you would risk soiling your blanket, so I figure wrapping it around me this way I’m pretty much assured safety from any potential attack.” He winked playfully, and she laughed out loud. “I’m afraid you don’t know me half as well as you think,” she announced. Aiming low, she flung a sizable berry at his calf. It hit its mark. “Whoa, whoa!” He lowered the blanket to cover his legs. “You can’t hide yourself entirely, Derian,” she said, aiming for his face. He ducked, raising the blanket like a shield in the process. Another round of ammunition pelted his ankles before he decided it was time to fight back. Eena found herself bound up in her own blanket, arms wrapped securely at her sides. She laughed nonstop, unable to move within his strong hold. Derian leaned forward until their noses touched, and then he kissed her giggles silent. He kept her in the blanket, snug and close to him, but Eena managed to wriggle an arm free and drape it around his neck, holding his lips in reach. She uttered a quick count in between kisses. “Seven,” she breathed. Derian paused, his mouth a whisper away from hers. It tickled when he spoke. “No, no, Eena.” “No what?” “No counting. Not today. No ground rules.” She barely uttered a partial “’kay” before his mouth covered hers again. His hot breath tasted like breakfast. He fixed his hands on each side of her face, and the blanket fell to the ground. As the intensity of their kisses grew hungry, he gripped her cheeks more securely. Eena could feel the air electrifying around them. Her heartbeat drummed—excited and anxious. “Derian…” she breathed. But he didn’t stop. She felt his hand move to support her neck while the other slid down her back, urging her closer. She brought her arms together and pressed against his chest, somewhat objecting to the intimacy. “Derian…” she tried again. But he covered her mouth with his own. She pushed more firmly against him without success. Her protest weakened as his kisses softened. The fervor subsided, and she could feel her wild pulse even out. Amidst a string of supple kisses, Derian’s breathing slowed. He planted his lips on her forehead for a moment before squeezing her tenderly. She snuggled up against his warm chest. “One ground rule,” he whispered in her ear. “We stop when you say ‘when.’” “When,” she uttered. “Okay,” he agreed. Then, as if the thought had just occurred to her, she stepped back to look up questioningly at the captain. “Wasn’t there a leftover sandwich in that basket from last night?” His lips formed a guilty smile as he confessed, “Yes—and it was delicious.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Two Sisters (The Harrowbethian Saga #4))
In 2006, researchers Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler created fake newspaper articles about polarizing political issues. The articles were written in a way that would confirm a widespread misconception about certain ideas in American politics. As soon as a person read a fake article, experimenters then handed over a true article that corrected the first. For instance, one article suggested that the United States had found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The next article corrected the first and said that the United States had never found them, which was the truth. Those opposed to the war or who had strong liberal leanings tended to disagree with the original article and accept the second. Those who supported the war and leaned more toward the conservative camp tended to agree with the first article and strongly disagree with the second. These reactions shouldn’t surprise you. What should give you pause, though, is how conservatives felt about the correction. After reading that there were no WMDs, they reported being even more certain than before that there actually were WMDs and that their original beliefs were correct. The researchers repeated the experiment with other wedge issues, such as stem cell research and tax reform, and once again they found that corrections tended to increase the strength of the participants’ misconceptions if those corrections contradicted their ideologies. People on opposing sides of the political spectrum read the same articles and then the same corrections, and when new evidence was interpreted as threatening to their beliefs, they doubled down. The corrections backfired. Researchers Kelly Garrett and Brian Weeks expanded on this work in 2013. In their study, people already suspicious of electronic health records read factually incorrect articles about such technologies that supported those subjects’ beliefs. In those articles, the scientists had already identified any misinformation and placed it within brackets, highlighted it in red, and italicized the text. After they finished reading the articles, people who said beforehand that they opposed electronic health records reported no change in their opinions and felt even more strongly about the issue than before. The corrections had strengthened their biases instead of weakening them. Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm. You do this instinctively and unconsciously when confronted with attitude-inconsistent information. Just as confirmation bias shields you when you actively seek information, the backfire effect defends you when the information seeks you, when it blindsides you. Coming or going, you stick to your beliefs instead of questioning them. When someone tries to correct you, tries to dilute your misconceptions, it backfires and strengthens those misconceptions instead. Over time, the backfire effect makes you less skeptical of those things that allow you to continue seeing your beliefs and attitudes as true and proper.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
Unconditional blame is the tendency to explain all difficulties exclusively as the consequence of forces beyond your influence, to see yourself as an absolute victim of external circumstances. Every person suffers the impact of factors beyond his control, so we are all, in a sense, victims. We are not, however, absolute victims. We have the ability to respond to our circumstances and influence how they affect us. In contrast, the unconditional blamer defines his victim-identity by his helplessness, disowning any power to manage his life and assigning causality only to that which is beyond his control. Unconditional blamers believe that their problems are always someone else’s fault, and that there’s nothing they could have done to prevent them. Consequently, they believe that there’s nothing they should do to address them. Unconditional blamers feel innocent, unfairly burdened by others who do things they “shouldn’t” do because of maliciousness or stupidity. According to the unconditional blamer, these others “ought” to fix the problems they created. Blamers live in a state of self-righteous indignation, trying to control people around them with their accusations and angry demands. What the unconditional blamer does not see is that in order to claim innocence, he has to relinquish his power. If he is not part of the problem, he cannot be part of the solution. In fact, rather than being the main character of his life, the blamer is a spectator. Watching his own suffering from the sidelines, he feels “safe” because his misery is always somebody else’s fault. Blame is a tranquilizer. It soothes the blamer, sheltering him from accountability for his life. But like any drug, its soothing effect quickly turns sour, miring him in resignation and resentment. In order to avoid anxiety and guilt, the blamer must disown his freedom and power and see himself as a plaything of others. The blamer feels victimized at work. His job is fraught with letdowns, betrayals, disappointments, and resentments. He feels that he is expected to fix problems he didn’t create, yet his efforts are never recognized. So he shields himself with justifications. Breakdowns are never his fault, nor are solutions his responsibility. He is not accountable because it is always other people who failed to do what they should have done. Managers don’t give him direction as they should, employees don’t support him as they should, colleagues don’t cooperate with him as they should, customers demand much more than they should, suppliers don’t respond as they should, senior executives don’t lead the organization as they should, administration systems don’t work as they should—the whole company is a mess. In addition, the economy is weak, the job market tough, the taxes confiscatory, the regulations crippling, the interest rates exorbitant, and the competition fierce (especially because of those evil foreigners who pay unfairly low wages). And if it weren’t difficult enough to survive in this environment, everybody demands extraordinary results. The blamer never tires of reciting his tune, “Life is not fair!
Fred Kofman (Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Values)
PASSIVE PAVISSE- ANAGRAM: Shield yourself from aggressors - Walk away without acknowledgement
Kamil Ali (Profound Vers-A-Tales)
sometimes it is better to push someone away... because you have to shield yourself from pain.
Fatima
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