Stand Up For Yourself Quotes

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If you believe very strongly in something, stand up and fight for it.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.
Shannon L. Alder
You have two choices. you can keep running and hiding and blaming the world for your problems, or you can stand up for yourself and decide to be somebody important.
Sidney Sheldon (Nothing Lasts Forever)
If you build the guts to do something, anything, then you better save enough to face the consequences.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul and a trait of a true coward. There is nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will at least know what you stood for—YOU.
Shannon L. Alder
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithlessand therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!” It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
God knows your value; He sees your potential. You may not understand everything you are going through right now. But hold your head up high, knowing that God is in control and he has a great plan and purpose for your life. Your dreams may not have turned out exactly as you’d hoped, but the bible says that God’s ways are better and higher than our ways, even when everybody else rejects you, remember, God stands before you with His arms open wide. He always accepts you. He always confirms your value. God sees your two good moves! You are His prized possession. No matter what you go through in life, no matter how many disappointments you suffer, your value in God’s eyes always remains the same. You will always be the apple of His eye. He will never give up on you, so don’t give up on yourself.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
There are some values that you should never compromise on to stay true to yourself; you should be brave to stand up for what you truly believe in even if you stand alone.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Loneliness is a strange sort of thing. It creeps on you, quiet and still, sits by your side in the dark, strokes by your hair as you sleep. It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can't breathe. It leaves lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leaches the light out of every corner. It's a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when you're struggling to stand up. You wake up in the morning and wonder who you are. You fail to fall asleep at night and tremble in your skin. You doubt you doubt you doubt. do I don't I should I why won't I And even when you're ready to let go. When you're ready to break free. When you're ready to be brand-new. Loneliness is an old friend stand beside you in the mirror, looking you in the eye, challenging you to live your life without it. You can't find the words to fight yourself, to fight the words screaming that you're not enough never enough never ever enough. Loneliness is a bitter, wretched companion. Sometimes it just won't let go.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
How many more of us are faking the facade? How many more of us are pretending to be something we're not? Even better, how many of us will have the courage to be ourselves regardless of what others think?
Katie McGarry (Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2))
It was like a song, one of those sweet, wrenching songs that makes the hair on your arms stand up. That makes you want to throw yourself on the floor and just bawl. Or fall backward and surrender to the music utterly.
L.J. Smith (Night World, No. 1 (Night World, #1-3))
You Chose You chose. You chose. You chose. You chose to give away your love. You chose to have a broken heart. You chose to give up. You chose to hang on. You chose to react. You chose to feel insecure. You chose to feel anger. You chose to fight back. You chose to have hope. You chose to be naïve. You chose to ignore your intuition. You chose to ignore advice. You chose to look the other way. You chose to not listen. You chose to be stuck in the past. You chose your perspective. You chose to blame. You chose to be right. You chose your pride. You chose your games. You chose your ego. You chose your paranoia. You chose to compete. You chose your enemies. You chose your consequences. You chose. You chose. You chose. You chose. However, you are not alone. Generations of women in your family have chosen. Women around the world have chosen. We all have chosen at one time in our lives. We stand behind you now screaming: Choose to let go. Choose dignity. Choose to forgive yourself. Choose to forgive others. Choose to see your value. Choose to show the world you’re not a victim. Choose to make us proud.
Shannon L. Alder
I believe in strong women. I believe in the woman who is able to stand up for herself. I believe in the woman who doesn't need to hide behind her husband's back. I believe that if you have problems, as a woman you deal with them, you don't play victim, you don't make yourself look pitiful, you don't point fingers. You stand and you deal. You face the world with a head held high and you carry the universe in your heart.
C. JoyBell C.
Witches are naturally nosy,” said Miss Tick, standing up. “Well, I must go. I hope we shall meet again. I will give you some free advice, though.” “Will it cost me anything?” “What? I just said it was free!” said Miss Tick. “Yes, but my father said that free advice often turns out to be expensive,” said Tiffany. Miss Tick sniffed. “You could say this advice is priceless,” she said, “Are you listening?” “Yes,” said Tiffany. “Good. Now...if you trust in yourself...” “Yes?” “...and believe in your dreams...” “Yes?” “...and follow your star...” Miss Tick went on. “Yes?” “...you’ll still be beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy. Goodbye.
Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1))
Don't exist. Live. Get out, explore. Thrive. Challenge authority. Challenge yourself. Evolve. Change forever. Become who you say you always will. Keep moving. Don't stop. Start the revolution. Become a freedom fighter. Become a superhero. Just because everyone doesn't know your name doesn't mean you dont matter. Are you happy? Have you ever been happy? What have you done today to matter? Did you exist or did you live? How did you thrive? Become a chameleon-fit in anywhere. Be a rockstar-stand out everywhere. Do nothing, do everything. Forget everything, remember everyone. Care, don't just pretend to. Listen to everyone. Love everyone and nothing at the same time. Its impossible to be everything,but you can't stop trying to do it all. All I know is that I have no idea where I am right now. I feel like I am in training for something, making progress with every step I take. I fear standing still. It is my greatest weakness. I talk big, but often don't follow through. That's my biggest problem. I don't even know what to think right now. It's about time I start to take a jump. Fuck starting to take. Just jump-over everything. Leap. It's time to be aggressive. You've started to speak your mind, now keep going with it, but not with the intention of sparking controversy or picking a germane fight. Get your gloves on, it's time for rebirth. There IS no room for the nice guys in the history books. THIS IS THE START OF A REVOLUTION. THE REVOLUTION IS YOUR LIFE. THE GOAL IS IMMORTALITY. LET'S LIVE, BABY. LET'S FEEL ALIVE AT ALL TIMES. TAKE NO PRISONERS. HOLD NO SOUL UNACCOUNTABLE, ESPECIALLY NOT YOUR OWN. IF SOMETHING DOESN'T HAPPEN, IT'S YOUR FAULT. Make this moment your reckoning. Your head has been held under water for too long and now it is time to rise up and take your first true breath. Do everything with exact calculation, nothing without meaning. Do not make careful your words, but make no excuses for what you say. Fuck em' all. Set a goal for everyday and never be tired.
Brian Krans (A Constant Suicide)
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world -- "No, YOU move.
J. Michael Straczynski (The Amazing Spider-Man: Civil War)
Standing up for yourself doesn't always involve verbal confrontation. Sometimes it's about not wasting energy on people who are negative.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl—A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
There are a few times in life when you leap up and the past that you'd been standing on falls away behind you, and the future you mean to land on is not yet in place, and for a moment you're suspended knowing nothing and no one, not even yourself.
Ann Patchett (The Dutch House)
Build yourself up to stand out and be recognized in a crowd.
Ansuman Bhagat (Your Own Thought : A Lot of Thoughts)
You almost have to step outside yourself and look at you as if you were someone else you really care about and really want to protect. Would you let someone take advantage of that person? Would you let someone use that person you really care about? Or would you speak up for them? If it was someone else you care about, you'd say something. I know you would. Okay, now put yourself back in that body. That person is you. Stand up and tell 'em, "Enough!
Queen Latifah (Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom)
Butterfly. What a beautiful word What a delicate creature. Delicate like the cruel words that flow right out of your mouths and the food that flies right out of your hands… Does it make you feel better? Does it make you feel good ? Does picking on a girl make you more of a man? Well, I’m standing up for myself Like I should have done before I’m not putting up with your Butterfly anymore." (Kiersten slides the sack off her wrist and opens it, pulling out a handful of hand-made butterflies. She takes the microphone out of the stand and begins walking down the stairs as she continues speaking.) “I’d like to extend to others what others have extended to me.” (She walks up to Mrs. Brill first and holds out a butterfly) “Butterfly you, Mrs. Brill.” (Mrs. Brill smiles at her and takes the butterfly out of her hands. Lake laughs out loud and I have to nudge her to get her to be quiet. Kiersten walks around the room, passing out butterflies to several of the students, including the three from the lunchroom.) “Butterfly you, Mark. Butterfly you, Brendan. Butterfly you, Colby.” (When she finishes passing out the butterflies, she walks back onto the stage and places the microphone back into the stand.) “I have one thing to say to you And I’m not referring to the bullies Or the ones they pursue. I’m referring to those of you that just stand by The ones who don’t take up for those of us that cry Those of you who just…turn a blind eye. After all it’s not you it’s happening to You aren’t the one being bullied And you aren’t the one being rude It isn’t your hand that’s throwing the food But…it is your mouth not speaking up It is your feet not taking a stand It is your arm not lending a hand It is your heart Not giving a damn. So take up for yourself Take up for your friends I challenge you to be someone Who doesn’t give in. Don’t give in. Don’t let them win.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
Stand up for yourself. Never give any one permission to abuse you.
Lailah Gifty Akita
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.
Annie Dillard (The Writing Life)
Formal education teaches how to stand, but to see the rainbow you must come out and walk many steps on your own.
Amit Ray (Nonviolence: The Transforming Power)
Not all friends know they have lost you.
Joyce Rachelle
Stand up for who you are. Respect your Self and ignite the divine sparks in you. Access your powers. Choose your rights and work together with others to bring blessings into the lives.
Amit Ray
If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.
Thomas J. Watson Jr.
fight for what you believe in, for if you don't you will be forever fighting against yourself.
Enchanten
I’m proud of you, son,” he said. “I guess it has finally sunk in that it’s important to stand up for yourself in this world.” Rocky shook his head. “It’s more important to stand up for someone who can’t stand up for herself,” he had answered. Rocky Ryan speaking with his father.
Karen Mueller Coombs (Bully at Ambush Corner)
Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have. For instance, if you wake up to the sound of twittering birds, and find yourself in an enormous canopy bed, with a butler standing next to you holding a breakfast of freshly made muffins and hand-squeezed orange juice on a silver tray, you will know that your day will be a splendid one. If you wake up to the sound of church bells, and find yourself in a fairly big regular bed, with a butler standing next to you holding a breakfast of hot tea and toast on a plate, you will know that your day will be O.K. And if you wake up to the sound of somebody banging two metal pots together, and find yourself in a small bunk bed, with a nasty foreman standing in the doorway holding no breakfast at all, you will know that your day will be horrid.
Lemony Snicket (Horseradish)
There are things you can't back down on, things you gotta take a stand on. But it's up to you to decide what them things are. You have to demand respect in this world, ain't nobody just gonna hand it to you. How you carry yourself, what you stand for--that's how you gain respect. But, little one, ain't nobody's respect worth more than your own.
Mildred D. Taylor (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Logans, #4))
This much I'm certain of: it doesn't happen immediately. You'll finish [the book] and that will be that, until a moment will come, maybe in a month, maybe a year, maybe even several years. You'll be sick or feeling troubled or deeply in love or quietly uncertain or even content for the first time in your life. It won't matter. Out of the blue, beyond any cause you can trace, you'll suddenly realize things are not how you perceived them to be at all. For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You'll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you'll realize it's always been shifting, like a shimmer of sorts, a vast shimmer, only dark like a room. But you won't understand why or how. You'll have forgotten what granted you this awareness in the first place ... You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You'll care only about the darkness and you'll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you're some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you'll be afraid to look away, you'll be afraid to sleep. Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you've got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name. And then the nightmares will begin.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
You’re strong enough to stand up to anyone. Smart enough to do anything you want. Don’t sell yourself short; don’t be afraid of what your new life is going to offer. Because I know—if there’s any justice in this world, good things are going to come to you. Better things than you ever dreamed.
Claudia Gray (Fateful)
Sometimes they threaten you with something - something you can't stand up to, can't even think about. And then you say, "Don't do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to So-and-so." And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't mean it. But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there's no other way of saving yourself, and you're quite ready to save yourself that way. You WANT it to happen to the other person. You don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care is yourself.
George Orwell (1984)
Don't lose yourself to anger. It's gasoline. You can burn it as fuel, or you can use it to torch everything you care about and end up standing on a scorched battlefield, with everybody dead, even you-only your body doesn't have the good grace to quit breathing
Karen Marie Moning
You can't lead me down that road.
Taylor Swift
You had no right. No right to stand in front of me.” He turned back now, his eyes vividly blue with temper that had gone from frigid to blaze. “No fucking right to risk yourself on my behalf” “Oh really. Is that so?” She stalked forward until they were toe to toe. “Okay, you tell me. You keep looking me dead in the eye and you tell me you wouldn’t have done the same if it was me in jeopardy.” “That’s entirely different.” “Why?” Her chin came up and her finger jabbed hard into his chest. “Because you have a penis?
J.D. Robb (Vengeance in Death (In Death, #6))
As it stands right now, I lead Richard Pryor in heart attacks, two to one. However, Richard still leads me, one to nothing, in burning yourself up.
George Carlin
You will meet many opponents in your time that will come face to face with your flaws, trust the chaos ~ pain & confusion is the pathway to break open and become free.
Nikki Rowe
Stand up for someone who is in need so that it will build confidence in you to stand up for yourself at times when required...
Adil Adam Memon
This is what you do. If you feel low, you stand tall. You mess up, you move on. You want to try something, try it, and if it was a stupid thing to try, you look it in the eye. There's no turning back. You apologize if you're sorry, but know that the nimblest, strongest hands can't rebuild a bridge out of embers, so cut new wood. Start from scratch. You love with your whole heart. If you're jealous, talk yourself from the ledge. If you can't talk yourself down from the ledge, have a good time up there, looking down on the world. If you have to lie to make everything true again, lie like you mean it. If you find yourself in a cage, reach out through the bars for the key, unlock the door, and run away. If running away gets dangerous, run home. If home doesn't mean what it used to mean, decide what home will be in the future. If your best friend says she doesn't trust you, hold her jaw in your hand until it hurts, and make her face you. Thats all it takes. If you think you love a guy, see how his hand looks in yours, thats all it takes. If you get exiled into a new land, then go discover it. And if you feel like you're drowning, go swimming.
Hobson Brown
Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The trick is not to learn to trust your gut feelings, but rather to discipline yourself to ignore them. Stand by your stocks as long as the fundamental story of the company hasn’t changed.
Peter Lynch (One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In)
Do not disturb yourself by picturing your life as a whole; do not assemble in your mind the many and varied troubles which have come to you in the past and will come again in the future, but ask yourself with regard to every present difficulty: 'What is there in this that is unbearable and beyond endurance?' You would be ashamed to confess it! And then remind yourself that it is not the future or what has passed that afflicts you, but always the present, and the power of this is much diminished if you take it in isolation and call your mind to task if it thinks that it cannot stand up to it when taken on its own.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
He paused leaning over to lay his lips on hers, “It’s time to feel again. Let me save you from yourself. You were drowning when I found you, but I’m not letting you go, not without a fight.” He kissed her sweetly and moved back standing up and over her. Lena looked up at his out stretched hand. “Take my hand Lena.” He offered and she knew he meant it in a way that went far beyond offering to help her stand.
Ella Frank (Exquisite (Exquisite, #1))
Do you hate the person who tapped the first domino down? Or do you hate the domino for not standing up for itself? And if you are the second domino, and you get toppled, do you hate yourself?
Sarah Tregay (Love and Leftovers)
You will always belong anywhere you show up as yourself and talk about yourself and your work in a real way.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
Standing there at the stage door to the rest of your life. Time to dip your toe into the deep end. Try things. Say hi already. Laugh a lot. Mess up. Apologize. Mess up again. Hug people. Take chances. Trust yourself. Lose things. Get over it. Hold your friends close. Gather your strength. Gain wisdom and beautiful stories. Be brave, and you'll have the time of your life.
Taylor Swift
He looks up and the loss in his Noise is so great it feels like I'm standing on the edge of an abyss, that I'm about to fall down into him, into blackness so empty and lonely there'd never be a way out. "Todd," I say again, a catch in my voice. "On the ledge, under the waterfall, do you remember what you said to me? Do you remember what you said to save me?" He's shaking his head slowly. "I've done terrible things, Viola. Terrible things-" "We all fall, you said." I'm gripping his hand now. "We all fall but that's not what matters. What matters is picking yourself up again.
Patrick Ness (The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2))
Over, under, around, or through, there's always a way. You don't give up and you never give in. They can scar your body and take your freedom, but only you can surrender your heart and soul. Nothing is worth compromising yourself for. Stand fast and stand true. Always.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5))
You gotta stand up and walk, Gem,” he said quietly, turning his back on them. “You have to walk out of here. Not just for them, but for yourself. Come on. You have to walk out of here on your own two feet.” So I did.
Alexandra Bracken (In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
Gwenvael looked down at his body. Horrified, he sat up. “What is this? What’s happened to me?” “Calm down. It’ll heal quick enough, I’m sure.” “Heal? I’m hideous!” “You’re alive.” “Hideously alive!” He covered her face with his hands. “Don’t look at me! Look away!” “Stop it!” She pulled at his hands. “Have you lost your mind?” Gwenvael dropped back to the bed, turned his face toward the wall. “You know what this means, don’t you?” “Gwenvael—” “I’ll have to live alone, at the top of a castle somewhere. I’ll hide from the daylight and only come out at night.” “Please stop this.” “I’ll be alone but not for long because you’ll all want me more. You’ll lust for the beautiful warrior I once was and pity the hideous creature I’ve become. Most importantly, you’ll want to soothe my pain.” He looked at her again. “Don’t you want to soothe my pain? Right now? Without that dress on?” “No. I do not.” Dagmar tried to stand, and Gwenvael caught her hand, pulling her back down. “You can’t leave me. I’m tortured and brooding. You need to show me how much you adore me so I can learn to love myself again.” “You’ve never stopped loving yourself.” “Because I’m amazing.
G.A. Aiken (What a Dragon Should Know (Dragon Kin, #3))
It is as though some old part of yourself wakes up in you, terrified, useless in the life you have, its skills and habits destructive but intact, and what is left of the present you, the person you have become, wilts and shrivels in sadness or despair: the person you have become is only a thin shell over this other, more electric and endangered self. The strongest, the least digested parts of your experience can rise up and put you back where you were when they occurred; all the rest of you stands back and weeps.
Peter Straub (The Throat)
With God, you are stronger than your struggles and more fierce than your fears. God provides comfort and strength to those who trust in Him. Be encouraged, keep standing, and know that everything's going to be alright.
Germany Kent
Turn down the volume of your negative inner voice and create a nurturing inner voice to take it’s place. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on instead of obsessing about it. Equally important, don’t allow anyone else to dwell on your mistakes or shortcomings or to expect perfection from you.
Beverly Engel (The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself)
If you believe in a cause, be willing to stand up for that cause with a million people or by yourself.
Otis S. Johnson (From "N Word" to Mr. Mayor: Experiencing the American Dream)
...In books there's always somebody standing by ready to say hey, the world's in danger, evil's on the rise, but if you're really quick and take this ring and put it in that volcano over there everything will be fine. "But in real life that guy never turns up. He's never there. He's busy handing out advice in the next universe over. In our world no one ever knows what to do, and everyone's just as clueless and full of crap as everyone else, and you have to figure it all out by yourself. And even after you've figured it out and done it, you'll never know whether you were right or wrong. You'll never know if you put the ring in the right volcano, or if things might have gone better if you hadn't. There's no answers in the back of the book.
Lev Grossman (The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3))
Gmorning! You're gonna make mistakes. You're gonna fail. You're gonna get back up. You're gonna break hearts. You're gonna change minds. You're gonna make noise. You're gonna make music. You're gonna be late, let's GO. Gnight! You're gonna fall down. You're gonna be tested. You're gonna learn about yourself. You're gonna get brave. You're gonna take stands. You're gonna make waves. You're gonna make history. You're gonna need rest, REST UP.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You)
Read poetry every day of your life. Poetry is good because it flexes muscles you don’t use often enough. Poetry expands the senses and keeps them in prime condition. It keeps you aware of your nose, your eye, your ear, your tongue, your hand. And, above all, poetry is compacted metaphor or simile. Such metaphors, like Japanese paper flowers, may expand outward into gigantic shapes. Ideas lie everywhere through the poetry books, yet how rarely have I heard short story teachers recommending them for browsing. What poetry? Any poetry that makes your hair stand up along your arms. Don’t force yourself too hard. Take it easy. Over the years you may catch up to, move even with, and pass T. S. Eliot on your way to other pastures. You say you don’t understand Dylan Thomas? Yes, but your ganglion does, and your secret wits, and all your unborn children. Read him, as you can read a horse with your eyes, set free and charging over an endless green meadow on a windy day.
Ray Bradbury (Zen in the Art of Writing)
Try to tell me what I shouldn't do You should know by now, I won't listen to you Walk around with my hands up in the air Cause I don't care Cause I'm alright, I'm fine Just freak out, let it go I'm gonna live my life I can't ever run and hide I won't compromise Cause I'll never know I'm gonna close my eyes I can't watch the time go by I won't keep it inside Freak out, let it go Just freak out, let it go You don't always have to do everything right Stand up for yourself And put up a fight walk around with your hands up in the air Like you don't care Cause I'm alright, I'm fine Just freak out, let it go I'm gonna live my life I can't ever run and hide I won't compromise Cause I'll never know I'm gonna close my eyes I can't watch the time go by I won't keep it inside Freak out, let it go On my own Let it go Yeah, yeah, yeah Just let me live my life I can't ever run and hide I won't compromise Cause I'll never know I'm gonna close my eyes I can't watch the time go by I won't keep it inside Freak out, let it go Gonna freak out, let it go Gonna freak out, let it go
Avril Lavigne (Avril LaVigne - Under My Skin)
Every place is a goldmine. You have only to give yourself time, sit in a teahouse watching the passers-by, stand in a corner of the market, go for a haircut. You pick up a thread – a word, a meeting, a friend of a friend of someone you have just met – and soon the most insipid, most insignificant place becomes a mirror of the world, a window on life, a theatre of humanity.
Tiziano Terzani (A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East)
So give up waiting as a state of mind. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting . . . snap out of it. Come into the present moment. Just be, and enjoy being. If you are present, there is never any need for you to wait for anything. So next time somebody says, “Sorry to have kept you waiting,” you can reply, “That’s all right, I wasn’t waiting. I was just standing
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
No one can make you 'better' emotionally, mentally, spiritually or physically. You have to find this for yourself. You have to taste that brutal moment when you're crying in a corner of the room, curled up on the floor and you think this is your end. You have to fight to stand up, literally. And you have to walk over to your reflection and scream, scream it all out. Then you have pick up your sword and fight and never quit. This is your life. Don't let those bastards win.
Crystal Woods (Write like no one is reading)
It's the loneliest feeling in the world-to find yourself standing up when everybody else is sitting down. To have everybody look at you and say, 'What's the matter with him?' I know. I know what it feels like. Walking down an empty street, listening to the sound of your own footsteps. Shutters closed, blinds drawn, doors locked against you. And you aren't sure whether you're walking toward something, or if you're just walking away.
Robert E. Lee (Inherit the Wind)
What?” Jace was standing up now. “When you first step off. Bend the knees right away. Otherwise you did pretty well.” “But what about Isabelle?” Simon asked. “What do I do?” “I have no idea,” Jace said. “So you just came here to torture me and talk about yourself?” Simon demanded. “Oh, Simon, Simon, Simon,” said Jace. “You may not remember, but that’s kind of our thing.” With that, he walked away, clearly aware of the admiring glances that followed his every step.
Cassandra Clare (The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #3))
Life is not compassionate towards victims. The trick is not to see yourself as one. It's never too late! I know I've felt like the victim in various situations in my life, but, it's never too late for me to realize that it's my responsibility to stand on victorious ground and know that whatever it is I'm experiencing or going through, those are just the clouds rolling by while I stand here on the top of this mountain! This mountain called Victory! The clouds will come and the clouds will go, but the truth is that I'm high up here on this mountaintop that reaches into the sky! I am a victor. I didn't climb up the mountain, I was born on top of it!
C. JoyBell C.
If you live your life to please everyone else, you will continue to feel frustrated and powerless. This is because what others want may not be good for you. You are not being mean when you say NO to unreasonable demands or when you express your ideas, feelings, and opinions, even if they differ from those of others.
Beverly Engel (The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself)
Never limit yourself to what you can't do, but to what you have the power to do with what you have.
Nadège Richards
You’ve got to trust yourself. Be gentle with yourself. And listen to yourself. You’re the only person who can get you through this now. You’re the only one who can survive your story, the only one who can write your future. All you’ve got to do, when you’re ready, is stand up, {and begin again.}
Tessa Shaffer (Heaven Has No Regrets)
You become a woman the first time you stand up for yourself when they get your order wrong at a diner, or when you first realize your parents are full of shit. You become a woman the first time you get fitted for a bra and realize you’ve been wearing a very wrong size your whole fucking life. You become a woman the first time you fart in front of a boyfriend. The first time your heart breaks. The first time you break someone else’s heart. The first time someone you love dies. The
Amy Schumer (The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo)
I can’t lie to you and tell you that standing in front of someone and offering them your soul and having them reject you is not gonna be one of the worst things that ever happens to you. You will wonder for days or weeks or months or years afterward what it is about you that was so wrong or broken or ugly that they couldn’t love you the way you loved them. You will look for all the reasons inside yourself that they didn’t want you and you will find a million. Maybe it was the way you looked in the mornings when you first woke up and hadn’t showered. Maybe it was the way you were too available, because despite what everyone says, playing hard to get is still attractive. Some days you will believe that every atom of your being is defective somehow. What you need to remember, as I remembered as I watched Grace Town leave, is that you are extraordinary.
Krystal Sutherland (Our Chemical Hearts)
What?” I cut him off. “That’s not true—I do take this seriously—” “Bullshit.” He laughs a short, sharp, angry laugh. “All you do is sit around and think about your feelings. You’ve got problems. Boo-freaking-hoo,” he says. “Your parents hate you and it’s so hard but you have to wear gloves for the rest of your life because you kill people when you touch them. Who gives a shit?” He’s breathing hard enough for me to hear him. “As far as I can tell, you’ve got food in your mouth and clothes on your back and a place to pee in peace whenever you feel like it. Those aren’t problems. That’s called living like a king. And I’d really appreciate it if you’d grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it’s stupid,” he says, barely reining in his temper. “It’s stupid, and it’s ungrateful. You don’t have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don’t have a clue, Juliette. And you don’t seem to give a damn, either.” I swallow, so hard. “Now I am trying,” he says, “to give you a chance to fix things. I keep giving you opportunities to do things differently. To see past the sad little girl you used to be—the sad little girl you keep clinging to—and stand up for yourself. Stop crying. Stop sitting in the dark counting out all your individual feelings about how sad and lonely you are. Wake up,” he says. “You’re not the only person in this world who doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. You’re not the only one with daddy issues and severely screwed-up DNA. You can be whoever the hell you want to be now. You’re not with your shitty parents anymore. You’re not in that shitty asylum, and you’re no longer stuck being Warner’s shitty little experiment. So make a choice,” he says. “Make a choice and stop wasting everyone’s time. Stop wasting your own time. Okay?
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Survivors who don’t stand up for themselves often develop physical and emotional illnesses. Many become depressed because they feel so hopeless and helpless about being able to change their lives. They turn their anger inward and become prone to headaches, muscle tension, nervous conditions and insomnia.
Beverly Engel (The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself)
Jean grinned down at her, and she handed him something in a small silk bag. 'What's this?' 'Lock of my hair, ' she said. 'Meant to give it to you days ago, but we got busy with all the raiding. You know. Piracy. Hectic life. ' 'Thank you, love, ' he said. 'Now, if you find yourself in trouble wherever you go, you can hold up that little bag to whoever's bothering you, and you can say, "You have no idea who you're fucking with. I'm under the protection of the lady who gave me this object of her favour. "' 'And that's supposed to make them stop?' 'Shit no, that's just to confuse them. Then you kill them while they're standing there looking at you funny.
Scott Lynch (Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2))
I stand by your side because this is where I’m meant to be. I stand by your side because you didn’t have the strength to hold yourself up. That’s what you do for the person you love.
Harper Sloan (Beck (Corps Security, #3))
Standing up for yourself is about more than flinging barbed-wire insults around. Its about picking your battles, knowing when to fight, knowing exactly what and who is worth fighting for.
Paula Stokes (The Art of Lainey (The Art of Lainey, #1))
If someone is inconsiderate or rude to you, risk telling them how it made you feel or that you didn’t appreciate being treated that way. If you tend to talk yourself out of anger by telling yourself that you don’t want to make waves, try telling yourself instead that it is okay to make waves sometimes and risk letting people know how you really feel.
Beverly Engel (The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself)
Yes, alone we are, deeply alone, and always, in store for us, a layer of loneliness even deeper. There is nothing we can do to dispose of that. No, loneliness shouldn’t surprise us, as astonishing to experience as it may be. You can try yourself inside out, but all you are then is inside out and lonely instead of inside in and lonely. My stupid, stupid Merry dear, stupider even that your stupid father, not even blowing up buildings helps. It’s lonely if there are buildings and it’s lonely if there are buildings and it’s lonely if there are no buildings. There is no protest to be lodged against loneliness⎯not all the bombing campaigns in history have made a dent in it. The most lethal of manmade explosives can’t touch it. Stand in awe not of Communism, my idiot child, but of ordinary, everyday loneliness.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral (The American Trilogy, #1))
Beware of those who don't fight back. Sooner or later, they will.
Joyce Rachelle
Today," she told it, "death comes to all your circuits. Will it be slow and systematic or fast and brutal?" Considering, she circled it, "Tough decision. I've waited so long for this moment. Dreamed of it." Showing her teeth, she began to roll up her sleeves. "What," Roarke asked from the doorway that connected their work areas, "is that?" "The former bane of my existence. The Antichrist of technology. Do we have a hammer?" Studying the pile on the floor, he walked in. "Several, I imagine, of various types." "I want all of them. Tiny little hammers, big, wallbangers, and everything in between." "Might one ask why?" "I'm going to beat this thing apart, byte by byte, until there's nothing left but dust from the last trembling chip." "Hmmm." Roarke crouched down, examined the pitifully out-of-date system. "When did you haul this mess in here?" "Just now. I had it in the car. Maybe I should use acid, just stand here and watch it hiss and dissolve. That could be good." Saying nothing, Roarke took a small case out of his pocket, opened it, and chose a slim tool. With a few deft moves, he had the housing open. "Hey! Hey! What're you doing?" "I haven't seen anything like this in a decade. Fascinating. Look at this corrosion. Christ, this is a SOC chip system. And it's cross-wired." When he began to fiddle, she rushed over and slapped at his hands. "Mine. I get to kill it." "Get a grip on yourself," he said absently and delved deeper into the guts. "I'll take this into research." "No. Uh-uh. I have to bust it apart. What if it breeds?
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
but sometimes one person can hold you up in life, keep you standing, and without that hand to hold, you can find yourself free-falling no matter how strong you used to be, no matter how hard you try to remain steady.
Kristin Hannah (Fly Away (Firefly Lane, #2))
Maybe a first love exists to reaffirm the best parts of yourself, the choices you made when you didn't worry about the consequences. Maybe a first love exists to remind you to be brave in the moment, to stand up for your feelings, instead of shrinking back in the face of potential loneliness.
Adriana Trigiani (The Queen of the Big Time)
And yet, you're still alone. All that trying and still you stand apart, watching from the other side of the glass. Afraid to have what you truly want because what if it's not enough after all? So much better to wrap yourself up in the longing. The yearning. The restlessness. Poor Gemma. She doesn't quite fit, does she? Poor Gemma--all alone.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
It's a long haul bringing up our children to be good; you have to keep doing that — bring them up — and that means bringing things up with them: Asking, telling, sounding them out, sounding off yourself — finding, through experience, your own words, your own way of putting them together. You have to learn where you stand, and make sure your kids learn [where you stand], understand why, and soon, you hope, they'll be standing there beside you, with you.
Erik Erikson
Imagine that one day you are out for a walk in the woods. Suddenly you see a small spaceship on the path in front of you. A tiny Martian climbs out the spaceship and stands on the ground looking up at you… What would you think? Never mind, it’s not important. But have you ever given any thought to the fact that you are a Martian yourself? It is obviously unlikely that you will ever stumble upon a creature from another planet. We do not even know that there is life on other planets. But you might stumble upon yourself one day. You might suddenly stop short and see yourself in a completely new light. On just such a walk in the woods. I am an extraordinary being, you think. I am a mysterious creature. You feel as if you are waking from an enchanted slumber. Who am I? you ask. You know that you are stumbling around on a planet in the universe. But what is the universe? If you discover yourself in this manner you will have discovered something as mysterious as the Martian we just mentioned. You will not only have seen a being from outer space. You will feel deep down that you are yourself an extraordinary being.
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie's World)
There are a few times in life when you leap up and the past that you'd been standing on falls away behind you, and the future you mean to lean on is not yet in place, and for a moment you are suspended, knowing nothing and no one, not even yourself.
Ann Patchett (The Dutch House)
Standing up for yourself doesn’t always involve verbal confrontation. Sometimes it’s about not wasting energy on people who are negative.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl-A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
Don't yell at people. Stand up for what's right. Put yourself in the other persons place. Respect women. Don't take no for an answer. Laugh at yourself. Don't believe what you are told. Fall in love.
Greg Proops
Thinking for yourself and making your own decisions can be frightening. Letting go of other people’s expectations can leave you feeling empty for a time. And yet seeing yourself as an independent adult who can stand up for your own choices frees you to accept yourself as you are.
Ellen Bass (The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse)
But I should caution that if you seek to plot out all your moves before you make them—if you put your faith in slow, deliberative planning in the hopes it will spare you failure down the line—well, you’re deluding yourself. For one thing, it’s easier to plan derivative work—things that copy or repeat something already out there. So if your primary goal is to have a fully worked out, set-in-stone plan, you are only upping your chances of being unoriginal.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
And listen to me: what you’ve done here carries power with it, of a different sort. Don’t let Solya take all the credit, and don’t be shy of using it.
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
Do you know that feeling? When everything you do seems like a struggle. Where you dont wanna leave the house because you know everyone is judging you. Where you cant even ask for directions in fear that they critise you. Where everyone always seems to be picking out your flaws. That feeling where you feel so damn sick for no reason. Do you know that feeling where you look in the mirror and completly hate what you see. When you grab handfuls and handfuls of fat and just want to cut it all off. That feeling when you see other beautiful girls and just wish you looked like them. When you compare yourself to everyone you meet. When you realise why no one ever showed intrest in you. That feeling where you become so self conscious you dont even turn up at school. That feeling when you feel so disappointed in who you are and everything you have become. That feeling when every bite makes you wanna be sick. When hunger is more satifying that food. The feeling of failure when you eat a meal. Do you know that feeling when you cant run as far as your class. Fear knowing that everyone thinks of you as the"Unfit FAT BITCH" That feeling when you just wanna let it all out but you dont wanna look weak. The fear you have in class when you dont understand something but your too afraid to ask for help. The feeling of being to ashamed to stand up for yourself. Do you know the feeling when your deepest fear becomes a reality. Fear that you will NEVER be good enough. When you feel as if you deserve all the pain you give yourself. When you finally understand why everyone hates you. FINALLY realising the harsh truth. Understanding that every cut, every burn, every bruise you have even given yourself, you deserved. In fact you deserved worse. That feeling when you believe you deserve constant and brutal pain. Do you know what it feels like to just want to give up. When you just want all the pain to end but you want it to continue? Or am i just insane
Anonymous.
Do you know what I've learned? That although ecstasy is the ability to stand outside yourself, dance is a way of rising up into space, of discovering new dimensions while still remaining in touch with your body. When you dance, the spiritual world and the real world manage to coexist quite happily. I think classical ballet dancers dance on pointe because they're simultaneously touching the earth and reaching up to the skies.
Paulo Coelho (The Witch of Portobello)
What was she thinking?” muttered Alexander, closing his eyes and imagining his Tania. “She was determined. It was like some kind of a personal crusade with her,” Ina said. “She gave the doctor a liter of blood for you—” “Where did she get it from?” “Herself, of course.” Ina smiled. “Lucky for you, Major, our Nurse Metanova is a universal donor.” Of course she is, thought Alexander, keeping his eyes tightly shut. Ina continued. “The doctor told her she couldn’t give any more, and she said a liter wasn’t enough, and he said, ‘Yes, but you don’t have more to give,’ and she said, ‘I’ll make more,’ and he said, ‘No,’ and she said, ‘Yes,’ and in four hours, she gave him another half-liter of blood.” Alexander lay on his stomach and listened intently while Ina wrapped fresh gauze on his wound. He was barely breathing. “The doctor told her, ‘Tania, you’re wasting your time. Look at his burn. It’s going to get infected.’ There wasn’t enough penicillin to give to you, especially since your blood count was so low.” Alexander heard Ina chuckle in disbelief. “So I’m making my rounds late that night, and who do I find next to your bed? Tatiana. She’s sitting with a syringe in her arm, hooked up to a catheter, and I watch her, and I swear to God, you won’t believe it when I tell you, Major, but I see that the catheter is attached to the entry drip in your IV.” Ina’s eyes bulged. “I watch her draining blood from the radial artery in her arm into your IV. I ran in and said, ‘Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? You’re siphoning blood from yourself into him?’ She said to me in her calm, I-won’t-stand-for-any-argument voice, ‘Ina, if I don’t, he will die.’ I yelled at her. I said, ‘There are thirty soldiers in the critical wing who need sutures and bandages and their wounds cleaned. Why don’t you take care of them and let God take care of the dead?’ And she said, ‘He’s not dead. He is still alive, and while he is alive, he is mine.’ Can you believe it, Major? But that’s what she said. ‘Oh, for God’s sake,’ I said to her. ‘Fine, die yourself. I don’t care.’ But the next morning I went to complain to Dr. Sayers that she wasn’t following procedure, told him what she had done, and he ran to yell at her.” Ina lowered her voice to a sibilant, incredulous whisper. “We found her unconscious on the floor by your bed. She was in a dead faint, but you had taken a turn for the better. All your vital signs were up. And Tatiana got up from the floor, white as death itself, and said to the doctor coldly, ‘Maybe now you can give him the penicillin he needs?’ I could see the doctor was stunned. But he did. Gave you penicillin and more plasma and extra morphine. Then he operated on you, to get bits of the shell fragment out of you, and saved your kidney. And stitched you. And all that time she never left his side, or yours. He told her your bandages needed to be changed every three hours to help with drainage, to prevent infection. We had only two nurses in the terminal wing, me and her. I had to take care of all the other patients, while all she did was take care of you. For fifteen days and nights she unwrapped you and cleaned you and changed your dressings. Every three hours. She was a ghost by the end. But you made it. That’s when we moved you to critical care. I said to her, ‘Tania, this man ought to marry you for what you did for him,’ and she said, ‘You think so?’ ” Ina tutted again. Paused. “Are you all right, Major? Why are you crying?
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
To get some distance from this, you first need to get some perspective. Walk outside on a clear night and just look up into the sky. You are sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Though you can only see a few thousand stars, there are hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy alone. In fact, it is estimated that there are over a trillion stars in the Spiral Galaxy. And that galaxy would look like one star to us, if we could even see it. You’re just standing on one little ball of dirt and spinning around one of the stars. From that perspective, do you really care what people think about your clothes or your car? Do you really need to feel embarrassed if you forget someone’s name? How can you let these meaningless things cause pain? If you want out, if you want a decent life, you had better not devote your life to avoiding psychological pain. You had better not spend your life worrying about whether people like you or whether your car impresses people. What kind of life is that? It is a life of pain. You may not think that you feel pain that often, but you really do. To spend your life avoiding pain means it’s always right behind you.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
You gotta stand up and walk, Gem,” he said quietly, turning his back on them. “You have to walk out of here. Not just for them, but for yourself. Come on. You have to walk out of here on your own two feet. So I did.
Alexandra Bracken (In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
Have your own opinions, stand up for your own beliefs. You have your own brain, so use it. - Kailin Gow
Kailin Gow
Yoga isn’t just about showing up on the mat. It’s about showing up in your life, in your day; it’s about opening your heart while standing firm and strong and believing in yourself.
Kathryn E. Livingston
Every time you feel lost, confused, think about trees, remember how they grow. Remember that a tree with lots of branches and few roots will get toppled by the first strong wind, while the sap hardly moves in a tree with many roots and few branches. Roots and branches must grow in equal measure, you have to stand both inside of things and above them, because only then will you be able to offer shade and shelter, only then will you be able to cover yourself with leaves and fruit at the proper season. And later on, when so many roads open up before you, you don't know which to take, don't pick one at random; sit down and wait. Breathe deeply, trustingly, the way you breathed on the day when you came into the world, don't let anything distract you, wait and wait some more. Stay still, be quiet, and listen to your heart. Then, when it speaks, get up and go where it takes you.
Susanna Tamaro (Follow Your Heart)
DCI Horner's advice to Jack Spratt: "Remember, m'boy," his old boss had said, eyes twinkling, "that if anyone tries to get the better of you, stand up straight and say to yourself in an imperious air, 'I am the new Mrs. de Winter now!' You'll find it works wonders.
Jasper Fforde
The messages you received from your family or your childhood experiences may have caused you to believe that assertiveness is unacceptable or even dangerous. Practice saying the following: I have the right to be treated with respect by others. I have the right to express my feelings and opinions. I have the right to say no without feeling guilty. I have the right to ask for what I want. I have the right to make my own mistakes. I have the right to pursue happiness.
Beverly Engel (The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself)
He shifted his weight, throwing his good leg off the bed as if he were going to try to stand. “What are you doing?” I demanded through the tears. “Lie down, you idiot, you’ll hurt yourself!” I jumped to my feet and pushed his good shoulder down with two hands. He surrendered, leaning back with a gasp of pain, but he grabbed me around my waist and pulled me down on the bed, against his good side. I curled up there, trying to stifle the silly sobs against his hot skin.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
You take risks; you get hurt. And you put your head down and plow forward anyway and if you die, you die. That’s the game. But don’t tell me you’re not a hero. You walk away, you’re choosing to walk away. Whatever bad things happen as a result, you’re choosing to let them happen. You can lie to yourself, say that you never had a choice, that you weren’t cut out for this. But deep down you’ll know. You’ll know that humans aren’t cut out for anything. We cut ourselves out. Slowly, like a rusty knife. Because otherwise, here’s what’s going to happen: you’re going to die and you’re going to stand at the gates of judgement and you’re going to ask God what was the meaning of it all, and God will say, ‘I created the universe, you little shit. It was up to you to give it meaning.
David Wong (Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits (Zoey Ashe, #1))
Nearly all people stand in great horror of annihilation, and yet to give up your individuality is to annihilate yourself. Mental slavery is mental death, and every man who has given up his intellectual freedom is the living coffin of his dead soul.
Robert G. Ingersoll
You live that long, things start happening to you. You get too impressed with yourself. Ends up, you think you’re God. Suddenly the little people, thirty, maybe forty years old, well, they don’t really matter anymore. You’ve seen whole societies rise and fall, and you start to feel you’re standing outside it all, and none of it really matters to you. And maybe you’ll start snuffing those little people, just like picking daisies, if they get under your feet.
Richard K. Morgan (Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1))
It might take just as much effort to fit in as it does to stand out, because you're standing up for yourself. It's those who take a risk and take chances who achieve greatness. Those who play it safe never can.
Dita Von Teese (Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour)
There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. Whenever I’m sad I’m going to die, or so nervous I can’t sleep, or in love with somebody I won’t be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say: 'I’ll go take a hot bath.' I meditate in the bath.The water needs to be very hot, so hot you can barely stand putting your foot in it. Then you lower yourself, inch by inch, till the water’s up to your neck. I remember the ceiling over every bathtub I’ve stretched out in. I remember the texture of the ceilings and the cracks and the colors and the damp spots and the light fixtures. I remember the tubs, too: the antique griffin-legged tubs, and the modern coffin-shaped tubs, and the fancy pink marble tubs overlooking indoor lily ponds, and I remember the shapes and sizes of the water taps and the different sorts of soap holders. I never feel so much myself as when I’m in a hot bath.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
If you tell me Christian commitment is a kind of thing that has happened to you once and for all like some kind of spiritual plastic surgery, I say go to, go to, you're either pulling the wool over your own eyes or trying to pull it over mine. Every morning you should wake up in your bed and ask yourself: "Can I believe it all again today?" No, better still, don't ask it till after you've read The New York Times, till after you've studied that daily record of the world's brokenness and corruption, which should always stand side by side with your Bible. Then ask yourself if you can believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ again for that particular day. If your answer's always Yes, then you probably don't know what believing means. At least five times out of ten the answer should be No because the No is as important as the Yes, maybe more so. The No is what proves you're human in case you should ever doubt it. And then if some morning the answer happens to be really Yes, it should be a Yes that's choked with confession and tears and. . . great laughter.
Frederick Buechner
She looks like a jumper to me. Jumpers do that a lot, stand on the edge and stare out. Never kill yourself in a Tube station. Tip number one. You might end up down here forever, staring at the wall." Stephen coughed a little. "Just giving advice," Callum said.
Maureen Johnson (The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1))
Anyone can say 'I love you', however so many other sayings carry more weight in a relationship: “I understand what you went through because I went through it too.” “I believe you and in you.” “I see the pain you are going through and we will conquer this together.” “I don’t want to change you. I just want to help you become the best version of yourself.” “You matter to me, therefore I will be there for you always.” "I will never keep things from you because you have my respect and friendship. If I find out someone is putting you down, I will stand up for you. ” “Your character will always shine when I speak about you because to damage your name is to damage ours.” “I will go to the ends of the earth to save you from yourself or others.” “What you have to say is important to me because I see you’re hurting and that hurts me, so I am going to listen. Together we will solve this problem.” “I don’t care about your past. That was yesterday. Today, we are going to start over because people make mistakes, but they don’t have to pay for them for the rest of their life.” "How can I help you get through this?" “In sickness or in health...I meant it and I will search the world to find a way to keep you in it because you mean that much to me.” “I don’t want to be your parent. I want to be your best friend, lover, cheering section, playmate and fill all the important parts of your soul. Together we will fill the rest as equals.
Shannon L. Alder
Had it really been so wonderful? I knew very well that at that time, too, there had been shame. And uneasiness, and humiliation, and disgust: accept, submit, force yourself. Is it possible that even happy moments of pleasure never stand up to a rigorous examination? Possible.
Elena Ferrante (The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels, #2))
At a certain point, you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, the world, Now I am ready. Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself and wait, listening. After a time you hear it: there is nothing there. There is nothing but those things only, those created objects, discrete, growing or holding, or swaying, being rained on or raining, held, flooding or ebbing, standing, or spread. You feel the world's word as a tension, a hum, a single chorused note everywhere the same. This is it: this hum is the silence. Nature does utter a peep - just this one. The birds and insects, the meadows and swamps and rivers and stones and mountains and clouds: they all do it; they all don't do it. There is a vibrancy to the silence, a suppression, as if someone were gagging the world. But you wait, you give your life's length to listening, and nothing happens. The ice rolls up, the ice rolls back, and still that single note obtains. The tension, or lack of it, is intolerable. The silence is not actually suppression: instead, it is all there is.
Annie Dillard (Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters)
I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to wish for a perfect life. the things that knock you down in life are tests, forcing you to make a choice between giving in and remaining on the ground or wiping the dirt off and standing up even taller than you did before you were knocked down. I'm choosing to stand up taller. I'll probably get knocked down a few more times before this life is through with me, but I can guarantee you I'll never stay on the ground.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
Today may be your last chance to be you, someone you forgot to completely immerse yourself in because you were too worried about the details. The details that, no matter how many times you thought them through, brought you no closer to understanding. They just tied up your mind and prevented you from really letting in the things you love. Your demon that is standing before the beautiful floodgate and is keeping you in a dehydrated nothingness. Give him permission to walk away. He is not your keeper. You are his.
Brianna Wiest
The whole world wants you to be miserable. It wants you to put your head down, sigh to yourself, and give up on being happy, and I know just as well as anyone that sometimes, giving up seems like the only option, but if you take one thing from this, I hope it’s this: Don’t give those mother-fuckers an inch. Stand your ground every chance you get because everybody deserves a chance to be happy.
Dan Campbell
To encapsulate the notion of Mardi Gras as nothing more than a big drunk is to take the simple and stupid way out, and I, for one, am getting tired of staying stuck on simple and stupid. Mardi Gras is not a parade. Mardi Gras is not girls flashing on French Quarter balconies. Mardi Gras is not an alcoholic binge. Mardi Gras is bars and restaurants changing out all the CD's in their jukeboxes to Professor Longhair and the Neville Brothers, and it is annual front-porch crawfish boils hours before the parades so your stomach and attitude reach a state of grace, and it is returning to the same street corner, year after year, and standing next to the same people, year after year--people whose names you may or may not even know but you've watched their kids grow up in this public tableau and when they're not there, you wonder: Where are those guys this year? It is dressing your dog in a stupid costume and cheering when the marching bands go crazy and clapping and saluting the military bands when they crisply snap to. Now that part, more than ever. It's mad piano professors converging on our city from all over the world and banging the 88's until dawn and laughing at the hairy-shouldered men in dresses too tight and stalking the Indians under Claiborne overpass and thrilling the years you find them and lamenting the years you don't and promising yourself you will next year. It's wearing frightful color combination in public and rolling your eyes at the guy in your office who--like clockwork, year after year--denies that he got the baby in the king cake and now someone else has to pony up the ten bucks for the next one. Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once.
Chris Rose (1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories)
The opportunity of a lifetime is to pick yourself. Quit waiting to get picked; quit waiting for someone to give you permission; quit waiting for someone to say you are officially qualified and pick yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to be an entrepreneur or a freelancer, but it does mean you stand up and say, ‘I have something to say. I know how to do something. I’m doing it. If you want me to do it with you, raise your hand.
Seth Godin
when you want something so desperately, you shake with the need for it. you tell yourself that you don't need more than one sip, because it's just the taste you crave, and once it's on your tongue you will be able to make it last alifetime. you dream of it at night. you see a thousand mile-high obstacles between where you stand and what you want, and you convince yourself you have the power to hurdle them. you tell yourself this even when, leaping the first block, you wind up bruised and bloodied and flattened.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You'll care only about the darkness and you'll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you're some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you'll be afraid to look away, you'll be afraid to sleep. Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you've got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name. And then the nightmares will begin.
Mark Z. Danielewski
I know what this is. I know this is my truth. My past. My present. My future. It is what I knew all along and, like a freaking idiot, ignored because my beautiful illusion was so much better than my tragic reality. For once, I had embraced happiness. Bliss. In spite of finding out what I was, finding out that I was a half Light, half Dark inbreed, I was happy. Even with a damn supernatural assassin out for my blood, I was content. Because of him. He made me whole. A new and improved Gabs. A girl that wanted to be good enough. For him. Fuck. Him.
S.L. Jennings (The Dark Prince (Dark Light, #2))
And there is another feeling that is a great consolation in poverty. I believe everyone who has been hard up has experienced it. It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out. You have talked so often of going to the dogs — and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them, and you can stand it.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
When I was little, I used to pour salt on slugs. I liked watching them dissolve before my eyes. Cruelty is always sort of fun until you realize that something’s getting hurt. It would be one thing to be a loser if it meant that no one paid attention to you, but in school, it means you’re actively sought out. You’re the slug, and they’re holding all the salt. And they haven’t developed a conscience. There’s a word we learned in social studies: schadenfreude. It’s when you enjoy watching someone else suffer. The real question though, is why? I think part of it is self preservation. And part of it is because a group always feels more like a group when it’s banded together against an enemy. It doesn’t matter if that enemy has never done anything to hurt you-you just have to pretend you hate someone even more than you hate yourself. You know why salt works on slugs? Because it dissolved in the water that’s part of a slug’s skin, so the water on the inside its body starts to flow out. They slug dehydrates. This works with snails, too. And with leeches. And with people like me. With any creature, really, too thin-skinned to stand up for itself.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
Mr. Beaumaris, who had picked Ulysses up, paid no heed to all these attempts at self-justification, but addressed himself to his adorer. "What a fool you are!" he observed. "No, I have the greatest dislike of having my face licked, and must request you to refrain. Quiet, Ulysses! quiet! I am grateful to you for your solicitude, but you must perceive that I am in the enjoyment of my customary good health. I would I could say the same of you. You have once more reduced yourself to skin and bone, my friend, a process which I shall take leave to inform you I consider as unjust as it is ridiculous. Anyone setting eyes on you would suppose that I grudged you even the scraps from my table!" He added, without the slightest change of voice, and without raising his eyes from the creature in his arms. "You would also appear to have bereft my household of its sense, so that the greater part of it, instead of providing me with the breakfast I stand in need of, is engaged in excusing itself from any suspicion of blame and - I may add - doing itself no good thereby.
Georgette Heyer (Arabella)
All experience adds up to a life lived as only you could. I feel sure the day will come when you can say: this is my life. You may never become a writer or a master cook, but I do believe there will be a time when you can stand tall as yourself in your own unique way.
Durian Sukegawa
It was a huge obsession taking over my life, every injustice leading logically to a related and worse injustice until I was standing in the center of a pulsating ring of pain and torture and oppression and the only real solution was to just kill yourself. Just get off the fucking fucked-up planet.
Michelle Tea
Listen, I know there were days you wanted to die when the sky was so clear you’d stand obnoxious underneath it begging for stars to shoot you just so you could feel at home. I know about the ways you misplaced all the right words, stockpiled every important social cue you ever missed from the first time you learned you were wrong, waited to make it right once everyone stopped watching. I know you let them beat up your beauty in bed because redemption was still alive in you, howling relentless, gathering strength. Felt like ecstasy when they pounded it out of you in the hard dark. Those days of dead weather got all strung together and they spoke for you, wore you down to telling everyone here it was a good life so you could run back into the wails of your windfight. I know the parts of your past that haunt you the most are the days you weren’t being yourself, and I know that’s why most of your past haunts you. There were so many who found you out, and they were right. You were good. So un- numb.
Buddy Wakefield
Showing up begins long before you stand at the start. Prove yourself an exception in a world where people talk more than act. Intent without follow-through is hollow. Disappoint yourself enough times and empty is how you feel. Make yourself proud. Fill yourself up. Show up.
Gina Greenlee (Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road)
If you have the tendency to repress your anger, you have lost touch with an important part of yourself. Getting angry is a way to gain back that part of yourself by asserting your rights, expressing your displeasure with a situation, and letting others know how you wish to be treated. It can motivate you to make needed changes in a relationship or other areas of your life. Finally it can let others know that you expect to be respected and treated fairly.
Beverly Engel (The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself)
Sometimes you go a long time having fooled yourself into thinking that you're as grown-up as you'll ever be, or that you're more mature than the rest of the world thinks you are, and you live in this state of constant self-assurance, and for a while nothing can upset you from this pedestal you've built for yourself, because you imagine yourself to be so capable. And then somebody does something that takes a golf club to your ego, and suddenly you're nine years old again, pieced together from humiliation and gawky youthfulness and childlike ideas like, Somebody please tell me what to do, nobody taught me how to handle this, God, just look at all the things I still don't understand, and you can't muster up the presence of mind to do anything but stand there, stare, silent, sorry.
Riley Redgate (Seven Ways We Lie)
It’s taboo to admit that you’re lonely. You can make jokes about it, of course. You can tell people that you spend most of your time with Netflix or that you haven’t left the house today and you might not even go outside tomorrow. Ha ha, funny. But rarely do you ever tell people about the true depths of your loneliness, about how you feel more and more alienated from your friends each passing day and you’re not sure how to fix it. It seems like everyone is just better at living than you are. A part of you knew this was going to happen. Growing up, you just had this feeling that you wouldn’t transition well to adult life, that you’d fall right through the cracks. And look at you now. La di da, it’s happening. Your mother, your father, your grandparents: they all look at you like you’re some prized jewel and they tell you over and over again just how lucky you are to be young and have your whole life ahead of you. “Getting old ain’t for sissies,” your father tells you wearily. You wish they’d stop saying these things to you because all it does is fill you with guilt and panic. All it does is remind you of how much you’re not taking advantage of your youth. You want to kiss all kinds of different people, you want to wake up in a stranger’s bed maybe once or twice just to see if it feels good to feel nothing, you want to have a group of friends that feels like a tribe, a bonafide family. You want to go from one place to the next constantly and have your weekends feel like one long epic day. You want to dance to stupid music in your stupid room and have a nice job that doesn’t get in the way of living your life too much. You want to be less scared, less anxious, and more willing. Because if you’re closed off now, you can only imagine what you’ll be like later. Every day you vow to change some aspect of your life and every day you fail. At this point, you’re starting to question your own power as a human being. As of right now, your fears have you beat. They’re the ones that are holding your twenties hostage. Stop thinking that everyone is having more sex than you, that everyone has more friends than you, that everyone out is having more fun than you. Not because it’s not true (it might be!) but because that kind of thinking leaves you frozen. You’ve already spent enough time feeling like you’re stuck, like you’re watching your life fall through you like a fast dissolve and you’re unable to hold on to anything. I don’t know if you ever get better. I don’t know if a person can just wake up one day and decide to be an active participant in their life. I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that people get better each and every day but that’s not really true. People get worse and it’s their stories that end up getting forgotten because we can’t stand an unhappy ending. The sick have to get better. Our normalcy depends upon it. You have to value yourself. You have to want great things for your life. This sort of shit doesn’t happen overnight but it can and will happen if you want it. Do you want it bad enough? Does the fear of being filled with regret in your thirties trump your fear of living today? We shall see.
Ryan O'Connell
The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care. I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.' I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research. Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery. To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be. Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit. So, I believed.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)
I called them up, "Ya, I have ten boxes; can you come pick them up?" "We need to know the weight and the girth." "Okay, good-bye." So I called back. "We need the weight and the girth." "Okay, I don't know what the weight is, and um, I don't know what girth means... So now what's the procedure?" So this guy talks to me like I'm four years old. "Well do you have a bathroom scale?" "Uh, ya but if I put the box on the scale it's gonna cover up the NUMBERS!" What, do I take it off really quick? Ah, zero: I'm not fast enough. What's he talking about? So then he gives me his Mister Wizard Formula, "How about if you stand on the scale and weigh yourself and get off the scale. Pick up the box, get back on, weigh you and the box together, and subtract your own weight." I'm going, "Slow down. Hold on professor." I know this guys never tried this, because I tried it and you still can't see the NUMBERS! Then I had to hang up in the middle of his girth formula.
Brian Regan
A strong woman has waited patiently while her roots grew down deep into the Word of God. Over time, she becomes unshakeable in her faith. She starts bearing fruit naturally and is full of life. People are attracted to her strength and growth, and many find rest and peace as they lean on her. And when storms and trials come, as they always do, they will not be able to take her down. A few branches may be lost or pruned away, but in their place comes new growth, new life. This is what I long to be! A strong woman who is anchored in God’s promises. But it starts by setting down your roots in God’s Word. It will not happen as you stand up for yourself, and demand attention, and fight for yourself. It will happen as you stand in Christ, and demand that He gets your attention, and fight for His glory. The beautiful thing is that as we pursue this, God takes His rightful place in our lives.
Francis Chan (You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity)
The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth! It is the guiding principle on which Starfleet is based! If you can't find it within yourself to stand up and tell the truth about what happened, you don't deserve to wear that uniform!
Ronald D. Moore and Naren Shankar
Family and friends become oppressors the moment they teach you that loyalty is more important than what is done to people outside your social circle. What they are really saying is this: Save yourself because God is more interested in an intact family or social circle that looks righteous, rather than you being a person of integrity that has compassion for others. It is this absurdity that teaches the wrong version of God and creates the next generation of "me" centered individuals.
Shannon L. Alder
In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems. If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve? The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you're going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success. Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures. But in spite of that, they persevere. The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business. When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic. Procrastination is too high a price to pay for fear of failure. To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway. Forget motivation. Just do it. Act your way into feeling, not wait for positive emotions to carry you forward. Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience. Life is playing a poor hand well. The greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside. Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you? Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. If you are continually experiencing trouble or facing obstacles, then you should check to make sure that you are not the problem. Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living. Embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you're not failing, you're probably not really moving forward. Everything in life brings risk. It's true that you risk failure if you try something bold because you might miss it. But you also risk failure if you stand still and don't try anything new. The less you venture out, the greater your risk of failure. Ironically the more you risk failure — and actually fail — the greater your chances of success. If you are succeeding in everything you do, then you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough. And that means you're not taking enough risks. You risk because you have something of value you want to achieve. The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get. Determining what went wrong in a situation has value. But taking that analysis another step and figuring out how to use it to your benefit is the real difference maker when it comes to failing forward. Don't let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action. The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because you stopped trying? Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals. Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline. Successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally. Nothing worth achieving comes easily. The only way to fail forward and achieve your dreams is to cultivate tenacity and persistence. Never say die. Never be satisfied. Be stubborn. Be persistent. Integrity is a must. Anything worth having is worth striving for with all your might. If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it. Success is in the journey, the continual process. And no matter how hard you work, you will not create the perfect plan or execute it without error. You will never get to the point that you no longer make mistakes, that you no longer fail. The next time you find yourself envying what successful people have achieved, recognize that they have probably gone through many negative experiences that you cannot see on the surface. Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.
John C. Maxwell (Failing Forward)
Do not allow your happiness to be controlled by the thoughts of others. People are happy for you one minute and then the next they are looking down their noses at you. You have to find within yourself the kind of happiness that withstands the ups and downs of life. No one should have the power to limit or repress your happiness.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Heart Crush)
I had no idea kissing felt like this. Sensory overload. At some point, Ren reluctantly let me down. He still supported my weight, which was good because I was ready to fall over. He cupped my cheek and ran a thumb slowly across my bottom lip. He stood close to me, keeping one arm wrapped around my waist. His other hand moved to my hair, and his fingers began to slowly twist the loose strands. I had to blink my eyes a few times to clear my vision. He laughed quietly. “Breathe, Kelsey.” He had a very self-satisfied, smug grin on his face, which, for some reason, got my ire up. “You seem very happy with yourself.” He raised an eyebrow. “I am.” I smirked back to him and said, “Well, you didn’t ask for permission.” “Hmm, perhaps we should rectify that.” He trailed his fingers up my arm, swirling little circles as he went. “Kelsey?” I watched his progress and mumbled, distracted, “Yes?” He stepped closer. “Do I-“ “Hmm?” I wiggled slightly. “Have your-“ He started nuzzling my neck then moved up to my ear. His lips ticked me as he whispered, and I felt him smile, “Permission-“ Goose bumps broke out on my arms and I trembled. “To kiss you?” I nodded weakly. Standing on my tiptoes, I slipped my arms around his neck showing him that I was definitely giving permission. He trailed kisses from my ear across to my cheek in achingly slow motion, grazing along a path of his choosing. He stopped, hovering just over my lips, and waited. I knew what he was waiting for. I paused only a brief second before whispering faintly, “Yes.” Smiling victoriously, he crushed me against his chest and kissed me again. This time, the kiss was bolder and playful. I ran my hands from his powerful shoulders, up to his neck, and pressed him close to me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
The victim inside us all ceases when we stand up in opposition of that which oppresses or intimidates us. Something powerfully intrinsic happens when the courage to no longer be silent awakens within us and we are compelled to confront our problems rather than cower to them. The things that torment us thrive on our hushed fears and insecurities and they are made powerless by a resilient voice; An inner voice that says...“No More!” ~ Jason Versey
Jason Versey (A Walk with Prudence)
There are things you can't back down on, things you gotta take a stand on. But it's up to you to decide what them things are. You have to demand respect in this world, ain't nobody just gonna hand it to you. How you carry yourself, what you stand for - that's how you gain respect. But, little one, ain't nobody's respect worth more than your own. You understand that?
Mildred D. Taylor (Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry: By Mildred D. Taylor)
Life is an island in an ocean of solitude and seclusion. Life is an island, rocks are its desires, trees its dreams, and flowers its loneliness, and it is in the middle of an ocean of solitude and seclusion. Your life, my friend, is an island separated from all other islands and continents. Regardless of how many boats you send to other shores, you yourself are an island separated by its own pains,secluded its happiness and far away in its compassion and hidden in its secrets and mysteries. I saw you, my friend, sitting upon a mound of gold, happy in your wealth and great in your riches and believing that a handful of gold is the secret chain that links the thoughts of the people with your own thoughts and links their feeling with your own. I saw you as a great conqueror leading a conquering army toward the fortress, then destroying and capturing it. On second glance I found beyond the wall of your treasures a heart trembling in its solitude and seclusion like the trembling of a thirsty man within a cage of gold and jewels, but without water. I saw you, my friend, sitting on a throne of glory surrounded by people extolling your charity, enumerating your gifts, gazing upon you as if they were in the presence of a prophet lifting their souls up into the planets and stars. I saw you looking at them, contentment and strength upon your face, as if you were to them as the soul is to the body. On the second look I saw your secluded self standing beside your throne, suffering in its seclusion and quaking in its loneliness. I saw that self stretching its hands as if begging from unseen ghosts. I saw it looking above the shoulders of the people to a far horizon, empty of everything except its solitude and seclusion. I saw you, my friend, passionately in love with a beautiful woman, filling her palms with your kisses as she looked at you with sympathy and affection in her eyes and sweetness of motherhood on her lips; I said, secretly, that love has erased his solitude and removed his seclusion and he is now within the eternal soul which draws toward itself, with love, those who were separated by solitude and seclusion. On the second look I saw behind your soul another lonely soul, like a fog, trying in vain to become a drop of tears in the palm of that woman. Your life, my friend, is a residence far away from any other residence and neighbors. Your inner soul is a home far away from other homes named after you. If this residence is dark, you cannot light it with your neighbor's lamp; if it is empty you cannot fill it with the riches of your neighbor; were it in the middle of a desert, you could not move it to a garden planted by someone else. Your inner soul, my friend, is surrounded with solitude and seclusion. Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion you would not be you and I would not be I. If it were not for that solitude and seclusion, I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking; yet, if I saw your face, i would imagine that I were looking into a mirror.
Kahlil Gibran (Mirrors of the Soul)
A novel takes the courage of a marathon runner, and as long as you have to run, you might as well be a winning marathon runner. Serendipity and blind faith faith in yourself won't hurt a thing. All the bastards in the world will snicker and sneer because they haven't the talent to zip up their flies by themselves. To hell with them, particularly the critics. Stand in there, son, no matter how badly you are battered and hurt.
Leon Uris (Mitla Pass)
The principle I always go on in writing a novel is to think of the characters in terms of actors in a play. I say to myself, if a big name were playing this part, and if he found that after a strong first act he had practically nothing to do in the second act, he would walk out. Now, then, can I twist the story so as to give him plenty to do all the way through? I believe the only way a writer can keep himself up to the mark is by examining each story quite coldly before he starts writing it and asking himself it is all right as a story. I mean, once you go saying to yourself, "This is a pretty weak plot as it stands, but if I'm such a hell of a writer that my magic touch will make it okay," you're sunk. If they aren't in interesting situations, characters can't be major characters, not even if you have the rest of the troop talk their heads off about them." (Interview, The Paris Review, Issue 64, Winter 1975)
P.G. Wodehouse
One fast more or I'm gone', I realize, gone the way of the last three years of drunken hopelessness which is a physical and spiritual and metaphysical hopelessness you can't learn in school no matter how many books on existentialism or pessimism you read, or how many jugs of vision-producing Ayahuasca you drink, or Mescaline you take, or Peyote goop up with-- That feeling when you wake up with the delirium tremens with the fear of eerie death dripping from your ears like those special heavy cobwebs spiders weave in the hot countries, the feeling of being a bent back mudman monster groaning underground in hot steaming mud pulling a long hot burden nowhere, the feeling of standing ankledeep in hot boiled pork blood, ugh, of being up to your waist in a giant pan of greasy brown dishwater not a trace of suds left in it--The face of yourself you see in the mirror with its expression of unbearable anguish so hagged and awful with sorrow you can't even cry for a thing so ugly, so lost, no connection whatever with early perfection and therefore nothing to connect with tears or anything: it's like William Seward Burroughs' 'Stranger' suddenly appearing in your place in the mirror- Enough! 'One fast move or I'm gone' so I jump up, do my headstand first to pump blood back into the hairy brain, take a shower in the hall, new T-shirt and socks and underwear, pack vigorously, hoist the rucksack and run out throwing the key on the desk and hit the cold street...I've got to escape or die...
Jack Kerouac
Book 8, #36Do not disturb yourself by picturing your life as a whole; do not assemble in your mind the many and varied troubles which have come to you in the past and will come again in the future, but ask yourself with regard to every present difficulty: 'What is there in this that is unbearable and beyond endurance?' You would be ashamed to confess it! And then remind yourself that it is not the future or what has passed that afflicts you, but always the present, and the power of this is much diminished if you take it in isolation and call your mind to task if it thinks that it cannot stand up to it when taken on its own.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
We believe in the wrong things. That's what frustrates me the most. Not the lack of belief, but the belief in the wrong things. You want meaning? Well, the meanings are out there. We're just so damn good at reading them wrong. I don't think meaning is something that can be explained. You have to understand it on your own. It's like when you're starting to read. First, you learn the letters. Then, once you know what sounds the letters make, you use them to sound out words. You know that c-a-t leads to cat and d-o-g leads to dog. But then you have to make that extra leap, to understand that the word, the sound, the "cat" is connected to an actual cat , and that "dog" is connected to an actual dog. It's that leap, that understanding, that leads to meaning. And a lot of the time in life, we're still just sounding things out. We know the sentences and how to say them. We know the ideas and how to present them. We know the prayers and which words to say in what order. But that's only spelling" It's much harder to lie to someone's face. But. It is also much harder to tell the truth to someone's face. The indefatigable pursuit of an unattainable perfection, even though it consist in nothing more than in the pounding of an old piano, is what alone gives a meaning to our life on this unavailing star. (Logan Pearsall Smith) Being alone has nothing to do with how many people are around. (J.R. Moehringer) You could be standing a few feet away...I could have sat next to you on the subway, or brushed beside you as we went through the turnstiles. But whether or not you are here, you are here- because these words are for you, and they wouldn't exist is you weren't here in some way. At last I had it--the Christmas present I'd wanted all along, but hadn't realized. His words. The dream was obviously a sign: he was too enticing to resist. Wow. You must have a lot of faith in me. Which I appreciate. Even if I'm not sure I share it. I could do this on my own, and not freak out that I had no idea what waited for me on the other side of this night. Hope and belief. I'd always wanted hope, but never believed that I could have such an adventure on my own. That I could own it. And love it. But it happened. Because I'm So uncool and so afraid. If there was a clue, that meant the mystery was still intact I fear you may have outmatched me, because not I find these words have nowhere to go. It's hard to answer a question you haven't been asked. It's hard to show that you tried unless you end up succeeding. This was not a haystack. We were people, and people had ways of finding eachother. It was one of those moments when you feel the future so much that is humbles the present. Don't worry. It's your embarrassment at not having the thought that counts. You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here's ahint- ask yourself who wrote them. I assure you, it wasn't just the women. It's the great male fantasy- all it takes is one dance to know that she's the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or a look at her sleeping face. And right away you know--this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don't want a very long courtship. They want to know immediately. Be careful what you;re doing, because no one is ever who you want them to be. And the less you really know them, the more likely you are to confuse them with the girl or boy in your head You should never wish for wishful thinking
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
In the age of Facebook and Instagram you can observe this myth-making process more clearly than ever before, because some of it has been outsourced from the mind to the computer. It is fascinating and terrifying to behold people who spend countless hours constructing and embellishing a perfect self online, becoming attached to their own creation, and mistaking it for the truth about themselves.20 That’s how a family holiday fraught with traffic jams, petty squabbles and tense silences becomes a collection of beautiful panoramas, perfect dinners and smiling faces; 99 per cent of what we experience never becomes part of the story of the self. It is particularly noteworthy that our fantasy self tends to be very visual, whereas our actual experiences are corporeal. In the fantasy, you observe a scene in your mind’s eye or on the computer screen. You see yourself standing on a tropical beach, the blue sea behind you, a big smile on your face, one hand holding a cocktail, the other arm around your lover’s waist. Paradise. What the picture does not show is the annoying fly that bites your leg, the cramped feeling in your stomach from eating that rotten fish soup, the tension in your jaw as you fake a big smile, and the ugly fight the happy couple had five minutes ago. If we could only feel what the people in the photos felt while taking them! Hence if you really want to understand yourself, you should not identify with your Facebook account or with the inner story of the self. Instead, you should observe the actual flow of body and mind. You will see thoughts, emotions and desires appear and disappear without much reason and without any command from you, just as different winds blow from this or that direction and mess up your hair. And just as you are not the winds, so also you are not the jumble of thoughts, emotions and desires you experience, and you are certainly not the sanitised story you tell about them with hindsight. You experience all of them, but you don’t control them, you don’t own them, and you are not them. People ask ‘Who am I?’ and expect to be told a story. The first thing you need to know about yourself, is that you are not a story.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
A Rock, A River, A Tree Hosts to species long since departed, Mark the mastodon. The dinosaur, who left dry tokens Of their sojourn here On our planet floor, Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doom Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages. But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully, Come, you may stand upon my Back and face your distant destiny, But seek no haven in my shadow. I will give you no hiding place down here. You, created only a little lower than The angels, have crouched too long in The bruising darkness, Have lain too long Face down in ignorance. Your mouths spelling words Armed for slaughter. The rock cries out today, you may stand on me, But do not hide your face. Across the wall of the world, A river sings a beautiful song, Come rest here by my side. Each of you a bordered country, Delicate and strangely made proud, Yet thrusting perpetually under siege. Your armed struggles for profit Have left collars of waste upon My shore, currents of debris upon my breast. Yet, today I call you to my riverside, If you will study war no more. Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs The Creator gave to me when I And the tree and stone were one. Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow And when you yet knew you still knew nothing. The river sings and sings on. There is a true yearning to respond to The singing river and the wise rock. So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew, The African and Native American, the Sioux, The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek, The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh, The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher, The privileged, the homeless, the teacher. They hear. They all hear The speaking of the tree. Today, the first and last of every tree Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river. Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river. Each of you, descendant of some passed on Traveller, has been paid for. You, who gave me my first name, You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, Then forced on bloody feet, Left me to the employment of other seekers-- Desperate for gain, starving for gold. You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot... You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare Praying for a dream. Here, root yourselves beside me. I am the tree planted by the river, Which will not be moved. I, the rock, I the river, I the tree I am yours--your passages have been paid. Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need For this bright morning dawning for you. History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage, Need not be lived again. Lift up your eyes upon The day breaking for you. Give birth again To the dream. Women, children, men, Take it into the palms of your hands. Mold it into the shape of your most Private need. Sculpt it into The image of your most public self. Lift up your hearts. Each new hour holds new chances For new beginnings. Do not be wedded forever To fear, yoked eternally To brutishness. The horizon leans forward, Offering you space to place new steps of change. Here, on the pulse of this fine day You may have the courage To look up and out upon me, The rock, the river, the tree, your country. No less to Midas than the mendicant. No less to you now than the mastodon then. Here on the pulse of this new day You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister's eyes, Into your brother's face, your country And say simply Very simply With hope Good morning.
Maya Angelou
I never wanted to fix things with them.” I pause, and my voice is very quiet. “I wanted out. I screwed up.” “I don’t know, Murph.” We make the turn into the cemetery, and he hesitates, as if unsure of his next words. “I wonder if you’re just telling yourself that.” I frown. “What?” “I don’t think you wanted to kill yourself.” I pull next to his car in the now-empty employee lot. “Didn’t you listen to everything I just told you?” “Yeah. I did. Maybe you wanted to try to kill yourself, but I don’t think you wanted to actually do it.” “What’s the difference?” He opens the door and gets out, standing there, looking down at me. “You wore your seat belt.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
But more than that, if you ally yourself with people who are prepared to fight to make a difference, then your life will always be in danger. I don't think it's fair to ever blame the person who makes the stand. Because the Doctor's so old, because he's done this so many times before, he sometimes forgets how dangerous it is. But if he didn't create the danger by opposing evil, if he didn't get these people to help him, then terrible things would happen. Standing up for what's right is always the best thing to do.
Tom MacRae (The Brilliant Book of Doctor Who 2012)
You want to know what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid of every morning when I wake up that this will be the day when I can no longer move for myself. I know it’s coming. It’s just a matter of time until I have no choice, except to have someone else clothe me, feed me. Change my diaper. And I can’t stand it. (Adron) Then why don’t you kill yourself? Why are you still here? (Livia) Because every time I think of doing that, I can hear my family praying over me while I was in the hospital. I hear my mother weeping, my father begging me not to die on them. I could never intentionally hurt them that way. It would devastate them both, and while I’m a pathetic asshole, I’m not that selfish. (Adron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (In Other Worlds (The League: Nemesis Rising #3.5, Were-Hunter #0.5, The League: Nemesis Legacy #2))
So many girls around the world—refugee girls in particular—suffer in silence after being sexually assaulted by someone they know. Most rapes happen at the hands of a relative or friend, not a stranger. I want girls to know that they have the power to speak out. They don’t have to stay quiet. No matter what culture or country you are from, there will always be pressure to remain silent, to never tell. But you don’t have to protect sexual predators. By speaking up, you are standing up for yourself. And you might be preventing it from happening again. Tell people what happened. The predators expect you to stay silent. You can prove them wrong.
Sandra Uwiringiyimana (How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child)
resisting the temptation whose logic was “In this extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s OK” has proven to be one of the most important decisions of my life. Why? My life has been one unending stream of extenuating circumstances. Had I crossed the line that one time, I would have done it over and over in the years that followed. The lesson I learned from this is that it’s easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time. If you give in to “just this once,” based on a marginal cost analysis, as some of my former classmates have done, you’ll regret where you end up. You’ve got to define for yourself what you stand for and draw the line in a safe place.
Clayton M. Christensen
Dear Self,   You have been doubted, hated, talked about, made fun of, hurt, lied to, lied on, broken and at your wits end. With that being said, I commend you for the fact that you are still standing. Your courage speaks volumes! I know your struggle and the pain you’ve endured. You are more than a conqueror. I am proud to say that your heart belongs to me. Nothing can keep you down and no one can steal your joy. All of your storms have ended up blessing the sky with rainbows. Don’t give up, continue to stand tall and love yourself first. You are appreciated, Self
Alexandra Elle Smith (Words from a Wanderer (Notes and Love Poems Book 1))
I have faced bullying before. Not in high school. Not in any school but when I published my now bestselling book series as an indie author back in 2010 through 2012 and became a target for indie publishing, especially in YA because I stood by Amazon self-publishing versus the traditional publishers. How I dealt with it? I kept doing what I love - writing and publishing, and giving my readers what they love. Indie publishing took off soon afterwards and now it is a valid and more desirable way to publish books. So the lesson learned is...don't let bullies stop you from doing what you love and from keeping you from giving your readers the books they love to read from you." - Kailin Gow in a National Radio Interview.
Kailin Gow
Not long ago you are in a room where someone asks the philosopher Judith Butler what makes language hurtful. You can feel everyone lean in. Our very being exposes us to the address of another, she answers. We suffer from the condition of being addressable. Our emotional openness, she adds, is carried by our addressability. Language navigates this. For so long you thought the ambition of racist language was to denigrate and erase you as a person. After considering Butler’s remarks, you begin to understand yourself as rendered hypervisible in the face of such language acts. Language that feels hurtful is intended to exploit all the ways that you are present. Your alertness, your openness, and your desire to engage actually demand your presence, your looking up, your talking back, and, as insane as it is, saying please. Standing outside the conference room, unseen by the two men waiting for the others to arrive, you hear one say to the other that being around black people is like watching a foreign film without translation. Because you will spend the next two hours around the round table that makes conversing easier, you consider waiting a few minutes before entering the room.
Claudia Rankine (Citizen: An American Lyric)
Take it from cats If someone moves to make room for you, take up more room. If someone is looking over there, there’s something to see. If somebody sneezes, run. If someone brings a bag into your home, look inside it. If you don’t want someone to leave, sit on his suitcase. Clean between your toes. Flaunt your full figure. Hide loose change. Even though you can take care of yourself, it’s okay to let someone be nice to you. It’s fine to take a nap on the laundry. If you stand in a kitchen long enough, someone will feed you. If you’re alone in bed, use all the pillows. Just because it’s gorgeous outside doesn’t mean you have to go outside. Just because you can fit into something tight doesn’t mean that you belong in it. If you trust someone, open yourself like a cheap umbrella. If you want to be left alone, park yourself in a closet. If you want to surprise someone, lie in a bathtub and then jerk back the curtain when he sits on the toilet. If you’re not interested, don’t look interested. You don’t have to chase every bird that you see.
Helen Ellis (American Housewife)
We teach our children to study hard, to strive to succeed but do we teach them that it's okay to fail? That life is about accepting yourself? That there is no stigma in seeking help? Our Indian culture is based on worshipping our parents. We grow up listening to words like respect, obedience and tradition. Can we not add the words communication, unconditional love and support to this list? I look at the WHO research. The highest rate of suicide in India is among the age group of 15 to 29. Do we even talk to our teens about this? That evening, I am standing in the balcony, sipping some coffee and looking at the sunset. The children have taken the dogs and gone down to play on the beach. I spot my son. He is standing on the sand, right at the edge of the ocean and is flying a blue kite. The kite goes high and then swings low till it almost seems to fall into the water and all I want to say to him is that soon he will see that life is just like flying a kite. Sometimes you have to leave it loose, sometimes you have to hold on tight, sometimes your kite will fly effortlessly, sometimes you will not be able to control it and even when you are struggling to keep it afloat and the string is cutting into your hand, don't let go. The wind will change in your favour once again, my son. Just don't let go..
Twinkle Khanna (Mrs Funnybones)
At the end of that class Demian said to me thoughtfully: "There’s something I don’t like about this story, Sinclair. Why don’t you read it once more and give it the acid test? There’s something about it that doesn’t taste right. I mean the business with the two thieves. The three crosses standing next to each other on the hill are almost impressive, to be sure. But now comes this sentimental little treatise about the good thief. At first he was a thorough scoundrel, had committed all those awful things and God knows what else, and now he dissolves in tears and celebrates such a tearful feast of self-improvement and remorse! What’s the sense of repenting if you’re two steps from the grave? I ask you. Once again, it’s nothing but a priest’s fairy tale, saccharine and dishonest, touched up with sentimentality and given a high edifying background. If you had to pick a friend from between the two thieves or decide which one you’d rather trust, you most certainly wouldn’t choose the sniveling convert. No, the other fellow, he’s a man of character. He doesn’t give a hoot for ‘conversion’, which to a man in his position can’t be anything but a pretty speech. He follows his destiny to it’s appointed end and does not turn coward and forswear the devil, who has aided and abetted him until then. He has character, and people with character tend to receive the short end of the stick in biblical stories. Perhaps he’s even a descendant of Cain. Don’t you agree?" I was dismayed. Until now I had felt completely at home in the story of the Crucifixion. Now I saw for the first time with how little individuality, with how little power of imagination I had listened to it and read it. Still, Demian’s new concept seemed vaguely sinister and threatened to topple beliefs on whose continued existence I felt I simply had to insist. No, one could not make light of everything, especially not of the most Sacred matters. As usual he noticed my resistance even before I had said anything. "I know," he said in a resigned tone of voice, "it’s the same old story: don’t take these stories seriously! But I have to tell you something: this is one of the very places that reveals the poverty of this religion most distinctly. The point is that this God of both Old and New Testaments is certainly an extraordinary figure but not what he purports to represent. He is all that is good, noble, fatherly, beautiful, elevated, sentimental—true! But the world consists of something else besides. And what is left over is ascribed to the devil, this entire slice of world, this entire half is hushed up. In exactly the same way they praise God as the father of all life but simply refuse to say a word about our sexual life on which it’s all based, describing it whenever possible as sinful, the work of the devil. I have no objection to worshiping this God Jehovah, far from it. But I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not merely this artificially separated half! Thus alongside the divine service we should also have a service for the devil. I feel that would be right. Otherwise you must create for yourself a God that contains the devil too and in front of which you needn’t close your eyes when the most natural things in the world take place.
Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
According to my previous belief system, being a Christian and homosexual was not only incompatible; like heaven and hell, they were in absolute opposition. The constant conflict of being one person inside but presenting another on the outside for twenty-two years eventually took its toll. The messages I got were loud and clear. Never ever admit to yourself or anyone who you are. Hide it, kill it, eradicate it, heal it, deliver it, break it, suppress it, deny it, marry it to a woman, heterosexualize it, therapy it, anything and everything, but whatever you do don’t stand up one day and say “I am gay” because that will mean the end. I spent most of my life trying to destroy the real me, doing all I could to ensure he never found expression. A suicide of the soul, identity and meaning. When you finally embrace the gift of your sexual orientation it IS the end; the end of shame, fear and oppression. You leave the darkness of the closet and begin a life of honesty, authenticity and freedom.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
You are now 18 standing on the precipice, trembling before your own greatness. This is your call to leap. There will always being those who say you are too young and delicate to make anything happen for yourself. They don’t see the part of you that smolders. Don’t let their doubting drown out the sound of your own heartbeat. You are the first drop of a hurricane. Your bravery builds beyond you You are needed by all the little girls still living in secret, writing oceans made of monsters and throwing like lightening. You don’t need to grow up to find greatness. You are stronger than the world has ever believed you to be. The world is waiting for you to set it on fire Trust in yourself and burn.
Clementine von Radics
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
what does being a dragonheart mean to you?   surviving / having flames in your veins / never-ending loyalty / powerful alone & with like-hearted people / loving fiercely / strong-spined / dangerous / celebrating yourself / celebrating others / magic even without spells / protective / gentle but armored / light-giver / reigning supremely / what fairy tales are made of / queen of your own life / no doubts about your own worth / forever valiant / tower-breaker / kingdom-shaker / standing up for others / resisting over & over / taking charge of your narrative / bravery beyond measure / not giving negativity a seat at your table / facing the fire head-on / prioritizing yourself / story-hungry / made of gold / dream-chaser / sea storm courage / voice-reclaimer / war-hearted / flower-hearted / RELENTLESS
Nikita Gill (Dragonhearts)
Dear Daniel, How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"? Lily Charlotte, NC Dear Lily, The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this. And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does." You think about them all the time. Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall. Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain. Love, Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler
Meditation begins now, right here. It can't begin someplace else or at some other time. To paraphrase the great Zen master Dogen, "If you want to practice awareness, then practice awareness without delay." If you wish to know a mind that is tranquil and clear, sane and peaceful, you must take it up now. If you wish to free yourself from the frantic television mind that runs our lives, begin with the intention to be present now. Nobody can bring awareness to your life but you. Meditation is not a self-help program--a way to better ourselves so we can get what we want. Nor is it a way to relax before jumping back into busyness. It's not something to do once in awhile, either, whenever you happen to feel like it. Instead, meditation is a practice that saturates your life and in time can be brought into every activity. It is the transformation of mind from bondage to freedom. In practicing meditation, we go nowhere other than right here where we now stand, where we now sit, where we now live and breathe. In meditation we return to where we already are--this shifting, changing ever-present now. If you wish to take up meditation, it must be now or never.
Steve Hagen (Meditation Now or Never)
My,don't you have pretty eyes," he says. "It's a shame the rest of you is so plain." My heart pounds. I tug my hand back, but his grip tightens. I smell something acrid and unpleasant on his breath. "You look a little young to be walking around by yourself,dear," he says. I stop tugging, and stand up straighter. I know I look young; I don't need to be reminded. "I'm older than I look," I retort. "I'm sixteen." His lips spread wide, revealing a gray molar with a dark pit in the side. I can't tell if he's smiling or grimacing. "Then isn't today a special day for you? The day before you choose?" "Let go of me," I say. I hear rining in my ears. My voice sounds clear and stern-not what I expected to hear. I feel like it doesn't belong to me. I am ready.I know what to do. I picture myself bringing my elbow back and hitting him. I see the bag of apples flying away from me. I hear my running footsteps. I am prepared to act. But then he releases my wrist, takes the apples,and says, "Choose wisely, little girl.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Margery," I blurted out in a passion of frustration. "I don't know what to make of you!" Nor I you, Mary. Frankly, I cannot begin to comprehend the motives of a person who dedicates a large portion of her life to the contemplation of a God in whom she only marginally believes." I felt stunned, as if she had struck me in the diaphragm. She looked down at me, trying to measure the effect of her words. Mary, you believe in the power that the idea of God has on the human mind. You believe in the way human beings talk about the unknowable, reach for the unattainable, pattern their imperfect lives and offer their paltry best up to the beingless being that created the universe and powers its continuation. What you balk as it believing the evidence of your eyes, that God can reach out and touch a single human life in a concrete way." She smiled a sad, sad smile. "You mustn't be so cold, Mary. If you are, all you will see is a cold God, cold friends, cold love. God is not cold-never cold. God sears with heat, not ice, the heat of a thousand suns, heat that inflames but does not consume. You need warmth, Mary-you, Mary, need it. You fear it, you flirt with it, you imagine that you can stand in its rays and retain your cold intellectual attitude towards it. You imagine that you can love with your brain. Mary, oh my dear Mary, you sit in the hall and listen to me like some wild beast staring at a campfire, unable to leave, fearful of losing your freedom if you come any closer. It won't consume you; I won't capture you. Love does not do either. It only brings life. Please, Mary, don't let yourself be tied up by the bonds of cold academia." Her words, the power of her conviction, broke over me like a great wave, inundating me, robbing me of breath, and, as they receded in the room, they pulled hard at me to folllow. I struggled to keep my footing against the wash of Margery's vision, and only when it began to lose its strength, dissipated against the silence in the room, was I seized by a sudden terror at the nearness of my escape.
Laurie R. King (A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #2))
There'll be a whole lot of things you ain't gonna want to do, but you'll have to do in this life just so you can survive. 'Now, I don't like the idea of what Charlie Simms did to you no more than your Uncle Hammer, but I had to weigh the hurt of what happened to you to what could've happened if I went after him. If I'd-a gone after Charlie Simms and given him a good thrashin', like I felt like doing, the hurt to all of us would've been a whole lot more than the hurt to you. So I let it be. I don't like letting it be, but I can live with that decision. 'But there are other things, Cassie, that if I'd let be, they'd eat away at me and destroy me in the end. And it's the same with you, baby. There are things you can't back down on. Things you gotta take a stand on, but it's up to you to decide what them things are. 'You have to demand respect in this world. Ain't nobody just gonna hand it to you. How you carry yourself, what you stand for, that's how you gain respect. But little one, ain't nobody's respect worth more than your own. You understand that?' 'Now, there ain't no sense going around being mad. You clear your head so you can think sensibly. Then I want you to think real hard about whether Lillian Jean's worth taking a stand about. But keep in mind that Lillian Jean probably won't be the last white person to think you this way.
Mildred D. Taylor (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Logans, #4))
There was the bulge and the glitter, and there was the cold grip way down in the stomach as though somebody had laid hold of something in there, in the dark which is you, with a cold hand in a cold rubber glove. It was like the second when you come home late at night and see the yellow envelope of the telegram sticking out from under your door and you lean and pick it up, but don't open it yet, not for a second. While you stand there in the hall, with the envelope in your hand, you feel there's an eye on you, a great big eye looking straight at you from miles and dark and through walls and houses and through your coat and vest and hide and sees you huddled up way inside, in the dark which is you, inside yourself, like a clammy, sad little fetus you carry around inside yourself. The eye knows what's in the envelope, and it is watching you to see you when you open it and know, too. But the clammy, sad little fetus which is you way down in the dark which is you too lifts up its sad little face and its eyes are blind, and it shivers cold inside you for it doesn't want to know what is in that envelope. It wants to lie in the dark and not know, and be warm in its not-knowing.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
Perfect You’re a beautiful kind of madness a misunderstood truth O, the things they could learn from the darkness that is hidden behind your eyes So gifted, yet your talents are wasted you gave up chasing dreams Reality hit and you got a taste of failure Cautious now about bearing your soul For if others saw you fully exposed they may not love you like they claim to Time and experience have taught you to trust no one Friends, lovers, and even family have forsaken you You keep the shattered pieces of your heart in a box Stitching, gluing, and staying up all night trying to put it back together Attempting to fill the void that was left Moving from one man to the next It seems no one can satisfy the appetite for affection that you seek Continually picking at old wounds they never heal properly You have no real home, too restless to stay in one place You are reckless, selfish, stubborn, sometimes rude You’ve bottled up the pain of so much that has been done When you’re hurt You close into yourself, shut down You love attention and yet love being by yourself more May God have mercy on your soul For you are truly lost Daily you fight your demons Yet no one knows of that which you endure You bear it alone, never speaking of it You can blame the broken home from which you came Or the environment that you grew up in The people who tore you down so young You can point the finger at those who have whispered behind your back They all have played a role in your development But looking so deep into the past will keep you from moving forward You must love yourself more than these people claim they do Look at where you stand now No one can know the things you have endured like you You’ve never claimed to be perfect Your flaws tell your story There is no need to hide them
Samantha King (Born to Love, Cursed to Feel)
Be your best self and do not imitate anyone else. Find your strengths. They are your talents. They will make you smile and cause you to real joy on the inside. Don’t listen to those who ridicule the choices you make or the dreams you share. Let no one despise your youth. As Og Mandino explained in The Greatest Salesman in the World, “Experience is overrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.” Create your own experiences. And know that you are creating memories for a lifetime. Life is not about finding yourself; it is about creating yourself. You have to take chances to make your dreams reality. Face your fears head-on and move rapidly. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Make lots of them! Your odds for success will increase with the number of decisions you make. Have patience with your dreams and the expectations you have for others. Be impatient with yourself daily. Live as if this is your last day. Say “I love you” to all those who matter. Know that everyone matters. You must play full-out right now. Sit up, hold your head high. Breathe deeply. Lift your chest up. Stand up straight and with confidence. Dust yourself off. Stop being a party pooper in your own life. Smile. A bigger noticeable smile. Start acting happy. Yes, you act first. I promise the feeling of happiness will soon follow.
Robert Smith
Billy tries to imagine the vast systems that support these athletes. They are among the best-cared for creatures in the history of the planet, beneficiaries of the best nutrition, the latest technologies, the finest medical care, they live at the very pinnacle of American innovation and abundance, which inspires an extraordinary thought - send them to fight the war! Send them just as they are this moment, well rested, suited up, psyched for brutal combat, send the entire NFL! Attack with all our bears and raiders, our ferocious redskins, our jets, eagles, falcons, chiefs, patriots, cowboys - how could a bunch of skinny hajjis in man-skits and sandals stand a chance against these all-Americans? Resistance is futile, oh Arab foes. Surrender now and save yourself a world of hurt, for our mighty football players cannot be stopped, they are so huge, so strong, so fearsomely ripped that mere bombs and bullets bounce off their bones of steel. Submit, lest our awesome NFL show you straight to the flaming gates of hell!
Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Why are Muslims being “preserved” in some time capsule of centuries gone by? Why is it okay that we continue to live in a world where our women are compared to candy waiting to be consumed? Why is it okay for women of the rest of the world to fight for freedom and equality while we are told to cover our shameful bodies? Can’t you see that we are being held back from joining this elite club known as the 21st century? Noble liberals like yourself always stand up for the misrepresented Muslims and stand against the Islamophobes, which is great but who stands in my corner and for the others who feel oppressed by the religion? Every time we raise our voices, one of us is killed or threatened. . . . What you did by screaming “racist!” was shut down a conversation that many of us have been waiting to have. You helped those who wish to deny there are issues, deny them. What is so wrong with wanting to step into the current century? There should be no shame. There is no denying that violence, misogyny and homophobia exist in all religious texts, but Islam is the only religion that is adhered to so literally, to this day. In your culture you have the luxury of calling such literalists “crazies.” . . . In my culture, such values are upheld by more people than we realise. Many will try to deny it, but please hear me when I say that these are not fringe values. It is apparent in the lacking numbers of Muslims willing to speak out against the archaic Shariah law. The punishment for blasphemy and apostasy, etc, are tools of oppression. Why are they not addressed even by the peaceful folk who aren’t fanatical, who just want to have some sandwiches and pray five times a day? Where are the Muslim protestors against blasphemy laws/apostasy? Where are the Muslims who take a stand against harsh interpretation of Shariah?7
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now)
there are girls lined along the street, girls in miniskirts, thigh-highs, and halter tops. The girls stand at the curbs as cars cruise by. Key-lime Cadillac's, fire-red Tornadoes, wide-mouthed, trolling Lincolns, all in perfect shape. Chrome glints. Hubcaps shine. Not a single rust spot anywhere. But now the gleaming cars are slowing. Windows are rolling down and girls are bending to chat with the drivers. There are calls back and forth, the lifting of already miniscule skirts, and sometimes a flash of breast or an obscene gesture, the girls working it, laughing, high enough by 5am to be numb to the rawness between their legs and the residues of men no amount of perfume can get rid of. It isn't easy to keep yourself clean on the street, and by this hour each of those young women smells in the places that count like a very ripe, soft French cheese…They're numb, too, to thoughts of babies left at home, six month olds with bad colds lying in used cribs, sucking on pacifiers, and having a hard time breathing…numb to the lingering taste of semen in their mouths along with peppermint gum, most of these girls, no more than 18, this curb on 12th street their first real place of employment, the most the country has to offer in the way of a vocation. Where are they going to go from here? They're numb to that, too, except for a couple who have dreams of singing backup or opening up a hair shop...
Jeffrey Eugenides
Dear my strong girls, you will all go through that phase of life making a mistake of helping a toxic girl whose friendship with you turns into her self-interest. This kind of girls is a real burden towards the empowerment of other females as they can never get past their own insecurity and grow out of high-school-like drama. Despite how advanced we are in educating modern women, this type will still go through life living in identity crisis, endlessly looking for providers of any kind at the end of the day. They can never stand up for others or things that matter because they can't stand up for themselves. They care what everyone thinks only doing things to impress men, friends, strangers, everyone in society except themselves, while at the same time can't stand seeing other women with purpose get what those women want in life. But let me tell you, this is nothing new, let them compete and compare with you as much as they wish, be it your career, love or spirit. You know who you are and you will know who your true girls are by weeding out girls that break our girlie code of honor, but do me a favor by losing this type of people for good. Remind yourself to never waste time with a person who likes to betray others' trust, never. Disloyalty is a trait that can't be cured. Bless yourself that you see a person's true colors sooner than later. With love, your mama. XOXO
Shannon L. Alder
If you do your best in the search for personal freedom, in the search for self-love, you will discover that it’s just a matter of time before you find what you are looking for. It’s not about daydreaming or sitting for hours dreaming in meditation. You have to stand up and be a human. You have to honor the man or woman that you are. Respect your body, enjoy your body, love your body, feed, clean, and heal your body. Exercise and do what makes your body feel good. This is a puja to your body, and that is a communion between you and God. You don’t need to worship idols of the Virgin Mary, the Christ, or the Buddha. You can if you want to; if it feels good, do it. Your own body is a manifestation of God, and if you honor your body everything will change for you. When you practice giving love to every part of your body, you plant seeds of love in your mind, and when they grow, you will love, honor, and respect your body immensely. Every action then becomes a ritual in which you are honoring God. After that, the next step is honoring God with every thought, every emotion, every belief, even what is “right” or “wrong.” Every thought becomes a communion with God, and you will live a dream without judgments, victimization, and free of the need to gossip and abuse yourself.
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
There was a muffled tap again, and I heard a familiar voice whisper faintly, “Kelsey, it’s me.” I unlocked the door and peeked out. Ren was standing there dressed in his white clothes, barefoot, with a triumphant grin on his face. I pulled him inside and hissed out thickly, “What are you doing here? It’s dangerous coming into town! You could have been seen, and they’d send hunters out after you!” He shrugged his shoulders and grinned. “I missed you.” My mouth quirked up in a half smile. “I missed you too.” He leaned a shoulder nonchalantly against the doorframe. “Does that mean you’ll let me stay here? I’ll sleep on the floor and leave before daylight. No one will see me. I promise.” I let out a deep breath. “Okay, but promise you’ll leave early. I don’t like you risking yourself like this.” “I promise.” He sat down on the bed, took my hand, and pulled me down to sit beside him. “I don’t like sleeping in the dark jungle by myself.” “I wouldn’t either.” He looked down at our entwined hands. “When I’m with you, I feel like a man again. When I’m out there all alone, I feel like a beast, an animal.” His eyes darted up to mine. I squeezed his hand. “I understand. It’s fine. Really.” He grinned. “You were hard to track, you know. Lucky for me you two decided to walk to dinner, so I could follow your scent right to your door.” Something on the nightstand caught his attention. Leaning around me, he reached over and picked up my open journal. I had drawn a new picture of a tiger-my tiger. My circus drawings were okay, but this latest one was more personal and full of life. Ren stared at it for a moment while a bright crimson flush colored my cheeks. He traced the tiger with his finger, and then whispered gently, "Someday, I'll give you a portrait of the real me." Setting the journal down carefully, he took both of my hands in his, turned to me with an intense expression, and said, "I don't want you to see only a tiger when you look at me. I want you to see me. The man." Reaching out, he almost touched my cheek but he stopped and withdrew his hand. "I've worn the tiger's face for far too many years. He's stolen my humanity." I nodded while he squeezed my hands and whispered quietly, "Kells, I don't want to be him anymore. I want to be me. I want to have a life." "I know," I said softly. I reached up to stroke his cheek. "Ren, I-" I froze in place as he pulled my hand slowly down to his lips and kissed my palm. My hand tingled. His blue eyes searched my face desperately, wanting, needing something from me. I wanted to say something to reassure him. I wanted to offer him comfort. I just couldn't frame the words. His supplication stirred me. I felt a deep bond with him, a strong connection. I wanted to help him, I wanted to be his friend, and I wanted...maybe something more. I tried to identify and categorize my reactions to him. What I felt for him seemed too complicated to define, but it soon became obvious to me that the strongest emotion I felt, the one that was stirring my heart, was...love.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing. America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956. I can’t stand my own mind. America when will we end the human war? Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb. I don’t feel good don’t bother me. I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind. America when will you be angelic? When will you take off your clothes? When will you look at yourself through the grave? When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites? America why are your libraries full of tears? America when will you send your eggs to India? I’m sick of your insane demands. When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks? America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world. Your machinery is too much for me. You made me want to be a saint. There must be some other way to settle this argument. Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister. Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke? I’m trying to come to the point. I refuse to give up my obsession. America stop pushing I know what I’m doing. America the plum blossoms are falling. I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for murder. America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies. America I used to be a communist when I was a kid I’m not sorry. I smoke marijuana every chance I get. I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet. When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid. My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble. You should have seen me reading Marx. My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right. I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer. I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations. America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over from Russia. I’m addressing you. Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine? I’m obsessed by Time Magazine. I read it every week. Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore. I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library. It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me. It occurs to me that I am America. I am talking to myself again. ...
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
The other day as I was stepping out of Star Grocery on Claremont Avenue with some pork ribs under my arm, the Berkeley sky cloudless, a smell of jasmine in the air, a car driving by with its window rolled down, trailing a sweet ache of the Allman Brothers' "Melissa," it struck me that in order to have reached only the midpoint of my life I will need to live to be 92. That's pretty old. If you live to be ninety-two, you've done well for yourself. I'd like to be optimistic, and I try to take care of my health, but none of my grandparents even made it past 76, three killed by cancer, one by Parkinson's disease. If I live no longer than any of them did, I have at most thirty years left, which puts me around sixty percent of the way through my time. I am comfortable with the idea of mortality, or at least I always have been, up until now. I never felt the need to believe in heaven or an afterlife. It has been decades since I stopped believing-a belief that was never more than fitful and self-serving to begin with-in the possibility of reincarnation of the soul. I'm not totally certain where I stand on the whole "soul" question. Though I certainly feel as if I possess one, I'm inclined to disbelieve in its existence. I can live with that contradiction, as with the knowledge that my time is finite, and growing shorter by the day. It's just that lately, for the first time, that shortening has become perceptible. I can feel each tiny skyward lurch of the balloon as another bag of sand goes over the side of my basket.
Michael Chabon
You struggle because you’re locating all of the magic in your life outside of yourself. When you are loved, then you are lovable. When you are left behind, you are unlovable. When you “arrive” at some point of success and fame as a writer, you will be worthy. Until then, you are worthless. As long as you imagine that the outside world will one day deliver to you the external rewards you need to feel happy, you will always perceive your survival as exhausting and perceive your life as a long slog to nowhere. Instead, you have to savor the tiny struggles of the day: The cold glass of water after a long run. The hot bath after hours of digging through the dirt. The satisfaction of writing a good sentence, a good paragraph. You MUST feel these things, because these aren’t small rewards on the path to some big reward; these tiny things are everything. Savoring these things requires tuning in to your feelings, and it requires loving yourself instead of shoving your nose into your own question marks hour after hour, day after day. You are not lost. You are here. Stop abandoning yourself. Stop repeating this myth about love and success that will land in your lap or evade you forever. Build a humble, flawed life from the rubble, and cherish that. There is nothing more glorious on the face of the earth than someone who refuses to give up, who refuses to give in to their most self-hating, discouraged, disillusioned self, and instead learns, slowly and painfully, how to relish the feeling of building a hut in the middle of the suffocating dust. If you can learn to be where you are, without fear, then sooner than you know it, your life will quite naturally be filled with more love and more wonder than you can possibly handle. When that happens, you’ll look back and see that this was the most romantic time of your whole life. These are those terrible days, those gorgeous days, when you first learned to breathe and stand alone without fear, to believe not in finish lines but in the race itself. Your legs are aching and your heart is pounding and the world is electric. You will have 30 years or 50 years, or maybe you’ll be gone tomorrow. All that matters is this moment, right now. This is the moment you learn to be here, to feel your limbs, to feel your full heart, to realize, for the first time, just how lucky you are.
Heather Havrilesky
Howard had a pine display case, fastened by fake leather straps and stained to look like walnut. Inside, on fake velvet, were cheap gold-plated earrings and pendants of semiprecious stones. He opened this case for haggard country wives when their husbands were off chopping trees or reaping the back acres. He showed them the same half-dozen pieces every year the last time he came around, when he thought, This is the season - preserving done, woodpile high, north wind up and getting cold, night showing up earlier every day, dark and ice pressing down from the north, down on the raw wood of their cabins, on the rough-cut rafters that sag and sometimes snap from the weight of the dark and the ice, burying families in their sleep, the dark and the ice and sometimes the red in the sky through trees: the heartbreak of a cold sun. He thought, Buy the pendant, sneak it into your hand from the folds of your dress and let the low light of the fire lap at it late at night as you wait for the roof to give out or your will to snap and the ice to be too thick to chop through with the ax as you stand in your husband's boots on the frozen lake at midnight, the dry hack of the blade on ice so tiny under the wheeling and frozen stars, the soundproof lid of heaven, that your husband would never stir from his sleep in the cabin across the ice, would never hear and come running, half-frozen, in only his union suit, to save you from chopping a hole in the ice and sliding into it as if it were a blue vein, sliding down into the black, silty bottom of the lake, where you would see nothing, would perhaps feel only the stir of some somnolent fish in the murk as the plunge of you in your wool dress and the big boots disturbed it from its sluggish winter dreams of ancient seas. Maybe you would not even feel that, as you struggled in clothes that felt like cooling tar, and as you slowed, calmed, even, and opened your eyes and looked for a pulse of silver, an imbrication of scales, and as you closed your eyes again and felt their lids turn to slippery, ichthyic skin, the blood behind them suddenly cold, and as you found yourself not caring, wanting, finally, to rest, finally wanting nothing more than the sudden, new, simple hum threading between your eyes. The ice is far too thick to chop through. You will never do it. You could never do it. So buy the gold, warm it with your skin, slip it onto your lap when you are sitting by the fire and all you will otherwise have to look at is your splintery husband gumming chew or the craquelure of your own chapped hands.
Paul Harding (Tinkers)
The Idiot. I have read it once, and find that I don't remember the events of the book very well--or even all the principal characters. But mostly the 'portrait of a truly beautiful person' that dostoevsky supposedly set out to write in that book. And I remember how Myshkin seemed so simple when I began the book, but by the end, I realized how I didn't understand him at all. the things he did. Maybe when I read it again it will be different. But the plot of these dostoevsky books can hold such twists and turns for the first-time reader-- I guess that's b/c he was writing most of these books as serials that had to have cliffhangers and such. But I make marks in my books, mostly at parts where I see the author's philosophical points standing in the most stark relief. My copy of Moby Dick is positively full of these marks. The Idiot, I find has a few... Part 3, Section 5. The sickly Ippolit is reading from his 'Explanation' or whatever its called. He says his convictions are not tied to him being condemned to death. It's important for him to describe, of happiness: "you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it." That it's the process of life--not the end or accomplished goals in it--that matter. Well. Easier said than lived! Part 3, Section 6. more of Ippolit talking--about a christian mindset. He references Jesus's parable of The Word as seeds that grow in men, couched in a description of how people are interrelated over time; its a picture of a multiplicity. Later in this section, he relates looking at a painting of Christ being taken down from the cross, at Rogozhin's house. The painting produced in him an intricate metaphor of despair over death "in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed, and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of this Being." The way Ippolit's ideas are configured, here, reminds me of the writings of Gilles Deleuze. And the phrasing just sort of remidns me of the way everyone feels--many people feel crushed by the incomprehensible machine, in life. Many people feel martyred in their very minor ways. And it makes me think of the concept that a narrative religion like Christianity uniquely allows for a kind of socialized or externalized, shared experience of subjectivity. Like, we all know the story of this man--and it feels like our own stories at the same time. Part 4, Section 7. Myshkin's excitement (leading to a seizure) among the Epanchin's dignitary guests when he talks about what the nobility needs to become ("servants in order to be leaders"). I'm drawn to things like this because it's affirming, I guess, for me: "it really is true that we're absurd, that we're shallow, have bad habits, that we're bored, that we don't know how to look at things, that we can't understand; we're all like that." And of course he finds a way to make that into a good thing. which, it's pointed out by scholars, is very important to Dostoevsky philosophy--don't deny the earthly passions and problems in yourself, but accept them and incorporate them into your whole person. Me, I'm still working on that one.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
When you get older, you notice your sheets are dirty. Sometimes, you do something about it. And sometimes, you read the front page of the newspaper and sometimes you floss and sometimes you stop biting your nails and sometimes you meet a friend for lunch. You still crave lemonade, but the taste doesn’t satisfy you as much as it used to. You still crave summer, but sometimes you mean summer, five years ago. You remember your umbrella, you check up on people to see if they got home, you leave places early to go home and make toast. You stand by the toaster in your underwear and a big t-shirt, wondering if you should just turn in or watch one more hour of television. You laugh at different things. You stop laughing at other things. You think about old loves almost like they are in a museum. The socks, you notice, aren’t organized into pairs and you mentally make a note of it. You cover your mouth when you sneeze, reaching for the box of tissues you bought, contains aloe. When you get older, you try different shampoos. You find one you like. You try sleeping early and spin class and jogging again. You try a book you almost read but couldn’t finish. You wrap yourself in the blankets of: familiar t-shirts, caffe au lait, dim tv light, texts with old friends or new people you really want to like and love you. You lose contact with friends from college, and only sometimes you think about it. When you do, it feels bad and almost bitter. You lose people, and when other people bring them up, you almost pretend like you know what they are doing. You try to stop touching your face and become invested in things like expensive salads and trying parsnips and saving up for a vacation you really want. You keep a spare pen in a drawer. You look at old pictures of yourself and they feel foreign and misleading. You forget things like: purchasing stamps, buying more butter, putting lotion on your elbows, calling your mother back. You learn things like balance: checkbooks, social life, work life, time to work out and time to enjoy yourself. When you get older, you find yourself more in control. You find your convictions appealing, you find you like your body more, you learn to take things in stride. You begin to crave respect and comfort and adventure, all at the same time. You lay in your bed, fearing death, just like you did. You pull lint off your shirt. You smile less and feel content more. You think about changing and then often, you do.
Alida Nugent (You Don't Have to Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism)
unsolicited advice to adolescent girls with crooked teeth and pink hair When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys call asking your cup size, say A, hang up. When he says you gave him blue balls, say you’re welcome. When a girl with thick black curls who smells like bubble gum stops you in a stairwell to ask if you’re a boy, explain that you keep your hair short so she won’t have anything to grab when you head-butt her. Then head-butt her. When a guidance counselor teases you for handed-down jeans, do not turn red. When you have sex for the second time and there is no condom, do not convince yourself that screwing between layers of underwear will soak up the semen. When your geometry teacher posts a banner reading: “Learn math or go home and learn how to be a Momma,” do not take your first feminist stand by leaving the classroom. When the boy you have a crush on is sent to detention, go home. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boy with the blue mohawk swallows your heart and opens his wrists, hide the knives, bleach the bathtub, pour out the vodka. Every time. When the skinhead girls jump you in a bathroom stall, swing, curse, kick, do not turn red. When a boy you think you love delivers the first black eye, use a screw driver, a beer bottle, your two good hands. When your father locks the door, break the window. When a college professor writes you poetry and whispers about your tight little ass, do not take it as a compliment, do not wait, call the Dean, call his wife. When a boy with good manners and a thirst for Budweiser proposes, say no. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys tell you how good you smell, do not doubt them, do not turn red. When your brother tells you he is gay, pretend you already know. When the girl on the subway curses you because your tee shirt reads: “I fucked your boyfriend,” assure her that it is not true. When your dog pees the rug, kiss her, apologize for being late. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Jersey City, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Harlem, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because your air conditioner is broken, leave him. When he refuses to keep a toothbrush at your apartment, leave him. When you find the toothbrush you keep at his apartment hidden in the closet, leave him. Do not regret this. Do not turn red. When your mother hits you, do not strike back.
Jeanann Verlee
As a woman, you walk into all kinds of unknown situations that cause you to fall in love, put someone else’s needs before your own, and make unbelievable sacrifices. As time goes by, falling in love has its consequences. You fall in love with your mate, children, family, and job. However, you do not receive a fraction of what you have given in return. Sadly, nobody sees you are beyond exhausted. They want you to go, go and go without complaining. If they carefully pay attention and think about it; when was the last time they saw you smile, truly smile? When was the last time they saw you happy, truly happy? When was the last time they offered to help you, as opposed to asking could you do this or that? When was the last time they gave you a moment to breathe? As you work so hard and give so much of yourself, you think things will finally line up. However, that is not the case. Once you set someone up to help them prosper, things in your life start to crumble, and slowly but surely you begin to feel violated. Your hard work is soon forgotten as they drop you where you stand. Life isn’t fair and it is hard. It’s even harder when you love so hard and lose so much. You are not perfect. You have your flaws, and most definitely you have your moments. However, you have a good heart and you try to treat others how you want to be treated. Time and time again you give people all of your heart by trying to be loving and understanding. You’ve learned that when it comes to some people, nothing would ever be good enough. You have to be willing to accept that you loved them to the best of your ability, and only lost someone who caused you to lose more of yourself. Those people aren’t worth saving because the question is, who will save you? However, the love you gave wasn’t in vain; it helped you to become a better person. The loss opened your eyes to see that you deserve so much better. It is alright to cry. You are finding your strength and you are beginning to find the voice within. You are special. You are unique. You are loved. There’s no need to be afraid. Life is a journey! You will make it. It’s okay to let go of the loss and count it all pure joy!
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
If the case isn't plea bargained, dismissed or placed on the inactive docket for an indefinite period of time, if by some perverse twist of fate it becomes a trial by jury, you will then have the opportunity of sitting on the witness stand and reciting under oath the facts of the case-a brief moment in the sun that clouds over with the appearance of the aforementioned defense attorney who, at worst, will accuse you of perjuring yourself in a gross injustice or, at best, accuse you of conducting an investigation so incredibly slipshod that the real killer has been allowed to roam free. Once both sides have argued the facts of the case, a jury of twelve men and women picked from computer lists of registered voters in one of America's most undereducated cities will go to a room and begin shouting. If these happy people manage to overcome the natural impulse to avoid any act of collective judgement, they just may find one human being guilty of murdering another. Then you can go to Cher's Pub at Lexington and Guilford, where that selfsame assistant state's attorney, if possessed of any human qualities at all, will buy you a bottle of domestic beer. And you drink it. Because in a police department of about three thousand sworn souls, you are one of thirty-six investigators entrusted with the pursuit of that most extraordinary of crimes: the theft of a human life. You speak for the dead. You avenge those lost to the world. Your paycheck may come from fiscal services but, goddammit, after six beers you can pretty much convince yourself that you work for the Lord himself. If you are not as good as you should be, you'll be gone within a year or two, transferred to fugitive, or auto theft or check and fraud at the other end of the hall. If you are good enough, you will never do anything else as a cop that matters this much. Homicide is the major leagues, the center ring, the show. It always has been. When Cain threw a cap into Abel, you don't think The Big Guy told a couple of fresh uniforms to go down and work up the prosecution report. Hell no, he sent for a fucking detective. And it will always be that way, because the homicide unit of any urban police force has for generations been the natural habitat of that rarefied species, the thinking cop.
David Simon
Did you ever think much about jobs? I mean, some of the jobs people land in? You see a guy giving haircuts to dogs, or maybe going along the curb with a shovel, scooping up horse manure. And you think, now why is the silly bastard doing that? He looks fairly bright, about as bright as anyone else. Why the hell does he do that for living? You kind grin and look down your nose at him. You think he’s nuts, know what I mean, or he doesn’t have any ambition. And then you take a good look at yourself, and you stop wondering about the other guy… You’ve got all your hands and feet. Your health is okay, and you make a nice appearance, and ambition-man! You’ve got it. You’re young, I guess: you’d call thirty young, and you’re strong. You don’t have much education, but you’ve got more than plenty of other people who go to the top. And yet with all that, with all you’ve had to do with this is as far you’ve got And something tellys you, you’re not going much farther if any. And there is nothing to be done about it now, of course, but you can’t stop hoping. You can’t stop wondering… …Maybe you had too much ambition. Maybe that was the trouble. You couldn’t see yourself spending forty years moving from office boy to president. So you signed on with a circulation crew; you worked the magazines from one coast to another. And then you ran across a little brush deal-it sounded nice, anyway. And you worked that until you found something better, something that looked better. And you moved from that something to another something. Coffee-and-tea premiums, dinnerware, penny-a-day insurance, photo coupons, cemetery lots, hosiery, extract, and God knows what all. You begged for the charities, You bought the old gold. You went back to the magazines and the brushes and the coffee and tea. You made good money, a couple of hundred a week sometimes. But when you averaged it up, the good weeks with the bad, it wasn’t so good. Fifty or sixty a week, maybe seventy. More than you could make, probably, behind agas pump or a soda fountain. But you had to knock yourself out to do it, and you were standing stil. You were still there at the starting place. And you weren’t a kid any more. So you come to this town, and you see this ad. Man for outside sales and collections. Good deal for hard worker. And you think maybe this is it. This sounds like a right town. So you take the job, and you settle down in the town. And, of course, neither one of ‘em is right, they’re just like all the others. The job stinks. The town stinks. You stink. And there’s not a goddamned thing you can do about it. All you can do is go on like this other guys go on. The guy giving haircuts to dogs, and the guy sweeping up horse manute Hating it. Hating yourself. And hoping.
Jim Thompson (A Hell of a Woman)
Dear good guy I can hear your cries I can feel your pain I can smell your frustration I can see the confusion in your eyes Confused about how women see you In a land of women tired of being played They still take you as a joke and think you’re all games They play you like they were played They can’t see the seriousness in your eyes When you call her “Queen” and ask for her heart And you cry for commitment, they back out and shut down Treat you like the bad guys treated them It’s so ironic You hate seeing these ladies get their hearts stomped on Their minds toyed with It’s killing you because you’ve done it to women yourself you’ve seen other guys do it You want to save them from the destruction But like a child who refuses to obey their mother’s wisdom, until they are wise enough to understand through experience They won’t value you until they get burned playing with the fire of curiosity Some of them crave destruction They crave the fun that these fellas who will degrade them have to offer They are being guided by curiosity and their wisdom is foolishness Fight the urge to become like the men these ladies who lack understanding chase after Don’t let rejection consume your heart and cause you to crumble Being a promiscuous man who lacks self-respect and morals is overrated Find peace with being the underdog Your type is needed in this world, my good friend Hold on There are women out there who are in search for someone like you One of them will be the one who appreciates the detailed things about you the previous women called corny There are women out there who will value your honesty, your character, your loyalty Hold on, my friend Narrow is the right path You are on the right path, my friend Your time will come in due time You will not just be getting a girl, you will be getting a woman who will be willing to finish off this life’s journey with you You are not alone I am with you and I understand the hardships you face, the doubt, the anger I want you to know you are doing a great job at being you Do not give up Stand firm and continue to be different You will be an example to many although you are in the minority Corruption
Pierre Alex Jeanty (Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman)
Why have you done all this for me?" She turned her head to look at him. "Tell me the truth." He shook his head slowly. "I don't think I could have been more terrified of the devil than I was of you," she said, "when it was happening and in my thoughts and nightmares afterward. And when you came home to Willoughby and I realized that the Duke of Ridgeway was you, I thought I would die from the horror of it." His face was expressionless. "I know," he said. "I was afraid of your hands more than anything," she said. "They are beautiful hands." He said nothing. "When did it all change?" she asked. She turned completely toward him and closed the distance between them. "You will not say the words yourself. But they are the same words as the ones on my lips, aren't they?" She watched him swallow. "For the rest of my life I will regret saying them," she said. "But I believe I would regret far more not saying them." "Fleur," he said, and reached out a staying hand. "I love you," she said. "No." "I love you." "It is just that we have spent a few days together," he said, "and talked a great deal and got to know each other. It is just that I have been able to help you a little and you are feeling grateful to me." "I love you," she said. "Fleur." She reached up to touch his scar. "I am glad I did not know you before this happened," she said. "I do not believe I would have been able to stand the pain." "Fleur," he said, taking her wrist in his hand. "Are you crying?" she said. She lifted both arms and wrapped them about his neck and laid her cheek against his shoulder. "Don't, my love. I did not mean to lay a burden on you. I don't mean to do so. I only want you to know that you are loved and always will be." "Fleur," he said, his voice husky from his tears, "I have nothing to offer you, my love. I have nothing to give you. My loyalty is given elsewhere. I didn't want this to happen. I don't want it to happen. You will meet someone else. When I am gone you will forget and you will be happy." She lifted her head and looked into his face. She wiped away one of his tears with one finger. "I am not asking anything in return," she said. "I just want to give you something, Adam. A free gift. My love. Not a burden, but a gift. To take with you when you go, even though we will never see each other again." He framed her face with his hands and gazed down into it. "I so very nearly did not recognize you," he said. "You were so wretchedly thin, Fleur, and pale. Your lips were dry and cracked, your hair dull and lifeless. But I did know you for all that. I think I would still be in London searching for you if you had not gone to that agency. But it's too late, love. Six years too late.
Mary Balogh (The Secret Pearl)
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!” It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer (The Invitation)
Hypercritical, Shaming Parents Hypercritical and shaming parents send the same message to their children as perfectionistic parents do - that they are never good enough. Parents often deliberately shame their children into minding them without realizing the disruptive impact shame can have on a child's sense of self. Statements such as "You should be ashamed of yourself" or "Shame on you" are obvious examples. Yet these types of overtly shaming statements are actually easier for the child to defend against than are more subtle forms of shaming, such as contempt, humiliation, and public shaming. There are many ways that parents shame their children. These include belittling, blaming, contempt, humiliation, and disabling expectations. -BELITTLING. Comments such as "You're too old to want to be held" or "You're just a cry-baby" are horribly humiliating to a child. When a parent makes a negative comparison between his or her child and another, such as "Why can't you act like Jenny? See how she sits quietly while her mother is talking," it is not only humiliating but teaches a child to always compare himself or herself with peers and find himself or herself deficient by comparison. -BLAMING. When a child makes a mistake, such as breaking a vase while rough-housing, he or she needs to take responsibility. But many parents go way beyond teaching a lesson by blaming and berating the child: "You stupid idiot! Do you think money grows on trees? I don't have money to buy new vases!" The only thing this accomplishes is shaming the child to such an extent that he or she cannot find a way to walk away from the situation with his or her head held high. -CONTEMPT. Expressions of disgust or contempt communicate absolute rejection. The look of contempt (often a sneer or a raised upper lip), especially from someone who is significant to a child, can make him or her feel disgusting or offensive. When I was a child, my mother had an extremely negative attitude toward me. Much of the time she either looked at me with the kind of expectant expression that said, "What are you up to now?" or with a look of disapproval or disgust over what I had already done. These looks were extremely shaming to me, causing me to feel that there was something terribly wrong with me. -HUMILIATION. There are many ways a parent can humiliate a child, such as making him or her wear clothes that have become dirty. But as Gershen Kaufman stated in his book Shame: The Power of Caring, "There is no more humiliating experience than to have another person who is clearly the stronger and more powerful take advantage of that power and give us a beating." I can personally attest to this. In addition to shaming me with her contemptuous looks, my mother often punished me by hitting me with the branch of a tree, and she often did this outside, in front of the neighbors. The humiliation I felt was like a deep wound to my soul. -DISABLING EXPECTATIONS. Parents who have an inordinate need to have their child excel at a particular activity or skill are likely to behave in ways that pressure the child to do more and more. According to Kaufman, when a child becomes aware of the real possibility of failing to meet parental expectations, he or she often experiences a binding self-consciousness. This self-consciousness - the painful watching of oneself - is very disabling. When something is expected of us in this way, attaining the goal is made harder, if not impossible. Yet another way that parents induce shame in their children is by communicating to them that they are a disappointment to them. Such messages as "I can't believe you could do such a thing" or "I am deeply disappointed in you" accompanied by a disapproving tone of voice and facial expression can crush a child's spirit.
Beverly Engel (The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself)
You must want to be free. It must become first with you before anything else. Everything that you’ve done all your life, is only a game, a game you’re playing with your self, only it seems to be real. The only reality is the Self and you are That. Why look for anything else? Everything else will take care of itself. You’ve got to abide in the Self, just in the Self. Everything else will take care of itself in a beautiful way. You are boundless space, like the ocean, like the sky, all-pervasive. This is your real nature. But for some reason you believe you are a body, confined to a small space. This is not you. It’s illusion. You are all-pervading absolute reality. This is your true nature. This is who you really are. Just by thinking about these things all the time, something begins to happen to you, something wonderful. Do not think about the weather, or about the day’s work or your problems. For all the thinkers, who thinks? Find out who has the problems? Find out who you really are, who am I? It’s up to you to awaken from this mortal dream. You can keep on going like you are right now, with the good things and the bad things. Yet you live in a universe of dualities, which means for every good there is a bad. For every bad there is a good. It’s a false world in which you live. You need to awaken to this truth. Be aware of yourself, always. The world goes through its own karma. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. You belong to God. Everything you see is God. This is why you should be nonjudgemental. Leave everything alone. By practising these things, you become radiantly happy. Everyone wants something. If your mind stops thinking, what happens? Some of you believe you will not have anything, that you will have more problems. But it’s in reverse. You experience bliss, joy and happiness when you don’t want anything. From what we know, people want something and when they get it, they become more miserable than ever before. Nothing is wrong. Everything is right just the way it is. Do not try to understand this or figure it out. Leave it alone. It will happen by itself, by keeping yourself quiet and still. You quiet the mind because of realization. Let it be calm. In all situations be calm. Let it be still and quiet. The world doesn’t need any help from you. Aren’t you the world, aren’t you the Creator? You created the world the way it is. It came out of you, of your mind. The world that you are in, is a creation of your own mind. When the mind becomes still, the world begins to disappear. And you’re in divine harmony and joy. Therefore, happiness comes to you when you stop thinking, when you stop judging, when you stop being afraid. When you begin to contemplate what is happiness. All the answers are within you. Everything you’re looking for is within you, everything. Nobody can help but your Self. Know who you are. You are the power. All the power of the universe is within you. You have all the power you need. All is well, exceedingly well. It has always been well, it will always be well. When you leave here today act like a god or a goddess. Do not act like a human being any longer. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, saying you’re unhappy. Stand up tall. Know the truth about yourself. Become the witness of all phenomena that you see and be free. Peace.
Robert Adams (Silence of the Heart: Dialogues with Robert Adams)
Everything belonged to him--but that was a trifle. The thing was to know what he belonged to, how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own. That was the reflection that made you creepy all over. It was impossible--it was not good for one either--trying to imagine. He had taken a high seat amongst the devils of the land--I mean literally. You can't understand. How could you?--with solid pavement under your feet, surrounded by kind neighbors ready to cheer you or to fall on you, stepping delicately between the butcher and the policeman, in the holy terror of scandal and gallows and lunatic asylums--how can you imagine what particular region of the first ages a man's untrammeled feet may take him into by the way of solitude--utter solitude without a policeman--by the way of silence, utter silence, where no warning voice of a kind neighbor can be heard whispering of public opinion? These little things make all the great difference. When they are gone you must fall back upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity for faithfulness. Of course you may be too much of a fool to go wrong--too dull even to know you are being assaulted by the powers of darkness. I take it, no fool ever made a bargain for his soul with the devil: the fool is too much of a fool, or the devil too much of a devil--I don't know which. Or you may be such a thunderingly exalted creature as to be altogether deaf and blind to anything but heavenly sights and sounds. Then the earth for you is only a standing place -- and whether to be like this is your loss or your gain I won't pretend to say. But most of us are neither one nor the other. The earth for us is a place to live in, where we must put up with sights, with sounds, with smells too, by Jove!-- breathe dead hippo, so to speak, and not be contaminated. And there, don't you see? Your strength comes in, the faith in your ability for the digging of unostentatious holes to bury the stuff in--your power of devotion, not to yourself, but to an obscure, back-breaking business. And that's difficult enough. Mind, I am not trying to excuse or even explain--I am trying to account to myself for--for--Mr. Kurtz--for the shade of Mr. Kurtz. This initiated wraith from the back of Nowhere honored me with its amazing confidence before it vanished altogether. This was because it could speak English to me. The original Kurtz had been educated partly in England, and--as he was good enough to say himself--his sympathies were in the right place. His mother was half-English, his father was half-French. All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
Here, Kells. I brought you something,” he said unassumingly and held out three mangos. “Thanks. Um, dare I ask where you got them?” “Monkeys.” I stopped in mid-brush. “Monkeys? What do you mean monkeys?” “Well, monkeys don’t like tigers because tigers eat monkeys. So, when a tiger comes around, they jump up in the trees and pummel the tiger with fruit or feces. Lucky for me today they threw fruit.” I gulped. “Have you ever…eaten a monkey?” Ren grinned at me. “Well, a tiger does have to eat.” I dug a rubber band out of the backpack so I could braid my hair. “Ugh, that’s disgusting.” He laughed. “I didn’t really eat a monkey, Kells. I’m just teasing you. Monkeys are repellant. They taste like meaty tennis balls and they smell like feet.” He paused. “Now a nice juicy deer, that is delectable.” He smacked his lips together in an exaggerated way. “I don’t think I really need to hear about your hunting.” “Really? I quite enjoy hunting.” Ren froze into place. Then, almost imperceptibly, he lowered his body slowly to a crouch and balanced on the balls of his feet. He placed a hand in the grass in front of him and began to creep closer to me. He was tracking me, hunting me. His eyes locked on mine and pinned me to the spot where I was standing. He was preparing to spring. His lips were pulled back in a wide grin, which showed his brilliant white teeth. He looked…feral. He spoke in a silky, mesmerizing voice. “When you’re stalking your prey, you must freeze in place and hide, remaining that way for a long time. If you fail, your prey eludes you.” He closed the distance between us in a heartbeat. Even though I’d been watching him closely, I was startled at how fast he could move. My pulse started thumping wildly at my throat, which was where his lips now hovered as if he were going for my jugular. He brushed my hair back and moved up to my ear, whispering, “And you will go…hungry.” His words were hushed. His warm breath tickled my ear and made goose bumps fan out over my body. I turned my head slightly to look at him. His eyes had changed. They were a brighter blue than normal and were studying my face. His hand was still in my hair, and his eyes drifted down to my mouth. I suddenly had the distinct impression that this was what it felt like to be a deer. Ren was making my nervous. I blinked and swallowed dryly. His eyes darted back up to mine again. He must have sensed my apprehension because his expression changed. He removed his hand from my hair and relaxed his posture. “I’m sorry if I frightened you, Kelsey. It won’t happen again.” When he took a step back, I started breathing again. I said shakily, “Well, I don’t want to hear any more about hunting. It freaks me out. The least you could do is not tell me about it. Especially when I have to spend time with you outdoors, okay?” He laughed. “kells, we all have some animalistic tendencies. I loved hunting, even when I was young.” I shuddered. “Fine. Just keep your animalistic tendencies to yourself.” He leaned toward me again and pulled on a strand of my hair. “Now, Kells, there are some of my animalistic tendencies that you seem to like.” He started making a rumbling sound in his chest, and I realized that he was purring. “Stop that!” I sputtered. He laughed, walked over to the backpack, and picked up the fruit. “So, do you want any of this mango or not? I’ll wash it for you.” “Well, considering you carried it in your mouth all that way just for me. And taking into account the source of said fruit. Not really.” His shoulders fell, and I hurried to add, “But I guess I could eat some of the inside.” He looked up at me and smiled. “It’s not freeze-dried.” “Okay. I’ll try some.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
What happened? Stan repeats. To us? To the country? What happened when childhood ends in Dealey Plaza, in Memphis, in the kitchen of the Ambassador, your belief your hope your trust lying in a pool of blood again? Fifty-five thousand of your brothers dead in Vietnam, a million Vietnamese, photos of naked napalmed children running down a dirt road, Kent State, Soviet tanks roll into Prague so you turn on drop out you know you can't reinvent the country but maybe you reimagine yourself you believe you really believe that you can that you can create a world of your own and then you lower that expectation to just a piece of ground to make a stand on but then you learn that piece of ground costs money that you don't have. What happened? Altamont, Charlie Manson, Sharon Tate, Son of Sam, Mark Chapman we saw a dream turn into a nightmare we saw love and peace turn into endless war and violence our idealism into realism our realism into cynicism our cynicism into apathy our apathy into selfishness our selfishness into greed and then greed was good and we Had babies, Ben, we had you and we had hopes but we also had fears we created nests that became bunkers we made our houses baby-safe and we bought car seats and organic apple juice and hired multilingual nannies and paid tuition to private schools out of love but also out of fear. What happened? You start by trying to create a new world and then you find yourself just wanting to add a bottle to your cellar, a few extra feet to the sunroom, you see yourself aging and wonder if you've put enough away for that and suddenly you realize that you're frightened of the years ahead of you what Happened? Watergate Irangate Contragate scandals and corruption all around you and you never think you'll become corrupt but time corrupts you, corrupts as surely as gravity and erosion, wears you down wears you out I think, son, that the country was like that, just tired, just worn out by assassinations, wars, scandals, by Ronald Reagan, Bush the First selling cocaine to fund terrorists, a war to protect cheap gas, Bill Clinton and realpolitik and jism on dresses while insane fanatics plotted and Bush the Second and his handlers, a frat boy run by evil old men and then you turn on the TV one morning and those towers are coming down and the war has come home what Happened? Afghanistan and Iraq the sheer madness the killing the bombing the missiles the death you are back in Vietnam again and I could blame it all on that but at the end of the day at the end of the day we are responsible for ourselves. We got tired, we got old we gave up our dreams we taught ourselves to scorn ourselves to despise our youthful idealism we sold ourselves cheap we aren't Who we wanted to be.
Don Winslow (The Kings of Cool (Savages, #1))
The way they were treated should make you angry,” Richard said as he started away, “but not because you share an attribute with them.” Taken aback by his words, even looking a little hurt, Jennsen didn’t move. “What do you mean?” Richard paused and turned back to her. “That’s how the Imperial Order thinks. That’s how Owen’s people think. It’s a belief in granting disembodied prestige, or the mantle of guilt, to all those who share some specific trait or attribute. “The Imperial Order would like you to believe that your virtue, your ultimate value, or even your wickedness, arises entirely from being born a member of a given group, that free will itself is either impotent or nonexistent. They want you to believe that all people are merely interchangeable members of groups that share fixed, preordained characteristics, and they are predestined to live through a collective identity, the group will, unable to rise on individual merit because there can be no such thing as independent, individual merit, only group merit. “They believe that people can only rise above their station in life when selected to be awarded recognition because their group is due an indulgence, and so a representative, a stand-in for the group, must be selected to be awarded the badge of self-worth. Only the reflected light off this badge, they believe, can bring the radiance of self-worth to others of their group. “But those granted this badge live with the uneasy knowledge that it’s only an illusion of competence. It never brings any sincere self-respect because you can’t fool yourself. Ultimately, because it is counterfeit, the sham of esteem granted because of a connection with a group can only be propped up by force. “This belittling of mankind, the Order’s condemnation of everyone and everything human, is their transcendent judgment of man’s inadequacy. “When you direct your anger at me for having a trait borne by someone else, you pronounce me guilty for their crimes. That’s what happens when people say I’m a monster because our father was a monster. If you admire someone simply because you believe their group is deserving, then you embrace the same corrupt ethics. “The Imperial Order says that no individual should have the right to achieve something on his own, to accomplish what someone else cannot, and so magic must be stripped from mankind. They say that accomplishment is corrupt because it is rooted in the evil of self-interest, therefore the fruits of that accomplishment are tainted by its evil. This is why they preach that any gain must be sacrificed to those who have not earned it. They hold that only through such sacrifice can those fruits be purified and made good. “We believe, on the other hand, that your own individual life is the value and its own end, and what you achieve is yours. “Only you can achieve self-worth for yourself. Any group offering it to you, or demanding it of you, comes bearing chains of slavery.
Terry Goodkind (Naked Empire (Sword of Truth, #8))
For now, the Simple Daily Practice means doing ONE thing every day. Try any one of these things each day: A) Sleep eight hours. B) Eat two meals instead of three. C) No TV. D) No junk food. E) No complaining for one whole day. F) No gossip. G) Return an e-mail from five years ago. H) Express thanks to a friend. I) Watch a funny movie or a stand-up comic. J) Write down a list of ideas. The ideas can be about anything. K) Read a spiritual text. Any one that is inspirational to you. The Bible, The Tao te Ching, anything you want. L) Say to yourself when you wake up, “I’m going to save a life today.” Keep an eye out for that life you can save. M) Take up a hobby. Don’t say you don’t have time. Learn the piano. Take chess lessons. Do stand-up comedy. Write a novel. Do something that takes you out of your current rhythm. N) Write down your entire schedule. The schedule you do every day. Cross out one item and don’t do that anymore. O) Surprise someone. P) Think of ten people you are grateful for. Q) Forgive someone. You don’t have to tell them. Just write it down on a piece of paper and burn the paper. It turns out this has the same effect in terms of releasing oxytocin in the brain as actually forgiving them in person. R) Take the stairs instead of the elevator. S) I’m going to steal this next one from the 1970s pop psychology book Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No: when you find yourself thinking of that special someone who is causing you grief, think very quietly, “No.” If you think of him and (or?) her again, think loudly, “No!” Again? Whisper, “No!” Again, say it. Louder. Yell it. Louder. And so on. T) Tell someone every day that you love them. U) Don’t have sex with someone you don’t love. V) Shower. Scrub. Clean the toxins off your body. W) Read a chapter in a biography about someone who is an inspiration to you. X) Make plans to spend time with a friend. Y) If you think, “Everything would be better off if I were dead,” then think, “That’s really cool. Now I can do anything I want and I can postpone this thought for a while, maybe even a few months.” Because what does it matter now? The planet might not even be around in a few months. Who knows what could happen with all these solar flares. You know the ones I’m talking about. Z) Deep breathing. When the vagus nerve is inflamed, your breathing becomes shallower. Your breath becomes quick. It’s fight-or-flight time! You are panicking. Stop it! Breathe deep. Let me tell you something: most people think “yoga” is all those exercises where people are standing upside down and doing weird things. In the Yoga Sutras, written in 300 B.C., there are 196 lines divided into four chapters. In all those lines, ONLY THREE OF THEM refer to physical exercise. It basically reads, “Be able to sit up straight.” That’s it. That’s the only reference in the Yoga Sutras to physical exercise. Claudia always tells me that yogis measure their lives in breaths, not years. Deep breathing is what keeps those breaths going.
James Altucher (Choose Yourself)
Her kiss is hungry, as if long deprived. As if they didn’t already spend the morning doing just exactly this, making up for the lost time they were apart. Triton’s trident, I could do this all day. Then he catches himself. No, I couldn’t. Not without wanting more. Which is why we need to stop. Instead, he entwines his hands in her hair, and she teases his lips with her tongue, trying to get him to fully open his mouth to her. He gladly complies. Her fingers sneak their way under his shirt, up his stomach, sending a trail of fire to his chest. He is about to lose his shirt altogether. Until Antonis’s voice booms from the doorway. “Extract yourself from Prince Galen, Emma,” he says. “You two are not mated. This behavior is inappropriate for any Syrena, let alone a Royal.” Emma’s eyes go round as sand dollars. He can tell she’s not sure what to think about her grandfather telling her what to do. Or maybe she’s caught off guard that he called her a Royal. Either way, like most people, Emma decides to obey. Galen does, too. They stand up side by side, not daring to be close enough to touch. They behold King Antonis in a polka-dot bathrobe, and though he’s the one who looks silly, they are the ones who look shamed. Galen feels like a fingerling again. “I apologize, Highness,” he says. It seems like all he does lately is apologize to the Poseidon king. “It was my fault.” Antonis gives him a reproving look. “I like you, young prince. But you well know the law. Do not disappoint me, Galen. My granddaughter is deserving of a proper mating ceremony.” Galen can’t meet his eyes. He’s right. I shouldn’t be flirting with temptation like this. With the Archives on their way-or possibly here already-there is a distant but small chance that he and Emma can still live within the confines of the law. That they can still live as mates under the Syrena tradition. And he almost just blew it. What if it had gone too far? Then his mating with Emma would forever be blemished by breaking the law. “It won’t happen again, Highness.” Not until we’re mated, anyway. “Um. Did you just promise not to kiss me ever again?” Emma whispers. “Can we talk about this later? The Archives are obviously here, angelfish.” She’s on the verge of a fit, he can tell. “He’s just looking out for us,” Galen says quickly. “I agree, we need to respect the law-“ At this her fit subsides as if it was never there. She smiles wide at him. He can’t decide if it’s genuine, or if it’s the kind of smile she gives him when he’ll pay for something later. “Okay, Galen.” “Galen, Emma,” Nalia calls from the dining room, saving him from making a fool of himself. “Everyone is here.” Emma gives him a look that clearly says, “We’re so not done with this conversation.” Then she turns and walks away. Galen takes a second to regain a little bit of composure-which kissing Emma tends to steal from him. Then there’s the mortification of being interrupted by-Get it together, idiot.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Bring Cecily home,” he said curtly. “I won’t have her at risk, even in the slightest way.” “I’ll take care of Cecily,” came the terse reply. “She’s better off without you in her life.” Tate’s eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?” he asked, affronted. “You know what I mean,” Holden said. “Let her heal. She’s too young to consign herself to spinsterhood over a man who doesn’t even see her.” “Infatuation dies,” Tate said. Holden nodded. “Yes, it does. Goodbye.” “So does hero worship,” he continued, laboring the point. “And that’s why after eight years, Cecily has had one raging affair after the other,” he said facetiously. The words had power. They wounded. “You fool,” Holden said in a soft tone. “Do you really think she’d let any man touch her except you?” He went to his office door and gestured toward the desk. “Don’t forget your gadget,” he added quietly. “Wait!” Holden paused with his hand on the doorknob and turned. “What?” Tate held the device in his hands, watching the lights flicker on it. “Mixing two cultures when one of them is all but extinct is a selfish thing,” he said after a minute. “It has nothing to do with personal feelings. It’s a matter of necessity.” Holden let go of the doorknob and moved to stand directly in front of Tate. “If I had a son,” he said, almost choking on the word, “I’d tell him that there are things even more important than lofty principles. I’d tell him…that love is a rare and precious thing, and that substitutes are notoriously unfulfilling.” Tate searched the older man’s eyes. “You’re a fine one to talk.” Holden’s face fell. “Yes, that’s true.” He turned away. Why should he feel guilty? But he did. “I didn’t mean to say that,” Tate said, irritated by his remorse and the other man’s defeated posture. “I can’t help the way I feel about my culture.” “If it weren’t for the cultural difference, how would you feel about Cecily?” Tate hesitated. “It wouldn’t change anything. She’s been my responsibility. I’ve taken care of her. It would be gratitude on her part, even a little hero worship, nothing more. I couldn’t take advantage of that. Besides, she’s involved with Colby.” “And you couldn’t live with being the second man.” Tate’s face hardened. His eyes flashed. Holden shook his head. “You’re just brimming over with excuses, aren’t you? It isn’t the race thing, it isn’t the culture thing, it isn’t even the guardian-ward thing. You’re afraid.” Tate’s mouth made a thin line. He didn’t reply. “When you love someone, you give up control of yourself,” he continued quietly. “You have to consider the other person’s needs, wants, fears. What you do affects the other person. There’s a certain loss of freedom as well.” He moved a step closer. “The point I’m making is that Cecily already fills that place in your life. You’re still protecting her, and it doesn’t matter that there’s another man. Because you can’t stop looking out for her. Everything you said in this office proves that.” He searched Tate’s turbulent eyes. “You don’t like Colby Lane, and it isn’t because you think Cecily’s involved with him. It’s because he’s been tied to one woman so tight that he can’t struggle free of his love for her, even after years of divorce. That’s how you feel, isn’t it, Tate? You can’t get free of Cecily, either. But Colby’s always around and she indulges him. She might marry him in an act of desperation. And then what will you do? Will your noble excuses matter a damn then?
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Well,” I said, trying to keep my tone light as I walked over to put my arms around his neck, though I had to stand on my toes to do so. “That wasn’t so bad, was it? You told me something about yourself that I didn’t know before-that you didn’t, er, care for your family, except for your mother. But that didn’t make me hate you…it made me love you a bit more, because now I know we have even more in common.” He stared down at him, a wary look in his eyes. “If you knew the truth,” he said, “you wouldn’t be saying that. You’d be running.” “Where would I go?” I asked, with a laugh I hoped didn’t sound as nervous to him as it did to me. “You bolted all the doors, remember? Now, since you shared something I didn’t know about you, may I share something you don’t know about me?” Those dark eyebrows rose as he pulled me close. “I can’t even begin to imagine what this could be.” “It’s just,” I said, “that I’m a little worried about rushing into this consort thing…especially the cohabitation part.” “Cohabitation?” he echoed. He was clearly unfamiliar with the word. “Cohabitation means living together,” I explained, feeling my cheeks heat up. “Like married people.” “You said last night that these days no one your age thinks of getting married,” he said, holding me even closer and suddenly looking much more eager to stick around for the conversation, even though I heard the marina horn blow again. “And that your father would never approve it. But if you’ve changed your mind, I’m sure I could convince Mr. Smith to perform the ceremony-“ “No,” I said hastily. Of course Mr. Smith was somehow authorized to marry people in the state of Florida. Why not? I decided not to think about that right now, or how John had come across this piece of information. “That isn’t what I meant. My mom would kill me if I got married before I graduated from high school.” Not, of course, that my mom was going to know about any of this. Which was probably just as well, since her head would explode at the idea of my moving in with a guy before I’d even applied to college, let alone at the fact that I most likely wasn’t going to college. Not that there was any school that would have accepted me with my grades, not to mention my disciplinary record. “What I meant was that maybe we should take it more slowly,” I explained. “The past couple years, while all my friends were going out with boys, I was home, trying to figure out how this necklace you gave me worked. I wasn’t exactly dating.” “Pierce,” he said. He wore a slightly quizzical expression on his face. “Is this the thing you think I didn’t know about you? Because for one thing, I do know it, and for another, I don’t understand why you think I’d have a problem with it.” I’d forgotten he’d been born in the eighteen hundreds, when the only time proper ladies and gentlemen ever spent together before they were married was at heavily chaperoned balls…and that for most of the past two centuries, he’d been hanging out in a cemetery. Did he even know that these days, a lot of people hooked up on first dates, or that the average age at which girls-and boys as well-lost their virginity in the United States was seventeen…my age? Apparently not. “What I’m trying to say,” I said, my cheeks burning brighter, “is that I’m not very experienced with men. So this morning when I woke up and found you in bed beside me, while it was really, super nice-don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it very much-it kind of freaked me out. Because I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of thing yet.” Or maybe the problem was that I wasn’t prepared for how ready I was…
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))