Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.
The spell. Victor said you had to want me... to care about me... for it to work." When he didn't say anything, I tried to grip his shirt, but my fingers were too weak. "Did you? Did you want me?"
His words came out thickly. "Yes, Roza. I did want you. I still do. I wish... we could be together."
"Then why did you lie to me?"
We reached the clinic, and he managed to open the door while still holding me. As soon as he stepped inside, he began yelling for help.
"Why did you lie?" I murmured again.
Still holding me in his arms, he looked down at me. I could hear voices and footsteps getting closer.
"Because we can't be together."
"Because of the age thing, right?" I asked. "Because you're my mentor?"
His fingertip gently wiped away a tear that had escaped down my cheek. "That's part of it," he said. "But also... well, you and I will both be Lissa's gaurdians someday. I need to protect her at all cost. If a pack of Strogoi come, I need to throw my body between them and her."
I know that. Of course that's what you have to do." The black sparkles were dancing in front of my eyes again. I was fading out.
"No. If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
Maybe there aren't any such things as good friends or bad friends - maybe there are just friends, people who stand by you when you're hurt and who help you feel not so lonely. Maybe they're always worth being scared for, and hoping for, and living for. Maybe worth dying for too, if that's what has to be. No good friends. No bad friends. Only people you want, need to be with; people who build their houses in your heart.
Stephen King (It)
They aren’t any such thing as good friend or bad friend.
Maybe there are just friend.
People who stand by you when you're hurt and who helped you feel not so lonely.
Maybe there are worth being scared for and hoping for and living for.
Maybe worth dying for too.
If that what has to be.
No bad friends.
Only people you want.
Need to be with.
People who build their houses in your heart.
Like crying wolf, if you keep looking for sympathy as a justification for your actions, you will someday be left standing alone when you really need help.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
You never called me back," he said. "I called you so many times and you never called me back."
Magnus looked at Alec as if he'd lost his mind. "Your city is under attack," he said. "The wards have been broken, and the streets are full of demons. And you want to know why I haven't called you?"
Alec set his jaw in a stubborn line. "I want to know why you haven't called me back."
Magnus threw his hands up in the air in a gesture of utter exasperation. Alec noted with interest that when he did it, a few sparks escaped from his fingertips, like fireflies escaping from a jar. "You're an idiot."
"Is that why you haven't called me? Because I'm an idiot?"
"No." Magnus strode toward him. "I didn't call you because I'm tired of you only wanting me around when you need something. I'm tired of watching you be in love with someone else - someone, incidentally, who will never love you back. Not the way I do."
"You love me?"
"You stupid Nephilim," Magnus said patiently. "Why else am I here? Why else would I have spent the past few weeks patching up all your moronic friends every time they got hurt? And getting you out of every ridiculous situation you found yourself in? Not to mention helping you win a battle against Valentine. And all completely free of charge!
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
It's not when you realise that nothing can help you - religion, pride, anything - it's when you realise that you don't need any aid.
William Faulkner (The Sound and the Fury)
Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.
Shannon L. Alder
What are you doing?”
Emrys didn’t raise his voice as he said, “To that girl. What are you doing that makes her come in here with such emptiness in her eyes?”
“That’s none of your concern.”
Emrys pressed his lips into a tight line. “What do you see when you look at her, Prince?”
He didn’t know. These days, he didn’t know a damn thing. “That’s none of your concern, either.”
Emrys ran a hand over his weathered face. “I see her slipping away, bit by bit, because you shove her down when she so desperately needs someone to help her back up.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
When she needed help most, she was abandoned—and only when she offered help to others was she beloved.
Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook)
If we fail to look after others when they need help, who will look after us?
I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can't help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year. I feel I know you so well that I couldn't have known you better if we'd been friends for twenty years. You won't fail me, will you? Only two minutes, and you've made me happy forever. Yes, happy. Who knows, perhaps you've reconciled me with myself, resolved all my doubts.
When I woke up it seemed to me that some snatch of a tune I had known for a long time, I had heard somewhere before but had forgotten, a melody of great sweetness, was coming back to me now. It seemed to me that it had been trying to emerge from my soul all my life, and only now-
If and when you fall in love, may you be happy with her. I don't need to wish her anything, for she'll be happy with you. May your sky always be clear, may your dear smile always be bright and happy, and may you be for ever blessed for that moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart. Isn't such a moment sufficient for the whole of one's life?
Fyodor Dostoevsky (White Nights)
Ah.” Puck’s emerald eyes sparkled with glee. “And so they come crawling back for Puck’s help after all. Tsk tsk.” He shook his head and took another bite of the apple. “How easy it is to forget grudges when someone has something you need.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
Why do I read?
I just can't help myself.
I read to learn and to grow, to laugh
and to be motivated.
I read to understand things I've never
been exposed to.
I read when I'm crabby, when I've just
said monumentally dumb things to the
people I love.
I read for strength to help me when I
feel broken, discouraged, and afraid.
I read when I'm angry at the whole
I read when everything is going right.
I read to find hope.
I read because I'm made up not just of
skin and bones, of sights, feelings,
and a deep need for chocolate, but I'm
also made up of words.
Words describe my thoughts and what's
hidden in my heart.
Words are alive--when I've found a
story that I love, I read it again and
again, like playing a favorite song
over and over.
Reading isn't passive--I enter the
story with the characters, breathe
their air, feel their frustrations,
scream at them to stop when they're
about to do something stupid, cry with
them, laugh with them.
Reading for me, is spending time with a
A book is a friend.
You can never have too many.
Gary Paulsen (Shelf Life: Stories by the Book)
A man's dignity isn't measured by the people he has around him when he's at the peak of his success, but by his ability not to forget those who helped him when his need was greatest.
Paulo Coelho (The Winner Stands Alone)
Rowan considered for a moment, and then said, "I have known many kings in my life, Dorian Havilliard. And it was a rare man indeed who asked for help when he needed it, who would put aside pride.
Sarah J. Maas (Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5))
Neither refuse to give help when it is needed,... nor refuse to accept it when it is offered.
Lloyd Alexander (The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain, #1))
When I think of you and me and what we shared, I know it would be easy for others to dismiss our time together as simply a by-product of the days and nights we spent by the sea, a "fling" that, in the long run, would mean absolutely nothing. Thats why I don't tell people about us. They wouldn't understand, and I don't feel the need to explain, simply becasue I know in my heart how real it was... how real this is. When I think of you I cant help smiling, knowing that you've completed me somehow. I love you, not just for now, but for always, and I dream of the day that you'll take me in your arms again
Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)
Real life is a funny thing, you know. In real life, saying the right thing at the right moment is beyond crucial. So crucial, in fact, that most of us start to hesitate, for fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. But lately what I've begun to fear more that that is letting the moment pass without saying anything.
I think most of us fear reaching the end of our life, and looking back, regretting the moments we didn't speak up. When we didn't say "I love you." When we should've said "I'm Sorry." When we didn't stand up for ourselves or some one who needed help.
God gave us crying so other folks could see when we needed help, and help us.
Joshilyn Jackson (Gods in Alabama)
You cannot save people who do not want to be saved," said Magnus. "You can only stand by their side and hope that when they wake and realize they need saving, you will be there to help them.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2))
Sometimes the braver thing is to accept help when you've been made to believe you shouldn't need it.
Alexandra Bracken (Lore)
You’re not alone, and you’re not the one in charge,” Mother said gently. “Ask for help when you need it, and give help when you can. I think that is how we serve God—and each other and ourselves—in times as dark as these.
Kristin Hannah (The Nightingale)
I didn't understand why I needed help, because it seemed to me that you should wear heavy boots when your dad dies, and if you aren't wearing heavy boots, then you need help.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Someone wake me when it's over
When the evening silence softens golden
Just lay me on bed of dover
Oh, I need help with this burden
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
Straightaway, she'd called to the guard, "Oh, boys?" She'd sauntered to the glass in only her black lace bra and panties. "I need some assistance," When they slowed, agog, she'd purred, "Can one of you help me find my orgasm?
Kresley Cole (Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #10))
I hope these words will be of some help and comfort to those who read them.
Nobody knows when they will be tested and there are no right or wrong answers, we are all of us lost when tragedy comes to call. All we can ever do is to be there, give love and do the best we can, often that is all it needs.
Peter B. Forster (More Than Love, A Husband's Tale)
They wouldn't understand, and I don't feel the need to explain, simply because I know in my heart how real it was. When I think of you, I can't help smiling, knowing that you've completed me somehow. I love you, not just for now, but for always, and I dream of the day that you'll take me in your arms again
Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)
Man approaches God most nearly when he is in one sense least like God. For what can be more unlike than fullness and need, sovereignty and humility, righteousness and penitence, limitless power and a cry for help?
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
There are four things that lead to wisdom. You ready for them?'
She nodded, wondering when the police work would begin.
"They are four sentences we learn to say, and mean." Gamache held up his hand as a fist and raised a finger with each point. "I don't know. I need help. I'm sorry. I was wrong'.
Louise Penny (Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1))
To my babies,
Merry Christmas. I'm sorry if these letters have caught you both by surprise. There is just so much more I have to say. I know you thought I was done giving advice, but I couldn't leave without reiterating a few things in writing. You may not relate to these things now, but someday you will. I wasn't able to be around forever, but I hope that my words can be.
-Don't stop making basagna. Basagna is good. Wait until a day when there is no bad news, and bake a damn basagna.
-Find a balance between head and heart. Hopefully you've found that Lake, and you can help Kel sort it out when he gets to that point.
-Push your boundaries, that's what they're there for.
-I'm stealing this snippet from your favorite band, Lake. "Always remember there is nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name."
-Don't take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it.
-And Laugh a lot. Never go a day without laughing at least once.
-Never judge others. You both know good and well how unexpected events can change who a person is. Always keep that in mind. You never know what someone else is experiencing within their own life.
-Question everything. Your love, your religion, your passions. If you don't have questions, you'll never find answers.
-Be accepting. Of everything. People's differences, their similarities, their choices, their personalities. Sometimes it takes a variety to make a good collection. The same goes for people.
-Choose your battles, but don't choose very many.
-Keep an open mind; it's the only way new things can get in.
-And last but not least, not the tiniest bit least. Never regret.
Thank you both for giving me the best years of my life.
Especially the last one.
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
I had no one to help me, but the T. S. Eliot helped me.
So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language – and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers – a language powerful enough to say how it is.
It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
When you refuse to ask for help, it tells others that they also shouldn’t ask for help from you. That you look down on them for needing your help. That you like feeling superior to them. It’s an insult, Emi, to your friends and peers. So don’t be like that. Let us in.
Marie Lu (Warcross (Warcross, #1))
One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on "going it alone." Somehow we've come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we're very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It's as if we've divided the world into "those who offer help" and "those who need help." The truth is that we are both.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess:
Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.
Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples' affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.
Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains -- they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.
I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn't agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint -- it is so hard to live with some of them -- but a harsh old person is one of the devil's masterpieces.
Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.
I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.
William Faulkner (Nobel Prize in Literature Acceptance Speech, 1949)
I just don’t think I should be the judge of who actually needs my help or not, like they should do a dance or sing me a song to prove they’re worthy. Asking for help when you need it should be enough.
Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End)
Everyone loses their way at some point, and it’s not just because of their mistakes or the decisions they make. It’s because they’re horribly, wonderfully human. And the one thing I’ve learned about being human is that we can’t do this alone. When we’re lost, we need help to try to find our way again.
T.J. Klune (Under the Whispering Door)
When she needed help most, she was abandoned.
Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook)
Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn't matter. Cold or warm. Tired or well-rested. Despised or honored. Dying...or busy with other assignments. Because dying, too, is one of our assignments in life. There as well: "To do what needs doing." Look inward. Don't let the true nature of anything elude you. Before long, all existing things will be transformed, to rise like smoke (assuming all things become one), or be dispersed in fragments...to move from one unselfish act to another with God in mind. Only there, delight and stillness...when jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don't lose the rhythm more than you can help. You'll have a better grasp of the harmony if you keep going back to it.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.
Ziad K. Abdelnour (Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics)
It's your call," he said softly, "but whatever you decide, I'll help you." He placed a soft, warm hand at the back of her neck and Laurel's breath caught in her chest. "Whatever you need, I'll be. If you need the science geek to give you answers from a textbook, I'm your guy; if you just want a friend to sit by you in bio and help you feel better when you're sad, I'm still your guy." His thumb slowly stroked across her earlobe and down her cheek. "And if you need someone to hold you and protect you from anyone in the world who might want to hurt you, then I am definitely your guy." His pale-blue eyes bore into hers, and for a second she couldn't breath. "But it's all up to you," he whispered.
Aprilynne Pike (Wings (Wings, #1))
They say you never know what you would do in a hypothetical situation. We’d all like to think we’d be one of the people who gave up their lifejackets and waved a stoic good-bye from the slanting deck of the titanic, someone who jumped in front of a bullet for a stranger, or turned and raced back up the stairs of one of the towers, in search of someone who needed help rather than our own security. But you just don’t know for sure if, when things fall apart, you’ll think safety first, or if safety will be the last thing on your mind.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves; we need oxygen and a candle to help. In this case, the oxygen for example, would come from the breath of the person you love; the candle would be any kind of food, music, caress, word, or sound that engenders the explosion that lights one of the matches. For a moment we are dazzled by an intense emotion. A pleasant warmth grows within us, fading slowly as time goes by, until a new explosion comes along to revive it. Each person has to discover what will set off those explosions in order to live, since the combustion that occurs when one of them is ignited is what nourishes the soul. That fire, in short, is its food. If one doesn't find out in time what will set off these explosions, the box of matches dampens, and not a single match will ever be lighted.
Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate)
I have realized that part of being Dauntless is being willing to make things more difficult for yourself in order to be self-sufficient. There's nothing especially brave about wandering dark streets with no flashlight, but we are not supposed to need help, even from light. We are supposed to be capable of anything. I like that. Because there might come a day when there is no flashlight, there is no gun, there is no guiding hand. And I want to be ready.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness. It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets. It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.
Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember)
Pumpkin, I’m always serious when it comes to you. Even when I’m messing around, I’m still serious as shit. Whatever you need, whatever I have to do. It’s been that way since we met. Haven’t you noticed yet? We’re fucking destined or something. I can’t help myself. It’s pathetic, really.
Kylie Scott (Play (Stage Dive, #2))
Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for one the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! What do you say? It is true that when with folded arms we weigh the pros and cons we are no less a credit to our species. The tiger bounds to the help of his congeners without the least reflexion, or else he slinks away into the depths of the thickets. But that is not the question. What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in the immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come --
Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot)
We read to learn and to grow, to laugh, to be motivated, and to understand things we've never been exposed to. We read for strength to help us when we feel broken, discouraged or afraid. We read to find hope. We read because we're not just made up of skin and bones, and a deep need for chocolate, but we're also made up of words, words which describe our thoughts and what's hidden in our hearts.
When you are happy, so happy you have no sense of needing Him, so happy that you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be — or so it feels— welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be.
Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Other people spoke, and I tried to keep up with the translations. All the stories were about Dimitri's kindness and strength of character. Even when not out battling the undead, Dimitri had always been there to help those who needed it. Almost everyone could recall sometime that Dimitri had stepped up to help others, going out of his way to do what was right, even in situations that could put him at risk. That was no surprise to me. Dimitri always did the right thing.
And it was that attitude that had made me love him so much. I had a similar nature. I too rushed in when others needed me, sometimes when I shouldn't have. Others called me crazy for it, but Dimitri had understood. He'd always understood me, and part of what we'd worked on was how to temper that impulsive need to run into danger with reason and calculation. I had a feeling no one else in this world would ever understand me like he did.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
I see her slipping away, bit by bit, because you shove her down when she so desperately needs someone to help her back up.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Ask for help when you need it, and give help when you can.
Kristin Hannah (The Nightingale)
Heroes are important. Heroes tell us who we want to be but when they made this particular hero they didn’t give him a gun, they gave him a screwdriver to fix things. They didn’t give him a tank or a warship or an X-Wing, they gave him a call box from which you can call for help and they didn’t give him a superpower or a heat-ray, they gave him an extra heart. And that’s extraordinary. There will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the doctor.
and when he
'i love you'
i catch him
and say 'i need your help.
David Levithan (The Realm of Possibility)
Do you love me, Westley? Is that it?’
He couldn’t believe it. ‘Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches. If your love were—‘
‘I don’t understand the first one yet,’ Buttercup interrupted. She was starting to get very excited now. ‘Let me get this straight. Are you saying my love is the size of a grain of sand and yours is this other thing? Images just confuse me so—is this universal business of yours bigger than my sand? Help me, Westley. I have the feeling we’re on the verge of something just terribly important.’
‘I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids….Is any of this getting through to you, Buttercup, or do you want me to go on for a while?’
‘There has not been—‘
‘If you’re teasing me, Westley, I’m just going to kill you.’
‘How can you even dream I might be teasing?’
‘Well, you haven’t once said you loved me.’
‘That’s all you need? Easy. I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I.’
‘You are teasing now; aren’t you?’
‘A little maybe; I’ve been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn’t listen. Every time you said ‘Farm boy do this’ you thought I was answering ‘As you wish’ but that’s only because you were hearing wrong. ‘I love you’ was what it was, but you never heard, and you never heard.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
You’re too good for me.”
He laughed. “Are we talking about the same person? The selfish fucker who curses and yells, blows up cars and beats up people, because he has a temper he can’t control? You know, the one who drinks like a fish and fries his brain with drugs? That person is too good for you?”
She shook her head. “I’m talking about the boy who shared his chocolate bar with me when he probably never shared anything before, who gave me his mama’s favourite book, because he thought I deserved to read. The one who seems to be constantly fixing me up when I get hurt. I’m talking about the boy who treats me like I’m a regular girl, the one who desperately needs his bedroom cleaned and laundry washed but chooses to live in a mess and wear dirty clothes, because he’s too polite to ask the girl he kisses for help.”
“Wow,” Carmine said. “I’d like to meet that motherfucker.
J.M. Darhower (Sempre (Sempre, #1))
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne five children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
Maybe you can't help him, darling. I know you love him so, so much. I'm sure he loves you too. And I know you feel like it's your job to "save him". I know it feels like you are both each other's whole world, but that dependency isn't healthy for either of you. Charlie needs helo from someone who isn't his sixteen-year-old boyfriend. He needs help from a doctor or a therapist, someone who knows about eating disorder and how to treat them. Love can't cure a mental illness. There are lots of ways to help him, you can just be there. To listen. To talk. To cheer him up if he's having a bad day. And on the bad days you can ask what to could do to make things easier. Stand by his side, even when things are hard. But also knowing that sometimes people need more support than just one person can give. That's love darling" - Sarah Nelson (Nick's mum)
Alice Oseman (Heartstopper: Volume Four (Heartstopper, #4))
It's hard to talk about the importance of an imaginary hero. But heroes ARE important: Heroes tell us something about ourselves.
History tells us who we used to be, documentaries tell us who we are now; but heroes tell us who we WANT to be.
And a lot of our heroes depress me.
But when they made this particular hero, they didn't give him a gun--they gave him a screwdriver to fix things. They didn't give him a tank or a warship or an x-wing fighter--they gave him a box from which you can call for help. And they didn't give him a superpower or pointy ears or a heat-ray--they gave him an extra HEART. They gave him two hearts! And that's an extraordinary thing.
There will never come a time when we don't need a hero like the Doctor.
Leaders lead when they take positions, when they connect with their tribes, and when they help the tribe connect to itself.
Seth Godin (Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us)
You must ask for God's help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
I get so god damn lonely and sad and filled with regrets some days. It overwhelms me as I’m sitting on the bus; watching the golden leaves from a window; a sudden burst of realisation in the middle of the night. I can’t help it and I can’t stop it. I’m alone as I’ve always been and sometimes it hurts…. but I’m learning to breathe deep through it and keep walking. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. To comfort my own heart when I wake up sad. To find small bits of friendship in a crowd full of strangers. To find a small moment of joy in a blue sky, in a trip somewhere not so far away, a long walk an early morning in December, or a handwritten letter to an old friend simply saying ”I thought of you. I hope you’re well.”
No one will come and save you. No one will come riding on a white horse and take all your worries away. You have to save yourself, little by little, day by day. Build yourself a home. Take care of your body. Find something to work on. Something that makes you excited, something you want to learn. Get yourself some books and learn them by heart. Get to know the author, where he grew up, what books he read himself. Take yourself out for dinner. Dress up for no one but you and simply feel nice. it’s a lovely feeling, to feel pretty. You don’t need anyone to confirm it.
I get so god damn lonely and sad and filled with regrets some days, but I’m learning to breathe deep through it and keep walking. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. Slowly building myself a home with things I like. Colors that calm me down, a plan to follow when things get dark, a few people I try to treat right. I don’t sometimes, but it’s my intent to do so. I’m learning.I’m learning to make things nice for myself. I’m learning to save myself.
I’m trying, as I always will.
Charlotte Eriksson (Everything Changed When I Forgave Myself: growing up is a wonderful thing to do)
When she saw my messy desk, she said she was the same way, and there was no dust on the TV, and I was easy to love. People just need a little help because they are so used to not loving. It's like scoring the clay to make another piece of clay stick to it.
Miranda July (No One Belongs Here More Than You)
You don't need to watch out for me, Clay."
But I did, Hannah. And I wanted to. I could have helped you. But when I tried, you pushed me away.
I can almost hear Hannah's voice speaking my next thought for me. "Then why didn't you try harder?
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
When a man takes a woman as his property, it’s not about owning her,” he continued, eyes searching my face. “It’s about trusting her. This is my life I’m handing you, Sophie. Not just my life—my brothers’ lives, too. It means I’m responsible for everything you do. You fuck up, I’ll pay. You need help, we’re there. You’re the only woman I’ve ever met that I’d consider giving that kind of power to. Hell, I’m not just considering it, I’m desperate for you to take it.
Joanna Wylde (Reaper's Legacy (Reapers MC, #2))
Be loved. Be known. Love people and know people. Be so brave as to raise a hand for help when you need it. Make friends and make sure they know they matter. Be loyal to them and fight for them. Remind them what’s true and invite them to do the same when you forget. If you do some losing or you walk with someone else in their defeat, live with dignity and grace. It is a middle finger to the darkness.
Jamie Tworkowski (If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For)
Sometimes when family members least deserve love, they need it most. Love is not appropriately expressed in threats, accusations, expressions of disappointment, or retaliation. Real love takes time, patience, help, and continuing performances.
Marvin J. Ashton
Don't drive drunk. Ever. Don't shag anyone you don't like, or who doesn't like you. Get a look at how people live in a place where you don't. Suffering is over-rated, don't pursue it. Ask for help when you need it, don't when you don't, and learn to recognize the difference. Don't confuse movement and progress. Be kind. Be forgiving. Pay attention.
I'm returning to Boston tomorrow but before I go I wanted to write this letter to you. All the thoughts and feelings that have been bubbling up inside me are finally overflowing from this pen and I'm leaving this letter for you so that you don't feel that I'm putting you under any great pressure. I understand that you will need to take your time trying to decide on what I am about to say.
I no what's going on, Rosie. You're my best friend and I can see the sadness in your eyes. I no that Greg isn't away working for the weekend. You never could lie to me; you were always terrible at it. Your eyes betray you time and time again. Don't pretend that everything is perfect because I see it isn't. I see that Greg is a selfish man who has absolutely no idea just how lucky he is and it makes me sick.
He is the luckiest man in the world to have you, Rosie, but he doesn't deserve you and you deserve far better. You deserve someone who loves you with every single beat of his heart, someone who thinks about you constantly, someone who spends every minute of every day just wondering what you're doing, where you are, who you're with and if you're OK. You need someone who can help you reach your dreams and who can protect you from your fears. You need someone who will treat you with respect, love every part of you, especially your flaws. You should be with someone who can make you happy, really happy, dancing-on-air happy. Someone who should have taken the chance to be with you years ago instead of becoming scared and being too afraid to try.
I am not scared any more, Rosie. I am not afraid to try. I no what the feeling was at your wedding - it was jealousy. My heart broke when I saw the woman I love turning away from me to walk down the aisle with another man, a man she planned to spend the rest of her life with. It was like a prison sentence for me - years stretching ahead without me being able to tell you how I feel or hold you how I wanted to.
Twice we've stood beside each other at the altar, Rosie. Twice. And twice we got it wrong. I needed you to be there for my wedding day but I was too stupid to see that I needed you to be the reason for my wedding day.
I should never have let your lips leave mine all those years ago in Boston. I should never have pulled away. I should never have panicked. I should never have wasted all those years without you. Give me a chance to make them up to you. I love you, Rosie, and I want to be with you and Katie and Josh. Always.
Please think about it. Don't waste your time on Greg. This is our opportunity. Let's stop being afraid and take the chance. I promise I'll make you happy.
All my love,
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
I spent my entire life waiting for you, Marianne, and I didn't even know it until you arrived. Being burned was the best thing that ever happened to me because it brought you. I wanted to die but you filled me with so much love that it overflowed and I couldn't help but love you back. It happened before I even knew it and now I can't imagine not loving you. You have said that it takes so much for me to believe anything, but I do believe. I believe in your love for me. I believe in my love for you. I believe that every remaining beat of my heart belongs to you, and I believe that when I finally leave this world, my last breath will carry your name. I believe that my final word--Marianne--will be all I need to know that my life was good and full and worthy, and I believe that our love will last forever.
Andrew Davidson (The Gargoyle)
[I]f we can bring our children understanding, comfort, and hopefulness when they need this kind of support, then they are more likely to grow into adults who can find these resources within themselves later on. (from the introduction)
Fred Rogers (The Mister Rogers' Parenting Book: Helping To Understand Your Young Child)
Close your eyes, Maxon."
"Close your eyes.
Somewhere in this palace, there is a woman who will be your wife. This girl? Imagine that she depends on you. She needs you to cherish her and make her feel like the Selection didn't even happen. Like if you were dropped in your own out in the middle of the country to wander around door to door, she's still the one you would have found. She was always the one you would have picked. She needs you to provide for her and protect her. And if it came to a point where there was absolutely nothing to eat, and you couldn't even fall asleep at night because the sound of her stomach growling kept you awake—"
"Is that really what it's like? Out there... does that happen? Are people hungry like that a lot?"
"Tell me the truth."
"Yes. That happens. I know of families where people give up their share for their children or siblings. I know of a boy who was whipped in the town square for stealing food. Sometimes you do crazy things when you are desperate."
"A boy? How old?"
"Have you ever been like that? Starving?...How bad?"
"Maxon, it will only upset you more."
"Probably, but I'm only starting to realize how much I don't know about my own country. Please."
"We've been pretty bad. Most time if it gets to where we have to choose, we keep the food and lose electricity. The worst was when it happened near Christmas one year. May didn't understand why we couldn't exchange gifts. As a general rule, there are never any leftovers at my house. Someone always wants more. I know the checks we've gotten over the last few weeks have really helped, and my family is really smart about money. I'm sure they have already tucked it away so it will stretch out for a long time. You've done so much for us, Maxon."
"Good God. When you said that you were only here for the food, you weren't kidding, were you?"
"Really, Maxon, we've been doing pretty well lately. I—"
"I'll see you at dinner.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
He is your Father, and His role is to protect you; He will comfort you and guide you. He will feed you; He will carry you when you are weak. He will seek you out when you go astray; He will help you in times of trouble. He will not let your enemies go unpunished; He will cherish you like a father cherishes his daughter. When you fall, He will pick you up; when you don’t understand, He will always understand.
When you feel like life is weighing you down, He will lift you up. When you feel like giving up, He will encourage you to keep going. When you are sad, He will lighten your spirits. When you need advice, His line is open 24-7. When you feel unsafe, He will be your safety; when you are worried, He will be an ear to your concerns. When you feel burdened, offer your burden to Him and He will take it. Where you have been burnt, He will make you beautiful; where you hurt, He will heal. Whenever you feel lonely, He will always be with you.
Where others have not supported you, He will support you. When you feel discouraged, He will be your encouragement. Where you don’t know, He will tell you when the time is right. When you feel unloved, remember that He has always loved you.
You see limitations; God sees opportunities. You see faults; God sees growth. You see problems; God sees solutions. You see limitations; God sees possibilities. You see life; God sees eternity.
Corallie Buchanan (Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose)
The English language needs a word for that feeling you get when you badly need help, but there is no one you can call because you're not popular enough to have friends, not rich enough to have employees, and not powerful enough to have lackeys. It is a very distinct cocktail of impotence, loneliness and a sudden stark assessment of your non-worth to society? Enturdment?
David Wong (This Book Is Full of Spiders (John Dies at the End, #2))
He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
When you read my texts, you saw a curt, miserable git. And you told me so. Maybe you're right. But you know what I saw when I read yours? - Sam
No. And I don't want to know. - Poppy
I saw a girl who races to help others but doesn't help herself. And right now you need to help yourself. No one should walk up the aisle feeling inferior or in a different league or trying to be something they're not. - Sam
Sophie Kinsella (I've Got Your Number)
When Alex leaves a little later, Carlos steps forward. “Need help?”
I shake my head.
“Are you ever gonna talk to me again? Dammit, Kiara, enough with the silent treatment. I’d rather have you say your little two-word sentences than stop talkin’ altogether. Hell, just flip
me off again.”
I toss my backpack in the backseat and start the engine.
“Where are you goin’?” Carlos asks, stepping in front of my car.
“I’m not movin’,” he says.
My response is another beep. It’s not an intimidating, deep beep like most cars, but it’s the best my car can give.
He places both hands on the hood.
“Move,” I say.
He moves all right. With pantherlike quickness, Carlos jumps through the open passenger window, feet first.
“You should get the door fixed,” he says.
Simone Elkeles (Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry, #2))
If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.
Hunter S. Thompson (Where Were You When the Fun Stopped)
I need to learn to recognize and identify these danger signs when I see them, and not brush them off as "eccentricities," "lovable oddities," or "a sign that he s crying out for help and the comforting of a codependent nurturer that only I, Princess Enabler, can provide. Bad boyfriends don't disguise themselves; their girlfriends do it for them.
Laurie Notaro (Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood)
I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind.
Jeffrey R. Holland
Listen, kiddo,” he said. “I’m a selfish prick, and I want to be the greatest fuck of your life and ruin you for every man who comes after me. But I’m not a mind reader, so I need some help. Otherwise I could end up as the douchebag who’s got shitty taste in wine and totally traumatized you when you were thirty.
Cara McKenna (Willing Victim (Flynn and Laurel, #1))
Attachment principles teach us that most people are only as needy as their unmet needs. When their emotional needs are met, and the earlier the better, they usually turn their attention outward. This is sometimes referred to in attachment literature as the “dependency paradox”: The more effectively dependent people are on one another, the more independent and daring they become.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
Taking Mike home is a great idea," Donny said. "See you tomorrow. Thanks for your help."
Gabe kissed her hand. "I'll be back in an hour, honey."
She snatched her hand away. "No need, sweetheart. We're all fine here. See you tomorrow at school. We'll lock up when we leave."
"Sixty minutes, sugarplum." He leaned in for a kiss.
"Get you pleather-wearing, long-haired paws off me--"
Gabe kissed her soundly, cutting off her protest.
Gwen Hayes (Falling Under (Falling Under, #1))
This is the oath of a Knight of King Arthur's Round Table and should be for all of us to take to heart. I will develop my life for the greater good. I will place character above riches, and concern for others above personal wealth, I will never boast, but cherish humility instead, I will speak the truth at all times, and forever keep my word, I will defend those who cannot defend themselves, I will honor and respect women, and refute sexism in all its guises, I will uphold justice by being fair to all, I will be faithful in love and loyal in friendship, I will abhor scandals and gossip-neither partake nor delight in them, I will be generous to the poor and to those who need help, I will forgive when asked, that my own mistakes will be forgiven, I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward.
Joseph D. Jacques (Chivalry-Now: The Code of Male Ethics)
People use the word 'love' a lot of different ways. Take me, for instance. I am often heard saying that I love my mom and dad. I am also often heard saying that I love pizza.
What am I saying when I say I love my mom and dad? I'm saying that I care about them. I'm saying that I love spending time with them and that I talk to them every chance I get. I'm saying that if they needed me, I would do every humanly possible to help them. I'm saying that I always want what's best for them.
What am I saying when I say I love pizza? Am I saying that I care deeply about pizza? Am I saying that I have a relationship with pizza? Am I saying that if pizza had a problem, I would be there for the pizza? (What? Not enough pepperoni? I'll be right there!)
Of course not. When I say I love pizza, I'm just saying that I enjoy eating pizza until I don't want any more pizza. Once I'm tired of the pizza, I don't care what happens to the rest of it. I'll throw it away. I'll feed it to the dog. I'll stick it in the back of the refrigerator until it gets all green and moldy. It doesn't matter to me anymore.
These are two very different definition of the word 'love'.
It gets confusing when people start talking about love, and especially about loving you. Which way do these people love you? Do they want what is best for you, or do they just want you around because it is good for them, and they don't really care what happens to you?
Next time someone looks deeply into your eyes and says 'I love you', look very deeply right back and say, 'Would that be pizza love, or the real thing?
Mary Beth Bonacci (Real Love: Answers to Your Questions on Dating, Marriage and the Real Meaning of Sex)
You have to figure out how to survive depression, which is really not easy because when you’re depressed you’re more exhausted than you’ve ever been in your life and your brain is lying to you and you feel unworthy of the time and energy (which you often don’t even have) needed to get help. That’s why you have to rely on friends and family and strangers to help you when you can’t help yourself.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
When it comes to controlling human beings there is no better instrument than lies. Because, you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts
... Who knows what use they’ll make of you? Maybe you’ll help them to persuade people to buy things they don’t need, or hate things they know nothing about, or hold beliefs that make them easy to handle, or doubt the truths that might save them.
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
Peeta and I sit on the damp sand, facing away from each other, my right shoulder and hip pressed against his.
After a while I rest my head against his shoulder. Feel his hand caress my hair.
"Katniss... If you die, and I live, there's no life for me at all back in District Twelve. You're my whole life", he says. "I would never be happy again."
I start to object but he puts a finger to my lips. "It's different for you. I'm not sayin it wouldn't be hard. But there are other people who'd make your life worth living." ... "Your family needs you, Katniss", Peeta says.
My family. My mother. My sister. And my pretend cousin Gale. But Peeta's intension is clear. That Gale really is my family, or will be one day, if I live. That I'll marry him. So Peeta's giving me his life and Gale at the same time. To let me know I shouldn't ever have doubts about it.
Everithing. That's what Peeta wants me to take from him.
"No one really needs me", he says, and there's no self-pity in his voice. It's true his family doesen't need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.
"I do", I say. "I need you." He looks upset, takes a deep breath as if to begin a long argument, and that's no good, no good at all, because he'll start going on about Prim and my mother and everything and I'll just get confused. So before he can talk, I stop his lips with a kiss.
I feel that thing again. The thing I only felt once before. In the cave last year, when I was trying to get Haymitch to send us food. I kissed Peeta about a thousand times during those Games and after. But there was only one kiss that made me feel something stir deep inside. Only one that made me want more. But my head wound started bleeding and he made me lie down.
This time, there is nothing but us to interrupt us. And after a few attempts, Peeta gives up on talking. The sensation inside me grows warmer and spreads out from my chest, down through my body, out along my arms and legs, to the tips of my being. Instead of satisfying me, the kisses have the opposite effect, of making my need greater. I thought I was something of an expert on hunger, but this is an entirely new kind.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
You can love someone, hell, you can love a lot of someones, but when you find the right person--the one that you're meant to be with--it's like..." "You can breathe for the first time," she finishes for me. "Yes." I cant help but smile.I needed to find that to understand." And you have," She says softly."Lucy." "Lucy," I agree.
Cheryl McIntyre (Before Now (Sometimes Never, #2))
I KNOW THE WAY YOU CAN GET
I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:
Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.
Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
And into one's self.
O I know the way you can get
If you have not been drinking Love:
You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.
You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.
You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once
I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love's
That is why all the Great Ones speak of
The vital need
To keep remembering God,
So you will come to know and see Him
As being so Playful
Just Wanting to help.
That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me.
For all I care about
Is quenching your thirst for freedom!
All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!
Usually, when we think of power, we think of external power. And we think of powerful people as those who have made it in the world. A powerful woman isn’t necessarily someone who has money, but we think of her as someone with a boldness or a spark that makes her manifest in a dramatic way. When we think of a powerful man, we think of his ability to manifest abundance, usually money, in the world.
Most people say that a powerful woman does best with a powerful man, that she needs someone who understands the bigness of her situation, a man who can meet her at the same or even greater level of power in the world.
Now this is true, if power is defined as material abundance. A woman often faces cultural prejudice when she makes more money than a man, as does he. A woman who defines power by worldly standards can rarely feel totally relaxed in the arms of a man who doesn’t have it.
If power is seen as an internal matter, then the situation changes drastically. Internal power has less to do with money and worldly position, and more to do than with emotional expansiveness, spirituality and conscious living…
I used to think I needed a powerful man, someone who could protect me from the harshness and evils of the world. What I have come to realize is that…the powerful man I was looking for would be foremost, someone who supported me in keeping myself on track spiritually, and in so maintaining clarity within myself, that life would present fewer problems. When it did get rough, he would help me forgive.
I no longer wanted somebody who would say to me, “Don’t worry honey, if they’re mean to you I’ll beat them up or buy them out.” Instead, I want someone who prays and meditates with me regularly so that fewer monsters from the outer world disturb me, and who when they do, helps me look within my own consciousness for answers, instead of looking to false power to combat false power.
There’s a big difference between a gentle man and a weak man. Weak men make us nervous. Gentle men make us calm.
Then he snarled at her. “You are not leaving me.”
It was an order, and she didn’t have to follow anyone’s orders. That was part of being Omega instead of a regular werewolf – who might have had a snowball’s chance in hell of being a proper mate.
“You need someone stronger,” Anna told him again. “So you wouldn’t have to hide when you’re hurt. So you could trust your mate to take care of herself and help, damn it, instead of having to protect me from whatever you are hiding.” She hated crying. Tears were weaknesses that could be exploited and they never solved a damned thing. Sobs gathered in her chest like a rushing tide and she needed to get away from him before she broke.
Instead of fighting his grip, she tried to slide out of it. “I need to go,” she said to his chest. “I need–”
His mouth closed over hers, hot and hungry, warming her mouth as his body warmed her body.
“Me,” Charles said, his voice dark and gravelly as if it had traveled up from the bottom of the earth, his eyes a bright gold. “You need me.
Patricia Briggs (Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3))
Love never fails, Mila. That's what your parents believed. And because of you, it's what I believe now, too. You stuck by me and loved me when I didn't deserve it. All I want is a chance to prove that I can be worthy of it. Your parents were sort of fucked up in their own way, like me, and they never got the help that they needed. But I will. I promise. I will put the work in. I will learn how to cope with painful things and I will never leave you again. Just tell me that you'll stay with me.
Courtney Cole (If You Stay (Beautifully Broken, #1))
Well, sir, do you mean to remain there, commending my father’s taste in wine, or do you mean to accompany me to Ashtead?”
“Set off for Ashtead at this hour, when I have been traveling for two days?” said Sir Horace. “Now, do, my boy, have a little common sense! Why should I?”
“I imagine that your parental feeling, sir, must provide you with the answer! If it does not, so be it! I am leaving immediately!”
“What do you mean to do when you reach Lacy Manor?” asked Sir Horace, regarding him in some amusement.
“Wring Sophy’s neck!” said Mr. Rivenhall savagely.
“Well, you don’t need my help for that, my dear boy!” said Sir Horace, settling himself more comfortably in his chair.
Georgette Heyer (The Grand Sophy)
Baby Girl,” I say. “I need you to remember everything I told you. Do you remember what I told you?”
She still crying steady, but the hiccups is gone. “To wipe my bottom good when I’m done?”
“No, baby, the other. About what you are.”
I look deep into her rich brown eyes and she look into mine. Law, she got old-soul eyes, like she done lived a thousand years. And I swear I see, down inside, the woman she gone grow up to be. A flash from the future. She is tall and straight. She is proud. She got a better haircut. And she is remembering the words I put in her head. Remembering as a full grown woman.
And then she say it, just like I need her to. “You is kind,” she say, “you is smart. You is important.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Betrayal is too kind a word to describe a situation in which a father says he loves his daughter but claims he must teach her about the horrors of the world in order to make her a stronger person; a situation in which he watches or participates in rituals that make her feel like she is going to die. She experiences pain that is so intense that she cannot think; her head spins so fast she can't remember who she is or how she got there.
All she knows is pain. All she feels is desperation. She tries to cry out for help, but soon learns that no one will listen. No matter how loud she cries, she can't stop or change what is happening. No matter what she does, the pain will not stop. Her father orders her to be tortured and tells her it is for her own good. He tells her that she needs the discipline, or that she has asked for it by her misbehavior. Betrayal is too simple a word to describe the overwhelming pain, the overwhelming loneliness and isolation this child experiences.
As if the abuse during the rituals were not enough, this child experiences similar abuse at home on a daily basis. When she tries to talk about her pain, she is told that she must be crazy. "Nothing bad has happened to you;' her family tells her Each day she begins to feel more and more like she doesn't know what is real. She stops trusting her own feelings because no one else acknowledges them or hears her agony. Soon the pain becomes too great. She learns not to feel at all. This strong, lonely, desperate child learns to give up the senses that make all people feel alive. She begins to feel dead.
She wishes she were dead. For her there is no way out. She soon learns there is no hope.
As she grows older she gets stronger. She learns to do what she is told with the utmost compliance. She forgets everything she has ever wanted. The pain still lurks, but it's easier to pretend it's not there than to acknowledge the horrors she has buried in the deepest parts of her mind. Her relationships are overwhelmed by the power of her emotions. She reaches out for help, but never seems to find what she is looking for The pain gets worse. The loneliness sets in. When the feelings return, she is overcome with panic, pain, and desperation.
She is convinced she is going to die. Yet, when she looks around her she sees nothing that should make her feel so bad. Deep inside she knows something is very, very wrong, but she doesn't remember anything. She thinks, "Maybe I am crazy.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Help)
It's the same with the wound in our hearts. We need to give them our attention so that they can heal. Otherwise the wounds continue to cause us pain. Sometimes for a very long time. We're all going to get hurt. But here's the trick - they also serve an amazing purpose.
When our hearts are wounded that's when they open.
We grow through pain.
We grow through difficult situations.
That's why you have to embrace each and every difficult thing in your life.
James R. Doty (Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart)
If you're anxious, when you start to feel something is bothering you in a relationship, you tend to quickly get flooded with negative emotions and think in extremes. Unlike your secure counterpart, you don't expect your partner to respond positively but anticipate the opposite. You perceive the relationship as something fragile and unstable that can collapse at any moment. These thoughts and assumptions make it hard for you to express your needs effectively.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
Whatever you need, I'll be. If you need the science geek to give you answers from a textbook, I'm your guy; if you just want a friend to sit by you in bio and help you feel better when you're sad, I'm still your guy." His thumb slowly stroked across her earlobe and down her cheek. "And if you need someone to hold you and protect you from anyone in the world who might want to hurt you, then I am definitely your guy.
Aprilynne Pike (Wings (Wings, #1))
The clitoris not only applauds when a women flaunts her mastery; it will give a standing ovation. In the multiple orgasm, we see the finest evidence that our lady Klitoris helps those who help themselves. It may take many minutes to reach the first summit, but once there the lusty mountaineer finds wings awaiting her. She does noy need to scramble back to the ground before scaling the next peak, but can glide like a raptor on currents of joy.
Natalie Angier (Woman: An Intimate Geography)
I am a broken person. And I know exactly where my cracks are and how deep they run. I don't pretend to not be a broken person and therein lies the big difference. Because the truth is, we are all broken in places, but it is those who know exactly where and how they are broken, who also know exactly where and how they are whole! And we may not be whole in all places and in all ways, but we take whatever wholeness that we do have, and we make good of it. And we try hard to work on the broken parts, and we ask for help when we need it.
C. JoyBell C.
Dear Max -
You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever.
And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy.
But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right.
Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it.
The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray.
I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while.
You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet.
At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you.
But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock.
Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again.
Please make us only go through this once.
I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me.
You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without.
Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it.
Good-bye, my love.
P.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them
We need this help from the outside because we don't know how to to do this for ourselves. We start with a deep deficit—a chasm really—when it comes to understanding and being tolerant of ourselves, and that's even before we go forth to do battle with the rest of the world. As soon as someone judges, criticizes, dismisses, or ignores, the cycle of pain and reactivity ramps up, compounded by shame, remorse, and rejection. The act of validation, simply saying, 'I can see things from your perspective,' can short-circuit that emotional detour.
Kiera Van Gelder (The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating)
I started getting Mal's texts just before lunch.
Mal: Going for a run with Jim
Anne: Have fun!
Mal: Back from run having lunch
Mal:Your taste in music sucks
Mal: Seriously, we need to talk it's that bad. Everything apart from Stage Dive needs to go.
Anne: Wait. What are you doing?
Anne: Mal, WTH are you doing?
Mal: Making you new playlist wih decent shit. Relay
Anne: K Thanks
Mal: Bored again
Mal: Ben's coming over to play Halo
Anne: Great! But you don't have to tell me everything you do, Mal
Mal: Davie says communication's important
Mal: When are you on the rag? Davie said to find out if you want cupcakes or ice cream
Anne: I want to not talk about this ever
Mal: Bored. Ben's late
Mal: Let's get a dog
Anne: Apartment has no pets rule
Mal: Nice green lace bra
Anne: Get out of my drawers, Mal.
Mal: Matching panties?
Anne: GET OUT NOW.
Mal: sext me
Mal: Some on it'll be funny
Mal: High level of unhealthy codependency traits exhibited by both parties relationship possibly bordeing on toxic
Mal: Did magazine quiz. We need help- Especially you
Mal: Booking us couples counseling. Tues 4:15 alright?
Anne: We are not going to counseling.
Mal: What's wrong? Don't you love me anymore?
Anne: Turning phone off now.
Kylie Scott (Play (Stage Dive, #2))
Then you came and I started to feel again. I started to think there was a reason I survived, that you were my reason. But nothing's so simple, is it? I didn't protect you. Here you are hurting so bad, and I can't even help. I'm just here and I need you. That's all it comes to. I need you to be brave when I haven't been. I know how hard it is. Look at me. Look at what's happened to me. Jesus, I feel like I'll be crying for the next century." He bent his head, pressed his tear-wet cheek to her dry cold skin. "But I'm here. I'm not hiding anymore. Princess, I'm asking you. Come back to me. You're my life.
Laura Kinsale (Seize the Fire)
Your job then, should you choose to accept it, is to keep searching for the metaphors, rituals and teachers that will help you move ever closer to divinity. The Yogic scriptures say that God responds to the sacred prayers and efforts of human beings in any way whatsoever that mortals choose to worship—just so long as those prayers are sincere.
I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. I think you are free to search for any metaphor whatsoever which will take you across the worldly divide whenever you need to be transported or comforted. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. It's the history of mankind's search for holiness. If humanity never evolved in its exploration of the divine, a lot of us would still be worshipping golden Egyptian statues of cats. And this evolution of religious thinking does involve a fair bit of cherry-picking. You take whatever works from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light.
The Hopi Indians thought that the world's religions each contained one spiritual thread, and that these threads are always seeking each other, wanting to join. When all the threads are finally woven together they will form a rope that will pull us out of this dark cycle of history and into the next realm. More contemporarily, the Dalai Lama has repeated the same idea, assuring his Western students repeatedly that they needn't become Tibetan Buddhists in order to be his pupils. He welcomes them to take whatever ideas they like out of Tibetan Buddhism and integrate these ideas into their own religious practices. Even in the most unlikely and conservative of places, you can find sometimes this glimmering idea that God might be bigger than our limited religious doctrines have taught us. In 1954, Pope Pius XI, of all people, sent some Vatican delegates on a trip to Libya with these written instructions: "Do NOT think that you are going among Infidels. Muslims attain salvation, too. The ways of Providence are infinite."
But doesn't that make sense? That the infinite would be, indeed ... infinite? That even the most holy amongst us would only be able to see scattered pieces of the eternal picture at any given time? And that maybe if we could collect those pieces and compare them, a story about God would begin to emerge that resembles and includes everyone? And isn't our individual longing for transcendence all just part of this larger human search for divinity? Don't we each have the right to not stop seeking until we get as close to the source of wonder as possible? Even if it means coming to India and kissing trees in the moonlight for a while?
That's me in the corner, in other words. That's me in the spotlight. Choosing my religion.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
A man called Ali is in need of money and asks his boss to help him. His Boss sets him a challenge: if he can spend all night at the top of a mountain, he will receive a great reward; if he fails, he will have to work for free. When he left the shop, Ali noticed that an icy wind was blowing. He felt afraid and decided to ask his best friend, Aydi, if he thought he was mad to accept the wager.
After considering the matter for a moment Aydi answered, " Don't worry, I'll help you. Tomorrow night, when you're sitting on top of the mountain, look straight ahead. I'll be on top of the mountain opposite, where I'll keep a fire burning all night for you. Look at the fire and think of our friendship, and that will keep you warm. You'll make it through the night, and afterward, I'll ask you for something in return.
Ali won the wager, got the money, and went to his friend's house.
"you said you wanted some sort of payment in return." Aydi said, "Yes, but it isn't money. Promise that if ever a cold wind blows through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me
Paulo Coelho (Aleph)
In two weeks, despite these notes, I shall no longer believe in what I am experiencing now. One must leave behind a trace of this journey which memory forgets. One must, when this is impossible, write or draw without responding to the romantic solicitations of pain, without enjoying suffering like music, tieing a pen to one's foot if need be, helping the doctors who can learn nothing from laziness.
Jean Cocteau (Opium: The Diary of His Cure)
When you first looked at me
I forgot to breathe
that moment marked my hardened heart
I vowed to never leave
And the touch of your skin
healed something deep within
that left me wanting more of you
the less I got the more it grew
Oh I couldn't help from falling, falling for you
So I'm standing here, oh girl you know
After all that we've been through we couldn't let it go
and as long as I'm alive, in your eyes I'll stare
holding you so close I'll solemnly swear
that I have fallen too far
that I have fallen too far, too far for you.
When I finally found you
I finally found me
that day I won't soon forget
the reason for it all
I'll give you a new name
nothing in life will be the same
the story is now complete
our life and love is all we need
'Cause I couldn't help from falling
falling for you
So I'm standing here oh girl you know
After all we've been through we couldn't let it go
and as long as I'm alive, in your eyes I'll stare
holding you so close I'll solemnly swear
that I have fallen too far, that I have fallen too far
too far for you
My heart is beating
begging for you
this night will be
a dream come true
so fall, fall, fall into my arms
So I'm standing here oh girl you know
After all that we've been through we couldn't let it go
That I have fallen too far
That I have fallen too far
That I have fallen too far
too far for you, yeah
Abbi Glines (Forever Too Far (Rosemary Beach, #3; Too Far, #3))
It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men.
Thomas à Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)
Page 142: "When a spouse says to the alcoholic, "you need to go to AA," that is obviously not true. The addict feels no need to do that at all, and isn't. But when she says, "I am moving out and will be open to getting back together when you are getting treatment for your addiction," then all of a sudden the addict feels "I need to get some help or I am going to lose my marriage." The need has been transferred. It is the same with any kind of problematic behavior of a person who is not taking feedback and ownership. The need and drive to do something about it must be transferred to that person, and that is done through having consequences that finally make him feel the pain instead of others. When he feels the pain, he will feel the need to change...A plan that has hope is one that limits your exposure to the foolish person's issues and forces him to feel the consequences of his performance so that he might have hope of waking up and changing.
Henry Cloud (Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward)
Some people say, “Once you learn to be happy, you won't tolerate being around people who make you feel anything less.” My Christ says, “Your job is to get off your self righteous butt and start reaching out to the difficult people because my ministry wasn’t about a bunch of nice people getting together once a week to sing hymns and get a feel good message, that you may or may not apply, depending on the depth of your anger for someone. It is about caring for and helping the broken hearted, the difficult, the hurt, the misunderstood, the repulsive, the wicked and the liars. It is about turning the other cheek when someone hurts you. It is about loving one another and making amends. It is allowing people as many chances as they need because God gives them endless chances. When you do this then you will know me and you will know true happiness and peace. Until then, you will never know who I really am. You will always be just a fan or a Sunday only warrior. You will continue to represent who you are to the world, but not me. I am the God that rescues.
Shannon L. Alder
God's solution for "I can't live that way anymore" is basically, "Good! Don't live that way anymore. Set firm limits against evil behavior that are designed to promote change and redemption. Get the love and support you need from other places to take the kind of stance that I do to help redeem relationship. Suffer long, but suffer in the right way." And when done God's way, chances are much better for redemption.
Henry Cloud (Boundaries in Marriage: Understanding the Choices That Make or Break Loving Relationships)
A healthy relationship is when two individuated adults decide to have a relationship and that becomes a third entity. They nurture the relationship and the relationship nurtures them. But they’re not overly dependent or independent: They are interdependent, which means that they take care of the majority of their needs and wants on their own, but when they can’t, they’re not afraid to ask their partner for help.” She pauses to let it all sink in, then concludes, “Only when our love for someone exceeds our need for them do we have a shot at a genuine relationship together.
Neil Strauss (The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book about Relationships)
I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us. They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded Dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off. They are inclined to be fat in the stomach; they dress in bright colours (chiefly green and yellow); wear no...
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
Back to what? A guy who bails on you when you need him? What's Dane doing now that's more important than helping you? Fighting for the rights of endangered ferns?"
I stiffened and pushed away from him, irritation jolting me out of my fugue-state. "You have no right to judge Dane or my relationship with him."
Jack made a scoffing sound. "That half-assed excuse for a relationship was over the moment Dane told you not to bring the baby to Austin. You know what he should have said?...'Hell, yes, Ella, I'll stand by you no matter what you do. Shit happens. We'll make it work. Come home now and get in bed.
Lisa Kleypas (Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3))
When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. 'It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]' (Gen. 2:18 Alter). Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' The various attempts we have in English are "helper" or "companion" or the notorious "help meet." Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat...disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing "One day I shall be a help meet?" Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Alter is getting close when he translates it "sustainer beside him"
The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.
Stasi Eldredge (Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul)
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))
...What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might.
When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day... If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things. Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology.
The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased... I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim.
I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do... I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation. The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study.
...Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now.
[Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
A child's reading is guided by pleasure, but his pleasure is undifferentiated; he cannot distinguish, for example, between aesthetic pleasure and the pleasures of learning or daydreaming. In adolescence we realize that there are different kinds of pleasure, some of which cannot be enjoyed simultaneously, but we need help from others in defining them. Whether it be a matter of taste in food or taste in literature, the adolescent looks for a mentor in whose authority he can believe. He eats or reads what his mentor recommends and, inevitably, there are occasions when he has to deceive himself a little; he has to pretend that he enjoys olives or War and Peace a little more than he actually does. Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity. Few of us can learn this without making mistakes, without trying to become a little more of a universal man than we are permitted to be. It is during this period that a writer can most easily be led astray by another writer or by some ideology. When someone between twenty and forty says, apropos of a work of art, 'I know what I like,'he is really saying 'I have no taste of my own but accept the taste of my cultural milieu', because, between twenty and forty, the surest sign that a man has a genuine taste of his own is that he is uncertain of it. After forty, if we have not lost our authentic selves altogether, pleasure can again become what it was when we were children, the proper guide to what we should read.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand)
You have two choices in life when it comes to truthful observations by others that anger you: You can be ashamed and cover it up by letting your pride take you in the extreme opposite direction, in order to make the point that they are wrong. Or, you can break down the walls of pride by accepting vulnerability as a strength, not a weakness. As you walk through your vulnerability, you will meet humility on the way to courage. From here, courage allows us to let go of shame and rise higher into the person we are meant to be, not the person that needs to be right. This is the road to confidence and self worth.
Shannon L. Alder
What men and women need is encouragement. Their natural resisting powers should be strengthened, not weakened…. Instead of always harping on a man’s faults,tell him of his virtues. Try to pull him out of his rut of bad habits. Hold up to him his better self, his REAL self that can dare and do and win out! … The influence of a beautiful, helpful, hopeful character is contagious, and may revolutionize a whole town…. People radiate what is in their minds and in their hearts. If a man feels kindly and obliging, his neighbors will feel that way, too, before long.But if he scolds and scowls and criticizes—his neighbors will return scowl for scowl, and add interest! … When you look for the bad, expecting it, you will get it. When you know you will find the good—you will get that…
Eleanor H. Porter (Pollyanna (Pollyanna, #1))
Only the never-ending work of mourning can help us from lapsing into the illusion that we have found the parent we once urgently needed—empathic and open, understanding and understandable, honest and available, helpful and loving, feeling, transparent, clear, without unintelligible contradictions. Such a parent was never ours, for a mother can react empathically only to the extent that she has become free of her own childhood; when she denies the vicissitudes of her early life, she wears invisible chains.
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
People didn't realize it, but they needed myths to survive, just as much now as when their forebears were alive. Perhaps more. Mythology embodied the world's dreams, helped to make sense of the great human problems. Just as the dreams of individuals exist to give subconscious support to their conscious lives, so do myths serve as society's dreams. They uncover the dark, hidden places where mysteries dwell and can turn to nightmare if left untended. They make sense of injustice in archetypal terms. They give men and women a blueprint for how they may respond to success or failure, tragedy or joy.
Charles de Lint (I'll Be Watching You)
It’s loneliness. Even though I’m surrounded by loved ones who care about me and want only the best, it’s possible they try to help only because they feel the same thing—loneliness—and why, in a gesture of solidarity, you’ll find the phrase “I am useful, even if alone” carved in stone. Though the brain says all is well, the soul is lost, confused, doesn’t know why life is being unfair to it. But we still wake up in the morning and take care of our children, our husband, our lover, our boss, our employees, our students, those dozens of people who make an ordinary day come to life. And we often have a smile on our face and a word of encouragement, because no one can explain their loneliness to others, especially when we are always in good company. But this loneliness exists and eats away at the best parts of us because we must use all our energy to appear happy, even though we will never be able to deceive ourselves. But we insist, every morning, on showing only the rose that blooms, and keep the thorny stem that hurts us and makes us bleed hidden within. Even knowing that everyone, at some point, has felt completely and utterly alone, it is humiliating to say, “I’m lonely, I need company. I need to kill this monster that everyone thinks is as imaginary as a fairy-tale dragon, but isn’t.” But it isn’t. I wait for a pure and virtuous knight, in all his glory, to come defeat it and push it into the abyss for good, but that knight never comes. Yet we cannot lose hope. We start doing things we don’t usually do, daring to go beyond what is fair and necessary. The thorns inside us will grow larger and more overwhelming, yet we cannot give up halfway. Everyone is looking to see the final outcome, as though life were a huge game of chess. We pretend it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose, the important thing is to compete. We root for our true feelings to stay opaque and hidden, but then … … instead of looking for companionship, we isolate ourselves even more in order to lick our wounds in silence. Or we go out for dinner or lunch with people who have nothing to do with our lives and spend the whole time talking about things that are of no importance. We even manage to distract ourselves for a while with drink and celebration, but the dragon lives on until the people who are close to us see that something is wrong and begin to blame themselves for not making us happy. They ask what the problem is. We say that everything is fine, but it’s not … Everything is awful. Please, leave me alone, because I have no more tears to cry or heart left to suffer. All I have is insomnia, emptiness, and apathy, and, if you just ask yourselves, you’re feeling the same thing. But they insist that this is just a rough patch or depression because they are afraid to use the real and damning word: loneliness. Meanwhile, we continue to relentlessly pursue the only thing that would make us happy: the knight in shining armor who will slay the dragon, pick the rose, and clip the thorns. Many claim that life is unfair. Others are happy because they believe that this is exactly what we deserve: loneliness, unhappiness. Because we have everything and they don’t. But one day those who are blind begin to see. Those who are sad are comforted. Those who suffer are saved. The knight arrives to rescue us, and life is vindicated once again. Still, you have to lie and cheat, because this time the circumstances are different. Who hasn’t felt the urge to drop everything and go in search of their dream? A dream is always risky, for there is a price to pay. That price is death by stoning in some countries, and in others it could be social ostracism or indifference. But there is always a price to pay. You keep lying and people pretend they still believe, but secretly they are jealous, make comments behind your back, say you’re the very worst, most threatening thing there is. You are not an adulterous man, tolerated and often even admired, but an adulterous woman, one who is ...
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Then she laughed for real, and put her hands around my neck. 'I am never, ever going to make things easy for you Seaweed Brain. Get used to it.'
When she kissed me, I had the feeling my brain was melting right through my body.
I could've stayed that way forever, except a voice behind us growled, 'Well it's about time!'
Suddenly the pavilion was filled with torchlight and campers. Clarisse led the way as the eavesdroppers charged and hoisted us both onto their shoulders.
'Oh, come on!' I complained. 'Is there no privacy?'
'The lovebirds need to cool off!' Clarisse said with glee.
'The canoe lake!' Conner Stoll shouted.
With a huge cheer, they carried us down the hill, but they kept us close enough to hold hands. Annabeth was laughing, and I couldn't help laughing too, even though my face was completely red.
We held hands right up to the moment they dumped us in the water.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
My head is throbbing. I need coffee. Leaving the marbled papers in a state of controlled chaos, I walk through the office and past the page's desk in the Reading Room. I am halted by Isabelle's voice saying, "Perhaps Mr. DeTamble can help you," by which she means "Henry, you weasel, where are you slinking off to?" and this astoundingly beautiful amber-haired tall slim girl turns around and looks at me as through I am her personal Jesus. My stomach lurches. Obviously she knows me, and I don't know her. Lord only knows what I've said, done, or promised to this luminous creature, so I am forced to say in my best librarianese, "Is there something I can help you with?" The girl sort of breathes "Henry!" in this very evocative way that convinces me that at some point in time we have a really amazing thing together. This makes it worse that I don't know anything about her, not even her name. I say "Have we met?" and Isabelle givs me a look that says You asshole. But the girl says, "I'm Claire Abshire. I knew you when I was a little girl," and invites me out to dinner. I accept, stunned.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
All the external adoration, respect and adulation in the word, can't drown out the internal voices that tell us, we are not good enough and unworthy of; happiness, love and an abundant life. When we need others to tell us were amazing, worthy and lovable, in order to feel good about ourselves, it is never enough. It goes into the bottomless pit where our inherent self-worth should be. It may feel like we are reaching out to receive love, but in actuality, we are seeking external noise to help drown out our negative core beliefs.
Love blossoms from the inside out. That is why it is so important to do the work necessary to heal our emotional wounds, to love ourselves and stand strong in who we are. Only then, are we truly free to give and receive love, unconditionally and in abundance.
I want to breathe, I hate this night
I want to wake up, I hate this dream
I’m trapped inside of myself and I’m dead
Don’t wanna be lonely
Just wanna be yours
Why is it so dark where you’re not here
It’s dangerous how wrecked I am
Save me because I can’t get a grip on myself
Listen to my heartbeat
It calls you whenever it wants to
Because within this pitch black darkness
You are shining so brightly
Give me your hand save me save me
I need your love before I fall, fall
Give me your hand save me save me
I need your love before I fall, fall
Give me your hand save me save me
Give me your hand save me save me
Save me, save me
Today the moon shines brighter
on the blank spot in my memories
It swallowed me, this lunatic,
please save me tonight
(Please save me tonight,
please save me tonight)
Within this childish madness
you will save me tonight
I knew that your salvation
Is a part of my life
and the only helping hand that will embrase my pain
The best of me,
you’re the only thing I have
Please raise your voice
so that I can laugh again
Listen to my heartbeat,
it calls you whenever it wants to
Because within this pitch black darkness,
you are shining so brightly
Give me your hand save me save me
I need your love before I fall, fall
Give me your hand save me save me
I need your love before I fall, fall
Give me your hand save me save me
Give me your hand save me save me
Thank you for letting me be me
For helping me fly
For giving me wings
For straightening me out
For waking me from being suffocated
For waking me from a dream which was all I was living in
When I think of you the sun comes out
So I gave my sadness to the dog
(Thank you. For being ‘us’)
Give me your hand save me save me
I need your love before I fall, fall
Give me your hand save me save me
I need your love before I fall, fall
A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love.
And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone, they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality; in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it.
Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you even think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced; they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned.
Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness.
Remember, freedom is a higher value than love. That’s why, in India, the ultimate we call moksha. Moksha means freedom. Freedom is a higher value than love. So if love is destroying freedom, it is not of worth. Love can be dropped, freedom has to be saved; freedom is a higher value. And without freedom you can never be happy, that is not possible. Freedom is the intrinsic desire of each man, each woman – utter freedom, absolute freedom.
So anything that becomes destructive to freedom, one starts hating it. Don’t you hate the man you love? Don’t you hate the woman you love? You hate; it is a necessary evil, you have to tolerate it. Because you cannot be alone you have to manage to be with somebody, and you have to adjust to the other’s demands. You have to tolerate, you have to bear them.
Love, to be really love, has to be being-love, gift-love. Being-love means a state of love. When you have arrived home, when you have known who you are, then a love arises in your being. Then the fragrance spreads and you can give it to others.
How can you give something which you don’t have?
To give it, the first basic requirement is to have it.
Osho (Tantric Transformation: When Love Meets Meditation)
Words Are Windows (or They’re Walls)
I feel so sentenced by your words,
I feel so judged and sent away,
Before I go I’ve got to know,
Is that what you mean to say?
Before I rise to my defense,
Before I speak in hurt or fear,
Before I build that wall of words,
Tell me, did I really hear?
Words are windows, or they’re walls,
They sentence us, or set us free.
When I speak and when I hear,
Let the love light shine through me.
There are things I need to say,
Things that mean so much to me,
If my words don’t make me clear,
Will you help me to be free?
If I seemed to put you down,
If you felt I didn’t care,
Try to listen through my words,
To the feelings that we share.
Marshall B. Rosenberg
Reparenting Affirmations I am so glad you were born. You are a good person. I love who you are and am doing my best to always be on your side. You can come to me whenever you’re feeling hurt or bad. You do not have to be perfect to get my love and protection. All of your feelings are okay with me. I am always glad to see you. It is okay for you to be angry and I won’t let you hurt yourself or others when you are. You can make mistakes - they are your teachers. You can know what you need and ask for help. You can have your own preferences and tastes. You are a delight to my eyes. You can choose your own values. You can pick your own friends, and you don’t have to like everyone. You can sometimes feel confused and ambivalent, and not know all the answers. I am very proud of you.
Pete Walker (Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving)
--"And then I explained to him how naive we were, that the world did know and remained silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the opppresso, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must--at that moment--become the center of the universe."
"Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere."
"As long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our life will be filled with anguish and shame. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs."
" We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.
Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
see, I came into this world just like I’m assuming
you did—full of excitement and
promise. I wanted to do so much good work,
help so many people, and give as much as I
could to those who needed me. But then I
learned a very harsh lesson—the world
doesn’t always give back. I am not a tragic case of the world; I am
the world—cruel, unfair, and not a fairy tale.
People are not born heroes or villains;
they’re created by the people around them.
And one day when your bright-eyed and
bushy-tailed view of life gets its first taste of
reality, when bitterness and anger first run
through your veins, you’ll discover that you
are just like me—and it’ll scare you to death.
Chris Colfer (The Enchantress Returns (The Land of Stories, #2))
The key to activating maturation is to take care of the attachment needs of the child. To foster independance we must first invite dependance; to promote individuation we must provide a sense of belonging and unity; to help the child separate we must assume the responsibility for keeping the child close. We help a child let go by providing more contact and connection than he himself is seeking. When he asks for a hug, we give him a warmer one than he is giving us. We liberate children not by making them work for our love but by letting them rest in it. We help a child face the separation involved in going to sleep or going to school by satisfying his need for closeness.
Gordon Neufeld (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
A man worth being with is one…
That never lies to you
Is kind to people that have hurt him
A person that respects another’s life
That has manners and shows people respect
That goes out of his way to help people
That feels every person, no matter how difficult, deserves compassion
Who believes you are the most beautiful person he has ever met
Who brags about your accomplishments with pride
Who talks to you about anything and everything because no bad news will make him love you less
That is a peacemaker
That will see you through illness
Who keeps his promises
Who doesn’t blame others, but finds the good in them
That raises you up and motivates you to reach for the stars
That doesn’t need fame, money or anything materialistic to be happy
That is gentle and patient with children
Who won’t let you lie to yourself; he tells you what you need to hear, in order to help you grow
Who lives what he says he believes in
Who doesn’t hold a grudge or hold onto the past
Who doesn’t ask his family members to deliberately hurt people that have hurt him
Who will run with your dreams
That makes you laugh at the world and yourself
Who forgives and is quick to apologize
Who doesn’t betray you by having inappropriate conversations with other women
Who doesn’t react when he is angry, decides when he is sad or keep promises he doesn’t plan to keep
Who takes his children’s spiritual life very seriously and teaches by example
Who never seeks revenge or would ever put another person down
Who communicates to solve problems
Who doesn’t play games or passive aggressively ignores people to hurt them
Who is real and doesn’t pretend to be something he is not
Who has the power to free you from yourself through his positive outlook
Who has a deep respect for women and treats them like a daughter of God
Who doesn’t have an ego or believes he is better than anyone
Who is labeled constantly by people as the nicest person they have ever met
Who works hard to provide for the family
Who doesn’t feel the need to drink alcohol to have a good time, smoke or do drugs
Who doesn't have to hang out a bar with his friends, but would rather spend his time with his family
Who is morally free from sin
Who sees your potential to be great
Who doesn't think a woman's place has to be in the home; he supports your life mission, where ever that takes you
Who is a gentleman
Who is honest and lives with integrity
Who never discusses your private business with anyone
Who will protect his family
Who forgives, forgets, repairs and restores
When you find a man that possesses these traits then all the little things you don’t have in common don’t matter. This is the type of man worth being grateful for.
Shannon L. Alder
I’m sorry I had to leave so quickly, but when the Alchemists tell me to jump … well, I jump. I’ve hitched a ride back to that farm town we stayed in so that I can pick up the Red Hurricane, and then I’m off to Saint Petersburg. Apparently, now that you’ve been delivered to Baia, they don’t need me to stick around anymore.
I wish I could tell you more about Abe and what he wants from you. Even if I was allowed to, there isn’t much to say. In some ways, he’s as much a mystery to me as he is to you. Like I said, a lot of the business he deals in is illegal—both among humans and Moroi. The only time he gets directly involved with people is when something relates to that business—or if it’s a very, very special case. I think you’re one of those cases, and even if he doesn’t intend you harm, he might want to use you for his own purposes. It could be as simple as him wanting to contract you as a bodyguard, seeing as you’re rogue. Maybe he wants to use you to get to others. Maybe this is all part of someone else’s plan, someone who’s even more mysterious than him. Maybe he’s doing someone a favor. Zmey can be dangerous or kind, all depending on what he needs to accomplish.
I never thought I’d care enough to say this to a dhampir, but be careful. I don’t know what your plans are now, but I have a feeling trouble follows you around. Call me if there’s anything I can help with, but if you go back to the big cities to hunt Strigoi, don’t leave any more bodies unattended!
All the best,
P.S. “The Red Hurricane” is what I named the car.
P.P.S. Just because I like you, it doesn’t mean I still don’t think you’re an evil creature of the night. You are.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
When we are harassed and reach the limit of our own strength, many of us then turn in desperation to God-"There are no atheists in foxholes." But why wait till we are desperate? Why not renew our strength every day? Why wait even until Sunday? For years I have had the habit of dropping into empty churches on weekday afternoons.
When I feel that I am too rushed and hurried to spare a few minutes to think about spiritual things, I say to myself: "Wait a minute, Dale Carnegie, wait a minute. Why all the feverish hurry and rush, little man? You need to pause and acquire a little perspective." At such times, I frequently drop into the first church that I find open.
Although I am a Protestant, I frequently, on weekday afternoons, drop into St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, and remind myself that I'll be dead in another thirty years, but that the great spiritual truths that all churches teach are eternal. I close my eyes and pray. I find that doing this calms my nerves, rests my body, clarifies my perspective, and helps me revalue my values. May I recommend this practice to you?
Dale Carnegie (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living)
It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie's pain-blanched face.
He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggles to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.
As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.
Corrie ten Boom
It wasn't a meaningless act for me either," Marcus said, his raspy whisper tickling her ear. "Yesterday I finally realized that all the things that I thought were wrong about you were actually the things I enjoyed most. I don't give a damn what you do, so long as it pleases you. Run barefoot on the front lawn. Eat pudding with your fingers. Tell me to go to hell as often as you like. I want you just as you are. After all, you're the only woman aside from my sisters who has ever dared to tell me to my face that I'm an arrogant ass. How could I resist you?" His mouth moved to the soft cushion of her cheek. "My dearest Lillian," he whispered, easing her head back to kiss her eyelids. "If I had the gift of poetry, I would shower you with sonnets. But words have always been difficult for me when my feelings are strongest. And there is one word in particular that I can't bring myself to say to you...'goodbye'. I couldn't bear the sight of you walking away from me. If you won't marry me for the sake of your honor, then do it for the sake of everyone who would have to tolerate me otherwise. Marry me because I need someone who will help me to laught at myself. Because someone has to teach me how to whistle. Marry me, Lillian...because I have the most irresistable fascination for your ears.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
<…>Tate fell silent.
"Since the day I was released, you knocked yourself out. You had my back, you took care of Lexie when we had our thing then you did what you could to help me sort that. It's important to me that you know I'm grateful. I've been tryin' to figure out how I can show how much but, keep thinkin' on it, nothin' comes to mind and I know why. I get it. You're a man who has everything so there is nothing I can hand you that you want or need. And I get that because I am now that same man. So the only thing I can give you are words and, my guess is, that'll be enough. If it isn't, you name it and it's yours."
"Friends do what I did for friends," Tate returned.
"No they don't, Tate. You did what you did for me because you're you. That's what I'm talkin' about."
Tate ws silent a moment then he said, "Well then, you guessed right. Words are enough."
Tate tipped his head to the side and asked jokingly, "We done with the near-midnight in the middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart?"
Ty didn't feel like joking and answered, "No."
"Then what -?"
"Love you, man," Ty interrupted quietly.
"Learned the hard way not to delay in expressing that sentiment so I'm not gonna delay. You call me brother and I got one who's blood who don't mean shit to me and today, all this shit done, rejoicing and reflecting, it hit me that I got two who aren't blood but who do mean something. And you're one of those two."
"Ty-" Tate murmured.
"I will never forget, until I die, what you did for me and my wife and until that day I will never stop bein' grateful."
"Fuck man," Tate whispered.
"Now, do those words work so you get what you did mean to me?"
Silence then, "Yeah, they work."
"Good, then now we're done with our near-midnight, middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart," Ty declared, turned, opened the door to the Viper and started folding in.
He stopped with his ass nearly to the seat and looked up over the door when Tate called his name.
"I don't have a blood brother," Tate said. "But you should know there's a reason I call you that."<…>
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
Something I constantly notice is that unembarrassed joy has become rarer. Joy today is increasingly saddled with moral and ideological burdens, so to speak. When someone rejoices, he is afraid of offending against solidarity with the many people who suffer. I don't have any right to rejoice, people think, in a world where there is so much misery, so much injustice.
I can understand that. There is a moral attitude at work here. But this attitude is nonetheless wrong. The loss of joy does not make the world better - and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the impetus and courage to do good. Joy, then, does not break with solidarity. When it is the right kind of joy, when it is not egotistic, when it comes from the perception of the good, then it wants to communicate itself, and it gets passed on. In this connection, it always strikes me that in the poor neighborhoods of, say, South America, one sees many more laughing happy people than among us. Obviously, despite all their misery, they still have the perception of the good to which they cling and in which they can find encouragement and strength.
In this sense we have a new need for that primordial trust which ultimately only faith can give. That the world is basically good, that God is there and is good. That it is good to live and to be a human being. This results, then, in the courage to rejoice, which in turn becomes commitment to making sure that other people, too, can rejoice and receive good news.
If you're lucky, in some point in the future when you're in need of guidance or perhaps moral support, you may cross paths with a suitable mentor. Even luckier, you'll realize you had one in your life all along and you'll gain a new appreciation for how you benefited from that relationship. The luckiest relationship of all, of course, is a combination of the two. You've had help all along, and as the path widens or narrows, whatever the case may be, new and powerful influences will enter your life and aid your progress. In my experience, a mentor doesn't necessarily tell you what to do, but more importantly: tells you what they did or might do, then trusts you to draw your own conclusions and act accordingly. If you succeed, they'll take one step back and if you fail, they'll take one step closer. Whatever it is they teach you, pass it on.
Michael J. Fox (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future...: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned)
Well, I'm glad you're so amused," I said, running my fingers across the railing.
Maxon hopped up to sit on the railing, looking very relaxed. "You're always amusing. Get used to it."
Hmm. He was almost being funny.
"So...about what you said...," he started tentatively.
"Which part? The part about me calling you names or fighting with my mom or saying food was my motivation?" I rolled my eyes.
He laughed once. "The part about me being good..."
"Oh. What about it?" Those few sentences suddenly seemed more embarrassing than anything else I'd said. I ducked my head down and twisted a piece of my dress.
"I appreciate you making things look authentic, but you didn't need to go that far."
My head snapped up. How could he think that?
"Maxon, that wasn't for the sake of the show. If you had asked me a month ago what my honest opinion of you was, it would have been very different. But now I know you, and I know the truth, and you are everything I said you were. And more."
He was quiet, but there was a small smile on his face.
"Thank you," he finally said.
Maxon cleared his throat. "He'll be lucky, too." He got down from his makeshift seat and walked to my side of the balcony.
"Your boyfriend. When he comes to his senses and begs you to take him back," Maxon said matter-of-factly.
I had to laugh. No such thing would happen in y world.
"he's not my boyfriend anymore. And he made it pretty clear he was gone with me." Even I could hear the tiny bit of hope in my voice.
"Not possible. He'll have seen you on TV by now and fallen for you all over again. Though, in my opinion, you're still much too good for the dog." Maxon spoke almost as if he was bored, like he'd seen this happen a million times.
"Speaking of which!" he said a bit louder. "If you don't want me to be in love with you, you're going to have to stop looking so lovely. First thing tomorrow I'm having your maids sew some potato sacks together for you."
I hit his arm. "Shut up, Maxon."
"I'm not kidding. You're too beautiful for your own good. Once you leave, we'll have to send some of the guards with you. You'll never survive on your own, poor thing." He said all this with mock pity.
"I can't help it." I sighed. "One can never help being born into perfection." I fanned my face as if being so pretty was exhausting.
"No, I don't suppose you can help it.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
But then I realized, they weren't calling out for their own mothers. Not those weak women, those victims. Drug addicts, shopaholics, cookie bakers. They didn't mean the women who let them down, who failed to help them into womanhood, women who let their boyfriends run a train on them. Bingers, purgers, women smiling into mirrors, women in girdles, women on barstools. Not those women with their complaints and their magazines, controlling women, women who asked, what's in in for me? Not the women watching TV while they made dinner, women who dyed their hair blond behind closed doors trying to look twenty-three. They didn't mean the mothers washing dishes wishing they'd never married, the ones in the ER, saying they fell down the stairs, not the ones in prison saying lonliness is the human condition, get used to it.
The wanted the real mother, the blood mother, the great womb, mother of fierce compassion, a woman large enough to hold all the pain, to carry it away. What we needed was someone who bled, someone deep and rich as a field, a wide-hipped mother, awesome, immense, women like huge soft couches, mothers coursing with blood, mothers big enough, wide enough for us to hid in, to sink down to the bottom of, mothers who would breathe for us when we could not breathe anymore, who would fight for us, who would kill for us, die for us.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
Lassiter skidded in from the billiards room, the fallen angel glowing from his black-and-blond hair and white eyes, all the way down to his shitkickers. Then again, maybe the illumination wasn’t his nature, but that gold he insisted on wearing.
He looked like a living, breathing jewelry tree.
“I’m here. Where’s my chauffeur hat?”
“Here, use mine,” Butch said, outing a B Sox cap and throwing it over. “It’ll help that hair of yours.”
The angel caught the thing on the fly and stared at the red S. “I’m sorry, I can’t.”
“Do not tell me you’re a Yankees fan,” V drawled. “I’ll have to kill you, and frankly, tonight we need all the wingmen we’ve got.”
Lassiter tossed the cap back. Whistled. Looked casual.
“Are you serious?” Butch said. Like the guy had maybe volunteered for a lobotomy. Or a limb amputation. Or a pedicure.
“No fucking way,” V echoed. “When and where did you become a friend of the enemy—”
The angel held up his palms. “It’s not my fault you guys suck—”
Tohr actually stepped in front of Lassiter, like he was worried that something a lot more than smack talk was going to start flying. And the sad thing was, he was right to be concerned. Apart from their shellans, V and Butch loved the Sox above almost everything else—including sanity.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
When basic human needs are ignored, rejected, or invalidated by those in roles and positions to appropriately meet them; when the means by which these needs have been previously met are no longer available: and when prior abuse has already left one vulnerable for being exploited further, the stage is set for the possibility these needs will be prostituted. This situation places a survivor who has unmet needs in an incredible dilemma. She can either do without or seek the satisfaction of mobilized needs through some "illegitimate" source that leaves her increasingly divided from herself and ostracized from others.
While meeting needs in this way resolves the immediate existential experience of deprivation and abandonment. it produces numerous other difﬁculties. These include experiencing oneself as “bad” or "weak" for having such strong needs; experiencing shame and guilt for relying on “illegitimate” sources of satisfaction: experiencing a loss of self-respect for indulging in activities contrary to personal moral standards of conduct; risking the displeasure and misunderstanding of others important to her; and opening oneself to the continued abuse and victimization of perpetrators who are all too willing to selﬁshly use others for their own pleasure and purposes under the guise of being 'helpful.
J. Jeffrey Means
Afflictions quicken us to prayer. It is a pity it should be so; but experience testifies, that a long course of ease and prosperity, without painful changes—has an unhappy tendency to make us cold and formal in our secret worship. But troubles rouse our spirits, and constrain us to call upon the Lord in good earnest—when we feel a need of that help which we only can have from his almighty arm. Afflictions are useful, and in a degree necessary, to keep alive in us—a conviction of the vanity and unsatisfying nature of the present world, and all its enjoyments; to remind us that this world is not our rest, and to call our thoughts upwards, where our true treasure is, and where our heart ought to be. When things go on much to our wish, our hearts are too prone to say, "It is good to be here!
John Newton (The Letters of John Newton)
Racism is the norm rather than an aberration. Feedback is key to our ability to recognize and repair our inevitable and often unaware collusion. In recognition of this, I try to follow these guidelines: 1. How, where, and when you give me feedback is irrelevant—it is the feedback I want and need. Understanding that it is hard to give, I will take it any way I can get it. From my position of social, cultural, and institutional white power and privilege, I am perfectly safe and I can handle it. If I cannot handle it, it’s on me to build my racial stamina. 2. Thank you. The above guidelines rest on the understanding that there is no face to save and the game is up; I know that I have blind spots and unconscious investments in racism. My investments are reinforced every day in mainstream society. I did not set this system up, but it does unfairly benefit me, I do use it to my advantage, and I am responsible for interrupting it. I need to work hard to change my role in this system, but I can’t do it alone. This understanding leads me to gratitude when others help me.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
In fairy tales, monsters exist to be a manifestation of something that we need to understand, not only a problem we need to overcome, but also they need to represent, much like angels represent the beautiful, pure, eternal side of the human spirit, monsters need to represent a more tangible, more mortal side of being human: aging, decay, darkness and so forth. And I believe that monsters originally, when we were cavemen and you know, sitting around a fire, we needed to explain the birth of the sun and the death of the moon and the phases of the moon and rain and thunder. And we invented creatures that made sense of the world: a serpent that ate the sun, a creature that ate the moon, a man in the moon living there, things like that. And as we became more and more sophisticated and created sort of a social structure, the real enigmas started not to be outside. The rain and the thunder were logical now. But the real enigmas became social. All those impulses that we were repressing: cannibalism, murder, these things needed an explanation. The sex drive, the need to hunt, the need to kill, these things then became personified in monsters. Werewolves, vampires, ogres, this and that. I feel that monsters are here in our world to help us understand it. They are an essential part of a fable.
Guillermo del Toro
Sooner or later, you will discover which kind of father you are, and at that moment you will, with perfect horror, recognize the type. You are the kind of father who fakes it, who yells, who measures his children with greatest accuracy only against one another, who evades the uncomfortable and glosses over the painful and pads the historic records of his sorrows and accomplishments alike. You are the kind who teases and deceives and toys with his children and subjects them to displays of rich and manifold sarcasm when--as is always the case--sarcasm is the last thing they need. You are the kind of father who pretends knowledge he doesn't possess, and imposes information with implacable gratuitousness, and teaches lessons at the moment when none can be absorbed, and is right, and has always been right, and always will be right until the end of time, and never more than immediately after he has been wrong. And when your daughter's body begins to betray her, and her sky flickers in the distance with the heat lightning of sex, you clear your throat and stroke your chin whiskers and tell her to go ask her mother. You can't help it--you're a walking cliché.
Michael Chabon (Manhood for Amateurs)
I guess that sometimes it just takes a long walk through the darkness, a long walk through the darkest shadows and corners of your soul to realize that those are a part of you as well, that you've created through your experiences and thoughts those parts within yourself and as much as you can choose to fear them and repress them, they will require your attention one day, they will need your care and acceptance before you can clean them away and turn the lights on. For you refuse to shine the light on something that is imperfect, because you fear judgement and rejection, but you can always choose to look towards the light as the only source of true beauty and love that can help you in the cleaning process. Healing, after a long time of struggle and mess is a complex process, but a necessary one nevertheless. We are so overwhelmed by the amount of work it requires that we so often choose to run away from the light, hide in our dark corner and hope that we will never be found, hope that we will never be seen, or desperately look outwards for that love and compassion that we can no longer find within ourselves, for our soul's light no longer shines as it used to. And sometimes we just find those people that can see the light beneath all that dust and darkness that's been pilled up, those kind of light workers that understand our broken souls and manage to pick us up and see the beauty within us, when we find it so hard to see it ourselves. Sometimes I get so tired of separation, of division, of groups and different religions and belief systems. Even if you do find the truth, once you've put it into words, books and rules it already becomes distorted by the mind into something that is no longer truth. So I no longer hope for understanding, no longer hope for the opinion of a judgemental mind, but I hope to find the words that touch the soul before the mind, I hope to find the touch that warms the heart from deep inside, and hope to find that far away abandoned part of me which I've left behind.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
As the carriage rolled under the Institute’s gates, James saw his parents standing in the courtyard.
“And where have you been?” Will demanded as James clambered out of the carriage. The others leaped down behind him, the girls, being in gear, needing no help to dismount. “You stole our carriage.”
James wished he could tell his father the truth, but that would be breaking their sworn promise to Ragnor.
“It’s only the second-best carriage,” James protested.
“Remember when Papa stole Uncle Gabriel’s carriage? It’s a proud family tradition,” said Lucie, as the group of them approached the Institute steps.
“I did not raise you to be horse thieves and scallywags,” said Will. “And I recall very clearly that I told you—”
“Thank you for letting them borrow the carriage to come and get me,” said Cordelia. Her eyes were wide, and she looked entirely innocent. James felt an amused stab of surprise: she was an interestingly skilful liar. “I had very much wanted to come to the Institute and see what I could do to help.”
Will softened immediately. “Of course. You are always welcome here, Cordelia.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
I shall never get out of this! There are two of me now:
This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one,
And the white person is certainly the superior one.
She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints.
At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality --
She lay in bed with me like a dead body
And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was
Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints.
I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold.
I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer.
I couldn't understand her stupid behavior!
When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist.
Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her:
She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages.
Without me, she wouldn't exist, so of course she was grateful.
I gave her a soul, I bloomed out of her as a rose
Blooms out of a vase of not very valuable porcelain,
And it was I who attracted everybody's attention,
Not her whiteness and beauty, as I had at first supposed.
I patronized her a little, and she lapped it up --
You could tell almost at once she had a slave mentality.
I didn't mind her waiting on me, and she adored it.
In the morning she woke me early, reflecting the sun
From her amazingly white torso, and I couldn't help but notice
Her tidiness and her calmness and her patience:
She humored my weakness like the best of nurses,
Holding my bones in place so they would mend properly.
In time our relationship grew more intense.
She stopped fitting me so closely and seemed offish.
I felt her criticizing me in spite of herself,
As if my habits offended her in some way.
She let in the drafts and became more and more absent-minded.
And my skin itched and flaked away in soft pieces
Simply because she looked after me so badly.
Then I saw what the trouble was: she thought she was immortal.
She wanted to leave me, she thought she was superior,
And I'd been keeping her in the dark, and she was resentful --
Wasting her days waiting on a half-corpse!
And secretly she began to hope I'd die.
Then she could cover my mouth and eyes, cover me entirely,
And wear my painted face the way a mummy-case
Wears the face of a pharaoh, though it's made of mud and water.
I wasn't in any position to get rid of her.
She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp --
I had forgotten how to walk or sit,
So I was careful not to upset her in any way
Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself.
Living with her was like living with my own coffin:
Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully.
I used to think we might make a go of it together --
After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close.
Now I see it must be one or the other of us.
She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy,
But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit.
I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her,
And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me.
--written 26 Feburary 1961
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
God, but she was stubborn. And tough. And closed in. Closed off. Except when
she was holding Angel, or ruffling the Gasman’s hair, or pushing something
closer to Iggy’s hand so he could find it easily without knowing anyone had
helped him. Or when she was trying to untangle Nudge’s mane of hair.
Or-sometimes-when she was looking at Fang.
He shifted on the hard ground, a half-dozen flashes of memory cycling
through his brain. Max looking at him and laughing. Max leaping off a cliff,
snapping out her wings, flying off, so incredibly powerful and graceful that
it took his breath away.
Max punching someone’s lights out, her face like stone.
Max kissing that weiner Sam on Anne’s front porch.
Gritting his teeth, Fang rolled onto his side.
Max kissing him on the beach, after Ari had kicked Fang’s butt.
Just now, her mouth soft under his.
He wished she were here, if not next to him, then somewhere in the cave, so
he could hear her breathing.
It was going to be hard to sleep without that tonight.
James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
Dealing with an alcoholic single mother and endless hours of working at Heather Nursing Home to raise money for college, high-school senior Janie Hannagan doesn’t need more problems. But inexplicably, since she was eight years old, she has been pulled in to people’s dreams, witnessing their recurring fears, fantasies and secrets. Through Miss Stubin at Heather Home, Janie discovers that she is a dream catcher with the ability to help others resolve their haunting dreams. After taking an interest in former bad boy Cabel, she must distinguish between the monster she sees in his nightmares and her romantic feelings for him. And when she learns more about Cabel’s covert identity, Janie just may be able to use her special dream powers to help solve crimes in a suspense-building ending with potential for a sequel. McMann lures teens in by piquing their interest in the mysteries of the unknown, and keeps them with quick-paced, gripping narration and supportive characters.
When I was a child, an angel came to say,
A true friend is coming my warrior to sweep you away,
It won’t be easy the path because it leads through hell,
But if you’re faithful, it will be the greatest story to tell,
You will move God’s daughters to a place of hope,
Your story will teach everyone there is nothing they can’t cope,
You will suffer a lot, but not one tear will you waste,
Because for all that you do for me, you will be graced,
For I am bringing you someone that wants to travel your trail,
Someone you already met when you passed through heaven’s veil,
A warrior, a friend that whispers your heart’s song,
Someone that will run with you and pull your spirit along,
Don’t you see the timing was love's fated throw,
Because I put you both there to help one another grow,
I am the writer of all great stories your chapters were written by me,
You suffered, you cried because I needed you to see,
That your faith in my ending goes far beyond two,
It was going to change more hearts than both of you knew,
So hush my child and wait for my loving hand,
The last chapter is not written and still in the sand,
It is up to you to finish, before the tide washes it away,
All that is in your heart, I’ve put there for you to say,
This is not about winning, loss or pain,
I made you the way you are because true love stories are insane,
I wrote you in heaven as I sat on its sandy shore,
You know with all of my heart I loved you both more,
There is no better ending two people seeing each other's heart,
Together your spirits will never drift apart,
Because two kindred spirits is what I made you to be,
The waves and beach crashing together because of-- ME.
Shannon L. Alder
Your brain is involved in everything you do.
Your brain controls everything you do, feel, and think. When you look in the
mirror, you can thank your brain for what you see. Ultimately, it is your brain that
determines whether your belly bulges over your belt buckle or your waistline is trim and
toned. Your brain plays the central role in whether your skin looks fresh and dewy or is
etched with wrinkles. Whether you wake up feeling energetic or groggy depends on your
brain. When you head to the kitchen to make breakfast, it is your brain that determines
whether you go for the leftover pizza or the low-fat yogurt and fruit. Your brain controls
whether you hit the gym or sit at the computer to check your Facebook page. If you feel
the need to light up a cigarette or drink a couple cups of java, that's also your brain's
doing.ACTION STEP Remember that your brain is involved in everything you do, every
decision you make, every bite of food you take, every cigarette you smoke, every
worrisome thought you have, every workout you skip, every alcoholic beverage you
drink, and more.
Daniel G. Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Use Your Brain to Get and Keep the Body You Have Always Wanted)
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep.
They could see how love might control you, from your head to your toes, not to mention every single part of you in between.
A woman could want a man so much she might vomit in the kitchen sink or cry so fiercly blood would form in the corners of her eyes.
She put her hand to her throat as though someone were strangling her, but really she was choking on all that love she thought she’d needed so badly.
What had she thought, that love was a toy, something easy and sweet, just to play with? Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for it’s sake.
She refused to believe in superstition, she wouldn’t; yet it was claiming her.
Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene.
After all I’ve done for you is lodged somewhere in her brain, and far worse, it’s in her heart as well.
She was bad luck, ill-fated and unfortunate as the plague.
She is not worth his devotion. She wishes he would evaporate into thin air. Maybe then she wouldn’t have this feeling deep inside, a feeling she can deny all she wants, but that won’t stop it from being desire.
Love is worth the sum of itself and nothing more.
But that’s what happens when you’re a liar, especially when you’re telling the worst of these lies to yourself.
He has stumbled into love, and now he’s stuck there. He’s fairly used to not getting what he wants, and he’s dealt with it, yet he can’t help but wonder if that’s only because he didn’t want anything so badly.
It’s music, it’s a sound that is absurdly beautiful in his mouth, but she won’t pay attention. She knows from the time she spent on the back stairs of the aunts’ house that most things men say are lies. Don’t listen, she tells herself. None if it’s true and none of it matters, because he’s whispering that he’s been looking for her forever. She can’t believe it. She can’t listen to anything he tells her and she certainly can’t think, because if she did she might just think she’d better stop.
What good would it do her to get involved with someone like him? She’d have to feel so much, and she’s not that kind.
The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself.
She preferred cats to human beings and turned down every offer from the men who fell in love with her.
They told her how sticks and stones could break bones, but taunting and name-calling were only for fools.
— & now here she is, all used up.
Although she’d never believe it, those lines in *’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside.
She’s gotten back some of what she’s lost. Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind.
If there’s one thing * is now certain of, it’s house you can amaze yourself by the things you’re willing to do.
You really don’t know? That heart-attack thing you’ve been having? It’s love, that’s what it feels like.
She knows now that when you don’t lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that’s one recipe that can’t be tampered with.
Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.
On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.
In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.
What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.
We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why.
NO MUSE IS GOOD MUSE
To be an Artist you need talent, as well as a wife
who washes the socks and the children,
and returns phone calls and library books and types.
In other words, the reason there are so many more
Men Geniuses than Women Geniuses is not Genius.
It is because Hemingway never joined the P.T.A.
And Arthur Rubinstein ignored Halloween.
Do you think Portnoy's creator sits through children's theater
Or that Norman Mailer faced 'driver's ed' failure,
chicken pox or chipped teeth?
Fitzgerald's night was so tender because the fender
his teen-ager dented happened when Papa was at a story conference.
Since Picasso does the painting, Mrs. Picasso did the toilet training.
And if Saul Bellow, National Book Award winner, invited thirty-three
for Thanksgiving Day dinner, I'll bet he had help.
I'm sure Henry Moore was never a Cub Scout leader,
and Leonard Bernstein never instructed a tricycler
On becoming a bicycler just before he conducted.
Tell me again my anatomy is not necessarily my destiny,
tell me my hang-up is a personal and not a universal quandary,
and I'll tell you no muse is a good muse
unless she also helps with the laundry.
It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.
Does this mean I get to be part of the team?” She clapped her hands again.
“Yes,” Nate said.
“No,” Gabriel said at the same time.
“Duuuude,” Nate said to Gabriel between his teeth. “I really want to talk to this Mr. Brooks guy.”
“Fine.” Gabriel sighed. “Let her help. I don’t care. But if you die,” Gabriel pointed at Heather, “or get cursed or something, that’s your fault.”
Heather nodded merrily, still clapping. “Yay, I’m part of the team.”
“We’re not a team,” Gabriel said through gritted teeth.
Heather ignored him and looked at Nate. “I think we need a team name.”
“Ooh! Good idea.” Nate pointed a finger into the air. “How about Team Awesome?”
Heather wrinkled her nose. “Too vague. Team Super Secret Fountain Seekers?”
“Too specific.” Nate shook his head. “Team Ash Guy Hunters?”
“Ashman.” Heather shook her head. “Too hard to say.”
Nate scoffed. “And ‘Super Secret Fountain Seekers’ is easy to say?”
Gabriel huffed and started walking toward the door. “You guys can stay here and pick a name and a Team Captain or whatever, but I’m going to find Mr. Brooks.” He opened the door to leave, night falling on the forest around them.
Heather said, “Mr. Brooks doesn’t open his door when it’s dark outside.” She shrugged. “So we’re going to have to wait until tomorrow after school.”
Frustrated, Gabriel closed the cabin door on the setting sun. “Tomorrow then.”
“Perfect.” Nate nodded, shifting his eyes from Scarlet, to Gabriel, and then to Heather.
A moment passed.
“I call dibs on Team Captain,” Nate said.
Gabriel rolled his eyes.
Chelsea Fine (Awry (The Archers of Avalon, #2))
Wizard's First Rule: people are stupid." Richard and Kahlan frowned even more. "People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.
"Because of Wizards First Rule, the old wizards created Confessors, and Seekers, as a means of helping find the truth, when the truth is important enough. Darken Rahl knows the Wizard's Rules. He is using the first one. People need an enemy to feel a sense of purpose. It's easy to lead people when they have a sense of purpose. Sense of purpose is more important by far than the truth. In fact, truth has no bearing in this. Darken Rahl is providing them with an enemy, other than himself, a sense of purpose. People are stupid; they want to believe, so they do.
Terry Goodkind (Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1))
How funny you are today New York
like Ginger Rogers in Swingtime
and St. Bridget’s steeple leaning a little to the left
here I have just jumped out of a bed full of V-days
(I got tired of D-days) and blue you there still
accepts me foolish and free
all I want is a room up there
and you in it
and even the traffic halt so thick is a way
for people to rub up against each other
and when their surgical appliances lock
they stay together
for the rest of the day (what a day)
I go by to check a slide and I say
that painting’s not so blue
where’s Lana Turner
she’s out eating
and Garbo’s backstage at the Met
everyone’s taking their coat off
so they can show a rib-cage to the rib-watchers
and the park’s full of dancers with their tights and shoes
in little bags
who are often mistaken for worker-outers at the West Side Y
the Pittsburgh Pirates shout because they won
and in a sense we’re all winning
the apartment was vacated by a gay couple
who moved to the country for fun
they moved a day too soon
even the stabbings are helping the population explosion
though in the wrong country
and all those liars have left the UN
the Seagram Building’s no longer rivalled in interest
not that we need liquor (we just like it)
and the little box is out on the sidewalk
next to the delicatessen
so the old man can sit on it and drink beer
and get knocked off it by his wife later in the day
while the sun is still shining
oh god it’s wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much
Just as life is made up of day and night, and song is made up of music and silence, friendships, because they are of this world, are also made up of times of being in touch and spaces in-between. Being human, we sometimes fill these spaces with worry, or we imagine the silence is some form of punishment, or we internalize the time we are not in touch with a loved one as some unexpressed change of heart. Our minds work very hard to make something out of nothing. We can perceive silence as rejection in an instant, and then build a cold castle on that tiny imagined brick. The only release from the tensions we weave around nothing is to remain a creature of the heart. By giving voice to the river of feelings as they flow through and through, we can stay clear and open. In daily terms, we call this checking in with each other, though most of us reduce this to a grocery list: How are you today? Do you need any milk? Eggs? Juice? Toilet paper? Though we can help each other survive with such outer kindnesses, we help each other thrive when the checking in with each other comes from a list of inner kindnesses: How are you today? Do you need any affirmation? Clarity? Support? Understanding? When we ask these deeper questions directly, we wipe the mind clean of its misperceptions. Just as we must dust our belongings from time to time, we must wipe away what covers us when we are apart.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
Adolf Eichmann went to the gallows with great dignity. He had asked for a bottle of red wine and had drunk half of it. He refused the help of the Protestant minister the Reverend William Hull who offered to read the Bible with him: he had only two more hours to live and therefore no “time to waste.” He walked the fifty yards from his cell to the execution chamber calm and erect with his hands bound behind him. When the guards tied his ankles and knees he asked them to loosen the bonds so that he could stand straight. “I don’t need that ” he said when the black hood was offered him. He was in complete command of himself nay he was more: he was completely himself. Nothing could have demonstrated this more convincingly than the grotesque silliness of his last words. He began by stating emphatically that he was a Gottgläubiger to express in common Nazi fashion that he was no Christian and did not believe in life after death. He then proceeded: “After a short while gentlemen we shall all meet again. Such is the fate of all men. Long live Germany long live Argentina long live Austria. I shall not forget them.” In the face of death he had found the cliché used in funeral oratory. Under the gallows his memory played him the last trick he was “elated” and he forgot that this was his own funeral.
It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us-the lesson of the fearsome word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
The problem is, it's just not enough to live according to the rules. Sure, you manage to live according to the rules. Sometimes it's tight, extremely tight, but on the whole you manage it. Your tax papers are up to date. Your bills paid on time. You never go out without your identity card (and the special little wallet for your Visa!).
Yet you haven’t any friends.
The rules are complex, multiform. There’s the shopping that needs doing out of working hours, the automatic dispensers where money has to be got (and where you so often have to wait). Above all there are the different payments you must make to the organizations that run different aspects of your life. You can fall ill into the bargain, which involves costs, and more formalities.
Nevertheless, some free time remains. What’s to be done? How do you use your
time? In dedicating yourself to helping people? But basically other people don’t interest you. Listening to records? That used to be a solution, but as the years go by you have to say that music moves you less and less.
Taken in its widest sense, a spot of do-it-yourself can be a way out. But the fact is that nothing can halt the ever-increasing recurrence of those moments when your total isolation, the sensation of an all-consuming emptiness, the foreboding that your existence is nearing a painful and definitive end all combine to plunge you into a state of real suffering.
And yet you haven’t always wanted to die.
You have had a life. There have been moments when you were having a life. Of
course you don't remember too much about it; but there are photographs to prove it. This was probably happening round about the time of your adolescence, or just after. How great your appetite for life was, then! Existence seemed so rich in new possibilities. You might become a pop singer, go off to Venezuela.
More surprising still, you have had a childhood. Observe, now, a child of seven, playing with his little soldiers on the living room carpet. I want you to observe him closely. Since the divorce he no longer has a father. Only rarely does he see his mother, who occupies an important post in a cosmetics firm. And yet he plays with his little soldiers and the interest he takes in these representations of the world and of war seems very keen. He already lacks a bit of affection, that's for sure, but what an air he has of being interested in the world!
You too, you took an interest in the world. That was long ago. I want you to cast your mind back to then. The domain of the rules was no longer enough for you; you were unable to live any longer in the domain of the rules; so you had to enter into the domain of the struggle. I ask you to go back to that precise moment. It was long ago, no? Cast your mind back: the water was cold.
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)
No, dear, but speaking of Father reminded me how much I miss him, how much I owe him, and how faithfully I should watch and work to keep his little daughters safe and good for him.
Yet you told him to go, Mother, and didn’t cry when he went, and never complain now, or seem as if you needed any help, said Jo, wondering.
I gave my best to the country I love, and kept my tears till he was gone. Why should I complain, when we both have merely done our duty and will surely be the happier for it in the end? If I don’t seem to need help, it is because I have a better friend, even than Father, to comfort and sustain me. My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning and may be many, but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. The more you love and trust Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but my become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength. Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
Fifteen Ways to Stay Alive
1. Offer the wolves your arm only from the elbow down. Leave tourniquet space. Do not offer them your calves. Do not offer them your side. Do not let them near your femoral artery, your jugular. Give them only your arm.
2. Wear chapstick when kissing the bomb.
3. Pretend you don’t know English.
4. Pretend you never met her.
5. Offer the bomb to the wolves. Offer the wolves to the zombies.
6. Only insert a clean knife into your chest. Rusty ones will cause tetanus. Or infection.
7. Don’t inhale.
8. Realize that this love was not your trainwreck, was not the truck that flattened you, was not your Waterloo, did not cause massive haemorrhaging from a rusty knife. That love is still to come.
9. Use a rusty knife to cut through most of the noose in a strategic place so that it breaks when your weight is on it.
10. Practice desperate pleas for attention, louder calls for help. Learn them in English, French, Spanish: May Day, Aidez-Moi, Ayúdame.
11. Don’t kiss trainwrecks. Don’t kiss knives. Don’t kiss.
12. Pretend you made up the zombies, and only superheroes exist.
13. Pretend there is no kryptonite.
14. Pretend there was no love so sweet that you would have died for it, pretend that it does not belong to someone else now, pretend like your heart depends on it because it does. Pretend there is no wreck — you watched the train go by and felt the air brush your face and that was it. Another train passing. You do not need trains. You can fly. You are a superhero. And there is no kryptonite.
15. Forget her name.
I regard anti-Semitism as ineradicable and as one element of the toxin with which religion has infected us. Perhaps partly for this reason, I have never been able to see Zionism as a cure for it. American and British and French Jews have told me with perfect sincerity that they are always prepared for the day when 'it happens again' and the Jew-baiters take over. (And I don't pretend not to know what they are talking about: I have actually seen the rabid phenomenon at work in modern and sunny Argentina and am unable to forget it.) So then, they seem to think, they will take refuge in the Law of Return, and in Haifa, or for all I know in Hebron. Never mind for now that if all of world Jewry did settle in Palestine, this would actually necessitate further Israeli expansion, expulsion, and colonization, and that their departure under these apocalyptic conditions would leave the new brownshirts and blackshirts in possession of the French and British and American nuclear arsenals. This is ghetto thinking, hardly even fractionally updated to take into account what has changed. The important but delayed realization will have to come: Israeli Jews are a part of the diaspora, not a group that has escaped from it. Why else does Israel daily beseech the often-flourishing Jews of other lands, urging them to help the most endangered Jews of all: the ones who rule Palestine by force of arms? Why else, having supposedly escaped from the need to rely on Gentile goodwill, has Israel come to depend more and more upon it? On this reckoning, Zionism must constitute one of the greatest potential non sequiturs in human history.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
CHAPTER 2: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
ALDO THE APACHE
My name is Lt. Aldo Raine and I'm putting together a special team, and I need me 8 soldiers. 8 Jewish-American soldiers.
Now, y'all might've heard rumors about the armada happening soon. Well, we'll be leaving a little earlier. We're gonna be dropped into France, dressed as civilians. And once we're in enemy territory, as a bushwhackin' guerrilla army, we're gonna be doin' one thing and one thing only... killin' Nazis.
Now, I don't know about y'all, but I sure as hell didn't come down from the goddamn Smoky Mountains, cross 5,000 miles of water, fight my way through half of Sicily and jump out of a fuckin' air-o-plane to teach the Nazis lessons in humanity. Nazi ain't got no humanity. They're the foot soldiers of a Jew-hatin', mass murderin' maniac and they need to be destroyed. That's why any and every every son of a bitch we find wearin' a Nazi uniform, they're gonna die.
Now, I'm the direct descendant of the mountain man Jim Bridger. That means I got a little Injun in me. And our battle plan will be that of an Apache resistance.
We will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty they will know who we are.
And they will find the evidence of our cruelty in the disemboweled, dismembered, and disfigured bodies of their brothers we leave behind us.
And the German won't not be able to help themselves but to imagine the cruelty their brothers endured at our hands, and our boot heels, and the edge of our knives.
And the German will be sickened by us, and the German will talk about us, and the German will fear us.
And when the German closes their eyes at night and they're tortured by their subconscious for the evil they have done, it will be with thoughts of us they are tortured with.
I became totally absorbed into this forest existence. It was an unparalleled period when aloneness was a way of life; a perfect opportunity, it might seem, for meditating on the meaning of existence and my role in it all. But I was far too busy learning about the chimpanzees'lives to worry about the meaning of my own. I had gone to Gombe to accomplish a specific goal, not to pursue my early preoccupation with philosophy and religion. Nevertheless, those months at Gombe helped to shape the person I am today-I would have been insensitive indeed if the wonder and the endless fascination of my new world had not had a major impact on my thinking. All the time I was getting closer to animals and nature, and as a result, closer to myself and more and more in tune with the spiritual power that I felt all around. For those who have experienced the joy of being alone with nature there is really little need for me to say much more; for those who have not, no words of mine can even describe the powerful, almost mystical knowledge of beauty and eternity that come, suddenly, and all unexpected. The beauty was always there, but moments of true awareness were rare. They would come, unannounced; perhaps when I was watching the pale flush preceding dawn; or looking up through the rustling leaves of some giant forest tree into the greens and browns and the black shadows and the occasionally ensured bright fleck of blue sky; or when I stood, as darkness fell, with one hand on the still warm trunk of a tree and looked at the sparkling of an early moon on the never still, softly sighing water of Lake Tanganyika.
I wasn’t reading poetry because my aim was to work my way through English Literature in Prose A–Z.
But this was different.
I read [in, Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot]: This is one moment, / But know that another / Shall pierce you with a sudden painful joy.
I started to cry.
(…)The unfamiliar and beautiful play made things bearable that day, and the things it made bearable were another failed family—the first one was not my fault, but all adopted children blame themselves. The second failure was definitely my fault.
I was confused about sex and sexuality, and upset about the straightforward practical problems of where to live, what to eat, and how to do my A levels.
I had no one to help me, but the T.S. Eliot helped me.
So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language—and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers—a language powerful enough to say how it is.
It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos. From the beginning it was never anything but chaos: it was a fluid which enveloped me, which I breathed in through the gills. In the substrata, where the moon shone steady and opaque, it was smooth and fecundating; above it was a jangle and a discord. In everything I quickly saw the opposite, the contradiction, and between the real and the unreal the irony, the paradox. I was my own worst enemy. There was nothing I wished to do which I could just as well not do. Even as a child, when I lacked for nothing, I wanted to die: I wanted to surrender because I saw no sense in struggling. I felt that nothing would be proved, substantiated, added or subtracted by continuing an existence which I had not asked for. Everybody around me was a failure, or if not a failure, ridiculous. Especially the successful ones. The successful ones bored me to tears. I was sympathetic to a fault, but it was not sympathy that made me so. It was purely negative quality, a weakness which blossomed at the mere sight of human misery. I never helped anyone expecting that it would do me any good; I helped because I was helpless to do otherwise. To want to change the condition of affairs seemed futile to me; nothing would be altered, I was convinced, except by a change of heart, and who could change the hearts of men? Now and then a friend was converted: it was something to make me puke. I had no more need of God than He had of me, and if there were one, I often said to myself, I would meet Him calmly and spit in His face.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #2))
It doesn't matter what the manifest problem was in our childhood family. In a home where a child is emotionally deprived for one reason or another that child will take some personal emotional confusion into his or her adult life. We may spin our spiritual wheels in trying to make up for childhood's personal losses, looking for compensation in the wrong places and despairing that we can find it. But the significance of spiritual rebirth through Jesus Christ is that we can mature spiritually under His parenting and receive healing compensation for these childhood deprivations. Three emotions that often grow all out of proportion in the emotionally deprived child are fear, guilt, and anger. The fear grows out of the child's awareness of the uncontrollable nature of her fearful environment, of overwhelming negative forces around her. Her guilt, her profound feelings of inadequacy, intensify when she is unable to put right what is wrong, either in the environment or in another person, no matter how hard she tries to be good. If only she could try harder or be better, she could correct what is wrong, she thinks. She may carry this guilt all her life, not knowing where it comes from, but just always feeling guilty. She often feels too sorry for something she has done that was really not all that serious. Her anger comes from her frustration, perceived deprivation, and the resultant self-pity. She has picked up an anger habit and doesn't know how much trouble it is causing her. A fourth problem often follows in the wake of the big three: the need to control others and manipulate events in order to feel secure in her own world, to hold her world together- to make happen what she wants to happen. She thinks she has to run everything. She may enter adulthood with an illusion of power and a sense of authority to put other people right, though she has had little success with it. She thinks that all she has to do is try harder, be worthier, and then she can change, perfect, and save other people. But she is in the dark about what really needs changing."I thought I would drown in guilt and wanted to fix all the people that I had affected so negatively. But I learned that I had to focus on getting well and leave off trying to cure anyone around me." Many of those around - might indeed get better too, since we seldom see how much we are a key part of a negative relationship pattern. I have learned it is a true principle that I need to fix myself before I can begin to be truly helpful to anyone else. I used to think that if I were worthy enough and worked hard enough, and exercised enough anxiety (which is not the same thing as faith), I could change anything. My power and my control are illusions. To survive emotionally, I have to turn my life over to the care of that tender Heavenly Father who was really in charge. It is my own spiritual superficiality that makes me sick, and that only profound repentance, that real change of heart, would ultimately heal me. My Savior is much closer than I imagine and is willing to take over the direction of my life: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me, ye can do nothing." (John 15:5). As old foundations crumble, we feel terribly vulnerable. Humility, prayer and flexibility are the keys to passing through this corridor of healthy change while we experiment with truer ways of dealing with life. Godly knowledge, lovingly imparted, begins deep healing, gives tools to live by and new ways to understand the gospel.
M. Catherine Thomas
Here at our ministry we refuse to present a picture of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds.
Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies.
You want a warrior Jesus.
You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention.
To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that down’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness.
You want mighty. You want the strong arm an unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what.
Joni Eareckson Tada (A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty)
Dear Hunger Games :
Screw you for helping cowards pretend you have to be great with a bow to fight evil.
You don't need to be drafted into a monkey-infested jungle to fight evil.
You don't need your father's light sabre, or to be bitten by a radioactive spider.
You don't need to be stalked by a creepy ancient vampire who is basically a pedophile if you're younger than a redwood.
Screw you mainstream media for making it look like moral courage requires hair gel, thousands of sit ups and millions of dollars of fake ass CGI.
Moral courage is the gritty, scary and mostly anonymous process of challenging friends, co-workers and family on issues like spanking, taxation, debt, circumcision and war.
Moral courage is standing up to bullies when the audience is not cheering, but jeering. It is helping broken people out of abusive relationships, and promoting the inner peace of self knowledge in a shallow and empty pseudo-culture.
Moral courage does not ask for - or receive - permission or the praise of the masses. If the masses praise you, it is because you are helping distract them from their own moral cowardice and conformity. Those who provoke discomfort create change - no one else.
So forget your politics and vampires and magic wands and photon torpedoes. Forget passively waiting for the world to provoke and corner you into being virtuous. It never will.
Stop watching fictional courage and go live some; it is harder and better than anything you will ever see on a screen.
Let's make the world change the classification of courage from 'fantasy' to 'documentary.'
You know there are people in your life who are doing wrong. Go talk to them, and encourage them to pursue philosophy, self-knowledge and virtue.
Be your own hero; you are the One that your world has been waiting for.
As sinners we are like addicts - addicted to ourselves and our own projects. The theology of glory simply seeks to give those projects eternal legitimacy. The remedy for the theology of glory, therefore, cannot be encouragement and positive thinking, but rather the end of the addictive desire. Luther says it directly: "The remedy for curing desire does not lie in satisfying it, but in extinguishing it." So we are back to the cross, the radical intervention, end of the life of the old and the beginning of the new.
Since the theology of glory is like addiction and not abstract doctrine, it is a temptation over which we have no control in and of ourselves, and from which we must be saved. As with the addict, mere exhortation and optimistic encouragement will do no good. It may be intended to build up character and self-esteem, but when the addict realizes the impossibility of quitting, self-esteem degenerates all the more. The alcoholic will only take to drinking in secret, trying to put on the facade of sobriety. As theologians of glory we do much the same. We put on a facade of religious propriety and piety and try to hide or explain away or coddle our sins....
As with the addict there has to be an intervention, an act from without. In treatment of alcoholics some would speak of the necessity of 'bottoming out,' reaching the absolute bottom where one can no longer escape the need for help. Then it is finally evident that the desire can never be satisfied, but must be extinguished. In matters of faith, the preaching of the cross is analogous to that intervention. It is an act of God, entirely from without. It does not come to feed the religious desires of the Old Adam and Eve but to extinguish them. They are crucified with Christ to be made new.
Gerhard O. Forde (On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther's Heidelberg Disputation, 1518)
The Witcher swore quietly, looking at the sharp, angular, even runes drawn with energetic sweeps of the pen, faultlessly reflecting the author’s mood. He felt once again the desire to try to bite his own backside in fury. When he was writing to the sorceress a month ago he had spent two nights in a row contemplating how best to begin. Finally, he had decided on “Dear friend.” Now he had his just deserts.
'Dear friend, your unexpected letter – which I received not quite three years after we last saw each other – has given me much joy. My joy is all the greater as various rumours have been circulating about your sudden and violent death. It is a good thing that you have decided to disclaim them by writing to me; it is a good thing, too, that you are doing so so soon. From your letter it appears that you have lived a peaceful, wonderfully boring life, devoid of all sensation. These days such a life is a real privilege, dear friend, and I am happy that you have managed to achieve it.
I was touched by the sudden concern which you deigned to show as to my health, dear friend. I hasten with the news that, yes, I now feel well; the period of indisposition is behind me, I have dealt with the difficulties, the description of which I shall not bore you with. It worries and troubles me very much that the unexpected present you received from Fate brings you worries. Your supposition that this requires professional help is absolutely correct. Although your description of the difficulty – quite understandably – is enigmatic, I am sure I know the Source of the problem. And I agree with your opinion that the help of yet another magician is absolutely necessary. I feel honoured to be the second to whom you turn. What have I done to deserve to be so high on your list?
Rest assured, my dear friend; and if you had the intention of supplicating the help of additional magicians, abandon it because there is no need. I leave without delay, and go to the place which you indicated in an oblique yet, to me, understandable way. It goes without saying that I leave in absolute secrecy and with great caution. I will surmise the nature of the trouble on the spot and will do all that is in my power to calm the gushing source. I shall try, in so doing, not to appear any worse than other ladies to whom you have turned, are turning or usually turn with your supplications. I am, after all, your dear friend. Your valuable friendship is too important to me to disappoint you, dear friend.
Should you, in the next few years, wish to write to me, do not hesitate for a moment. Your letters invariably give me boundless pleasure.
Your friend Yennefer'
The letter smelled of lilac and gooseberries.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Krew elfów (Saga o Wiedźminie, #1))
Responding to a moderator at the Sydney Writers Festival in 2008 (video), about the Spanish words in his book:
When all of us are communicating and talking when we’re out in the world, we’ll be lucky if we can understand 20 percent of what people say to us. A whole range of clues, of words, of languages escape us. I mean we’re not perfect, we’re not gods. But on top of that people mis-speak, sometimes you mis-hear, sometimes you don’t have attention, sometimes people use words you don’t know. Sometimes people use languages you don’t know. On a daily basis, human beings are very comfortable with a large component of communication, which is incomprehensibility, incomprehension. We tend to be comfortable with it. But for an immigrant, it becomes very different. What most of us consider normative comprehension an immigrant fears that they’re not getting it because of their lack of mastery in the language.
And what’s a normal component in communication, incomprehension, in some ways for an immigrant becomes a source of deep anxiety because you’re not sure if it’s just incomprehension or your own failures. My sense of writing a book where there is an enormous amount of language that perhaps everyone doesn’t have access to was less to communicate the experience of the immigrant than to communicate the experience that for an immigrant causes much discomfort but that is normative for people. which is that we tend to not understand, not grasp a large part of the language around us. What’s funny is, will Ramona accept incomprehension in our everyday lives and will greet that in a book with enormous fury. In other words what we’re comfortable with out in the outside world, we do not want to encounter in our books.
So I’m constantly, people have come to me and asked me… is this, are you trying to lock out your non-Dominican reader, you know? And I’m like, no? I assume any gaps in a story and words people don’t understand, whether it’s the nerdish stuff, whether it’s the Elvish, whether it’s the character going on about Dungeons and Dragons, whether it’s the Dominican Spanish, whether it’s the sort of high level graduate language, I assume if people don’t get it that this is not an attempt for the writer to be aggressive. This is an attempt for the writer to encourage the reader to build community, to go out and ask somebody else. For me, words that you can’t understand in a book aren’t there to torture or remind people that they don’t know. I always felt they were to remind people that part of the experience of reading has always been collective. You learn to read with someone else. Yeah you may currently practice it in a solitary fashion, but reading is a collective enterprise. And what the unintelligible in a book does is to remind you how our whole, lives we’ve always needed someone else to help us with reading.
Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.
Paul A.M. Dirac
It is natural to want to employ your friends when you find yourself in times of need. The world is a harsh place, and your friends soften the harshness. Besides, you know them. Why depend on a stranger when you have a friend at hand? Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit, because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure. TACITUS, c. A.D. 55-120 The problem is that you often do not know your friends as well as you imagine. Friends often agree on things in order to avoid an argument. They cover up their unpleasant qualities so as to not offend each other. They laugh extra hard at each other’s jokes. Since honesty rarely strengthens friendship, you may never know how a friend truly feels. Friends will say that they love your poetry, adore your music, envy your taste in clothes—maybe they mean it, often they do not. When you decide to hire a friend, you gradually discover the qualities he or she has kept hidden. Strangely enough, it is your act of kindness that unbalances everything. People want to feel they deserve their good fortune. The receipt of a favor can become oppressive: It means you have been chosen because you are a friend, not necessarily because you are deserving. There is almost a touch of condescension in the act of hiring friends that secretly afflicts them. The injury will come out slowly: A little more honesty, flashes of resentment and envy here and there, and before you know it your friendship fades. The more favors and gifts you supply to revive the friendship, the less gratitude you receive. Ingratitude has a long and deep history. It has demonstrated its powers for so many centuries, that it is truly amazing that people continue to underestimate them. Better to be wary. If you never expect gratitude from a friend, you will be pleasantly surprised when they do prove grateful. The problem with using or hiring friends is that it will inevitably limit your power. The friend is rarely the one who is most able to help you; and in the end, skill and competence are far more important than friendly feelings.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
- The Azan story -
The five daily ritual prayers were regularly performed in congregation, and when the time for each prayer came the people would assemble at the site where the Mosque was being built. Everyone judged of the time by the position of the sun in the sky, or by the first signs of its light on the eastern horizon or by the dimming of its glow in the west after sunset; but opinions could differ, and the Prophet felt the need for a means of summoning the people to prayer when the right time had come. At first he thought of appointing a man to blow a horn like that of the Jews, but later he decided on a wooden clapper, ndqiis, such as the Oriental Christians used at that time, and two pieces of wood were fashioned together for that purpose. But they were never destined to be used; for one night a man of Khazraj, 'Abd Allah ibn Zayd, who had been at the Second 'Aqabah, had a dream whieh the next day he recounted to the Prophet: "There passed by me a man wearing two green garments and he carried in his hand a ndqiis, so I said unto him: "0 slave of God, wilt thou sell me that naqusi" "What wilt thou do with it?" he said. "We will summon the people to prayer with it," I answered. "Shall I not show thee a better way?" he said. "What way is that?" I asked, and he answered: "That thou shouldst say: God is most Great, Alldhu Akbar." The man in green repeated this magnification four times, then each of the following twice: I testify that there is no god but God; I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God; come unto the prayer; come unto salvation; God is most Great; and then once again there is no god but God.
The Prophet said that this was a true vision, and he told him to go to Bilal, who had an excellent voice, and teach him the words exactly as he had heard them in his sleep. The highest house in the neighbourhood of the Mosque belonged to a woman of the clan of Najjar, and Bilal would come there before every dawn and would sit on the roof waiting for the daybreak. When he saw the first faint light in the east he would stretch out his arms and say in supplication: "0 God I praise Thee, and I ask Thy Help for Quraysh, that they may accept Thy religion." Then he would stand and utter the call to prayer.
Martin Lings (Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources)
No,” I hear myself say. “You’re not supposed to be here.”
She’s sitting on my bed. She’s leaning back on her elbows, legs outstretched in front of her, crossed at the ankles. And while some part of me understands I must be dreaming, there’s another, overwhelmingly dominant part of me that refuses to accept this. Part of me wants to believe she’s really here, inches away from me, wearing this short, tight black dress that keeps slipping up her thighs. But everything about her looks different, oddly vibrant; the colors are all wrong. Her lips are a richer, deeper shade of pink; her eyes seem wider, darker. She’s wearing shoes I know she’d never wear. And strangest of all: she’s smiling at me.
“Hi,” she whispers.
It’s just one word, but my heart is already racing. I’m inching away from her, stumbling back and nearly slamming my skull against the headboard, when I realize my shoulder is no longer wounded. I look down at myself. My arms are both fully functional. I’m wearing nothing but a white T-shirt and my underwear.
She shifts positions in an instant, propping herself up on her knees before crawling over to me. She climbs onto my lap. She’s now straddling my waist. I’m suddenly breathing too fast.
Her lips are at my ear. Her words are so soft. “Kiss me,” she says.
“I came all the way here.” She’s still smiling at me. It’s a rare smile, the kind she’s never honored me with. But somehow, right now, she’s mine. She’s mine and she’s perfect and she wants me, and I’m not going to fight it.
I don’t want to.
Her hands are tugging at my shirt, pulling it up over my head. Tossing it to the floor. She leans forward and kisses my neck, just once, so slowly. My eyes fall closed.
There aren’t enough words in this world to describe what I’m feeling.
I feel her hands move down my chest, my stomach; her fingers run along the edge of my underwear. Her hair falls forward, grazing my skin, and I have to clench my fists to keep from pinning her to my bed.
Every nerve ending in my body is awake. I’ve never felt so alive or so desperate in my life, and I’m sure if she could hear what I’m thinking right now, she’d run out the door and never come back.
Because I want her.
I want nothing between us.
I want her clothes off and the lights on and I want to study her. I want to unzip her out of this dress and take my time with every inch of her. I can’t help my need to just stare; to know her and her features: the slope of her nose, the curve of her lips, the line of her jaw. I want to run my fingertips across the soft skin of her neck and trace it all the way down. I want to feel the weight of her pressed against me, wrapped around me.
I can’t remember a reason why this can’t be right or real. I can’t focus on anything but the fact that she’s sitting on my lap, touching my chest, staring into my eyes like she might really love me.
I wonder if I’ve actually died.
But just as I lean in, she leans back, grinning before reaching behind her, never once breaking eye contact with me. “Don’t worry,” she whispers. “It’s almost over now.”
Her words seem so strange, so familiar. “What do you mean?”
“Just a little longer and I’ll leave.”
“No.” I’m blinking fast, reaching for her. “No, don’t go—where are you going—”
“You’ll be all right,” she says. “I promise.”
But now she’s holding a gun.
And pointing it at my heart.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
Know that...there's plenty of food and of course popcorn on the dining-room table. Just...help yourself. If that runs out just let me know. Don't panic. And there's coffee, both caff and decaf, and soft drinks and juice in the kitchen, and plenty of ice in the freezer so...let me know if you have any questions with that.' And lastly, since I have you all here in one place, I have something to share with you. Along the garden ways just now...I too heard the flowers speak. They told me that our family garden has all but turned to sand. I want you to know I've watered and nurtured this square of earth for nearly twenty years, and waited on my knees each spring for these gentle bulbs to rise, reborn. But want does not bring such breath to life. Only love does. The plain, old-fashioned kind. In our family garden my husband is of the genus Narcissus , which includes daffodils and jonquils and a host of other ornamental flowers. There is, in such a genus of man, a pervasive and well-known pattern of grandiosity and egocentrism that feeds off this very kind of evening, this type of glitzy generosity. People of this ilk are very exciting to be around. I have never met anyone with as many friends as my husband. He made two last night at Carvel. I'm not kidding. Where are you two? Hi. Hi, again. Welcome. My husband is a good man, isn't he? He is. But in keeping with his genus, he is also absurdly preoccupied with his own importance, and in staying loyal to this, he can be boastful and unkind and condescending and has an insatiable hunger to be seen as infallible. Underlying all of the constant campaigning needed to uphold this position is a profound vulnerability that lies at the very core of his psyche. Such is the narcissist who must mask his fears of inadequacy by ensuring that he is perceived to be a unique and brilliant stone. In his offspring he finds the grave limits he cannot admit in himself. And he will stop at nothing to make certain that his child continually tries to correct these flaws. In actuality, the child may be exceedingly intelligent, but has so fully developed feelings of ineptitude that he is incapable of believing in his own possibilities. The child's innate sense of self is in great jeopardy when this level of false labeling is accepted. In the end the narcissist must compensate for this core vulnerability he carries and as a result an overestimation of his own importance arises. So it feeds itself, cyclically. And, when in the course of life they realize that their views are not shared or thier expectations are not met, the most common reaction is to become enraged. The rage covers the fear associated with the vulnerable self, but it is nearly impossible for others to see this, and as a result, the very recognition they so crave is most often out of reach. It's been eighteen years that I've lived in service to this mindset. And it's been devastating for me to realize that my efforts to rise to these standards and demands and preposterous requests for perfection have ultimately done nothing but disappoint my husband. Put a person like this with four developing children and you're gonna need more than love poems and ice sculpture to stay afloat. Trust me. So. So, we're done here.
Joshua Braff (The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green)
Do not despise your inner world. That is the first and most general piece of advice I would offer… Our society is very outward-looking, very taken up with the latest new object, the latest piece of gossip, the latest opportunity for self-assertion and status. But we all begin our lives as helpless babies, dependent on others for comfort, food, and survival itself. And even though we develop a degree of mastery and independence, we always remain alarmingly weak and incomplete, dependent on others and on an uncertain world for whatever we are able to achieve. As we grow, we all develop a wide range of emotions responding to this predicament: fear that bad things will happen and that we will be powerless to ward them off; love for those who help and support us; grief when a loved one is lost; hope for good things in the future; anger when someone else damages something we care about. Our emotional life maps our incompleteness: A creature without any needs would never have reasons for fear, or grief, or hope, or anger. But for that very reason we are often ashamed of our emotions, and of the relations of need and dependency bound up with them. Perhaps males, in our society, are especially likely to be ashamed of being incomplete and dependent, because a dominant image of masculinity tells them that they should be self-sufficient and dominant. So people flee from their inner world of feeling, and from articulate mastery of their own emotional experiences. The current psychological literature on the life of boys in America indicates that a large proportion of boys are quite unable to talk about how they feel and how others feel — because they have learned to be ashamed of feelings and needs, and to push them underground. But that means that they don’t know how to deal with their own emotions, or to communicate them to others. When they are frightened, they don’t know how to say it, or even to become fully aware of it. Often they turn their own fear into aggression. Often, too, this lack of a rich inner life catapults them into depression in later life. We are all going to encounter illness, loss, and aging, and we’re not well prepared for these inevitable events by a culture that directs us to think of externals only, and to measure ourselves in terms of our possessions of externals.
What is the remedy of these ills? A kind of self-love that does not shrink from the needy and incomplete parts of the self, but accepts those with interest and curiosity, and tries to develop a language with which to talk about needs and feelings. Storytelling plays a big role in the process of development. As we tell stories about the lives of others, we learn how to imagine what another creature might feel in response to various events. At the same time, we identify with the other creature and learn something about ourselves. As we grow older, we encounter more and more complex stories — in literature, film, visual art, music — that give us a richer and more subtle grasp of human emotions and of our own inner world. So my second piece of advice, closely related to the first, is: Read a lot of stories, listen to a lot of music, and think about what the stories you encounter mean for your own life and lives of those you love. In that way, you will not be alone with an empty self; you will have a newly rich life with yourself, and enhanced possibilities of real communication with others.
Martha C. Nussbaum
Today Means Amen
Dear you, whoever you are, however you got here,
this is exactly where you are supposed to be.
This moment has waited its whole life for you.
This moment is your lover and you are a soldier.
Come home, baby, it's over. You don't need
to suffer anymore. Dear you, this moment
is your surprise party. You are both hiding
in the dark and walking through the door.
This moment is a hallelujah. This moment
is your permission slip to finally open that love
letter you've been hiding from yourself,
the one you wrote when you were little
when you still danced like a sparkler at dusk.
Do you remember the moment you realized
they were watching? When you became
ashamed of how much light you were holding?
When you first learned how to unlove yourself?
Dear you, the word today means amen
in every language. Today, we made it. Today,
I'm going to love you. Today, I'm going
to love myself. Today, the boxcutter will rust
in the garbage. The noose will forget
how to hold you, today, today--
Dear you, and I have always meant you,
nothing would be the same if you
did not exist. You, whose voice is someone's
favorite voice, someone's favorite face
to wake up to. Nothing would be the same
if you did not exist. You, the teacher,
the starter's gun, the lantern in the night
who offers not a way home, but the courage
to travel farther into the dark. You, the lover,
who worships the taste of her body, who is
the largest tree ring in his heart, who does not
let fear ration your love. You, the friend,
the sacred chorus of how can I help.
You, who have felt more numb than holy,
more cracked than mosaic. Who have known
the tiles of a bathroom by heart, who have
forgotten what makes you worth it.
You, the forgiven, the forgiver, who belongs
right here in this moment. You, this clump
of cells, this happy explosion that happened
to start breathing, and by the grace of whatever
is up there, you got here. You made it
this whole way: through the nights
that swallowed you whole, the mornings
that arrived in pieces. The scabs, the gravel,
the doubt, the hurt, the hurt, the hurt
is over. Today, you made it. You made it.
You made it here.
Sierra DeMulder (Today Means Amen)
I have no idea who he was. But he saved me. From you.
I watched from the doorway as he smacked, punched, and threw you against the wall. You fought back hard- I'll give you that- but you were no match for him.
And when it was over- when you'd finally passed out- the boy made direct eye contact with me. He removed the rag from my mouth and asked me if I was okay.
'Yes. I mean, I think so,' I told him.
But it was her that he was really interested in: the girl who was lying unconscious on the floor. Her eyes were swollen, and there looked to be a trail of blood running from her nose.
The boy wiped her face with a rag. And then he kissed her, and held her, and ran his hand over her cheek, finally grabbing his cell to dial 911.
He was wearing gloves, which I thought was weird. Maybe he was concerned about his fingerprints, from breaking in. But once he hung up, he removed the gloves, took the girl's hand, and placed it on the front of his leg- as if it were some magical hot spot that would make her better somehow. Tears welled up in his eyes as he apologized for not getting there sooner.
'I'm so sorry,' he just kept saying.
And suddenly I felt sorry too.
Apparently it was the anniversary of something tragic that'd happened. I couldn't really hear him clearly, but I was pretty sure he'd mentioned visiting an old girlfriend's grave.
'You deserve someone better,' he told her. 'Someone who'll be open and honest; who won't be afraid to share everything with you.' He draped his sweatshirt over her, kissed her behind the ear, and then promised to love her forever.
A couple minutes later, another boy came in, all out of breath. 'Is she alright?' he asked.
The boy who saved me stood up, wiped his tearful eyes, and told the other guy to sit with her until she woke up. And then he went to find scissors for me. He cut me free and brought me out to the sofa. 'My name's Ben,' he said. 'And help is on the way.'
When the girl finally did wake up, Ben allowed the other guy to take credit for saving her life. I wanted to ask him why, but I haven't been able to speak.
That's what this letter is for. My therapist says that I need to tell my side of things in order to regain my voice. She suggested that addressing my thoughts directly to you might help provide some closure.
So far, it hasn't done the trick.
Never your Jill,
Laurie Faria Stolarz (Deadly Little Voices (Touch, #4))
Because we cannot discover God's throne in the sky with a radiotelescope or establish (for certain) that a beloved father or mother is still about in a more or less corporeal form, people assume that such ideas are "not true." I would rather say that they are not "true" enough, for these are conceptions of a kind that have accompanied human life from prehistoric times, and that still break through into consciousness at any provocation.
Modern man may assert that he can dispose with them, and he may bolster his opinion by insisting that there is no scientific evidence of their truth. Or he may even regret the loss of his convictions. But since we are dealing with invisible and unknowable things (for God is beyond human understanding, and there is no means of proving immortality), why should we bother about evidence? Even if we did not know by reason our need for salt in our food, we should nonetheless profit from its use. We might argue that the use of salt is a mere illusion of taste or a superstition; but it would still contribute to our well-being. Why, then, should we deprive ourselves of views that would prove helpful in crises and would give a meaning to our existence?
And how do we know that such ideas are not true? Many people would agree with me if I stated flatly that such ideas are probably illusions. What they fail to realize is that the denial is as impossible to "prove" as the assertion of religious belief. We are entirely free to choose which point of view we take; it will in any case be an arbitrary decision.
There is, however, a strong empirical reason why we should cultivate thoughts that can never be proved. It is that they are known to be useful. Man positively needs general ideas and convictions that will give a meaning to his life and enable him to find a place for himself in the universe. He can stand the most incredible hardships when he is convinced that they make sense; he is crushed when, on top of all his misfortunes, he has to admit that he is taking part in a "tale told by an idiot."
It is the role of religious symbols to give a meaning to the life of man. The Pueblo Indians believe that they are the sons of Father Sun, and this belief endows their life with a perspective (and a goal) that goes far beyond their limited existence. It gives them ample space for the unfolding of personality and permits them a full life as complete persons. Their plight is infinitely more satisfactory than that of a man in our own civilization who knows that he is (and will remain) nothing more than an underdog with no inner meaning to his life.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
A Faint Music by Robert Hass
Maybe you need to write a poem about grace.
When everything broken is broken,
and everything dead is dead,
and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt,
and the heroine has studied her face and its defects
remorselessly, and the pain they thought might,
as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves
has lost its novelty and not released them,
and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly,
watching the others go about their days—
likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears—
that self-love is the one weedy stalk
of every human blossoming, and understood,
therefore, why they had been, all their lives,
in such a fury to defend it, and that no one—
except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool
of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic
life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light,
faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears.
As in the story a friend told once about the time
he tried to kill himself. His girl had left him.
Bees in the heart, then scorpions, maggots, and then ash.
He climbed onto the jumping girder of the bridge,
the bay side, a blue, lucid afternoon.
And in the salt air he thought about the word “seafood,”
that there was something faintly ridiculous about it.
No one said “landfood.” He thought it was degrading to the rainbow perch
he’d reeled in gleaming from the cliffs, the black rockbass,
scales like polished carbon, in beds of kelp
along the coast—and he realized that the reason for the word
was crabs, or mussels, clams. Otherwise
the restaurants could just put “fish” up on their signs,
and when he woke—he’d slept for hours, curled up
on the girder like a child—the sun was going down
and he felt a little better, and afraid. He put on the jacket
he’d used for a pillow, climbed over the railing
carefully, and drove home to an empty house.
There was a pair of her lemon yellow panties
hanging on a doorknob. He studied them. Much-washed.
A faint russet in the crotch that made him sick
with rage and grief. He knew more or less
where she was. A flat somewhere on Russian Hill.
They’d have just finished making love. She’d have tears
in her eyes and touch his jawbone gratefully. “God,”
she’d say, “you are so good for me.” Winking lights,
a foggy view downhill toward the harbor and the bay.
“You’re sad,” he’d say. “Yes.” “Thinking about Nick?”
“Yes,” she’d say and cry. “I tried so hard,” sobbing now,
“I really tried so hard.” And then he’d hold her for a while—
Guatemalan weavings from his fieldwork on the wall—
and then they’d fuck again, and she would cry some more,
and go to sleep.
And he, he would play that scene
once only, once and a half, and tell himself
that he was going to carry it for a very long time
and that there was nothing he could do
but carry it. He went out onto the porch, and listened
to the forest in the summer dark, madrone bark
cracking and curling as the cold came up.
It’s not the story though, not the friend
leaning toward you, saying “And then I realized—,”
which is the part of stories one never quite believes.
I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain
it must sometimes make a kind of singing.
And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps—
First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing
Robert Hass (Sun under Wood)
Where's my sister?"
"She's setting up the island we found tonight."
Galen shakes his head. "You slithering eel. You might have told me what you were up to."
Toraf laughs. "Oh sure. 'Hey, Galen, I need to borrow Emma for a few minutes so I can kiss her, okay?' Didn't see that going over very well."
"You think your surprise attack went over better?"
Toraf shrugs. "I'm satisfied."
"I could have killed you today."
"Don't ever do that again."
"Wasn't planning on it. Thought it was real sweet of you to defend your sister's honor. Very brotherly." Toraf snickers.
"I'm just saying."
Galen runs a hand through his hair. "I only saw Emma. I forgot all about Rayna."
"I know, idiot. That's why I let you hit me fifty-eight times. That's what I would do if someone kissed Rayna."
"Don't get carried away, minnow. By the way, was Emma boiling mad or just a little heated? Should I keep my distance for a while?"
Galen snorts. "She laughed so hard I thought she'd pass out. I'm the one in trouble."
"Shocker. What'd you do?"
"The usual." Hiding his feelings. Blurting out the wrong thing. Acting like a territorial bull shark.
Toraf shakes his head. "She won't put up with that forever. She already thinks you only want to change her so she can become another of your royal subjects."
"She said that?" Galen scowls. "I don't know what's worse. Letting her think that, or telling her the truth about why I'm helping her to change."
"In my opinion, there's nothing to tell her unless she can actually change. And so far, she can't."
"You don't think she's one of us?"
Toraf shrugs. "Her skin wrinkles. It's kind of gross. Maybe she's some sort of superhuman. You know, like Batman."
Galen laughs. "How do you know about Batman?"
"I saw him on that black square in your living room. He can do all sorts of things other humans can't do. Maybe Emma is like him."
"Batman isn't real. He's just a human acting like that so other humans will watch him."
"Looked real to me."
"They're good at making it look real. Some humans spend their whole lives making something that isn't real look like something that is."
"Humans are creepier than I thought. Why pretend to be something you're not?"
Galen nods. To take over a kingdom, maybe? "Actually, that reminds me. Grom needs you."
Toraf groans. "Can it wait? Rayna's getting all cozy on our island right about now."
"Seriously. I don't want to know."
Toraf grins. "Right. Sorry. But you can see my point, right? I mean, if Emma were waiting for you-"
"Emma wouldn't be waiting for me. I wouldn't have left."
"Rayna made me. You've never hit me that hard before. She wants us to get along. Plus, there's something I need to tell you, but I didn't exactly get a change to."
"Yesterday when we were practicing in front of your house, I sensed someone. Someone I don't know. I made Emma get out of the water while I went to investigate."
"And she listened to you?"
Toraf nods. "Turns out, you're the only one she disobeys.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
In one hallway, the floor gleaming parquet and the ceiling festooned with golden cherubs, there was a boy in a grumpy cat mask and biker boots, not involved in any sexual activity, legs crossed and leaning against the wall. As a bevy of faeries passed the boy, giggling and groping, the boy scooted away.
Alec remembered being younger, and how overwhelming large groups of people had seemed. He came over and leaned against the wall beside the boy. He saw the boy texting, PARTIES WERE INVENTED TO ANNOY ME. THEY FEATURE MY LEAST FAVORITE THING: PEOPLE, ALL INTENT ON MY LEAST FAVORITE ACTIVITY: SOCIAL INTERACTION.
“I don’t really like parties either,” Alec said sympathetically.
“No hablo italiano,” the boy mumbled without looking up.
“Er,” said Alec. “This conversation is happening in English.”
“No hablo ingles,” he said without missing a beat.
“Oh, come on. Really?”
“Worth a shot,” said the boy.
Alec considered going away. The boy wrote another text to a contact he had saved as RF. Alec could not help but notice that the conversation was entirely one-sided, the boy sending text after text with no response. The last text read VENICE SMELLS LIKE A TOILET. AS A NEW YORKER, I DO NOT SAY THIS LIGHTLY.
The weird coincidence emboldened Alec to try again.
“I get shy when there are strangers too,” Alec told the kid.
“I’m not shy,” the boy sneered. “I just hate everyone around me and everything that is happening.”
“Well.” Alec shrugged. “Those feel like similar things sometimes.”
The boy lifted his curly head, pushing the grumpy cat mask off his face, and froze. Alec froze too, at the twin shock of fangs and familiarity. This was a vampire, and Alec knew him.
“Raphael?” he asked. “Raphael Santiago?”
He wondered what the second-in-command of the New York clan was doing here. Downworlders might be flooding in from all over the world, but Raphael had never struck Alec as a party animal.
Of course, he was not exactly coming off as a party animal now.
“Oh no, it’s you,” said Raphael. “The twelve-year-old idiot.”
Alec was not keen on vampires. They were, after all, people who had died. Alec had seen too much death to want reminders of it.
He understood that they were immortal, but there was no need to show off about it.
“We just fought a war together. I was with you in the graveyard when Simon came back as a vampire. You’ve seen me multiple times since I was twelve.”
“The thought of you at twelve haunts me,” Raphael said darkly.
“Okay,” Alec said, humoring him. “So have you seen a guy called Mori Shu anywhere around here?”
“I am trying not to make eye contact with anyone here,” said Raphael. “And I’m not a snitch for Shadowhunters. Or a fan of talking to people, of any kind, in any place.”
Alec rolled his eyes.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Ms. Terwilliger didn’t have a chance to respond to my geological ramblings because someone knocked on the door. I slipped the rocks into my pocket and tried to look studious as she called an entry. I figured Zoe had tracked me down, but surprisingly, Angeline walked in.
"Did you know," she said, "that it’s a lot harder to put organs back in the body than it is to get them out?"
I closed my eyes and silently counted to five before opening them again. “Please tell me you haven’t eviscerated someone.”
She shook her head. “No, no. I left my biology homework in Miss Wentworth’s room, but when I went back to get it, she’d already left and locked the door. But it’s due tomorrow, and I’m already in trouble in there, so I had to get it. So, I went around outside, and her window lock wasn’t that hard to open, and I—”
"Wait," I interrupted. "You broke into a classroom?"
"Yeah, but that’s not the problem."
Behind me, I heard a choking laugh from Ms. Terwilliger’s desk.
"Go on," I said wearily.
"Well, when I climbed through, I didn’t realize there was a bunch of stuff in the way, and I crashed into those plastic models of the human body she has. You know, the life size ones with all the parts inside? And bam!" Angeline held up her arms for effect. "Organs everywhere." She paused and looked at me expectantly. "So what are we going to do? I can’t get in trouble with her."
"We?" I exclaimed.
"Here," said Ms. Terwilliger. I turned around, and she tossed me a set of keys. From the look on her face, it was taking every ounce of self-control not to burst out laughing. "That square one’s a master. I know for a fact she has yoga and won’t be back for the rest of the day. I imagine you can repair the damage—and retrieve the homework—before anyone’s the wiser.”
I knew that the “you” in “you can repair” meant me. With a sigh, I stood up and packed up my things. “Thanks,” I said.
As Angeline and I walked down to the science wing, I told her, “You know, the next time you’ve got a problem, maybe come to me before it becomes an even bigger problem.”
"Oh no," she said nobly. "I didn’t want to be an inconvenience."
Her description of the scene was pretty accurate: organs everywhere. Miss Wentworth had two models, male and female, with carved out torsos that cleverly held removable parts of the body that could be examined in greater detail. Wisely, she had purchased models that were only waist-high. That was still more than enough of a mess for us, especially since it was hard to tell which model the various organs belonged to.
I had a pretty good sense of anatomy but still opened up a textbook for reference as I began sorting. Angeline, realizing her uselessness here, perched on a far counter and swing her legs as she watched me. I’d started reassembling the male when I heard a voice behind me.
"Melbourne, I always knew you’d need to learn about this kind of thing. I’d just kind of hoped you’d learn it on a real guy."
I glanced back at Trey, as he leaned in the doorway with a smug expression. “Ha, ha. If you were a real friend, you’d come help me.” I pointed to the female model. “Let’s see some of your alleged expertise in action.”
"Alleged?" He sounded indignant but strolled in anyways.
I hadn’t really thought much about asking him for help. Mostly I was thinking this was taking much longer than it should, and I had more important things to do with my time. It was only when he came to a sudden halt that I realized my mistake.
"Oh," he said, seeing Angeline. "Hi."
Her swinging feet stopped, and her eyes were as wide as his. “Um, hi.”
The tension ramped up from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds, and everyone seemed at a loss for words. Angeline jerked her head toward the models and blurted out. “I had an accident.”
That seemed to snap Trey from his daze, and a smile curved his lips. Whereas Angeline’s antics made me want to pull out my hair sometimes, he found them endearing.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
Don’t strive to be a well-rounded leader. Instead, discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else.
Admitting a weakness is a sign of strength. Acknowledging weakness doesn’t make a leader less effective.
Everybody in your organization benefits when you delegate responsibilities that fall outside your core competency. Thoughtful delegation will allow someone else in your organization to shine. Your weakness is someone’s opportunity.
Leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people.
The people who follow us are exactly where we have led them. If there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is our own fault.
As a leader, gifted by God to do a few things well, it is not right for you to attempt to do everything. Upgrade your performance by playing to your strengths and delegating your weaknesses.
There are many things I can do, but I have to narrow it down to the one thing I must do. The secret of concentration is elimination.
Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing.
My competence in these areas defines my success as a pastor.
A sixty-hour workweek will not compensate for a poorly delivered sermon. People don’t show up on Sunday morning because I am a good pastor (leader, shepherd, counselor).
In my world, it is my communication skills that make the difference. So that is where I focus my time.
To develop a competent team, help the leaders in your organization discover their leadership competencies and delegate accordingly.
Once you step outside your zone, don’t attempt to lead. Follow.
The less you do, the more you will accomplish.
Only those leaders who act boldly in times of crisis and change are willingly followed.
Accepting the status quo is the equivalent of accepting a death sentence. Where there’s no progress, there’s no growth. If there’s no growth, there’s no life. Environments void of change are eventually void of life. So leaders find themselves in the precarious and often career-jeopardizing position of being the one to draw attention to the need for change. Consequently, courage is a nonnegotiable quality for the next generation leader.
The leader is the one who has the courage to act on what he sees.
A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It is not his insight that sets the leader apart from the crowd. It is his courage to act on what he sees, to speak up when everyone else is silent. Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside.
The first person to step out in a new direction is viewed as the leader. And being the first to step out requires courage. In this way, courage establishes leadership.
Leadership requires the courage to walk in the dark. The darkness is the uncertainty that always accompanies change. The mystery of whether or not a new enterprise will pan out. The reservation everyone initially feels when a new idea is introduced. The risk of being wrong.
Many who lack the courage to forge ahead alone yearn for someone to take the first step, to go first, to show the way. It could be argued that the dark provides the optimal context for leadership. After all, if the pathway to the future were well lit, it would be crowded.
Fear has kept many would-be leaders on the sidelines, while good opportunities paraded by. They didn’t lack insight. They lacked courage.
Leaders are not always the first to see the need for change, but they are the first to act.
Leadership is about moving boldly into the future in spite of uncertainty and risk.
You can’t lead without taking risk. You won’t take risk without courage. Courage is essential to leadership.
Andy Stanley (Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future)