There is no knowledge
so hard to acquire
as the knowledge of how
to live this life
well and naturally.
Michel de Montaigne
There is no knowledge
so hard to acquire
as the knowledge of how
to live this life
well and naturally.
Michel de Montaigne
True love doesn’t exist,
for, love is always true.
If it is not true,
then it is not love at all.”
Nothing is ever really lost to us
as long as we remember it.
Your eyes are like a mirror…
and what you see in me
is a reflection of you.
This story has made the rounds on the internet for a while now, but it’s meaningful enough to pass along again.
A speaker walked around a room full of people while teaching about stress management.
To begin he grabbed a glass of water and raised it above his head as if he was going to propose a toast, and instantly everyone expected they’d be asked if the glass was half empty or half full as part of the lesson. Instead, with a smile on his face, he asked “How heavy is this glass of water?”
From those attending came answers “6 ounces” and “10 ounces” but he shrugged them off.
He replied, “The actual weight doesn’t matter. What really matters is how long I’ve been holding it. If I hold it for just a minute it feels very light. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a whole day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. Any longer than that and I will be very tempted to give up and drop it. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
Those in the room were all blown away by the simplicity yet truth of this lesson.
However, the speaker continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like this glass of water. Carry them for only a short while and they’re manageable. Worry about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if we think about them all day long, or longer, we can begin to feel paralyzed and hopeless – incapable of concentrating or focusing on anything else.”
The speaker added, “It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses whenever possible. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. This can certainly be easier said than done in some cases, but in many cases it’s actually quite easy if we’re mindful about it”.
If the problem can be solved why worry?
If the problem cannot be solved
worrying will do you no good.
Our desires and aversions are mercurial rulers. They demand to be pleased. Desire commands us to run off and get what we want. Aversion insists that we must avoid the things that repel us.
Typically, when we don’t get what we want, we are disappointed, and when we get what we don’t want, we are distressed.
If, then, you avoid only those undesirable things that are contrary to your natural well-being and are within your control, you won’t ever incur anything you truly don’t want. However, if you try to avoid inevitabilities such as sickness, death, or misfortune, over which you have no real control, you will make yourself and others around you suffer.
Desire and aversion, through powerful, are but habits. And we can train ourselves to have better habits. Restrain the habit of being repelled by all those things that aren’t within your control, and focus instead on combating things within your power that are not good for you.
Do your best to rein in your desire. For if you desire something that isn’t within your own control, disappointment will surely follow; meanwhile, you will be neglecting the very things that are within your control that are worthy of desire.
Of course, there are times when for practical reasons, you must go after one thing, or shun another, but do so with grace, finesse, and flexibility. From Epictetus: The Art of Living by Sharon Lebell
Do not spoil what you have
by desiring what you have not;
remember that what you now have
was once among the things you only hoped for.
Many believe the “Serenity Prayer”, of which a portion is used in 12 step meetings, was generally based on the writings of Roman stoic philosopher Epictetus. Here’s a translated section of one of his dialogues that shows that Epictetus’s thoughts could have been on the mind of Reinhold Niebuhr when he wrote the “Serenity Prayer”.
Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.
Within our control are our own opinions, aspirations, desires, and the things that repel us. These areas are quite rightly our concern, because they are directly subject to our influence. We always have a choice about the contents and character of our inner lives.
Outside our control, however, are such things as what kind of body we have, whether we’re born into wealth or strike it rich, how we are regarded by others, and our status in society. We must remember that those things are externals and are therefore not our concern. Trying to control or to change what we can’t only results in torment.
Remember: The things within our power are naturally at our disposal, free from any restraint or hindrance; but those things outside our power are weak, dependent, or determined by the whims and actions of others. Remember, too, that if you think that you have free rein over things that are naturally beyond your control, of if you attempt to adopt the affairs of others as your own, your pursuits will be thwarted and you will become a frustrated, anxious and fault-finding person. (From the “Art of Living” Epictetus interpretation by Sharon Lebell)
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Full version of the “Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Niebuhr
People are not disturbed by things,
but by the views they take of them.
Change her to him and this could be about a woman or a man. Wild Woman then becomes Wild Man and within that I find a good bit of myself in this article from elephantjournal.com.
Dear sweet wild woman,
It all comes down to that magical moment when you meet someone who is brave enough to love you just as you are.
Perhaps you will meet this wild-eyed warrior over sweet tumblers of whiskey, or possibly over a chance encounter when the local barista mistakes your double tall with his mocha grande.
Maybe you have met him before, but now you have new eyes that time has moved mountains to create.
Whenever that magical moment arrives—you will know.
It was never about you being too much woman, my dear, but about you being too much for someone who didn’t yet realize that they were enough.
Because a man could never love a woman like you until he opens himself up to his own greatness. And I know you’ve cried bittersweet tears into your softly laid pillow each evening. When you meet the one who is brave enough to love you, you will be thankful that it never worked out with anyone else.
While you may have hard edges, it’s impossible not love a woman like you.
A woman who washes herself in the lemony essence of hope each morning as she clears her eyes from the mistakes of yesterday and readies herself to take on the challenges of a new day.
A woman who dances in the rain with stardust still sparkling upon her heels from the last time she dirtied herself with following the insanity of her dreams.
You’ve always known that you were meant for love and when you stumble upon the relaxed eyes of a man who just can’t seem to get enough, you will know that he possesses the courage that every other lover lacked.
Perhaps this man will not appear to be the warrior you seek, and maybe he is tarnished from all of the tears that he has shed along his journey, but the thing he will show you is the bravery of a man who never fears the intensity of your gaze.
All hasn’t been that your standards were too high, wondering why the glass slipper of the fairy tale never fit. It was about something more—it was about love.
And though you’ve had your fair share of heartbreak and tangled bitter ends, this man, the one who has the courage to offer his hand to you and accept whatever chaos you might bring into his life, will make it all worthwhile.
You will know the instant your fingertips touch his, dancing under the full honey moon to the melody of intoxicating possibility. You will suddenly know that it’s time to start looking for love in all the right places.
You’ve hit enough walls and felt the cold rush of air from doors being closed in your face, to understand that the only love you deserve is the one who will meet you halfway.
Because the only one who is brave enough to love a woman like you is also the only one who deserves your love.
You are unique and special in your thunderstorm of contradictions that drench the most unsuspecting souls. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
There is magic in the way that you take the mundane and transform it into something beautiful.
Your simple smile can make knees weak and hearts tremble, and it’s not your fault that every other man before this one was just too caught up to notice.
And you, my dear, in your fury of vulnerability and divine sensuality will always remain a mystery.
When you meet this man, his courageous heart will not be intimidated by your presence. In a world that seems to have lost sight of this value, some women are simply meant to be adored.
He may stumble at times, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t worthy of your love.
No one is perfect. Gently remind him that even though mistakes cross both of your hearts, no one has ever deserved you more than him.
This love isn’t about looks, nor is it about being a good match. It comes down to this man staring down all the reasons why he shouldn’t be with you and instead focuses on the only reason why he should.
Because he’s never met a woman like you.
For some you are too much for some to take, but for him, you’ll be his sole reason to carry on. You inspire him to take small leaps of faith toward your love.
Because once in a while we meet someone who makes throw out the rule book for love.
You were born different into a world that celebrates similarities, and though it has been hard to honor your originality, when you meet this man you will finally understand why.
It’s never been about you being like everyone else, and it’s never been because you aren’t worthy of being loved.
Because all you ever needed, my sweet wild woman, is simply a man who is brave enough to love a woman like you. Author: Kate Rose Image: Pixoto Editors: Ashleigh Hitchcock; Emily Bartran
You’re going to have to date a few cowards
before you meet someone brave enough to love you.
R. H. Sin
1. When it arrives, cherish it.
2. Whatever you accept, you will get.
3. Understand that love is a mirror—it will show us who we are if we allow it to.
4. Only we can make ourselves happy, it is not the other person’s responsibility.
5. Don’t say words with the intent to hurt.
6. Accept and forgive easily.
7. Don’t be scared to disagree, it is healthy.
8. Never be too busy for each other.
9. Do not punish.
10. Accept honest criticism, it is good for us.
11. Admit when you are wrong, quickly.
12. Support each other when the going gets tough.
13. Live in the moment—be present.
14. Leave the past where it belongs.
15. Leave drama out of it.
16. Don’t try to control.
17. Allow a small amount of jealousy.
18. Don’t use comparisons.
19. Celebrate differences.
20. Communicate openly and honestly.
21. Listen very carefully.
22. Don’t judge.
23. Don’t manipulate to get results.
24. Learn and grow.
25. Don’t try to change each other.
26. Don’t condemn each other’s family and friends.
27. Lines, flaws and imperfections are beautiful.
28. Trust your instincts, but don’t be paranoid.
29. Don’t compromise your morals and values and don’t expect them to either.
30. Instead of power, aim for balance.
31. Space is needed to breathe and to grow.
32. Accept that you are both unique—never compare.
33. Have fun, laugh and play—a lot.
34. Be each other’s best friend.
35. Don’t play mind games.
36. Do not carelessly throw away love.
37. Don’t waste energy with negative thoughts.
38. Compliment often.
39. Discover each other.
40. Be attentive and understand what’s not said.
41. Do at least one romantic and thoughtful thing every day.
42. Take picnics and sleep under the stars.
43. Don’t just speak about it, show love.
44. Walk together, cook together, bathe together, read together.
45. Do not be afraid, love requires surrender.
46. Be loyal and faithful.
48. Be grateful.
49. Fluidity is good, accept change.
50. Don’t sleep on a fight.
51. Don’t cling to it, know when to let go.
52. Discover what turns you both on and explore it.
53. Make love, but also f*ck (regularly).
54. Give and receive without measure.
55. Never gamble with what you can’t afford to lose.
Being deeply loved by someone
gives you strength,
while loving someone deeply
gives you courage.
By Danna Faulds
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.
From “Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga” by Danna Faulds
People don’t resist change.
They resist being changed.
Peter M. Senge