More Inspiration Quotes

What’s been most amazing and inspiring to me about receiving these quotes – above and beyond the quotes themselves – has been the opportunity to connect with the individual people who turn to them for support, imagining how the words pull them along out of despair and into hope.

Some of the senders are people I know, and some are people who know people I know. It’s been a really wonderful experience, and I’m very grateful to Charlie for sending me the original letter and to all the people who passed it along, and to all the recipients who participated and sent their word-sustenance gifts along to me.

Alfred D’Souza:

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination. For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.”

From The Espresso Tales, by Alexander McCall Smith

“…we really are very small… but never overcompensate, be content with small places, the local, the short story rather than the saga; take pleasure in private jokes, in expressions that cannot be translated, in references that can be understood by only two or three, but which speak with such eloquence for small places and the fellowship of those whom you know so well and whose sayings and moods are as familiar as the weather; these mean everything, they mean the world, they mean the world.”

We Were Made for These Times, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes 

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

Henry Noewen:

“We need to be angels for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow but also a cup of joy will we be able to drink it.”

Psalm 46:10

“Be still and know that I am God.”

The sender wrote that he breaks that up into five separate pieces, each deleting words from the line before. He says them on his slow exhalation breath to himself or sometimes out loud in a Gregorian Chant sort of way:

Be still and know that I am God…
Be still and know that I am…
Be still and know…
Be still…

Mark Twain

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

The Beads of Life, by Nancy Wood

The space between events is where most of life is lived. Those half-remembered moments of joy or sadness, fear or disappointment, are merely beads of life strung together to make one expanding necklace of experience.

The space between events is where we grow old. From sunrise to sunset one day lives as another day emerges from the fluid womb of dawn, the first bead strung upon the everlasting thread of life.

The space between events is where knowledge marries beauty. In quiet reflection we remember only the colored outline of events, the black and white of war, the rosiness that surrounded our first love.

The space between events is why we go on living. The laughter of a child or the sigh of wind in a canyon becomes the music we hear expanding in our hearts each time we gather one more bead of life.


One thought on “More Inspiration Quotes

  1. Katherine,

    Thanks for passing on these inspirational quotes the last two weeks. They’re all good and some — I particularly like Estes’ — are fabulous and really helpful.

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