“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Course in Miracles.
Of course, this is a matter of opinion but here are a few of my favorite first lines from novels. I’d love to hear what your favorites are so don’t be shy and comment below!:)
“See the child.”
—Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
“A woman has written yet another story that is not interesting, though it has a hurricane in it, and a hurricane usually promises to be interesting.”
—Lydia Davis, “The Center of the Story”
“We wanted more.”
—Justin Torres, We the Animals
“Your father picks you up from prison in a stolen Dodge Neon, with an 8-ball of coke in the glove compartment and a hooker named Mandy in the back seat.”
—Dennis Lehane, “Until Gwen”
“A screaming comes across the sky.”
—Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. -Lao Tzu
“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
Knowing you are capable of more then you ever thought possible is the beginning of fearlessness and the end of hiding from your power. Sometimes, we must face the fire to burn away that which restricts our true purpose. I hope this anonymous quote inspires fearlessness in you!
“Fearlessness is the result of
caring more than others think wise,
risking more than other’s think safe,
dreaming more than others think practical,
and expecting more than others think possible.”
Nothing is simple when it comes to mental illness — there are no easy answers, no political slogans, no webcomics or awareness campaigns that can encompass the full and difficult reality of living with a mental condition.
Yet the truth is that many of us, and many of those we love, live their lives in fear of their own minds. We live in terror of the idea, the possibility, that we are damaged goods, incapable of bringing anything but pain and shame to ourselves and those around us.
I believe that no one “goes crazy” on their own — that we live in a society that is crazy-making in its capacity for trauma, denial, and rejection of its own complicity in the creation of disturbed and violent individuals.
If everyone had access to security and healthcare, if our social systems were more open to diversity of psychological experience and expression, I truly doubt that mental illness as we know it would exist.
This is what we must strive for: a greater understanding of how social oppression and intergenerational trauma breed violence and more trauma. We must come to the realization that everyone exists on a spectrum of mental health and illness, and that no one lives without being affected in some way by the “illness” side of the scale.
Let’s focus on the ways in which oppressive social forces such as poverty, racism and systemic violence, as well as personal traumas like child abuse and neglect, are actually responsible for creating and maintaining the symptoms of mental illnesses.
Finally, we must learn to recognize, and love the madness we find within ourselves so that we might better hold and heal the madness we encounter in the world.
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
This week’s quote embodies fearlessness. Has the Universe neatly mapped out a plan for our potential? We can’t know for sure. But if we live fearlessly we may find peace at the end of our days instead of regrets. That makes the struggle worth it. Following your inner voice can be terrifying but it is the only way to fully Become.
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs