Favorite Quotes from January Reading

From Kevin Powers (2012) The Yellow Birds: A Novel.  “[War] tried to kill us every day, but it had not succeeded.  Not that our safety was preordained.  We were not destined to survive.  The fact is, we were not destined at all.  The war would take what it could get.  It was patient.  It didn’t care about objectives, or boundaries, whether you were loved by many or not at all.” (p.3,4)

From Charles Duhigg (2012). The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Random House:

“Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.  Left to its own devices, the brain will try to make almost any routine into a habit, because habits allow our minds to ramp down more often.” p. 17

“Willpower isn’t just a skill.  It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms and legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.” p.137

From Elan Golomb (1992).  Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in their Struggle For Self.

“The more a person’s worth is exaggerated the smaller he feels.  False labeling destroys one’s sense of worth.” ….”[With a narcissistic parent] The child’s inner self, which requires unconditional love, is treated as identical with his external behavior and his products” (p. 29)

“A man with a healthy ego takes longer to establish his commitments since he looks before he leaps.” (p. 83)

From Brene Brown (2010) The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.

[A quote from Chodron in Brown’s book]…”Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.  Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” (p. 16)

“The heart of compassion is really acceptance.  The better we are at accepting ourselves and others, the more compassionate we become.  Well, it’s difficult to accept people when they are hurting us or taking advantage of us or walking all over us.  This research has taught me that if we really want to practice compassion, we have to start by setting boundaries and holding people accountable for their behavior.” (p. 16)

From James Finley’s Christian Meditation

“In passing from ego consciousness to meditative states of awareness, we are awakened to that eternal oneness with God that is the very reality of ourselves and of everyone and everything around us.” (location 162 ebook)

“We start out in ego consciousness, imagining that the union with God we seek is far off.  After all, ego consciousness is the subjective perception of being a separate self that has to find God, who is perceived as being other than one’s self.  But then, as ego consciousness yields and gives way to meditative awareness we begin to recognize the surprising nearness of God, already perfectly present in the intimate recesses of our very being.” (location 168,173 ebook)

From W.S. Merwin Migration: New and Selected Poems loved FINDING A TEACHER, for copyright reasons won’t reprint it but encourage you to look it up.

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