I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always … so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.
Yann Martel, Life of Pi
Einstein wrote this in 1922 just as he learned of his Nobel Prize in physics. Either the bellhop refused a tip, or Einstein didn’t have money so he wrote that advice instead. On a second sheet, he wrote another message: “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” Einstein told the bellhop to save the notes — they just might be valuable in the future.
In October 2017, the first fetched about $1.6 million at auction. The second brought a mere $240,000.
Most of us have plenty (by a lot of standards). Not having enough, by itself, isn’t why we choose to be unhappy.
It’s simply having enough and not knowing it.
Our minds are always active. We analyze, reflect, daydream, or dream. There is not a moment during the day or night when we are not thinking. You might say our thinking is “unceasing.” Sometimes we wish that we could stop thinking for a while; that would save us from many worries, guilt feelings, and fears. Our ability to think is our greatest gift, but it is also the source of our greatest pain. Do we have to become victims of our unceasing thoughts? No, we can convert our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer by making our inner monologue into a continuing dialogue with our God, who is the source of all love.
Let’s break out of our isolation and realize that Someone who dwells in the center of our beings wants to listen with love to all that occupies and preoccupies our minds.
author of guts: the endless follies & tiny triumphs of a giant disaster
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
— mere christianity
“Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.”
― The Problem of Pain
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” — mere christianity
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
— The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining — it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.
“For pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”
― mere christianity
“I think resentment is when you take the poison and wait for the other person to die.”
― A Sponsorship Guide for 12-Step Programs
Buddhism notes that it is always a mistake to think your soul can go it alone.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
― The Problem of Pain
“Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”
― The Silver Chair