Joy as Antidote

June 3rd, 2021

Of one thing I am sure. Complaining is self-perpetuating and counterproductive. Whenever I express my complaints in the hope of evoking pity and receiving the satisfaction I so much desire, the result is always the opposite of what I tried to get. A complainer is hard to live with, and very few people know how to respond to the complaints made by a self-rejecting person. The tragedy is that, often, the complaint, once expressed, leads to that which is most feared: further rejection. . . . Joy and resentment cannot coexist.

— Henri J. M. Nouwen, You Are Beloved, p. 170 (from The Return of the Prodigal Son)

Loving Yourself

May 23rd, 2021

Spend time with — or talk to — someone who loves you exactly as you are. See yourself through their eyes. From this day on, commit to becoming someone who loves you exactly as you are.

KEEP MOVING.

— Maggie Smith, Keep Moving, p. 81

Do It with Love.

May 8th, 2021

Whatever you do, do it with love. If you can’t feel love in your heart, then go for kindness, respect, patience — or stay silent. As difficult as it is to comprehend — and I grant you, it is difficult if not impossible to believe — absolutely everything in our lives is a stage set up for love.

— Caroline Myss, Intimate Conversations with the Divine, p. 262

More Than Enough

May 2nd, 2021

Forget what you’ve learned about scarcity; it doesn’t apply to intangibles. When someone triumphs or finds joy, they aren’t taking what would have been yours — they are making more of what we all draw from. There is more than enough.

KEEP MOVING.

— Maggie Smith, Keep Moving, p. 77

Plant Seeds

April 12th, 2021

It is impossible to know, in the moment, how a small act of goodness will reverberate through time. The notion is empowering and it is frightening — because it means that we’re all capable of changing the world, and responsible for finding those opportunities to protect, feed, grow, and guide love. We can all plant seeds, though only some of us may be so lucky as to sit in their shade. Since we can’t start twenty years ago, the best time to start is today.

— Bishop Michael Curry, Love Is the Way, p. 139

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 2, 2021

Spread the Care

April 8th, 2021

Fight the urge to withdraw, to fold in on yourself, as if your pain is contagious and might infect someone else. We are here to take care of one another; the care is what’s catching, spreading person to person to person. So take — and give — care.

KEEP MOVING.

— Maggie Smith, Keep Moving, p. 71

Photo: Bluebell Trail, Bull Run Regional Park, Virginia, April 8, 2021

Thankful for the Wounds

April 7th, 2021

Be thankful for your wounds, as strange as that sounds; the ways you’ve been hurt and the ways you’ve faltered make you useful to other people. Empathy is a kind of fellowship; be thankful that your wounds made this togetherness possible.

KEEP MOVING.

— Maggie Smith, Keep Moving, p. 70

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 6, 2021

Truly Good News

April 4th, 2021

The truly good news is that God is not a distant God, a God to be feared and avoided, a God of revenge, but a God who is moved by our pains and participates in the fullness of the human struggle.

— Henri J. M. Nouwen, You Are Beloved, p. 105

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 2, 2021

Grow Anyway.

April 1st, 2021

It is not your job to make other people comfortable with who you are. Be wary of those who don’t want you to change or grow. Grow anyway — there is no alternative.

KEEP MOVING.

— Maggie Smith, Keep Moving, p. 66

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 30, 2021

Love With Skin On

March 31st, 2021

We are being shepherded beyond our fears and needs to becoming our actual selves. This sucks and hurts some days, and I frequently do not want it or agree to it. But it persists, like water wearing through a boulder in the river. Hope springs from realizing we are loved, can love, and are love with skin on. Then we are unstoppable.

— Anne Lamott, Dusk Night Dawn, p. 190-191

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 30, 2021