Made to Shine

Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are ignoring the owner’s manual your Creator gave you. What I know for sure is this: You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up.

— Oprah Winfrey, What I Know For Sure, p. 109

Keeping a Journal

Keeping a journal has taught me that there is not so much new in your life as you sometimes think. When you reread your journal you find out that your latest discovery is something you already found out five years ago. Still, it is true that one penetrates deeper and deeper into the same ideas and same experiences.

— Thomas Merton, A Thomas Merton Reader, p. 195

Love Working Through Us

I have to believe that a real higher power is struggling in this as much as we are. But horribly, if healing and care are going to get done, it will be love working through us. Us! In our current condition, not down the road, when we are in the fullness of our restoration, in wholeness, compassionate detachment, patient amusement. Us, now. It has taken years for me to get this well, which is to say, half as reactive and a third less obsessed with my own neurotic disappointing self. I don’t agree with the pace of how slowly we evolve toward patience, wisdom, forgiveness. Anyone would understand if we gave up and settled, the way people settle for terrible marriages. But these are our lives. So we try, we do the work of becoming saner and more authentic, which is hard enough without truly monstrous people crashing into our lives, often — not always — through marriage, although I am not going to name names. Well, maybe just one. . .

— Anne Lamott, Small Victories, p. 268


Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where scarcity and shame dominate and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of feeling hurt. But as I look back on my own life and what Daring Greatly has meant to me, I can honestly say that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I’m standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen.

— BrenĂ© Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 248-249

Release From Me

Forgiveness is release from me; somehow, finally. I am returned to my better, dopier self, so much lighter when I don’t have to drag the toxic chatter, wrangle, and pinch around with me anymore. Not that I don’t get it out every so often, for old time’s sake. But the trapped cloud is no longer nearly so dark or dense. It was blown into wisps, of smoke, of snow, of ocean spray.

— Anne Lamott, Small Victories, p. 118