The Power of Words

I believe in the power of words to help us reset our intentions, clarify our thoughts, and create a counternarrative to the voice of doubt many of us have murmuring in our heads — the one that says You can’t, you won’t, you shouldn’t have. Quotes, at their core, almost always shout, Yes!

— Cheryl Strayed, Brave Enough, p. x.

A Gift

If someone is in your life it is because they have a gift for you and you have a gift for them. “I love you” is a spontaneous song we sing when we want to tell someone, “Your presence is a gift in my life.” “I love you” means “Thank you for helping me to love and be loved” and “Thank you for helping me to heal” and “Thank you for helping me to grow.” The people we love are our friends, our teachers, and our healers. They are the essential life support we need for our journey.

— Robert Holden, Loveability, p. 105

Many Incredible Outcomes

You get it right when you start to see that there are many ways for things to turn out and that if you are only focused on one, you will miss out. When you begin to see that there are as many incredible outcomes as there are paths. When you stop expecting it to be smooth and easy all the time. When you stop perceiving that other people have it easier than you and stop comparing yourself to others. Once you stop envisioning some destination where you think you “ought” to be going, you will finally see all the amazing possibilities and opportunities actually in front of you.

— Sherre Hirsch, Thresholds, p. 182-183

Love Sees.

When someone says to you, “I love you,” and says it from the heart, it is because he or she is a witness to the essence of who you are. In simple translation, “I love you” means “I see you.” Love has turned this person into a seer. Unlike love’s imposters, infatuation and lust, which offer only a partial perception, love sees with the heart and it sees the whole person. Love sees your eternal loveliness. Love sees how loveable you really are.

When people say to you, “I love you,” and it is meant truly, they are not relating to you as just a body; they see your soul. Love is not blind; it is visionary. Love sees past physical appearances. Someone who loves you sees that you have a body, but doesn’t think you are a body. How you look is not who you are. Similarly, someone who loves you recognizes you are a good person, a kind person, and a loving person, for example, but sees beyond that too. This person recognizes that you have a personality, but knows you are not just an image or a set of behaviors. Love sees something more. In essence, love is what you experience when your soul sees the soul of another.

— Robert Holden, Loveability, p. 97-98

Perfection Is Not a Destination.

You get it right when you realize that perfect does not exist. This place that we dream about and see in all those neatly packaged movies is fictional. Life is a process of making imperfect decisions based on imperfect options and finding out where they lead you. Sometimes they lead you places that you intended, but other times they don’t. Sometimes they work out in the moment, but oftentimes they don’t until many years later. But once you really understand that perfection is not a destination, it takes the pressure off. You don’t have to reach some arbitrary benchmark that you set for yourself – or that someone else set for you. You can start participating in the present moment rather than wishing you were somewhere else. And this will release you from those outside demands that have been weighing you down and preventing you from being you.

— Sherre Hirsch, Thresholds, p. 182

Created in Love

Had this simple yet profound truth ever penetrated into the hearts of the teachers of God’s people, how revolutionary would have been its effect! True, with their lips they have preached the glad message “God so loved the world,” yet they have been even more zealous to confine His love to those who believe, since they could hardly reconcile eternal torment or annihilation with the operations of love. May He broaden our hearts and widen our understanding! All that God does is done in love. Creation as well as redemption and reconciliation have their roots in the divine affection. And for this very reason it is that all are lost and all will be saved, some indeed by faith, during the eons, yet others by sight, through judgment, all through the deliverance wrought by Him in Whom they were originally created.

— A. E. Knoch, “The Supremacy of Christ,” in Unsearchable Riches, First Quarter, 2015, Volume 106, Number 1, page 21.

We Have Changed.

When we experience some traumatic change in our life – whether it’s the passing of a parent, a painful divorce, or, God forbid, the death of a child – as much as we might yearn to go back to the way things once were, it is impossible. What was behind us no longer exists as we knew it, not because it changed but rather because we changed. It’s kind of like how the house you grew up in did not get smaller; you got bigger. What happened in the past changed who you are, and now you cannot return to that old you because that you no longer exists.

This is a painful truth to accept, especially when we are in a dark hallway, scared and unsure of what lies ahead. When we are stricken with doubts and fears about the future, our brains reflexively tell us that the past was better; and whether this is true or not, our tendency is to believe it. So it is understandable that instead of running forward to the unknown our instinct is to run backward, toward what is known: the past.

— Sherre Hirsch, Thresholds, p. 160-161

You Are Loveable.

Even if your parents weren’t perfect, and even if you weren’t raised with unconditional love, and even if your history is full of heartache, the truth remains that whether someone loves you or not has no bearing on how loveable you really are. Your childhood is not the last chapter in your story. Your first love is not your only love. Your greatest heartache is not the whole story of your life. Your parents are not God. An unhappy past, no matter how terrible, is not a reason to say “I am not loveable,” nor is it a reason to stop loving yourself. Actually, it is a reason to love yourself more.

You can only be held back by your past if you use it to reject yourself in the present.

— Robert Holden, Loveability, p. 76

Telling our Stories Truthfully

When we tell our stories to others, we want them to sound effortless. We want to appear as if it all came easily to us — as if we simply picked the destination we wanted to reach or the goal we wanted to achieve, pursued it doggedly and unwaveringly, and eventually succeeded. But in real life it never happens like this. There are always false starts, detours, and course corrections, and more often than not the room we end up in is not the one we first envisioned. Maybe if we begin to tell our stories differently, if we start to talk about all the times our journey didn’t go as smoothly as expected, we can help others look past their preconceived notion that the road to the “perfect” room is without speed bumps and glitches.

— Sherre Hirsch, Thresholds, p. 154-155