Your Beauty and Power

The message of our wounds nearly always is, “This is because of you. This is what you deserve.” It changes things to realize that, no, it is because you are glorious that these things have happened. It is because you are a major threat to the kingdom of darkness. Because you uniquely carry the glory of God to the world.

You are hated because of your beauty and power.

— John and Stasi Eldredge, Captivating, p. 85

Everyone Benefits from True Happiness.

Happiness, by its very nature, encourages trust, spontaneity, optimism, and enthusiasm — all of which bring great gifts. In particular, when you dare to be happy, you find that people instinctively gravitate to you and like you, although they may not know why. Maybe it’s something to do with your smile. Whatever it is, your happiness is an inspiration and a gift to everyone. Everyone benefits from true happiness . . . everyone benefits from your happiness.

— Robert Holden, PhD, Happiness Now! p. 34

Making Stories

We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort.

And that is why we write.

–Neil Gaiman, Newbery Acceptance Speech, Horn Book Magazine, July/August 2009, Volume LXXXV Number 4, p. 350

Plugging Away

I am still plugging away at my writing. The road to literature is at first a very slow one, but I have made a good deal of progress since this time last year, and I mean to work patiently on until I win — as I believe I shall, sooner or later — recognition and success.

— L. M. Montgomery, before the publication of Anne of Green Gables

First, Love.

Try, if you can, to hate someone and be happy. Try to resent somebody and be joyous. Try to be angry at someone and be peaceful. Try to judge someone and feel free. Try to control someone and not feel controlled. Try to be fully independent and intimate. Try to cheat somebody and feel safe. It can’t happen, because what you do to another you’re doing to yourself. Love works! . . .

First, love! Love and enjoy everything! If you’re waiting to be happy before you start being loving, then you’ll find that you’re in for a very long wait. Similarly, if you’re waiting to be successful before you’re truly loving and generous, then you’ll be greatly disappointed and frustrated. There’s no such thing as happiness without love first, health without love first, peace of mind without love first, or freedom without love first. First, love! . . .

Resentment costs too much. Make no mistake — you are the one who has to pay the bill for the resentment you hold on to. It is your nervous system, your lungs, your muscles, your heart, your perception, and your mind that deteriorates and decays during every moment you try to defend yourself with hate. . . .

The problem with resentment is that you cannot be resentful and happy. There’s an old saying: “If your heart has room for one enemy, it is not a safe place for a friend.” You cannot hate and be happy. You cannot hate and love. You cannot hate and win. You cannot hate and be free. You cannot hate and be present. You cannot hate and have a future. The bottom line is . . .

You cannot carry resentment and peace of mind at the same time.

As long as you still value resentment, forgiveness will have no appeal. Forgiveness only has appeal for those who are interested in freedom, love, peace of mind, and joy.

— Robert Hold, PhD, Happiness Now! p. 185, 207-208