This area is dedicated to the writings of others that inspire, entertain and educate us. It is dedicated to our favourite quotes. Anyone can submit a quote that they like or feel has some meaning to them. You may include with the quote a commentary explaining your choise or you may just submit the quote… The choice is yours.
The following is one of my favourite if not my favourite quote. It speaks to me about client issues and the essence of counselling being to support clients in their attempts to shine and become all that they can be, to gain self belief and self reliance. Have you ever wondered why of all the possible belief structures people could adopt, the most common are ones that are judgemental, avoidant, dismissive and fearful of themselves, others and the world? Have you ever noticed how protective people are of themselves? Sadly, Fear is one of the strongest of all forces. We Fear Disappointment, Failure, Obligation, Betrayal, Loneliness, Abandonment, and Emotional and Physical Injury and Harm and much more beside; in fact, we fear all the things we believe we cannot cope with. However, our greatest fears concern our interactions with others, we fear Rejection, Disapproval, and Victimisation so very strongly that is colours all our relationships, even our relationship with ourselves. And we will do anything to avoid it, and make any adaptations to gain Approval, Acceptance and to ‘fit in’.
The most common adaptation is ‘negative’; in adopting a ‘closed’ view, one can protect oneself. Without self-belief, belief in others or belief in the world, one can avoid almost all emotional harm and much physical harm. With no one to believe in, one cannot be disappointed, one cannot fail or be betrayed, and one has no expectations. If there is no self, then one is able to adapt, to fit in and gain approval and acceptance. And if we never truly commit to any form of relationship, with ourselves or others and remain always on the defensive, always protective, always hidden, always adapting and changing with the wind of opinion; then the job is done and we are safe, alienated from ourselves, others and the world but safe. And if that leaves us in an uncomfortable and unhappy place, it is the price we are willing to pay for safety.
Sadly, the bargain that we strike for safety gains us nothing but the tantalising spectre of safety. Our protective measures and adaptations leave us feeling unsafe and insecure and so we are forced to make more adaptations and concessions and yet the more we seek safety the less safe we feel. Far from reach; a fleeting feeling that comes for a moment then passes. We gain momentary acceptance and approval but at what cost to ourselves? We risk nothing and loose everything but our fear.
Though this may seem counter intuitive; a true sense of safety or security comes not from protecting ourselves, closing doors and building walls or adapting to the needs of others in order to gain approval. Instead, it is found in embracing the unknown, embracing risk and being open to the potential of harm. It comes from being open to all things and believing in one’s own innate resilience and ability. It comes from a willingness to shine and be special, to accept oneself and to approve of oneself and to believe in the special of others. It comes not from alienation from the self but from embracing our true selves; the self that knows our potential and the potential of others and implicitly believes in and accepts ourselves. The self that knows that the world and its people’s are neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’ but instead recognises all potentials without judgement. And thus we risk everything, gain everything and loose nothing but our fear.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God (Nature or whatever).
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
I have never been one for heroes or contrived platitudes, but this man was somebody special and had something worth listening to.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
“As human beings, our greatness lays not so much in being able to remake the world - as in being able to remake ourselves.”
“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
“An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”
“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
“I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.”
“Happiness is when what you think, what you feel, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”