Other Stuff: Stories
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This is the final page of the ‘Miscellaneous Section’ of this web site. It contains all the ‘stuff’ that did not fit anywhere else.

Stories and Quotes
The following is rather a simple story and I suppose not really intended for adults however, I came across it a long time ago and recently while going through some notes I found it again. I used to use it while Counselling and Mentoring children and they seemed to like it so rather than loose it I thought to include it here.

Nail in the Fence
There was once a little boy who could not control his temper, who was constantly at odds with his family and friends, lashing out both verbally and physically.
One day his Father gave him a bag of large nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of their fence.
The first day the boy drove 37 nails into the fence, however over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, and the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled.
He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive the nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy did not loose his temper and he told his father.
His father was pleased at this and suggested that as well as driving nails in that he could now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
Many weeks passed until finally the boy was able to tell his father that there were no more nails to pull out.

The father took his son by the hand and led him back to the fence and said;
“You have done well my son and achieved much, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same.
When you say or do things in anger, they leave a scar like those you have left in the fence.
You can drive a knife into a man and then draw it out.
However, no matter how much you regret it and apologies, the wound will leave a scar.
No matter Verbal or physical, all that is done in anger always leaves a scar.

Please forgive me if ever I have left a scar.

* * *

The Invitation
The following I like very much, it is not exactly as I would have it but I see it s an exchange between Client and Therapist.

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

From the book The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Buy 'The Invitation' by Oriah Mountain Dreamer from Amazon

* * *

Our Deepest Fear

The following speaks deeply to of the adaptations that most of us make to fit in. How people down grade their brilliance so that they will be accepted to the crowd. God is mentioned and for some this may cause them to reject what is written but for me we are more than the sum of our parts. Life is uniquely special and if some wish to refer to God or a god or Spirituality, or a higher existence or levels of conscious energy or such things, I believe that belief in something ‘spiritual’ which more than ourselves, gives more than it takes.

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, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's 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 that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

By © Marianne Williamson, 1992
Found in "A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles" Harper Collins, Chapter 7, Section 3, 1992.

Buy the book A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles from Amazon

* * *


The following may seem a little glib or clichéd but I like it anyway and without doubt there is something in the advice. There is also a little bit of urban legend that surrounds it which for me adds to the appeal.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
And remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
And listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
They are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
For always there will be greater and lesser persons than you.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
Many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years,
Gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
You have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,

And whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
Keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

By Max Ehrmann c.1920