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Thread: Words to live by

  1. #1

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    Default Words to live by

    Does anyone have words that mean so much to them that you strive to live by them? I have been influenced by a number of writers. Some spiritual, others not, who have helped me see beyond my own problems to try to live life as a better person.

    One book is Victor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning". His insight into how people choose to respond to suffering has had a huge impact on me.

    One special piece which I try to reread regularly is "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. We had an excerpt of it read at our wedding. It was too long to read it all, but the stanzas that were most important to me still are.

    This is it in entirety

    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 dreams
    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 center 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
    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 on the edge of the lake
    and shout to the silver of the full moon,
    "Yes."

    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 a 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 center 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.
    I suppose it speaks to me of resilience and being true to oneself.

    What words to you strive to live by?

  2. #2

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    Default

    Funny, the first thing I thought of when I read your subject heading was The Invitation too. Reading it always leaves me inspired and energized like nothing else I've ever read.

  3. #3

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    Interesting.

    I like to know what people are passionate about ... what makes their face light up, what makes them tick.

    I was speaking with a former colleague, and I asked, "Tell me about yourself - what are you passionate about? other than your family, of course."

    And he went on to break my heart, by telling me that he wasn't passionate about his family ...

    The things he went on to talk about didn't make him light up, and weren't things in which beauty or uniqueness or life were found in ...

    I never quite could look at him the same.

    I like the meaning behind the poem.

    I wonder what my answers would be ...

  4. #4

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    The book is a guide to working through the answers. It's quite powerful.

  5. #5

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    thank you

    Sent from my Galaxy with the barefoot princess covering me in kisses, so please forgive the mistakes

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