Today I am going to quote some people I respect. Some of them I don’t even know as they are writers and philosophers from long ago, others are merely friends in the virtual world of Facebook or Twitter, and some are close and personal. Each of these quotes are meaningful to me, as I have found them applicable throughout my life.
“You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body.”
I heard this was said by C.S. Lewis and then I’ve also read that he was not the original, but had quoted it from someone else. Regardless who said it first, I love this quote because it reminds me that life isn’t about the exterior, but the interior. Beauty is on the inside and radiates outwardly. Love, faith, truth, hope …. they are all attributes of the soul, not the body. Sure, the physical realm is important and there needs to be balance between the external and the internal; but the true purpose of every person lies within.
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” ~Oscar Wilde
This is such simple advice and yet, at times, so difficult to live. It is hard, particularly for the youth of today, as they are seeking validation, acceptance and a sense of belonging in what can feel like an overwhelming world of deception and chaos. Conformity doesn’t equal true belonging, but this is a lesson that often stems from a long learning process. For some, the process lasts a lifetime. Loving oneself is often the most difficult task. Accepting oneself, especially when you appear or feel “different” from everyone around you, can be daunting. But, I believe it is important to realize that God created you exactly as you are and you have a purpose in life; one you can’t fulfill by conforming and becoming something you were not made to be. True belonging starts by accepting yourself.
"Nothing is impossible. The very word itself says I'm Possible." ~Audrey Hepburn
LOVE this quote! It was said by a woman oozing with class and elegance. What’s more… I believe it. Nothing is impossible because with God “all things are possible.” (Luke 18:27) Despite the odds, miracles happen. Statistically impossible things happen. Your dream, whatever it may be, IS possible, even when it looks grim. I hold onto this every day. I clutch it, cling to it and never let it go. The world will beat you down unless you stand on a foundation of faith; and there is no greater faith than to look into a world of doubt and say, “Nothing is impossible.”
"If you're going to walk on thin ice you may as well dance!"
Story of my life. I’ve done some stupid things… some crazy things…some things I hope my children never do. BUT… I can honestly look back at my life and say I’ve had fun. I’ve played hard, laughed until my sides hurt, cried so hard I’ve thrown up, loved and even hated. I’ve pulled people close, pushed people away, hidden in sorrow and been exposed. I’ve sinned, I’ve triumphed, I’ve hit my knees, writhed in agony, screamed in ecstasy and thrown my share of punches. I’ve been selfish and selfless, I’ve been used, I’ve been cherished, I’ve been jealous and broken; and I wouldn’t trade any of it. Every up had a down and every down taught me the lesson which gave me the strength and the wisdom for the next up.
Perhaps there was a time when one could play life safe, but I think those days are gone. Our world today is reckless and scary. You can’t go to a movie without thinking about a gunman coming in. You can’t send your kids to school without thinking about children being massacred. One might say we are all living on thin ice….that our very existence is on thin ice… and if it is then isn’t that more of a reason to enjoy every moment?
"If you're judging someone you're too busy to love them." ~Mother Theresa
This is one of my hot buttons. Jesus told us not to judge other people, and that’s good enough for me. When I look back at all of my mistakes, all of my flaws and wrongdoings, I think to myself, “Who am I to judge anyone?” I’m the greatest sinner of them all. I’m from a generation that loved sex, drugs and rock-n-roll and guess what? I still love all three. The point is, truly loving someone means I’m not going to judge them and what’s more, I’m not going to try to change them.
There are Christians that proclaim to be non-judgmental, yet they actively pursue people in order to “save them from their sin.” Homosexuals often endure this un-spoken condemnation. I have seen and heard this many times and it repulses me. Because the Bible says that God doesn’t like homosexuality, some Christians take this as license to condemn and try to change the homosexual person; all the while arrogantly proclaiming how they have been gracious enough to accept this homosexual into their life. This is not love. This is judgment.
“I have homosexual friends, and I pray for them.” I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard a fellow Christian utter this sentence. It’s really repulsive and what’s more, it’s a form of condemnation and judgment.
If a person is non-judgmental it means that they do not distinguish one individual from another based on external factors. We’ve all heard the expression “love is blind.” What that means is that truly loving someone gives you the ability to become blind to the external, unimportant things and to see and accept who they are on the inside. It means it doesn’t matter whether someone is homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual or metrosexual. The color of their skin, their nationality and their religion don’t matter. True love is when you realize everyone is equal and on the same level in God’s eyes.
As a Christian, your job is to love people, not analyze what you deem as sin in their life, try to change it and silently reward yourself for being so gracious as to “accept them anyway.”
Everyone has sin in their life.
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." ~Dr.Seuss
It’s hard when good things come to an end, but I think it is important to take the goodness and the lesson from each experience and hold onto it. Be thankful you had the opportunity to participate in something wonderful or get to know someone wonderful. If you cherish those memories they will forever make you smile.
“Faith. Hope and Love; but the greatest of these is love.” ~ Jesus
“The greatest danger facing the Church today comes not from outside the Church but from within it, from people who are too eagerly twisting millennial expectations and the radicalism of youth to their own twisted ends.”
If you are involved in a group that alienates you from your family or your friends, that financially isolates you, that robs you of your individual identity, that looks down upon you for questioning and even punishes you for what they deem as disobedience, you could be in a dangerous situation. Seek help.
“Stay close to your friends. Stay close to your family. Stay grounded in the truth.”