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About Elizabeth Gilbert



Elizabeth M. Gilbert (born 1969) is an American journalist and author. She is best known for her 2006 memoir, Eat Pray Love which has sold over 12 million copies and has been translated into over 30 languages. The book was also made into a film of the same name in 2010. Wikipedia

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Quotes by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert (quotes)

  • Your tears are my prayers.
  • the beauty of doing nothing
  • God dwells within you, as you.
  • Dear me, how I love a library.
  • I believe in a magnificent God.
  • library is a beautiful old thing
  • eventually, everything goes away.
  • Let your conscience be your guide.
  • Teach your heart that this is destiny
  • God is an experience of supreme love.
  • I think I deserve something beautiful.
  • Embrace the glorious mess that you are
  • David was catnip and kryptonite to me.
  • Most of all, I can choose my thoughts.
  • You have no idea how strong my love is!
  • Devotion is diligence without assurance
  • Who amongst us lives without sacrifice?
  • Man is a demon, man is a god. Both true.
  • Life’s metaphors are God’s instructions.
  • Embrace the beautiful mess that you are.
  • There’s nothing special about your fear.
  • to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.
  • too many maniacs not enough michelangelos
  • If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.
  • meditation vs prayer = listening vs talking
  • My life’s accomplishments? Sanity, and you.
  • I want to have a lasting experience of God.
  • The resting place of the mind is the heart.
  • traveling is the great true love of my life
  • Oh my God, baby, you are in so much trouble.
  • I crossed the street to walk in the sunshine.
  • I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore.
  • Nothing is less efficient than perfectionism.
  • Your fear is the most boring thing about you.
  • The only boring people I know are bored people.
  • Who will ever kiss this encyclopedia of a head?
  • The love that moves the sun and the other stars.
  • You never know how a good quest is going to end.
  • What worked yesterday doesn’t always work today.
  • God dwells within you, as you.
  • I am a better person when I have less on my plate.
  • Take me someplace where we can be silent together.
  • Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.
  • Someone has to write all those stories: why not me?
  • Eventually, everything goes away.
  • God wants us to be in joy, God wants us to be happy.
  • Attraversiamo (meaning “Lets cross over” in Italian)
  • This is intimacy: the trading of stories in the dark.
  • The mosquitoes here are big enough to rape a chicken.
  • I cannot overstate the power of libraries in my life.
  • I do not need to love you to prove that I love myself!!
  • we must take care of our families wherever we find them.
  • Sometimes out hearts are broken so new light can get in.
  • The hero’s journey is simply who we are as human beings.
  • Most of all, I can choose my thoughts.
  • The gods are fond of the cryptic and dislike the evident.
  • Beauty is not required. Beauty is accuracy’s distraction.
  • My face is a transparent transmitter of my every thought.
  • I have a rigid self-accountability. You have to work hard.
  • Life’s metaphors are God’s instructions.
  • Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.
  • The appreciation of pleasure can be the anchor of humanity.
  • whenever I would feel such happiness my guilt alarm went off
  • he was still my romantic hero and I was still his living dream
  • I was perfectly happy in my boring life before you came along.
  • If faith were rational , it wouldn’t be -by definition- faith.
  • Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story.
  • I like it when science and devotion find places of intersection.
  • And what will I be able to do tomorrow that I cannot yet do today?
  • Some days are meant to be counted, others are meant to be weighed.
  • I think there’s more real in the unreal than there is in the real.
  • What time has ever been a simple time for those who are living it?
  • Balance is not letting anyone love you less than you love yourself.
  • You know the old adage: Plant an expectation, reap a disappointment.
  • Listen to the whispers or soon you will be listening to the screams.
  • I am a better person when I have less on my plate.
  • A fish and a bird may indeed fall in love, but where shall they live?
  • To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.
  • Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots.
  • Kalos Kai Agathos, the singular balance of the good and the beautiful.
  • Sometimes beauty needs a bit of ignoring, to properly come into being.
  • Om Namah Shivaya, meaning, I honor the divinity that resides within me.
  • I was not rescued by a prince; I was the administrator of my own rescue.
  • Your home is whatever in this world you love more than you love yourself.
  • You have the opposite of poker face. You have like.. miniature golf face.
  • When a man who looks like Yoda hands you a prophecy, you have to respond.
  • If you want to get to the castle, Groceries, you’ve got to swim the moat.
  • There’s only one problem with the hero’s journey, it never included women.
  • Bhuta ia, dewa ia. (Bali expression meaning Man is a demon, man is a god.)
  • Who loves you most? Who loves you best? Who thinks of you when others rest?
  • Nobody’s really paying that much attention to your massive personal dramas.
  • A glorious failure can sometimes be more life affirming than a cautious win.
  • Look for God. Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water.
  • Childlessness doesn’t make people selfish; selfishness makes people selfish.
  • One must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation.
  • Mistakes will be made. Failure will occur. You pick yourself up and carry on.
  • Do you think there’s any way humans can love each other without complication?
  • What are you willing to give up, in order to become who you really need to be?
  • the health of the planet is affected by the health of every individual on it !
  • Everything really is going to be okay. (And if not okay, then at least comic.)
  • When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It’s safe. Let go.
  • Your father only has one foot on this earth. And really, really long legs . . .
  • Liz, you must be very polite with yourself when you are learning something new.
  • Oh, cold world — I have grown so weary of you and all your horrible bathrooms.
  • You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.
  • God never slams a door in your face without opening a box of Girl Scout cookies.
  • This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.
  • And then, in that regal silence, finally – I began to meditate on (and with) God.
  • I want God to play in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on the water.
  • The thing that I do try to convey is, don’t do what I did – but ask what I asked.
  • If something is rubbing so hard against you, you can be sure it’s working on you.
  • Sometimes life is too hard to be alone, and sometimes life is too good to be alone.
  • [Italian men] are like show poodles. Sometimes they look so good I want to applaud.
  • You may return here once you have fully come to understand that you are always here.
  • Nothing is so essential as dignity. ¶Time will reveal who has it and who has it not.
  • In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted.
  • At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.
  • Zen masters say you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water.
  • I’ve been screwed and sued and tattooed, and I’m still standin’ here in front of you.
  • I would say that if you really want to STOP knowing someone, you have to divorce him.
  • Everything good I’ve ever gotten in life, I only got because I gave something else up.
  • Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.
  • You know the old adage: Plant an expectation, reap a disappointment.
  • Tis’ better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.
  • longing to travel while you are already traveling is, I admit, a kind of greedy madness
  • So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it.
  • So sadness is a place?’ Giovanni asked. ‘Sometimes people live there for years,’I said.
  • As smoking is to the lungs, so is resentment to the soul; even one puff is bad for you.
  • It may be that same-sex couples will save the institution of marriage.
  • Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots.
  • Dear Lord, please show me everything I need to understand about forgiveness and surrender
  • Power is a neutral energy source, like tofu. It’s what you do with it that gives it flavor.
  • The beauty and variety of the natural world are merely the visible legacies of endless war.
  • But vegetarians can eat this…Because intestines aren’t even meat, Liz. They’re just sh$*.
  • creative people always suffer from depression because we’re so super sensitive and special?
  • You take whatever works from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light.
  • To show a longing for anything that one cannot have, for instance, is not a clever position.
  • You love new boyfriend?” “I think so. Yes.” “Then you must spoil him. And he must spoil you.
  • I equal parts loved him and could not stand him. I couldn’t wake him to share in my distress.
  • The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life’s achievement.
  • This was my moment to look for the kind of healing and peace that can only come from solitude.
  • Destiny, I feel, is also a relationship – a play between divine grace and willful self-effort.
  • The mysterious magnet is either there, buried somewhere deep behind the sternum, or it is not.
  • There’s a crack (or cracks) in everyone…that’s how the light of God gets in.
  • I am stronger than depression and I am braver than loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
  • Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy.
  • Women are capable of enduring a tremendous amount of disappointment and still have a good life.
  • Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.
  • you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead.
  • You can butcher the sheep only once. But if you are careful, you can shear the sheep every year.
  • I wondered, “Why have I been chasing happiness my whole life when bliss was here the entire time?
  • Traveling-to-a-place energy and living-in-a-place energy are two fundamentally different energies
  • I have these new policies toward my life, like ‘I will not accelerate when I see the yellow light.’
  • This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.
  • And then, in that regal silence, finally – I began to meditate on (and with) God.
  • I want God to play in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on the water.
  • How could two people who were so in love not end up happily ever after? It had to work. Didn’t it?
  • In fact, it was all I could do to stop myself from saying, ‘I’ve always been a big fan of your work.
  • Fear is the travel companion for a life lived on the edge of certainty and safety.
  • Success isn’t about acquiring things, it’s about discovering your life purpose and following the call
  • To be prosperous and happy in life, Henry, it is simple. Pick one woman, pick it well, and surrender.
  • You are accidentally leaving your DNA all over everything in a novel because it’s all coming from you.
  • Every word was a singing sparrow, a magic trick, a truffle for me. The words made me laugh in delight.
  • Admittedly, I am not the one who looks fantastic in everything, but still I cannot help loving myself.
  • Watch for the people whose eyes light up when you talk about your dream. Those are the people you keep.
  • That competition and the struggle for existence is the mechanism behind this state of perpetual change.
  • It is merely this world that is chaotic, bringing changes to us all that nobody could have anticipated.
  • At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.
  • You have now reached infatuation’s final destination; the complete and merciless devaluation of self.
  • Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.
  • I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.
  • I never wanted to be the person that waited for a stranger to come to town – I wanted to be the stranger!
  • It’s not enough for me to just hear about something or read about something, I wanna know it in my bones.
  • I watched them, thinking that little girls who make their mothers live grow up to be such powerful women.
  • Tis’ better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.
  • As smoking is to the lungs, so is resentment to the soul; even one puff is bad for you.
  • Yoga is the effort to experience one’s divinity personally and then to hold on to that experience forever.
  • We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.
  • Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You must fight for it, strive for it, and insist upon it.
  • Tis’ better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.
  • The inability to open up to hope is what blocks trust, and blocked trust is the reason for blighted dreams.
  • Dear Lord, please show me everything I need to understand about forgiveness and surrender
  • The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That’s where you need to go
  • Change is all about motion, motion is all about uncertainty and we are deeply uncomfortable with uncertainty.
  • If life gives you lemons, don’t settle for simply making lemonade – make a glorious scene at a lemonade stand.
  • Whatever this feeling is – this is what I have been praying for. And this is also what I have been praying to.
  • I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly; I only promised the universe that I would write.
  • I guess what I want to learn is how to live in this world and enjoy its delights but also devote myself to God.
  • But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilling yearnings.
  • Destiny, I feel, is also a relationship – a play between divine grace and wilful self-effort.
  • To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.
  • The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.
  • I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check.
  • I am the planet’s most affectionate life-form, something like the cross between a golden retriever and a barnacle.
  • the only thing you need to do for now is get some rest and take good care of yourself until you do know the answer
  • There are always two figures in a marriage, two votes, two conflicting sets of decisions, desires and limitations.
  • So now I have started living my own life. Imperfect and clumsy as it may look, it is resembling me now, thoroughly.
  • When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy.
  • Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark.
  • Do I really deserve this pleasure? This is American, too-the insecurity about whether we have earned our happiness.
  • Our relationship now thoroughly ruined, with even civility destroyed between us, all I wanted anymore was the door.
  • The act of quiet nighttime talking, illustrates for me more than anything else the curious alchemy of companionship.
  • Depression on my left, Loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show me thier badges. I know these guys very well.
  • Traveling-to-a-place energy and living-in-a-place energy are two fundamentally different energies.
  • Don’t be afraid. Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be.
  • Venice is beautiful, but like a Bergman movie is beautiful; you can admire it, but you don’t really want to live in it.
  • To be prosperous and happy in life, Henry, it is simple. Pick one woman, pick it well, and surrender.
  • Being content with what you have already is an art form that leads to a peace that can’t be replaced by anything else.
  • Even in the worst tragedies and crisis, there’s no reason to add to everyone’s misery by looking miserable yourself.
  • Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience.
  • Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it’s what you want before you commit.
  • Guilt’s just your ego’s way of tricking you into thinking that you’re making moral progress. Don’t fall for it, my dear.
  • I was a veritable Johnny Appleseed of grand expectations, and all I reaped for my trouble was a harvest of bitter fruit.
  • You must find another reason to work, other than the desire for success or recognition. It must come from another place.
  • The day is ending. It’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, Let go.
  • Given that life is so short, do I really want to spend one-ninetieth of my remaining days on earth reading Edward Gibbon?
  • Felipe and I, as we discover to our delight, are a perfectly matched, genetically engineered belly-to-belly success story.
  • Maybe the difference between first marriage and second marriage is that the second time at least you know you are gambling.
  • Look – I understand that an unexamined life is not worth living, but do you think I could someday have an unexamined lunch?
  • We’re miserable because we think that we are mere individuals, alone with our fears and flaws and resentment and mortality.
  • If you’re alive, you’re creative. All we need to do to be creative is to do whatever makes us feel alive.
  • Every intimacy carries secreted somewhere below its initial lovely surfaces, the ever-coiled makings of complete catastrophe.
  • Marriage is not simply a romantic union between two people; it’s also a political and economic contract of the highest order.
  • Creativity is a scavenger hunt. It’s your obligation to pay attention to clues, to the thing that gives you that little tweak.
  • I feel like if I were to get another tattoo, it would probably be those two words. Just stubborn, stubborn, stubborn gladness.
  • I was a writer before ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ and I’ll be a writer after it’s over. It’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.
  • The inability to open up to hope is what blocks trust, and blocked trust is the reason for blighted dreams.
  • True wisdom gives the only possible answer at any given moment, and that night, going back to bed was the only possible answer.
  • A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.
  • I am determined to make the most of this life that I have, damn it – it’s that kind of stubbornness I think we all need more of.
  • I want to learn how to speak Italian. For years, I’d wished I could speak Italian–a language I find more beautiful than roses :)
  • I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit.
  • There is hardly a more gracious gift that we can offer somebody than to accept them fully, to love them almost despite themselves.
  • I had a great teacher in India who said to me, ‘If you think you’re spiritual and evolved and enlightened, go home for Christmas.’
  • To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.
  • If you’re going to answer the call and you’re going to transform and you’re going to change, get ready. It is not a day at the beach.
  • It’s what I call the haute couture, high-end version of fear perfectionism. It’s just fear in really good shoes. But it’s still fear.
  • When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy.
  • Until I can feel as ecstatic about having a baby as I felt about going to New Zealand to search for giant squid, I cannot have a baby.
  • There’s no trouble in this world so serious that it can’t be cured with a hot bath, a glass of whiskey, and the Book of Common Prayer.
  • the four virtues a person needs in order to be safe and happy in life: intelligence, friendship, strength and (I love this one) poetry.
  • Mostly you meet friends when traveling by accident, like by sitting next to them on the train, or in a restaurant, or in a holding cell.
  • My whole life I’ve been an over-giver. My general operating policy has always been, ‘If it belongs to me, don’t worry: You can have it!’
  • I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.
  • Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it’s what you want before you commit.
  • There is no choice more intensely personal, after all, than whom you choose to marry; that choice tells us, to a large extent, who you are.
  • We’re already separated that’s official but there’s still a window of hope left open that perhaps someday we could give things another try.
  • We can change our wives, he said. We can change our jobs, our nationalities and even our religions, but we can never change our team.
  • I would like to spend the rest of my days in a place so silent and working at a pace so slow that I would be able to hear myself living.
  • Well, just remember–all your misery will be waiting for you at the door upon your exit, should you care to pick it up again when you leave.
  • It’s so much easier and cheaper to keep the river uncontaminated in the first place than it is to clean it up again once it’s been polluted.
  • Your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential.
  • This is what intimacy does to us over time. That’s what a long marriage can do: It causes us to inherit and trade each other’s stories. (p.237)
  • You must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.
  • You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.
  • I wonder if I am capable of being somebody’s sun, somebody’s everything. Am I centered enough now to be the center of somebody else’s life?
  • I believe in miracles, I believe in the Law of Attraction, but even I don’t think I’m big enough to manifest five Asian elephants cloaked in gold.
  • Infatuation is not quite the same thing as love; it’s more like love’s shady second cousin who’s always borrowing money and can’t hold down a job.
  • a woman’s place is in the kitchen…sitting in a comfortable chair, with her feet up, drinking a glass of wine and watching her husband cook dinner.
  • My heart was broken so badly last time that it still hurts. Isn’t that crazy? To still have a broken heart almost two years after a love story ends?
  • Also, I could finally sleep. And this was the real gift, because when you cannot sleep, you cannot get yourself out of the ditch–there’s not a chance.
  • Most of humanity, he said, have eyes that are so caked shut with the dust of deception they will never see the truth, no matter who tries to help them.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh has the ability to bring forth the state of peace that we each inherently posses merely by his presence in a room-this is divine power.
  • Sanity and clarity are more important for me and I’m willing to give up a lot of shimmer for it. I’m willing to have more boring friends, who are sane.
  • There’s always another level up. There’s always another ascension. More grace, more light, more generosity, more compassion, more to shed, more to grow.
  • You might get nothing out of it at all except a beautiful, long life where all you did was follow your gorgeous curiosity. And that should be enough too.
  • There is a reason they call God a presence – because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time.
  • I have searched frantically for contentment for so many years in so many ways, and all the acquisitions and accomplishments- they run you down in the end.
  • For if there is one thing I have learned over the years about men, it is that feelings of powerlessness do not usually bring forth their finest qualities.
  • Every day when you wake up, ask yourself, ‘What do I really, really, really want? ‘ You have to say really, really, really, otherwise you won’t believe it.
  • That’s the thing about a human life-there’s no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed.
  • You can measure the happiness of a marriage by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry words.
  • Richard didn’t even have time to ask if I thought I’d ever amount to anything in this life before I looked him eye to eye and said, “I already have, mister.
  • I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.
  • I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to- come surprises.
  • Devotion is diligence without assurance. If faith were rational, it wouldn’t be by definition faith. Faith is walking face-first and full speed into the dark.
  • I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the ‘monkey mind’ — the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl.
  • When I diagnose my depression now, I think it was partially about saying goodbye to these kids that I always expected to have but already knew that I wouldn’t.
  • By unnerving definition, anything that the heart has chosen for its own mysterious reasons it can always unchoose later‚ again, for its own mysterious reasons.
  • One of these poems I wrote after having been here only a month. The other, I wrote this morning. In the space between the two poems, I have found acres of grace
  • From the most sacred ancient text of Yoga: Oh Krishna, the mind is restless, turbulent, strong, and unyielding. I consider it as difficult to subdue as the wind.
  • I’m not a big Austen reader. I wouldn’t say I dislike her, but if I had to choose between her and Eliot to bring to a desert island, it would definitely be Eliot.
  • It has never been easy for me to understand why people work so hard to create something beautiful, but then refuse to share it with anyone, for fear of criticism.
  • I know this simple fact to be true, for I myself have abandoned people who did not want me to go, and I myself have been abandoned by those whom I begged to stay.
  • Nobody until very recently would have thought that their husband was supposed to be their best friend, confidante, intellectual soul mate, co-parent, inspiration.
  • You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.
  • But if you can plant yourself in stillness long enough, you will, in time, experience the truth that everything (both uncomfortable and lovely) does eventually pass.
  • I said, “It seems like you have fond feelings toward your ex-wife. Are you two still close?” “Nah,” he said casually. “She thinks I changed my name to Motherfucker.”
  • I believe that – if you are serious about a life of writing, or indeed about any creative form of expression – that you should take on this work like a holy calling.
  • I can honestly say [that writing] is the best life there is, because you get to live within the realm of your own mind, and that is a profoundly rare human privilege.
  • The world is like a dropped pie most of the time. Don’t kill yourself trying to put it back together. Just grab a fork and eat some of it off the floor. Then carry on.
  • A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
  • Real, sane, mature love; the kind that pays the mortgage year after year and picks up the kids after school‚ not based on infatuation but on affection and respect.
  • The Augusteum warns me not to get attached to any obsolete ideas about who I am, what I represent, whom I belong to, or what function I may once have intended to serve.
  • But we are not what the other one needs, still he is certain that I will find great love in my life someday. He is sure of it. After all, he says, beauty attracts beauty.
  • When it comes to women, get your life together first. Put on your own oxygen mask first. Figure out who you are. Mature. And then go find somebody to share that life with.
  • I share it here because something was about to occur on that bathroom floor that would change forever the progression of my life..what happened was that I started to pray.
  • Marriage becomes hard work once you have poured the entirety of your life’s expectations for happiness into the hands of one mere person. Keeping that going is hard work.
  • If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control. Drop everything else but that.
  • There is a reason they call God a presence – because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time.
  • I am not an expert at praying, as you know. But can you please help me? I am in desperate need of help. I don’t know what to do. I need an answer. Please tell me what to do.
  • It used to be that god was revealed in the wonders of nature; now God was being challenged by those same wonders. Scholars were now required to choose one side or the other.
  • You can measure the happiness of a marriage by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry words.
  • If I’d had any way of knowing that things were- as Lily Tomlin once said- going to get a whole lot worse before they got worse, I’m not sure how I would have slept that night.
  • You can measure the happiness of a marriage by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry words.
  • We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we are afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.
  • Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people.
  • The best we can do then, in response to our incomprehensible and dangerous world, is to practice holding equilibrium internally – no matter what insanity is transpiring out there.
  • Equally disquieting are the times when we do make a choice, only to later feel as though we have murdered some other aspect of our being by settling on one single concrete decision.
  • The Yogic path is about disentangling the built-in glitches of the human condition, which I’m going to over-simply define here as the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment.
  • It is not we as individuals, then, who must bend uncomfortably around the institution of marriage; rather, it is the institution of marriage that has to bend uncomfortably around us.
  • Real, sane, mature love—the kind that pays the mortgage year after year and picks up the kids after school—is not based on infatuation but on affection and respect.
  • Devotion is diligence without assurance. Faith is a way of saying “Yes, I pre-accept the terms of the universe and I embrace in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding.
  • Absolute certainty is not something I strive for anymore. I’ve learned the hard way that destiny usually looks upon our most strident convictions with amusement, or perhaps even pity.
  • Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing.
  • What happens and what you encounter, what you collide with – it’s so exciting and revealing about how much more interesting and tricky the universe is than we think in our daily lives.
  • It’s easy enough to pray when you’re in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainment.
  • The thing I love about Dickens is the omniscient, omnipotent narrator, and the great confidence of the narrator, which marks 19th-century novelists in general and Dickens in particular.
  • the great lack of parity between husbands and wives has always been spawned by the disproportionate degree of self-sacrifice that women are willing to make on behalf of those they love.
  • We have hands; we can stand on them if we want to. That’s our privilege. That’s the joy of a mortal body. And that’s why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands.
  • But the very fact that this world is so challenging is exactly why you sometimes must reach out of its jurisdiction for help, appealing to a higher authority in order to find your comfort.
  • And we have a little herb garden, which survived the winter thanks to global warming. It makes me feel like a cool, old Italian housewife, that I kept my rosemary alive outside all winter.
  • You make some big grandoise decision about what you need to do, or who you need to be, and then circumstances arise that immediately reveal to you how little you understood about yourself.
  • Marriage becomes hard work once you have poured the entirety of your life’s expectations for happiness into the hands of one mere person. Keeping that going is hard work.
  • The problem, simply put, is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously. So we live in danger of becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified that every choice might be the wrong choice.
  • I myself have never been enchanted by the dream of the white wedding, and, heaven help us, the expectation that this exquisitely catered event should be ‘the happiest moment’ of one’s life.
  • When it comes to women, get your life together first. Put on your own oxygen mask first. Figure out who you are. Mature. And then go find somebody to share that life with.
  • My heart skipped a beat and then flat-out tripped over itself and fell on its face. Then my heart stood up, brushed itself off, took a deep breath and announced: “I want a spiritual teacher.
  • The Yogic scriptures say that God responds to the sacred prayers and efforts of human beings in any way whatsoever that mortals choose to worship – just so long as those prayers are sincere.
  • I see a lot of women who can’t travel when they’re young, and then their kids grow up and they become amazing adventurers. Travel is not only for the young. Sometimes it’s wasted on the young.
  • In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.
  • I’m afraid many women do choose the wedding over the marriage. It seems a steep price to pay, but it comes from a place of deep, sad longing to be loved and to have it proven that you are of value.
  • That’s your friend. My husband is my best friend. He’s not the mirror that holds up my flaws. He’s just the guy who’s like, ‘I think you’re terrific’… It’s just simple, showing up for each other.
  • Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people.
  • I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. You take whatever works from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light.
  • There are times when the only access I have to the truest person that I am is when I’m alone and trying to solve a sentence. It’s exciting, even when it’s frustrating, even when I can’t do it right.
  • There’s a lot of disorder that comes along with wanting to know everything and wanting to try everything and wanting to experience everything, but there’s a lot of knowledge that comes out of it too.
  • Every few years, I think, ‘Maybe now I’m finally smart enough or sophisticated enough to understand ‘Ulysses.” So I pick it up and try it again. And by page 10, as always, I’m like, ‘What the hell?’
  • The ingredients of both darkness and light are equally present in all of us,…The madness of this planet is largely a result of the human being’s difficulty in coming to viruous balance with himself.
  • Oh, I just want what we all want: a comfortable couch, a nice beverage, a weekend of no distractions and a book that will stop time, lift me out of my quotidian existence and alter my thinking forever.
  • All I could say was, “I don’t know what to do.” I remember her taking me by the shoulders and looking me in the eye with a calm smile and saying simply, “Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.
  • In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place.
  • the number 108 is held to be the most auspicious, a perfect three-digit multiple of three, its components adding up to 9, which is three threes. And 3, of course, is the number representing supreme balance.
  • But the very fact that this world is so challenging is exactly why you sometimes must reach out of its jurisdiction for help, appealing to a higher authority in order to find your comfort.
  • The problem, simply put, is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously. So we live in danger of becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified that every choice might be the wrong choice.
  • But the very fact that this world is so challenging is exactly why you sometimes must reach out of its jurisdiction for help, appealing to a higher authority in order to find your comfort.
  • Travel is similar to therapy. You can go to the best psychologist in the world for ten years. If you don’t feel like actively shifting anything in your life, there is nothing that person can do to change you.
  • I had long ago learned that when you are the giant, alien visitor to a remote and foreign culture it is sort of your job to become an object of ridicule. It’s the least you can do, really, as a polite guest.
  • We set up one rule in our house, which is, ‘Guests of guests cannot bring guests.’ That rule was required because that happened one weekend, and we finally said, ‘Okay, you know what? That’s a little too much.’
  • Most of us, even if only for two minutes in our lives, have experienced at some time or another an inexplicable and random sense of complete bliss, unrelated to anything that was happening in the outside world.
  • I think my weakness as a writer is a limited imagination, and I think my strength is a talent for reflecting the world, or sort of curating things out of the world and putting them into books.
  • This was not my moment to be seeking romance and (as day follows night) to further complicate my already knotty life. This was my moment to look for the kind of healing and peace that can only come from solitude.
  • What Richard is talking about is instead admitting to the existence of negative thoughts, understanding where they came from and why they arrived, and then – with great forgiveness and fortitude – dismissing them.
  • What kind of dog is that?” I would always give the same answer: “She’s a brown dog.” Similarly, when the question is raised, “What kind of God do you believe in?” my answer is easy: “I believe in a magnificent God.
  • People follow different paths, straight or crooked, according to their temperament, depending on which they consider best, or most appropriate — and all reach You, just as rivers enter the ocean.
  • Everything was a miracle until we solved it. … the first man who ever saw a flying fish probably thought he was witnessing a miracle – and the first man who ever described a flying fish was doubtless called a liar.
  • The six elements of her Fail Proof Broken-Heart Curing Treatment: “Vitamin E, get much sleep, drink much water, travel to a place far away from the person you loved, meditate and teach your heart that this is destiny.
  • The ingredients of both darkness and light are equally present in all of us. The madness of this planet is largely a result of the human being’s difficulty in coming to viruous balance with himself.
  • The ingredients of both darkness and light are equally present in all of us. The madness of this planet is largely a result of the human being’s difficulty in coming to virtuous balance with himself.
  • In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible. Pleasure cannot be bargained down. And sometimes the meal is the only currency that is real.
  • As for discipline‚ it’s important, but sort of overrated. The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness. Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you.
  • You are here and you are allowed to be here and therefore you are allowed to make decisions about yourself and the people in your life; rather than sort of backing up and making sure it’s okay with everybody at every turn.
  • Listen – of course money changes everything, but so does sunlight, and so does food: These are powerful but neutral energy sources, neither inherently good nor evil but shaped only by the way we use them.
  • One of my favorite Sufi poems… says that God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. I was never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.
  • With each reunion (we) had to learn each other all over again. There was always that nervous moment at the airport when I would stand there waiting for him to arrive, wondering, Will I still know him? Will he still know me?
  • The great Sufi poet and philosopher Rumi once advised his students to write down the three things they most wanted in life. If any item on the list clashes with any other item, Rumi warned, you are destined for unhappiness.
  • I thought about one of my favorite Sufi poems, which says that God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. I was never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.
  • Before you realize this truth, say the Yogis, you will always be in despair, a notion nicely expressed in this exasperated line from the Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus: ‘You bear God within you, poor wretch, and know it not.
  • My career started young and I was really ambitious, and then I had success and I hung out with people who were much older. I think I might have been temporally misplaced, so I thought I was 40. It was a premature midlife crisis.
  • The culture of Rome just doesn’t match the culture of Yoga, not as far as I can see. In fact, I’ve decided that Rome and Yoga don’t have anything in common at all. Except for the way they both kind of remind you of the word toga.
  • That’s just your ego, trying to make sure it stays in charge. This is what ego does. It keeps you feeling separate, keeps you with a sense of duality, tries to convince you that you’re flawed and broken and alone instead of whole.
  • There is a theory that if you yearn sincerely enough for a Guru, you will find one. The universe will shift, destiny’s molecules will get themselves organized and your path will soon intersect with the path of the master you need.
  • I’m so excited about school. I’m such a shameless student. I laid my clothes out last night, just like I did before my first day of first grade, with my patent leather shoes and my new lunch box. I hope the teacher will like me :)
  • When you have only two minutes to say good-bye to the person you love most in the world, and you don’t know when you’ll see each other again, you can become logjammed with the effort to say and do and settle everything at once.
  • I have had work or ideas come through me from a source that I honestly cannot identify. And what is that thing? And how are we to relate to it in a way that will not make us lose our minds, but, in fact, might actually keep us sane?
  • Once you have maintained a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it forever.
  • Nothing in the last few years has dazzled me more than Hilary Mantel’s ‘Wolf Hall,’ which blew the top of my head straight off. I’ve read it three times, and I’m still trying to figure out how she put that magnificent thing together.
  • In 1954, Pope Pius XI, of all people, sent some Vatican delegates on a trip to Libya with these written instructions: “Do NOT think that you are going among Infidels. Muslims attain salvation, too. The ways of Providence are infinite.
  • Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of you through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss.
  • What a large number of factors constitute a single human being! How very many layers we operate on, and how very many influences we receive from our minds, our bodies, our histories, our families, our cities, our souls and our lunches!
  • Here in America, marriage still has a mystical, intangible power: It is a passport to adulthood and respectability and to a certain extent citizenship. Any relationship less than “married” is considered temporary and not worthy of honor.
  • The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That’s where you need to go.
  • There is a level of grief so deep that it stops resembling grief at all. The pain becomes so severe that the body can no longer feel it. The grief cauterizes itself, scars over, prevents inflated feeling. Such numbness is a kind of mercy.
  • He looks at you like you’re someone he’s never met before, much less someone he once loved with high passion. The irony is, you can hardly blame him. I mean, check yourself out. You’re a pathetic mess, unrecognizable even to your own eyes.
  • But when it comes to writing the thing that I’ve sort of been thinking about lately, is why? You know, is it rational? Is it logical that anybody should be expected to be afraid of the work that they feel they were put on this Earth to do.
  • Yet what keeps me from dissolving right now into a complete fairy-tale shimmer is this solid truth, a truth which has veritably built my bones over the last few years–I was not rescued by a prince; I was the administrator of my own rescue.
  • I thought about one of my favorite Sufi poems, which says that God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. I was never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.
  • We all seem to get this idea that, in order to be sacred, we have to make some massive, drastic change of character, that we have to renounce our individuality. To know God, you only need to renounce one thing – your sense of division from God
  • As far as we know, we are the only species on the planet who have been given the gift-or curse, perhaps-of awareness about our own mortality. Everything here eventually dies; we’re just the lucky ones who get to think about this fact every day.
  • I used to say, ‘Man, I think I’d be a really good dad. I’ll be a great provider. I’m funny; I’ll go on trips with them – I’ll do all sorts of stuff.’ But the momming? I’m not made for that. I have a really good mom; I know what she put into it.
  • I thought about the relentless thought-processing, soul-devouring machine that is my brain, and wondered how on earth I was ever going to master it. Then I remembered that line from Jaws and couldn’t help smiling: ‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat.
  • That’s just your ego, trying to make sure it stays in charge. This is what ego does. It keeps you feeling separate, keeps you with a sense of duality, tries to convince you that you’re flawed and broken and alone instead of whole.
  • To devote yourself to the creation and enjoyment of beauty, then, can be a serious business-not always necessarily a means of escaping reality, but sometimes a means of holding on to the real when everything is flaking away into… rhetoric and plot.
  • I have had work or ideas come through me from a source that I honestly cannot identify. And what is that thing? And how are we to relate to it in a way that will not make us lose our minds, but, in fact, might actually keep us sane?
  • This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don’t have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down.
  • Now imagine a life in which every day a person is presented with not two or even three but dozens of choices, and you can begin to grasp why the modern world has become, even with all its advantages, a neurosis-generating machine of the highest order.
  • Let me ask you something, in all the years that you have undressed in front of a gentleman has he ever asked you to leave? Has he ever walked out and left? No? It’s because he doesn’t care! He’s in a room with a naked girl, he just won the lottery
  • But at some point you have to make peace with what you were given and if God wanted me to be a shy girl with think, dark hair, He would have made me that way, but He didn’t. Useful, then, might be to accept how I was made and embody myself fully therein.
  • Men go into marriage with virtually no expectations whatsoever. Ten years later, the men are delightfully surprised to find out that it’s actually kind of nice, and the women have sort of had to take a nose dive from what they thought it was going to be.
  • We were taught to be dependable, responsible, the top of our classes at school, the most organized and efficient babysitters in town, the very miniature models of our hardworking farmer/nurse mother, a pair of junior Swiss Army knives, born to multitask.
  • Indeed, when I came to Italy, I expected to encounter a certain amount of resentment, but have received instead empathy from most Italians. In any reference to George Bush, people only nod to Berlusconi, saying”,”We understand how it is – we have one, too.
  • You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.
  • If we never leave our house except to drive to work, do we need to be even remotely aware of this powerful, humbling, extraordinary and eternal life force that surges and ebbs around us all the time? Apparently not. Because we have stopped paying attention.
  • I feel like there are women who are genuinely born to be mothers, and women who are born to be aunties, and women who really probably not should be allowed near children. The tragedy that happens is when any one of those women ends up in the wrong category.
  • Returning to writing fiction after 13 years away from it. Returning to the rootstock of my whole life as a writer. It’s what I had wanted to be for my entire life, since I can remember, since my particular time immemorial. It’s how I got my start as a writer.
  • When I look at my life and the lives of my female friends these days – with our dizzying number of opportunities and talents – I sometimes feel as though we are all mice in a giant experimental maze, scurrying around frantically, trying to find our way through.
  • The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That’s where you need to go.
  • To sit patiently with a yearning that has not yet been fulfilled, and to trust that, that fulfillment will come, is quite possibly one of the most powerful “magic skills” that human beings are capable of. It has been noted by almost every ancient wisdom tradition
  • At that moment of realization (that union with God is always present), that’s when God let me go, let me slide through His fingers with this last compassionate, unspoken message: You may return here once you have fully come to understand that you are always here.
  • I think it’s unfortunate that there exists only one path in America to complete social legitimacy, and that is marriage. I think, for instance, that it would be far easier for Americans to elect a black president or a female president than an unmarried president.
  • Rumi once advised his students to write down the three things they most wanted in life. If any item on the list clashes with any other item, Rumi warned, you are destined for unhappiness. Better to live a life of single-pointed focus, he taught.
  • To feel physically comfortable with someone else’s body is not a decision you make. It has very little thing to do with how two people think or act or talk or even look. The mysterious magnet is either there, buried somewhere deep behind the sternum, or it is not.
  • Rumi once advised his students to write down the three things they most wanted in life. If any item on the list clashes with any other item, Rumi warned, you are destined for unhappiness. Better to live a life of single- pointed focus, he taught.
  • I was the baby of the family, but I was never babied, and that allowed me to take whatever artistic temperament I had and apply learned discipline. I was taught how to work. I think that’s everything. Creativity and imagination alone are not going to get you there.
  • He endeared himself to me forever the first night we met, when I was getting frustrated with my inability to find the words I wanted in Italian, and he put his hand on my arm and said, “Liz, you must be very polite with yourself when you are learning something new.
  • We’re miserable because we think that we are mere individuals, alone with our fears and flaws and resentments and mortality. We wrongly believe that our limited little egos constitute our whole entire nature. We have failed to recognize our deeper divine character.
  • Because I know something that you don’t know. I know that this is the worst experience of your life, but I also know that someday you’ll move past it and you’ll be fine. And helping somebody likej you through the worst experience of her life is incredibly gratifying.
  • It seems obvious that there comes period in your life when you have to learn to say no to things you don’t want to do. But the biggest trickiest lesson in holding on the stalwart committment to your creativity is learning how to say no to the things you do want to do.
  • So when modern-day religious conservatives wax nostalgic about how marriage is a sacred tradition that reaches back into history for thousands of uninterrupted years, they are absolutely correct, but in only one respect-only if they happen to be talking about Judaism.
  • People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
  • A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner-continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you-is a fine art, in and of itself.
  • When I lost my friends, it was because I had used the power of giving on them recklessly. I swept into their lives with my big fat checkbook, and I erased years of obstacles for them overnight – but sometimes, in the process, I also accidentally erased years of dignity.
  • Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure.Ours is an entertainment seeking-nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one….This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype- the overstressed executive who goes on vacation, but who cannot relax.
  • Take care of the problems now, or else you’ll just have to suffer again later when you scew everything up the next time. And that repetition of suffering – that’s hell.  Moving out of that endless repetition to a new level of understand – there’s where you’ll find heaven.
  • In Venice in the Middle Ages there was once a profession for a man called a codega–a fellow you hired to walk in front of you at night with a lit lantern, showing you the way, scaring off thieves and demons, bringing you confidence and protection through the dark streets.
  • I love my friends and family, but I also love it when they can’t find me and I can spend all day reading or walking all alone, in silence, eight thousand miles away from everyone. All alone and unreachable in a foreign country is one my most favorite possible things to be.
  • People think a soulmate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.     
  • You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.
  • Moss is inconceivably strong. Moss eats stone; scarcely anything, in return, eats moss. Moss dines upon boulders, slowly but devastatingly, in a meal that lasts for centuries. Given enough time, a colony of moss can turn a cliff into gravel, and turn that gravel into topsoil.
  • I think sometimes we look at other people’s marriages and we think they must always be so happy together. I don’t know anybody who’s married for a long time who hasn’t somehow made room in their love story for the hate and resentment that they sometimes feel toward each other.
  • Desiring another person is perhaps the most risky endeavor of all. As soon as you want somebody‚ really want him‚ it is as though you have taken a surgical needle and sutured your happiness to the skin of that person, so that any separation will now cause a lacerating injury.
  • Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure).
  • They flank me – depression on my left, loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show their badges. I know these guys very well. … Then they frisk me. They empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying there. Depression even confiscates my identity; but he always does that.
  • Ketut, why is life all crazy like this?” I asked my medicine man the next day…So what can we do about the craziness of the world?” Nothing.” Ketut laughed, but with a dose of kindness. “This is nature of world. This is destiny. Worry about your craziness only-make you in peace.
  • I push every day against forces that say you have to go faster, be more effective, be more productive, you have to constantly outdo yourself, you have to constantly outdo your neighbor – all of the stuff that creates an incredibly productive society, but also a very neurotic one.
  • There’s no reason to keep a piece of furniture in your house that is so sacred and rare that you can’t put your feet up on it and a dog can’t jump up on it. Likewise, a book that sits on a shelf like a piece of porcelain, only to be admired, never to be read again, is a dead book.
  • To sit patiently with a yearning that has not yet been fulfilled, and to trust that, that fulfilment will come, is quite possibly one of the most powerful “magic skills”” that human beings are capable of. It has been noted by almost every ancient wisdom tradition.
  • To sit patiently with a yearning that has not yet been fulfilled, and to trust that, that fulfillment will come, is quite possibly one of the most powerful “magic skills”” that human beings are capable of. It has been noted by almost every ancient wisdom tradition.
  • A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master.
  • There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. ‘How much do you love me?’ And, ‘Who’s in charge?’ Everything else is somehow manageable. But these two questions of love and control undo us all, trip us up and cause war, grief, and suffering.
  • It’s still two human beings trying to get along, so it’s going to be complicated. And love is always complicated. But humans must try to love each other, darling. We must get our hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.
  • A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.
  • I don’t hate humanity and I’m not interested in people who do. Although, it’s funny, actually, some of my favorite writers really do. Like Martin Amis. My dirty secret. ‘London Fields’ is one of my favorite books ever. And it’s indefensible! But he’s so funny… I forgive him everything.
  • When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.
  • In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.
  • The sound universe is also spectacular around here. In the evenings there’s a cricket orchestra with frogs providing the bass line. In the dead of night the dogs howl about how misunderstood they are. Before dawn the roosters for miles around announce how freaking cool it is to be roosters.
  • Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment seeking-nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one….This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype- the overstressed executive who goes on vacation, but who cannot relax.
  • But, ancient Greece and ancient Rome – people did not happen to believe that creativity came from human beings back then, OK? People believed that creativity was this divine attendant spirit that came to human beings from some distant and unknowable source, for distant and unknowable reasons.
  • I feel like all this stuff that we make: books and art and music, all of it. There’s this energy that circles the world that wants to be made manifest, and it is just looking for someone to come through. And it’s dying for you to make it. And if you don’t do it, it will go find somebody else.
  • Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment seeking- nation, but not necessarily a pleasure- seeking one….This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype- the overstressed executive who goes on vacation, but who cannot relax.
  • They flank me – Depression on my left, loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show their badges. I know these guys very well. …then they frisk me. They empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying there. Depression even confiscates my identity; but he always does that.
  • This was my voice, but perfectly wise, calm and compassionate. This was what my voice would sound like if I’d only ever experienced love and certainty in my life. How can I describe the warmth of affection in that voice, as it gave me the answer that would forever seal my faith in the divine?
  • The Bhagavad Gita‚ that ancient Indian Yogic text‚ says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection. So now I have started living my own life. Imperfect and clumsy as it may look, it is resembling me now, thoroughly.
  • Now, if you are like me – if you are like practically anybody in America – then you probably hold some negative opinions about the French, based upon movies, rumors, recent headlines, unfortunate run-ins with Parisian waiters, or… you know… all that unpleasantness surrounding the Vichy regime.
  • God wants us to be in joy, God wants us to be happy. Because of this extraordinary consciousness and this great ability for wonder and marvel, and without denying any of the terrors and horrors of the world, we also have an obligation toward joy and toward miracle and excitement.
  • Then again, you cannot stop the flood of desire as it moves through the world, inappropriate though it may sometimes be. It is the prerogative of all humans to make ludicrous choices, to fall in love with the most unlikely of partners, and to set themselves up for the most predicatable of calamities.
  • Just as there exists in writing a literal truth and a poetic truth, there also exists in a human being a literal anatomy and a poetic anatomy. One, you can see; one, you cannot. One is made of bones and teeth and flesh; the other is made of energy and memory and faith. But they are both equally true.
  • Nobody wants to do it – not real change, not soul change, not the painful molecular change required to truly become who you need to be. Nobody ever does real transformation for fun. Nobody ever does it on a dare. You do it only when your back is so far against the wall that you have no choice anymore.
  • I am alone, I am all alone, I am completely alone. Grasping this reality, I let go of my bag, drop to my knees and press my forehead against the floor. There, I offer up to the universe a fervent prayer of thanks. First in English. Then in Italian. And then – just to get the point across – in Sanskrit.
  • It’s not an accident that both my sister and I are writers. Our parents created an accidental Petri dish. My family has great storytellers, and I grew up in a very funny, conversational house and didn’t have television. This small family farm was a bubble world that didn’t have much to do with reality.
  • The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. I didn’t want to destroy anything or anybody. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland.
  • Here’s the thing: the unit of reverence in Europe is the family, which is why a child born today of unmarried parents in Sweden has a better chance of growing up in a house with both of his parents than a child born to a married couple in America. Here we revere the couple, there they revere the family.
  • I still can’t say whether I ever want children¶. I can only say how I feel now–grateful to be on my own. I also know that I won’t go forth and have children just in case I might regret missing it later in life; I don’t think this is a strong enough motivation to bring more babies onto the earth.
  • My husband is not American. He was born in Brazil, where he grew up under a filthy, corrupt dictatorship. In his twenties, he moved to Europe, where he lived for a while under various socialist democracies. He spent a few years on a kibbutz in Israel, living out a utopian experiment in communal existence.
  • My restlessness makes me a far better day-to-day traveler than he will ever be. I am infinitely curious and almost infinitely patient with mishaps, discomforts, and minor disasters. So I can go anywhere on the planet‚ that’s not a problem. The problem is that I just can’t live anywhere on the planet.
  • Maybe this is just some stupid romantic South American idea, but I need you to understand-darling, for you, I am even willing to suffer. Whatever pain happens to us in the future, I accept it already, just for the pleasure of being with you now. Let’s enjoy this time. It’s marvelous. Felipe-Eat, Pray, Love
  • When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.
  • The Hopi Indians thought that the world’s religions each contained one spiritual thread, and that these threads are always seeking each other, wanting to join. When all the threads are finally woven together they will form a rope that will pull us out of this dark cycle of history and into the next realm.
  • In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.
  • There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under my jurisdiction. There are certain lottery tickets I can buy, thereby increasing my odds of finding contentment. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with.
  • [Saint Anthony] said, in his solitude, he sometimes encountered devils who looked like angels, and other times he found angels who looked like devils. When asked how he could tell the difference, the saint said that you can only tell which is which by the way you feel after the creature has left your company.
  • Your fear is just as boring as mine is. Everyone’s got the same one. It is not precious. It is not special. It is not singular to you. It’s just the one we all got wired with when we came in. Focus on your unique qualities that deserve to be celebrated and put fear back in its place. Don’t listen to it. Onward.
  • I should just put it bluntly, because we’re all sort of friends here now – it’s exceedingly likely that my greatest success is behind me. Oh, so Jesus, what a thought! You know that’s the kind of thought that could lead a person to start drinking gin at nine o’clock in the morning, and I don’t want to go there.
  • The trick at every turn was to endure the test of living for as long as possible. The odds of survival were punishingly slim, for the world was naught by a school of calamity and an endless burning furnace of tribulation. But those who survived the world shaped it–even as the world, simultaneously, shaped them.
  • I felt like I was some kind of primitive spring-loaded machine, placed under far more tension than it had ever been built to sustain, about to blast apart at great danger to anyone standing nearby. I imagined my body parts flying off my torso in order to escape the volcanic core of unhappiness that had become: me.
  • every healthy marriage is composed of walls and windows. The windows are the aspects of your relationship that are open to the world‚ that is, the necessary gaps through which you interact with family and friends; the walls are the barriers of trust behind which you guard the most intimatesecrets of your marriage.
  • Traveling is the great true love of my life… I am loyal and constant in my love of travel. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby – I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me.
  • Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.
  • When we are mindful of every nuance of our natural world, we finally get the picture: that we are only given one dazzling moment of life here on Earth, and we must stand before that reality both humbled and elevated, subject to every law of our universe and grateful for our brief but intrinsic participation with it.
  • As I got older, I discovered that nothing within me cried out for a baby. My womb did not seem to have come equipped with that famously ticking clock. Unlike so many of my friends, I did not ache with longing whenever I saw an infant. (Though I did ache with longing, it is true, whenever I saw a good used-book shop)
  • Every try to take a toy away from a toddler? They don’t like that, do they? They start kicking and screaming. Best way to take a toy away from a toddler is distract the kid, give him something else to play with. Instead of trying to forcefully take thoughts out of your mind, give your mind something better to play with.
  • And when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt – this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty to find something beautiful within life no matter how slight.
  • Unfenced by law, the unmarried lover can quit a bad relationship at any time. But you – the legally married person who wants to escape doomed love – may soon discover that a significant portion of your marriage contract belongs to the State, and that it sometimes takes a very long while for the State to grant you your leave.
  • There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under my jurisdiction. There are certain lottery tickets I can buy, thereby increasing my odds of finding contentment. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom share my body and life and money and energy with.
  • To find the balance you want, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have 4 legs instead of 2. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.
  • What if we just acknowledged that we have a bad relationship, and we stuck it out, anyway? What if we admitted that we make each other nuts, we fight constantly and hardly ever have sex, but we can’t live without each other, so we deal with it? And then we could spend our lives together – in misery, but happy to not be apart.
  • To my taste, the men in Rome are ridiculously, hurtfully, stupidly beautiful. More beautiful even than Roman women, to be honest. Italian men are beautiful in the same way as French women, which is to say– no detail spared in the quest for perfection. They’re like show poodles. Sometimes they look so good I want to applaud.
  • The whole sphere of air that surrounds us, Alma, is alive with invisible attractions ‚ electric, magnetic, fiery and thoughtful. There is a universal sympathy all around us.¶ When we cease all argument and debate ‚ both internal and external ‚ our true questions can be heard and answered. ¶That is the gathering of magic.
  • I had always been taught that the pursuit of happiness was my natural (even national) birthright. It is the emotional trademark of my culture to seek happiness. Not just any kind of happiness, either, but profound happiness, even soaring happiness. And what could possibly bring a person more soaring happiness than romantic love.
  • I do forget sometimes how much it means for certain men, for certain people‚ to be able to provide their loved ones with material comforts and protection at all times. I forget how dangerously reduced some men can feel when that basic ability has been stripped from them. I forget how much that matters to men, what it represents.
  • Every healthy marriage is composed of walls and windows. The windows are the aspects of your relationship that are open to the world—that is, the necessary gaps through which you interact with family and friends; the walls are the barriers of trust behind which you guard the most intimatesecrets of your marriage.
  • I am far more of a loner than people would imagine. But I am the most gregarious and socially interactive loner you ever met. The thing is, I am fascinated by people’s stories and I’m very talkative and can’t ever say no to anything or anyone, so I tend to over-socialize, to give away too much of my time to the many people I adore.
  • You know, I think that allowing somebody, one mere person to believe that he or she is like, the vessel you know, like the font and the essence and the source of all divine, creative, unknowable, eternal mystery is just a smidge too much responsibility to put on one fragile, human psyche. It’s like asking somebody to swallow the sun.
  • Your home is whatever in this world you love more than you love yourself. So that might be creativity, family, invention, adventure, faith, service, it might be raising corgies, I don’t know – Your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential.
  • Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.
  • I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you… There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
  • in stillness, I watched myselfget eaten by mosquitoes… the itch was maddening at first but eventually it just melded into a general burning feeling and i rode that heat to a mld euphoria. I allowed the pain to lose its specific associations and become pure sensation… and that eventually lifted me out of myself and into meditation.
  • I think it’s wonderful when a love story begins with a great deal of romance and affection, passion and excitement, that’s how it should be. But I don’t necessarily know that it’s the wisest thing in the world to expect that it ends there, or that it should, 30 years down the road, still look as it did on the night of your first kiss.
  • Time — when pursued like a bandit — will behave like one; always remaining one country or one room ahead of you, changing its name and hair color to elude you, slipping ou the back door of the motel just as you’re banging through the lobby with your newest search warrant, leaving only a burning cigarette in the ashtray to taunt you.
  • Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.
  • Here was something I already knew to be true about myself: Just as there are some wives who will occasionally need a break from their husbands in order to visit a spa for the weekend with their girlfriends, I will always be the sort of wife who occasionally needs a break from her husband in order to visit Cambodia. Just for a few days!
  • God isn’t interested in watching you enact some performance of personality in order to comply with some crackpot notion you have about how a spiritual person looks or behaves. We all seem to get this idea that, in order to be sacred, we have to make some massive, dramatic change of character, that we have to renounce our individuality.
  • Marriage is those two thousand indistinguishable conversations, chatted over two thousand indistuinguishable breakfasts, where intimacy turns like a slow wheel. How do you measure the worth of becoming that familiar to somebody‚ so utterly well known and so thoroughly ever-present that you become an almost invisible necessity, like air?
  • We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.
  • I have good idea, for if you meet some person from different religion and he want to make argument about God. My idea is, you listen to everything this man say about God. Never argue about God with him. Best thing to say is, ‘I agree with you.’ Then you go home, pray what you want. This is my idea for people to have peace about religion.
  • I have a lot of trouble forgiving myself for being so dumb… But yes, of course, the big generous compassionate view that you should take of yourself and of all events is: what a glorious circus train this has been, and what a wonderful messy parade, and all of those steps took me here, where I precisely need to be now, so God bless it.
  • Creativity itself doesn’t care at all about results – the only thing it craves is the process. Learn to love the process and let whatever happens next happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for diligence. Love the work. Destiny will do what it wants with you, regardless.
  • I was full of a hot, powerful sadness and would have loved to burst into the comfort of tears, but tried hard not to, remembering something my Guru once said — that you should never give yourself a chance to fall apart because, when you do, it becomes a tendency and it happens over and over again. You must practice staying strong, instead.
  • Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope
  • There were times, especially when I was traveling for ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ when, I swear to God, I would feel this weight of my female ancestors, all those Swedish farmwives from beyond the grave who were like, ‘Go! Go to Naples! Eat more pizza! Go to India, ride an elephant! Do it! Swim in the Indian Ocean. Read those books. Learn a language.’
  • To find the balance you want, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have 4 legs instead of 2. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.
  • I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
  • As somebody who, in my second marriage, insisted on a prenuptial agreement, I can also testify that sometimes it is an act of love to chart the exit strategy before you enter the union, in order to make sure that not only you, but your partner as well, knows that there will be no World War III should hearts and minds, for any sad reason, change.
  • He is only happy when he can maintain himself – mentally and spiritually – at the intersection between a vertical line and horizontal one, in a state of perfect balance. For this, he needs to know where he is located every moment, both in his relationship to the divine and to his family here on earth. If he loses that balance, he loses his power.
  • According to the mystics, this search for divine bliss is the entire purpose of a human life. this is why we all chose to be born, and this is why all the suffering and pain of life on earth is worthwhile–just for the chance to experience this infinite love. And once you have found this divinity within, can you hold it? Because if you can…bliss.
  • How much do you love me?’ and “Who’s in charge?” ….these two questions of LOVE and CONTROL undo us ALL, trip us up and cause war, grief, and suffering. People follow different paths, straight or crooked, according to their temperament, depending on which they consider best, or most appropriate — and all reach You, just as rivers enter the ocean.
  • I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
  • I have no nostalgia for the patriarchy, please believe me. But what I have come to realize is that, when that patriarchic system was (rightfully) dismantled, it was not necessarily replaced by another form of protection. What I mean is–I never thought to ask a suitor the same challenging questions my father might have asked him, in a different age.
  • Parla come magni,’ It means, ‘Speak the way you eat,’ or in my personal translation: ‘Say it like you eat it.’ It’s a reminder – when you’re making a big deal out of explaining something, when you’re searching for the right words – to keep your language as simple and direct as Roman rood. Don’t make a big production out of it. Just lay it on the table.
  • Marriage is those two thousand indistinguishable conversations, chatted over two thousand indistinguishable breakfasts, where intimacy turns like a slow wheel. How do you measure the worth of becoming that familiar to somebody—so utterly well-known and so thoroughly ever-present that you become an almost invisible necessity, like air?
  • I think it’s wonderful when a love story begins with a great deal of romance and affection, passion and excitement, that’s how it should be. But I don’t necessarily know that it’s the wisest thing in the world to expect that it ends there, or that it should, 30 years down the road, still look as it did on the night of your first kiss.
  • Traditionally, I have responded to the transcendent mystics of all religions. I have always responded with breathless excitement to anyone who has ever said that God does not live in a dogmatic scripture or in a distant throne in the sky, but instead abides very close to us indeed- much closer than we can imagine, breathing right through our own hearts.
  • He told me that one of the reasons people are so unhappy is they don’t talk to themselves. He said you have to keep a conversation going with yourself throughout your life to see how you’re doing, to keep your focus, to remain your own friend. He told me that he talked to himself all the time, and that it helped him to grow stronger and better everyday.
  • But he [Depression] just gives me that dark smile, settles into my favorite chair, puts his feet on my table and lights a cigar, filling the place with his awful smoke. Loneliness watches and sighs, then climbs into my bed and pulls the covers over himself, fully dressed, shoes and all. He’s going to make me sleep with him again tonight, I just know it.
  • Marriage is those two thousand indistinguishable conversations, chatted over two thousand indistuinguishable breakfasts, where intimacy turns like a slow wheel. How do you measure the worth of becoming that familiar to somebody—so utterly well known and so thoroughly ever-present that you become an almost invisible necessity, like air?
  • Where did you get the idea you aren’t allowed to petition the universe with prayer? You are part of this universe, Liz. You’re a constituent–you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So, put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me–it will at least be taken into consideration.
  • Creativity itself doesn’t care at all about results – the only thing it craves is the process. Learn to love the process and let whatever happens next happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for diligence. Love the work. Destiny will do what it wants with you, regardless.
  • When I tried this morning, after an hour or so of unhappy thinking, to dip back into my meditation, I took a new idea with me: compassion. I asked my heart if it could please infuse my soul with a more generous perspective on my mind’s workings. Instead of thinking that I was a failure, could I perhaps accept that I am only a human being–and a normal one, at that?
  • We all have love stories that go terribly wrong; we all have horribly broken hearts. And somehow we endure. We’re not destroyed by it. We endure and go on to do interesting things and have worthy lives, even though we carry our heartbreaks with us. That’s a kind of personal story of mine that I don’t think I would tell in memoir but I do think I can tell in fiction.
  • Writing is not like dancing or modeling; it’s not something where-if you missed it by age 19-you’re finished. It’s never too late. Your writing will only get better as you get older and wiser. If you write something beautiful and important, and the right person somehow discovers it, they will clear room for you on the bookshelves of the world-at any age. At least try.
  • Lay your wishes aside for a spell, and look deep into what you believe about yourself. Make sure your beliefs about your own life are anchored in greatness, in holiness, in worth, in grace, in joy, in excitement -in internal certainties rather than external circumstances. Because that belief? That’s where you’re heading, no matter what it may look like on the outside.
  • In every possible instance Saint Paul begged Christians to restrain themselves to contain their carnal yearnings to live solitary and sexless lives on earth as it is in heaven. “But if they cannot contain ” Paul finally conceded then “let them marry for it is better to marry than to burn.” Which is perhaps the most begrudging endorsement of matrimony in human history.
  • Where did you get the idea you aren’t allowed to petition the universe with prayer? You are part of this universe, Liz. You’re a constituent–you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So, put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me–it will at least be taken into consideration.
  • When Catherine told me about this (tragedy nearby), I could only say, shocked, “Dear God, that family needs grace.” She replied firmly, “That family needs casseroles,” and then proceeded to organize the entire neighborhood into bringing that family dinner, in shifts, every single night, for an entire year. I do not know if my sister fully recognizes that this _is_ grace.
  • Where did you get the idea you aren’t allowed to petition the universe with prayer? You are part of this universe, Liz. You’re a constituent–you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So, put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me–it will at least be taken into consideration.
  • Every woman deserves a man that can make her heart forget that it was ever broken. Even if these have been broken to pieces to me,this represents a person who gave me a complete,flawless heart. I don’t need someone who makes my heart whole. Instead, I need someone who will never let me feel broken. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.
  • You have to get hurt. That’s how you learn. The strongest people out there, the ones who laugh the hardest with a genuine smile, those are the people who have fought the toughest battles. Because they’ve decided that they’re not going to let anything hold them down, they’re showing the world who’s boss. One must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation.
  • I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the monkey mind. The thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl. My mind swings wildly through time, touching on dozens of ideas a minute, unharnessed and undisciplined. You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.
  • The little fishing boat anchors right off the shore of Gili Meno. There are no docks here on this island. You have to roll up your pants, jump off the boat and wade in through the surf on your own power. There’s absolutely no way to do this without getting soaking wet or even banged up on the coral, but it’s worth all the trouble because the beach here is so beautiful, so special
  • You know, it’s the same thing as the question of free will and destiny, the question of creativity – you, the artist, you’re not the puppet of the piano, you’re not the puppet of the muse, but you’re not its master, either. It’s a relationship, it’s a conversation, and all it wants is to be treated with respect and dignity – and it will return ten thousand times over.
  • There’s a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint,’Dear saint-please, please, please…give me the grace to win the lottery.’ This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated statue come to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust,’My son-please, please, please…buy a ticket.
  • The Silly Putty-like malleability of the institution [marriage], in fact, is the only reason we still have the thing at all. Very few people… would accept marriage on it’s thirteenth-century terms. Marriage survives, in other words, precisely because it evolves. (Though I suppose this would not be a very persuasive argument to those who probably also don’t believe in evolution).
  • We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses–one foot is on the horse called “fate,” the other on the horse called “free will.” And the question you have to ask every day is–which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it’s not under my control, and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort?
  • Maybe [artistry] doesn’t have to be quite so full of anguish if you never happened to believe, in the first place, that the most extraordinary aspects of your being came from you. But maybe if you just believed that they were on loan to you from some unimaginable source for some exquisite portion of your life to be passed along when you’re finished … it starts to change everything.
  • When I tried this morning, after an hour or so of unhappy thinking, to dip back into my meditation, I took a new idea with me: compassion. I asked my heart if it could please infuse my soul with a more generous perspective on my mind’s workings. Instead of thinking that I was a failure, could I perhaps accept that I am only a human being– and a normal one, at that?
  • Lay your wishes aside for a spell, and look deep into what you believe about yourself. Make sure your beliefs about your own life are anchored in greatness, in holiness, in worth, in grace, in joy, in excitement -in internal certainties rather than external circumstances. Because that belief? That’s where you’re heading, no matter what it may look like on the outside.
  • You know, it’s the same thing as the question of free will and destiny, the question of creativity – you, the artist, you’re not the puppet of the piano, you’re not the puppet of the muse, but you’re not its master, either. It’s a relationship, it’s a conversation, and all it wants is to be treated with respect and dignity – and it will return ten thousand times over.
  • Why must everything be repeat and repeat, never finish, never resting? You work so hard one day, but the next day you must only work again. You eat, but the next day, you are already hungry. You find love, then love goes away. You are born with nothing, you work hard, then you die with nothing. You are young, then you are old. No matter how hard you work, you cannot stop getting old. – Wayan
  • This is a nice metaphor, too, about mothers and daughters – that when it came time for me to make my own, I was making a completely different garden than the one that my mom has. They don’t look like they came from relatives. Hers is a very productive and pragmatic vegetable garden, and mine is a ridiculous overabundance of useless plants. It doesn’t feed anybody, it doesn’t serve any purpose.
  • When it seemed like I was going to really have to be there at Todd’s [Willingham] execution, I don’t think I could have done it. I think I began to distance myself. I didn’t visit as often; I didn’t write as often. This was kind of after my conversation with [fire science expert] Gerald Hurst. And the [car] accident made sure that I didn’t have to go up there. But I think he and I both shared that.
  • I’d learned enough from life’s experiences to understand that destiny’s interventions can sometimes be read as invitation for us to address and even surmount our biggest fears. It doesn’t take a great genius to recognize that when you are pushed by circumstance to do the one thing you have always most specifically loathed and feared, this can be, at the very least, an interesting growth opportunity.
  • Maybe artistry doesn’t have to be quite so full of anguish if you never happened to believe, in the first place, that the most extraordinary aspects of your being came from you. But maybe if you just believed that they were on loan to you from some unimaginable source for some exquisite portion of your life to be passed along when you’re finished … it starts to change everything.
  • We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses–one foot is on the horse called “fate,” the other on the horse called “free will.” And the question you have to ask every day is–which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it’s not under my control, and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort?
  • I want to have a lasting experience with God. Sometimes I feel like I understand the divinity of this world, but then I loose it because I get distracted by my petty desires and fears. I want to be with God all the time. But I don’t want to be a monk, or totally give up worldly pleasures. I guess what I want to learn is how to leave in this world and enjoy its delights, but also elevate myself to God.
  • I tried to reassure him with every line about how the world is hard and unfair sometimes, but that it’s all OK because he is so loved. He is surrounded by souls who would do anything to help him. And not only that–he has wisdom and patience of his own, buried deep inside his being, which will only reveal themselves over time and will always carry him through any trial. He is a gift from God to all of us.
  • I have far more enthusiasm in life than I have actual energy. In my excitement, I routinely take on more that I can physically or emotionally handle, which causes me to break down in quite predictable displays of dramatic exhaustion. You will be the one burdened with the job of mopping me up every time I’ve overextended myself and then fallen apart. This will be unbelievably tedious. I apologize in advance.
  • Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the thing – right in the hub of the wheel – not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness – that’s your heart. That’s where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you’ll always find peace.
  • Well, I always tried to look nice and be feminine even in the worst tragedies and crisis, there’s no reason to add to everyone’s misery by looking miserable yourself. That’s my philosophy. This is why I always wore makeup and jewelry into the jungle-nothing too extravagant, but maybe just a nice gold bracelet and some earrings, a little lipstick, good perfume. Just enough to show that I still had my self-respect.
  • I’m an enormous product of my century, I’m a product of my upbringing. I was not aware of the fact that I was entering marriage with the highest set of expectations that humans have ever brought to the institution. It was really good to find that out. It doesn’t have to be the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the moon and the stars – it can just be the moon. It’s enough that it just can be what it is.
  • Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can’t even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I’m aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don’t have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift.
  • Once Henry had heard a crying noise at sea, and had seen a mermaid floating on the ocean’s surface. The mermaid had been injured by a shark. Henry had pulled the mermaid out of the water with a rope, and she had died in his arms…”what language did the mermaid speak?” Alma wanted to know, imagining that it like almost have to be Greek. “English!” Henry said. “By God, plum, why would I rescue a deuced foreign mermaid?
  • Moss grows where nothing else can grow. It grows on bricks. It grows on tree bark and roofing slate. It grows in the Arctic Circle and in the balmiest tropics; it also grows on the fur of sloths, on the backs of snails, on decaying human bones. … It is a resurrection engine. A single clump of mosses can lie dormant and dry for forty years at a stretch, and then vault back again into life with a mere soaking of water.
  • Astonishingly, at some point, a sputtering torch was thrust into her hands. Alma did not see who gave it to her. She had never before been entrusted with fire. The torch spit sparks and sent chunks of flaming tar spinning into the air behind her as she bolted across the cosmos-the only body in the heavens who was not held to a strict elliptical path. Nobody stopped her. She was a comet. She did not know that she was not flying.
  • Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the thing – right in the hub of the wheel – not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness – that’s your heart. That’s where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you’ll always find peace.
  • You are still young, so you think only of your own self. You do not notice the tribulations that occur all around you, to other people. Do not protest; it is true. I am not condemning you. I was as selfish as you, when I was your age. It is the custom of the young to be selfish… But someday you will understand that nobody passes through this world without suffering-no matter what you think of them and their supposed good fortune.
  • But why must everything have a practical application? I’d been such a diligent soldier for years – working, producing, never missing a deadline, taking care of my loved ones, my gums and my credit record, voting, etc. Is this lifetime supposed to be only about duty? In this dark period of loss, did I need any justification for learning Italian other than that it was the only thing I could imagine bringing me any pleasure right now?
  • Why they always look so serious in Yoga? You make serious face like this, you scare away good energy. To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver. Practice tonight at hotel. Not to hurry, not to try too hard. Too serious, you make you sick. You can calling the good energy with a smile. (From Ketut Liyer, the Balinese healer)
  • This person had arrived, he had illuminated her, he had ensorcelled her with notions of miracle and beauty, he had both understood and misunderstood her, he had married her, he had broken her heart, he had looked upon her with those sad and hopeless eyes, he had accepted his banishment, and now he was gone. What a stark and stunning thing was life- that such a cataclysm can enter and depart so quickly, and leave such wreckage behind!
  • Creativity does not belong exclusively to professional artists and geniuses; it is the birthright of every single human being. Creativity is our common heritage. You don’t need to quit your job and move to Paris in order to lay claim to this heritage – all you have to do is clear some space in your life for whimsy, invention, sensory pleasure, and play. Most of all, you have to learn how to follow your curiosity more than your fear.
  • In the modern industrialized Western world, where I come from, the person whom you choose to marry is perhaps the single most vivid representation of your own personality. Your spouse becomes the most gleaming possible mirror through which your emotional individualism is reflected back to the world. There is no choice more intensely personal after all, than whom you choose to marry; that choice tells us, to a large extent, who you are.
  • Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.
  • But is it such a bad thing to live like this for just a little while? Just for a few months of one’s life, is it so awful to travel through time with no greater ambition than to find the next lovely meal? Or to learn how to speak a language for no higher purpose than that it pleases your ear to hear it? Or to nap in a garden, in a patch of sunlight, in the middle of the day, right next to your favourite fountain? And then to do it again the next day?
  • My mother has made choices in her life, as we all must, and she is at peace with them. I can see her peace. She did not cop out on herself. The benefits of her choices are massive-a long, stable marriage to a man she still calls her best friend; a family that has extended now into grandchildren who adore her; a certainty in her own strength. Maybe some things were sacrificed, and my dad made his sacrifices, too-but who amongst us lives without sacrifice?
  • Marriage is an ongoing, centuries-long social experiment that is mostly controlled by the individuals in the relationships who insist on determining what the relationship terms are going to be. And that’s why the terms of marriage change with every century and decade. We’re shaping it from the inside. Marriage endures because it evolves. Obviously it does. None of us would accept marriage on its 13th century terms, not even the most conservative people…
  • Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.
  • When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.
  • I will tell you why we have these extraordinary minds and souls, Miss Whittaker,” he continued, as though he had not heard her. “We have them because there is a supreme intelligence in the universe, which wishes for communion with us. This supreme intelligence longs to be known. It calls out to us. It draws us close to its mystery, and grants us these remarkable minds, in order that we try to reach for it. It wants us to find it. It wants union with us, more than anything.
  • Until-as often happened during those first months travel, whenever I would feel such happiness-my guilt alarm went off. I heard my ex-husband’s voice speaking disdainfully in my ear: So this is what you gave up everything for? This is why you gutted our entire life together? For a few stalks of asparagus and an Italian newspaper? I replied aloud to him: “First of all,” I said, “I’m very sorry, but this isn’t your business anymore. And secondly, to answer you question…yes.
  • She followed the pleasure where it led. She had no weight, no name, no thoughts, no history. Then came a burst of phosphorescence, as though a firework had discharged behind her eyes, and it was over. She felt quiet and warm. For the first conscious moment of her life, her mind was free from wonder, free from worry, free from work or puzzlement. Then, from the middle of that marvelous furred stillness, a thought took shape, took hold, took over. I shall have to do this again.
  • Problem is, you can’t accept that his relationship had a real short shelf life. You’re like a dog at the dump, baby, you’re just lickin’ at the empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.‚ But I love him.‚ So love him. But I miss him.  So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it.
  • Then my mother shocked me. She said, ” All those things that you want from your relationship, Liz? I have always wanted those things too.” [She] showed me the handful of bullets she’d had to bite over the decades in order to stay happily married (and she was happily married…) to my father. “You have to understand how little I was raised to expect that I desired in life, honey. Remember- I come from a different time and place… and you have to understand how much I love your father.
  • My love affair with (him) had a wonderful element of romance to it, which I will always cherish. But it was not an infatuation, and here’s how I can tell: because I did not demand that he become my Great Emancipator or my Source of All Life, nor did I immediately vanish into that man’s chest cavity like a twisted, unrecognizable, parasitical homonculus. During our long period of courtship, I remained intact within my own personality, and I allowed myself to meet (him) for who he was.
  • There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.
  • People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.
  • The great Sufi poet and philosopher Rumi once advised his students to write down the three things they most wanted in life. If any item on the list clashes with any other item, Rumi warned, you are destined for unhappiness. Better to live a life of single-pointed focus, he taught. But what about the benefits of living harmoniously among extremes? What if you could somehow create an expansive enough life that you could synchronize seemingly incongruous opposites into a worldview that excludes nothing?
  • Big deal. So you fell in love with someone. Don’t you see what happened? This guy touched a place in your heart deeper than you thought you were capable of reaching, I mean you got zapped, kiddo. But that love you felt, that’s just the beginning. You just got a taste of love. That’s just limited little rinky-dink mortal love. Wait till you see how much more deeply you can love than that. Heck, Groceries‚ you have the capacity to someday love the whole world. It’s your destiny. Don’t laugh.
  • The Yogic sages say that all the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy. We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash. We get seduced by our own mantras (I’m a failure I’m lonely I’m a failure I’m lonely) and we become monuments to them. To stop talking for a while, then, is to attempt to strip away the power of words, to stop choking ourselves with words, to liberate ourselves from our suffocating mantras.
  • I wanted to experience both. I wanted worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. I wanted what the Greeks called kalos kai agathos, the singular balance of the good and the beautiful. I’d been missing both during these last hard years, because both pleasure and devotion require a stress-free space in which to flourish and I’d been living in a giant trash compactor of nonstop anxiety. As for how to balance the urge for pleasure against the longing for devotion…well, surely there was a way to learn that trick.
  • Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then ‘Ole!’ And if not, do your dance anyhow. And ‘Ole!’ to you, nonetheless. I believe this and I feel that we must teach it. ‘Ole!’ to you, nonetheless, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.
  • If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.
  • There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.
  • People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.
  • I decide every day that I love Creativity enough to accept that Fear will always come with it. And I talk to Fear all the time, speaking to it with love and respect, saying to it: I know that you are Fear, and that your job is to be afraid. And you do your job really well! I will never ask you to leave me alone or to be silent, because you have a right to speak your own voice, and I know that you will never leave me alone or be silent, anyhow. But I need you to understand that I will always choose Creativity over you.
  • The Yogic sages say that all the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy. We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash. We get seduced by our own mantras (I’m a failure I’m lonely I’m a failure I’m lonely) and we become monuments to them. To stop talking for a while, then, is to attempt to strip away the power of words, to stop choking ourselves with words, to liberate ourselves from our suffocating mantras.
  • The notion is that human beings are born, (as my Guru has explained many times,) with equivalent potential for both contraction and expansion. The ingredients of both darkness and light are equally present in all of us, and then it’s up to the individual (or the family, or the society) to decide what will be brought forth – the virtues or the malevolence. The madness of this planet is largely a result of human being’s difficulty in coming into virtuous balance with himself. Lunacy (both collective and individual) results.
  • Both the five-year-olds looked at me with bewilderment and a bit of fearful uncertainty. I had a sudden horrifying image of the woman I might become if I’m not careful: Crazy Aunt Liz. The divorcee in the muumuu with the dyed orange hair who doesn’t eat dairy but smokes menthols, who’s always just coming back from her astrology cruise or breaking up with her aroma-therapist boyfriend, who reads the Tarot cards of kindergarteners and says things like, “Bring Aunty Liz another wine cooler, baby, and I’ll let you wear my mood ring.
  • Virginia Woolf wrote, “Across the broad continent of a woman’s life falls the shadow of a sword.” On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where all is correct. But on the other side of that sword, if you’re crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, “all is confusion.” Nothing follows a regular course. Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will be more perilous.
  • Offer it up personally,then. Right now. I thought of how many people go to their graves unforgiven and unforgiving. I thought of how many people have had siblings or friends or children or lovers disappear from their lives before precious words of clemency or absolution could be passed along. How do the survivors of terminated relationships ever endure the pain of unfinished business? From that place of meditation, I found the answer-you can finish the business yourself, from within yourself. It’s not only possible, it’s essential.
  • Someone asked me if I would like to write a man on death row, be a pen pal, and I was like, sure. I volunteered. I had been in a place in my life – a relationship had ended; my parents were getting elderly – I was kind of adrift. The name that was given to me, just randomly, was Todd Willingham. And he wrote me a letter, and in this letter, he thanked me for writing him and [said that] if I would like to visit, he would put me on his visitor list… I was just really struck by the letter from Todd. It was very polite; it was very kind.
  • So I stood up and did a handstand on my Guru’s roof, to celebrate the notion of liberation. I felt the dusty tiles under my hands. I felt my own strength and balance. I felt the easy night breeze on the palms of my bare feet. This kind of thing — a spontaneous handstand–isn’t something a disembodied cool blue soul can do, but a human being can do it. We have hands; we can stand on them if we want to. That’s our privilege. That’s the joy of a mortal body. And that’s why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands.
  • I remember asking myself one night, while I was curled up in the same old corner of my same old couch in tears yet again over the same old repetition of sorrowful thoughts, ‘Is there ANYTHING about this scene you can change, Liz?’ And all I could think to do was stand up, whle still sobbing, and try to balance on one foot in the middle of the living room. Just to prove that – while I couldn’t stop the tears or change my dismal interior dialogue – I was not yet totally out of control: at least I could cry hysterically while balanced on one foot.
  • I have my own set of survival techniques. I am patient. I know how to pack light. But my one might travel talent is that I can make friends with anybody. I can make friends with the dead. If there isn’t anyone else around to talk to, I could probably make friends with a four-foot-tall pile of sheetrock. That is why I’m not afraid to travel to the most remote places in the world, not if there are human beings there to meet. People asked me before I left, do you have friends [there]?’ and I would just shake my head no, thinking to myself, But I will.
  • The search for God is a reversal of the normal, mundane worldly order. In search for God, you revert from what attracts you and swim toward that which is difficult. You abandon your comforting and familiar habits with the hope (the mere hope!) that something greater will be offered you in return for what you have given up.. if we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be.. a prudent insurance policy.
  • I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.
  • I won the argument against the knife that night, but barely. I had some other good ideas around that time–about how jumping off a building or blowing my brains out with a gun might stop the suffering. but something about spending a night with a knife in my hand did it. The next morning I called my friend Susan as the sun came up, begged her to help me. I don’t think a woman in the whole history of my family had ever done that before, had ever sat in the middle of the road like that and said, in the middle of her life, “I cannot walk another step further–somebody has to help me.
  • It was like time would stop, and the dancer would sort of step through some kind of portal and he wasn’t doing anything different than he had ever done, 1,000 nights before, but everything would align. And all of a sudden, he would no longer appear to be merely human. He would be lit from within, and lit from below and all lit up on fire with divinity. And when this happened, back then, people knew it for what it was, you know, they called it by it’s name. They would put their hands together and they would start to chant, “Allah, Allah, Allah, God God, God.” That’s God, you know.
  • Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.
  • This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don’t have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping. And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn’t have the specific ritual you are craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet.
  • I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.