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Posts Tagged ‘integrity’

What Matters?

What matters is the center inside yourself – and how you live, and how you treat people, and what you can contribute as you pass through life on this earth, and how honestly you love, and how carefully you make choices. Those are the things that really matter.

~excerpt from Refusing to be a Man by John Stollenberg

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Trust Yourself

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and……try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in  a very foreign language…….Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it,  live your way into the answer.

~Rainer Maria Rilke

My translation: Carry on even if you don’t know what exactly the future looks like. Just try to follow your deepest truths, and live in a way that allows you to feel that you are living according to your own set of values. Every choice, big or small, changes our direction on the journey that our life takes, and hopefully, the path that we end up choosing to follow brings us to a place where we feel at home.

black lake and rabbit river 2009 076

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The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of it’s earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart”.

~ from I Thought It Was Just Me: Telling the Truth about Perfectionism, Inadequacy and Power by Brene Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.

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Since my house burned down

I now own a better view

Of the rising moon

~ Japanese Zen Haiku written by Miszuta Masahide, a samurai disciple of Basho, in 1688, after his house burned to the ground.

I heard this poem when I was in the car, listening to a CBC Radio One interview with Pico Iyer, who has just published a book called The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Pretty timely topic, considering the highly public troubles between China and Tibet. I wonder how difficult it is for the Dalai Lama to maintain his unwavering dedication towards the moral high ground when he comes under constant criticism for the way his spiritual beliefs appear to some to have allowed the Chinese to gain ever increasing power in Tibet. He’s been a political leader for 56 years, been the spiritual leader of his country since the age of fifteen, and has never once deviated from his outspoken belief in non-violence. According to Iyer, the Dalai Lama is able to remain firm in his beliefs because his is a very long term outlook. The Dalai Lama says that he does not expect to see the results of his actions in his own lifetime, but that he will still do what he believes is right. That violence is never the answer, that violence only creates more of the same, and that the cycle must be broken.

I wholeheartedly agree, but I wonder what I would do if one of my children was being physically threatened. My guess is that I would jump right into action, non-violence be damned, anything to prevent harm from befalling one of my babies. So much for my high-minded ideals. Okay in the abstract, okay in the big picture, but definitely not okay when it comes to the pain or suffering of someone I love. I just don’t think I could sacrifice one of the kids to my firmly held ideals, even if it meant the end of violence for all human kind.

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