Words for my babies

Words for my babies is a project that was born during a stormy Friday night of July 2016. I was sitting alone on the scratchy carpet of my bedroom floor in D.C. when a video came up in my feed. It was a video of a family’s vacation. I family I don’t personally known… or will ever know. Just a family like any other, with their own joys, sorrows, pains, challenges and just the whole spectrum of experiences that we call life. And it struck me. It struck me how overwhelming it would be leave your kids behind, for whatever reason, and not be able to teach them all of the lessons you’ve gathered throughout your life, throughout your hardships, your heartbreaks, your happy and crappy days.

Over many years, I’ve collected little lessons—some mine, some borrowed, but lessons in the end—that were initially intended to be a collection to pass onto my children (hence the name). But through the years, I have come to realize that perhaps this collection of thoughts has been more for me than for anyone else. They have helped me survived some very dark days in my life. And while they may not have been the darkest I’ll ever have, in those very moments, relying on some of these notes gave me the strength, the faith, and even the will to keep pushing through whatever form of chaos I was experiencing then.

Though most of them are extremely personal, I hope you can find comfort in some of these paragraphs.

You’re not alone; we’re not alone.

Notice the small things. The rewards are inversely proportional. Liz Vassey

I swear the older you get, the less you know- but one thing is for certain: We aren’t meant to know everything, We’re just meant to have the courage to keep stretching and reshaping even when we don’t.

The world often tries to tell us differently but the truth is: there is as much greatness in a quiet whisper, as there is a war cry.

My babies, You’ll never completely know where someone comes from. Why they have a hard time lifting their eyes, why they’re slow to receive compliments or make friends, why they need you. You don’t need to know why. You only need to notice that they do.

Don’t compare yourself to others, nearly always will that make you despondent.

I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.

Sometimes things, experiences and people are much more beautiful and full and magical if you can just let yourself take a step back to admire the whole picture instead only seeing each stroke of the brush.

To my babies – This too shall pass. Time, moments, hardships, needs, and broken hearts… but there are some things that are forever unchanging, immovable and unconditional. Your parent’s love and want for you . Both your parents In heaven and on earth. You are so loved and important.

Don’t take counsel from your fears. James Faust It’s easy to forget that if I had, I would have missed out on – not only the very best things in my life- but also the hope and courage that came with them.

The most important moments come from bravery.

Quietly conquering the voice in your head that says: “you can’t, you won’t, you never will.”– Alison Malee

To my babies, When you hear that voice I hope you think of me. I hope you see my face and hear my voice and it is strong and kind and encouraging. I hope it helps you to take that step. Open that door. Try that sport or stand up for that one (or many). People will tell you why you shouldn’t. Why you can’t. And Why you won’t. You’ll feel small, tired or insignificant at times. But those things couldn’t be further from the truth. Stand up for love. For hope and faith. For equality. For kindness. Because even the tiniest seed can grow into something so majestic, so grand, that it can change an entire horizon.

This life is so much wider than it seems. The world so much bigger and these moments much more fluid than they feel as they engulf us.

Be brave my babies. Bet on yourselves. Plant the seeds. Stay close to God and Know you are meant for big things no matter how small you might feel. You have it written in your stars and running through your veins. Brave is in your blood.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word BRAVE lately. No doubt my concept of it has completely changed. During my life I’ve often prided myself on being brave – mostly for jumping off cliffs, doing backflips, never passing on a dare… And although I want my children to have the courage to try things that scare them– bravery to me now means something different.

It has nothing to do with peer pressure or how crazy/daring something is. I believe being brave… is being true to yourself. To your God and your spirit… No matter what others are doing, no matter what others are saying. No matter who is watching and who isn’t. Sometimes it’s knowing your limits. Sometimes it’s knowing your potential. And sometimes it’s leaning in and having faith. It can be No. Yes. I’ll try…Again… Bravery can be long suffering, kind. Silent. A war cry. The truth is, Sometimes it’s deciding not to jump off the highest cliff. And climbing back down with everyone watching. Owning your moment, and your truth.

We show up. Even when it is hard, inconvenient and messy. Even when you want to quit. We show up.

We never ever ever ever give up!

Be content but never complacent.

What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.

I’ve always loved the kind of boys who spoke less than they know, and had more than they showed.

I’ve always felt the most special and important things about people are seen that way… with kind eyes, not skin or surface but between the lines.

Courage is the first of human qualities, because it is the quality which guarantees the others. Aristotle

Don’t sell yourself short.

Of this be sure: You do not find the happy life–You make it.

The world is big and beautiful but it pales in comparison to you…

Support your friends. Listen to their ideas. Go to their events. Tell them the good you see in them. Often. Share their posts. Celebrate in their victories and remind them of their importance after their failures. Watch for their courageous moments and acknowledge them. Take note of nice things you hear about them and tell them as soon as possible. Think the best of them, even in times where it’s easy not to. Cheer them on in their hopes and dreams. A little support goes a long way in someone’s life.

I believe in challenges. I believe that i will be a better person through overcoming them. I believe that the harder the challenge, the more rewarding the outcome. To the near impossible task i say “bring it”. I believe in creativity, I crave the unusual and enjoy seeing that the world is far from boring. I believe the world reflects how you see it, through a creative perspective the world is endless with possibilities.

Some things in this world are not and yet appear to be.

There comes a point when it all becomes too much, when we get too tired to fight anymore, so we give up. That’s when the real work begins, to find hope where there seems to be absolutely none at all.

Separating ideas from people makes us grow.

I spent my first year at Juilliard in Room 304 staring at invisible objects. We’d all hold imaginary mugs between our hands and ask a never-ending series of questions. If it was a mug, how would I know? What would it look like? Feel like? Would it be warm or cold? Would it have a curved handle? Would it be heavy in my hands? There was no end to the questions. There was no one answer to anything. And that was okay; answering the questions was never the point. The asking was the thing. Sometimes the questions were bigger – more urgent. We asked questions about status and meaning and human motivation. We’d ask questions and then listen for the breath before an answer, and in that space we’d learn something wordless and vital about what it means to be human.

Then it was over. Even if you see it coming, even as your final weeks are filled with emotional good-byes, the day itself is still a blur.

Even if we didn’t know the context, we were instructed to remember that context existed. Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance. 

Accept what comes and just kept moving forward.

The lesson being that in life you control what you can.

The idea was we were to transcend, to get ourselves further. They’d planned for it. They encouraged it. We were expected not just to be smart but to own our smartness—to inhabit it with pride.

Our decisions were on us. It was our life, not hers, and always would be.

We were their investment, me and Craig. Everything went into us.

Failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result.

You don’t really know how attached you are until you move away, until you’ve experienced what it means to be dislodged, a cork floating on the ocean of another place.

It is one thing to get yourself out of a stuck place. It is another thing entirely to try and get the place itself unstuck.

“Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?”

Inspiration on its own is shallow; you have to back it up with hard work.

It gave me a hard-to-explain feeling of sadness, a sense of being unrooted in both lands.

Have faith in what a good education could do for a a person who wasn’t born rich or well connected.

Grief and resilience live together.

Every challenge, of course, is relative.

The important parts of my story, I was realizing, lay less in the surface value of my accomplishments and more in what undergirded them—the many small ways I’d been buttressed over the years, and the people who’d helped build my confidence over time. I remembered them all, every person who’d ever waved me forward, doing his or her best to inoculate me against the slights and indignities I was certain to encounter in the places I was headed.

I knew from my own life experience that when someone shows genuine interest in your learning and development, even if only for ten minutes in a busy day, it matters. It matters especially for women, for minorities, for anyone society is quick to overlook.

My early successes in life were, I knew, a product of the consistent love and high expectations with which I was surrounded as a child, both at home and at school.

People will invest more when they feel they’re being invested in.

If you can point out others’ strengths and give them some glimpse of a way forward, then always do it. It is a small difference you can make.

You got somewhere by building that better reality, if at first only in your own mind.

What lasts?

Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.

Some people, weak people, fear solitude. What they fail to understand is that there’s something very liberating about it; once you realize that you don’t need anyone, you can take care of yourself.

You can’t regret the life you didn’t lead.

Know that in this world there’s somebody who will always love you.

It’s never the changes we want that change everything.

If you didn’t grow up like I did then you don’t know and if you don’t know it’s probably better you don’t judge.

It was that feeling I had, that my life was waiting for me on the other side, that made me fearless.

Everything about her present life irked her; she wanted, with all her heart, something else.

But it’s exactly at these moments, when all hope has vanished, when the end draws near, that prayer has dominion.

She resolved out of her anger her own survival. And from it forged herself anew.

Pain everywhere but alive. Alive.

Each time she thought she would fall she concentrated on the faces of her promised future—her promised children—and from that obtained the strength she needed to continue.

Beli felt like a good part of her had already disembarked.

It is, lamentably, all I have.

It ain’t going to work if you don’t want it to work.

And the Brave Thing became easy.

And so, in a heartbeat, by a whisper, were two lives irrevocably changed.

You can tell he’s trying too. He’s smiling a lot, despite the bafflement in his eyes.

But if I’ve learned anything in my travels it’s that a person can get used to anything.

What never changes?

Always travel light. Pare it all down to what is necessary.

Fear is the mind killer.

He summoned all the courage he ever had, would ever have, and forced himself to do the one thing he did not want to do, that he could not bear to do. He listened.

Because anything you can dream you can be.

From can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night.

Every teacher who gave me kindness, every librarian who gave me books.

“No matter how far you travel…to whatever reaches of this limitless universe…you will never be…ALONE!”

This is a love letter to the nights I climbed into bed with a full face of makeup, too tired to take it off. To the days when one latte was not enough, when the two basic food groups were caffeine and sugar. This is a note to the girl I was when joy was a thing always ten feet away, when getting out of bed was harder than not. An ode to the mess and grace that is growing up. And a thank you to the girl I was at twenty who knew that, hard as things were, her life was changing and if she could bear witness to it—stay awake enough to sit with it— then she could transform the most heartbreaking moments of her life into the most meaningful. This is my bent and broken and wholly imperfect version of what happened and how it happened. And this is my declaration that, given the  chance, I wouldn’t change a thing.

The finding out is the best part.

Don’t do that. Don’t lie to make things easier.

Language, endlessly malleable, and frighteningly insufficient and still human. “How astonishing it is that language can almost mean, and frightening that it does not quite.” Writing became an exercise in sitting with discomfort, accepting that which is imperfect, and reveling in the almost.

I may never be able to fully say what this swath of time took from me, nor what it gave in return, but I know that it made me, shaped me—gave with both hands but took even more.

Arranging words is much like making music. Flawed and small and still with a beat and a pattern and the capacity to empty the air from one’s lungs.

But what I actually got was something altogether better.

How odd our wants are—how strange it is that fear and desire live together, a mottled border between.

Success doesn’t protect against despair.

I begin to build a life predicated on the notion of and then, which means life is always somewhere just beyond my reach.

Sometimes you have to do the thing you really don’t want to do because it is really, really good for you—and by good I mean vital and necessary and capable of inching one’s life forward. I learned that it is my job to show up, to sit with discomfort. To face the seemingly impossible.

It is the fear that nothing will change and the faith that of course it has to.

“The female doesn’t want a rich or a handsome man or even a poet, she wants a man who understands her eyes if she gets sad, and points to his chest and says: Here is your home country.”

Ask me to dance. On the subway platform, at the bar, in the living room. Not because I can, or you can, but because who cares? Because it doesn’t matter if we’re any good. Because you’d use any excuse just to place the palm of your hand on the small of my back. Tell me I’m beautiful. Even if I already know you think I am, and you know that I know, tell me again, tell me anyway. Tell me once more than is reasonable or necessary. And when I call you in hysterics, when I collapse into you undone by something you think small and ridiculous, just the moment before your impulse to fix everything kicks in, give me three words: I hear you. I believe in love. In the mess of it, and the grace of it, and— frankly—in the mundanity of it. In crawling into bed night after night next to it. Because sometimes you just need a person to be quiet with, and sad next to.

But everything feels uncertain and I want desperately to rush ahead, to see what comes next.

So you thought you were going to come here and find people just like you. And you didn’t. Well, now you’re going to have to work a little bit harder.

I return home in the evenings and sit at my small desk and write, but there is the constant question of what I am doing with my life, and I do not have an answer, not really.

I’m more comfortable with my own brokenness—more at ease with the notion that it’s the well from which I draw empathy and kindness and humor.

You’re afraid that everyone with something kind to say will figure out you’re not worthy of their belief in you. And that’s on you.

The heart goes in search of love, always. Even—and most especially—when we don’t want it to. And thus the war is a silent one, fought on the home front, between a heart that propels us forward and a body that doesn’t think it’ll survive another go.

Because they sensed my hesitation, my own obvious confusion.

Before you marry anyone, ask yourself, do I want to be driving a kid to the emergency room with this person?

People tell you that you can’t ruin love. That such a small thing can’t undo such a big thing. But when that thing is true and good and just beginning, and when both people are looking to the other for their cues, well, I now know how fragile it is. How delicate and uncertain. How it can be lost because of fear. We are all fools in love.

We are all of us guilty of telling ourselves lies to make our current realities easier.

Can you hold a sort of happiness between your hands? I think you can.

With that rationalization comes a sense of security. Never mind that it’s all an illusion.

I’m making a list of things I’m not allowed to say: That I’m lonely. And that I fear this loneliness will crush me, slowly and by degrees. That I’m in mourning for all of the lives I’m not living. And that occasionally I feel like I’m failing all of the time, and in all ways. That there have been whole swaths of time in my life when everything I said was bracketed by apology: I’m sorry. Yes, I can do that. I’m sorry. Yes, let’s grab coffee. I’m sorry. I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. That it feels like I’m stuck behind a glass wall watching everyone else live a life I’ve only ever dreamt of. That it is isolation in plain sight. That I’m afraid it may never happen—that this thing that people assure me will most definitely happen may not. Unlikely, yes, but unlikely things happen every day. That I have become greedy for affection. And I fear there is some threshold for loneliness that should I pass I may never recover. That it sometimes rushes in like a tidal wave, flooding levees and toppling internal infrastructure, leaving me at a crowded dinner table afraid to look up from my plate for fear that someone may see the sadness in my eyes. That loving someone does make everything a little bit easier. There is this construct in psychology called transactive memory. It is the idea that we store information and ideas—memories even—in the minds of the people around us. I cannot help but wonder if this is true of joy and sadness too? If it is possible to share emotion in this way? And what must it feel like when a person you love carries your heaviness, if only for a moment? That there is exposure in living one’s life alone. And that for a stretch of time I walk north on Sixth Avenue each morning and pass a man who spends the whole of his day yelling upwards at the sky. I wonder if we aren’t more alike than not. It would be easy to say, No, of course not. But, loneliness, stripped of the many layers in which we dress it, is fundamentally the same.

“To feel anything deranges you. To be seen feeling anything strips you naked.”

A returned coffee lid, an extra set of hands. A lifetime of not always having to ask. Occasionally I am rendered breathless by how much there is to look forward to.

I am perpetually one set of hands short. Because the wall in front of me is large and immovable.

Perhaps not well, but done is better than not.

Ten years of unforgiving crowds and endless subway rides and crummy apartments and shitty landlords and still more questions than answers. But what I do know is I will leave New York with different dreams than those with which I first arrived— smaller dreams, simpler ones.

I pull out loose photographs and curl painter’s tape against their backsides before placing them on the wall, confident that I can remove them quickly if need be. I set mirrors and frames atop the dresser, but I never once pull out a hammer, afraid to create holes that I may later need to fill. I take up space, just not too much.

I move into the house sure I will keep to myself. I will ferry to and from work, eat quickly in the evening, and then retreat to my room. I have stopped dreaming of thick rugs and hardwood floors. Of hanging pots and granite countertops. Clean white walls and crown molding. I have let go of the idea of permanency and roots and What Comes Next. I have begun to dream instead of travel. Of leaving. Of letting go and moving on. The idea of home, in any physical sense, has become as small as a glass jar filled with coffee beans, and two winter coats: one for everyday use, the other for the occasional evening out. To allow myself to imagine anything else is to be crushed by all that I do not have—all that I have just left on the side of the curb, and all that I imagined my life would be by this moment in time. I have let go of expectations and, without meaning to, of hope, too.

It is not lost on me that as soon as I let go of the notion of home, I land in one.

Extend the kindness you give to others to yourself.

Home found where it was least expected.

About doubt and how it is a thing that multiplies in the absence of a warm hand or the sound of a person’s laugh or a quiet, full look. How it grows, alone in silence on sleepless nights, or under the unrelenting glare of another’s comments. How it is a nasty trick of fear.

To my daughters, it is not your job to convince a man to love you. It cannot be your job to convince a man to love you.

Perhaps it’s more of a longing for permanence, which still feels so maddeningly elusive. From a block away I see the windows in my brownstone lit up. That’s the feeling, I think. The sensation of walking towards home— of being nearly there. The lit window, the cool night, the smell of a wood fire in the air. I’m not sick for home so much as the promise of it, a block away. The knowledge that I’m nearly there.

I’d felt the need to stick it out as a form of penance for poor decisions.

There are better worlds than this one, and bigger lives, and to reach for one is not a failing.

A man can be many things, but let him be kind, first.

But this is what I know to be true, that in the worst moments of our lives, good things happen. That, in fact, the good and bad rush in together, one somersaulting over the other. And you must be alert enough to look for both.

It is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.

And I was, mostly, but for the part of me that wasn’t—the part of me that was tired and lonely and half-stuck in a life I was only half-living, one foot in, one foot out.

I ask him where he has learned to dance so well, he tells me his father once pointed to a dance floor and said, You see that, son? That’s where the girls will be.

Happiness demands its own sort of courage.

You have suffered sadness, but no longer wear it.

And so I quit my job. Because life is too short and too good to miss. And because it must belong to me before I can choose to share it with anyone else. I fly west, and as the plane takes off, I feel—for the first time in as long as I can remember—like my life is my own. People will tell you that you cannot live in the past. But when your life is built on a thousand and one small concessions you have made because things did not go as planned, then life itself is three feet behind you. When you seek out stability for fear of failure, you have already lost. Our job is not to create a masterpiece, but to give voice to that which only we can give voice to. Our job is to go to work doing that which we feel called to do. Despite our fears—despite the nagging notion that we are not enough, or too much, or fraudulent, we show up. We take risks. We wrestle with our wants and our needs and the blank canvas. And we let the wrestling change us. Because in the space of that change—in the space of who we once were and who we become—is the divine. Everything else is a trick of the light. Sometimes in wrestling with the blank canvas we get a Starry Night, and sometimes all we get are the honest, imperfect words that this writer offers up because they are all she has, and so worthy by that measure alone.

And then I go home and I write. And I sit with my questions and my fear and all the damn uncertainty.

Because I have looked the worst parts of myself in the eye and either changed them or made peace with them.

The best people I know are comfortable with failure, willing to hang out in discomfort. They aren’t interested in looking cool or terribly concerned with fitting in. They understand the value of listening and are willing to apologize and admit wrong. They are engaged in the very active thing that is fighting for the life you want, and fighting for the love you think you deserve. And at the end of the day, when asked what they bring to the table, they know the answer.

And very often the things we fear the most are not only bearable, but transformative.

We will all, many times over, have to reconcile the life we planned for with the life we’ve got.

There is not one thing I wish I had learned sooner. There is not one thing I think I was meant to know before I knew it. Because I learned about trusting my gut only after I didn’t. And I learned about love in the trenches of heartbreak. And I understood the value of showing up only after I failed to do so. But it is how I learned each thing that has shaped the woman I am today, and the woman I’ll be tomorrow, and the day after.

Sometimes I think if the only joy of leaving home is the gift of returning to it, then that is enough.

I am the sadness that nearly swallowed me whole, and I am the stumbling, stubborn journey back from its mouth.

Everything has changed, and nothing has. Everything will be different, and nothing will.

People have told me that there is almost no way to prepare for how beautiful a place becomes just before you go, made sweet by its impermanence.

Forgive the bathrooms you hid in crying, the thought of facing the world outside harder than you cared to admit.

Because the happiness that follows sadness is never the same as that which came before it.

The depth of the lows is the price you pay for the height of the highs.

The undiluted selflessness of someone fully aware what her absence will do to those she leaves behind.

The deep end was so very deep.

They were little fist-bumps that kept me going, rays of thoughtfulness from my patients that hit the spot when bosses couldn’t, or wouldn’t, oblige.

Nobody wants to be left behind.

While you become an expert in prioritizing at work, you generally become even worse at prioritizing in real life.

That ‘might have’ was inescapable.

Think about the toll the job takes on every healthcare professional, at home and at work. Remember they do an absolutely impossible job, to the very best of their abilities. Your time in hospital may well hurt them a lot more than it hurts you.

Many people never realize what they’re capable of because they’re afraid to make mistakes. Many people don’t stand up for what’s right because they’re afraid to be wrong. But that’s not how changing the world works. Unless you’re willing to take risks, you won’t have a chance to use your talents when and where they matter most….the world needs your talents now. The world needs you now. -Michael Dell

There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.

Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected.

Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.

Personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survi ve its vicissitudes.

We have the power to imagine better.

As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio

o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:

te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,

secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva

dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,

y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo

el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,

te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:

así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,

sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,

tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,

tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño. -Pablo Neruda

Never mistake a wish for a certainty.

Be loyal to those not present and you will gain the trust and confidence of those who are present.

In this classic children’s story, (Willy Wonka) people all over the world desperately yearn to find a golden ticket. Some feel that their entire future happiness depends on whether or not a golden ticket falls into their hands. In their anxiousness, people begin to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket. So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about. For some, the golden ticket may be a perfect marriage; for others, a magazine-cover home or perhaps (an easier life). This is not to say that we should abandon hope or temper our goals. Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life. The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy. – Dieter Uchtdorf

Before you marry anyone, ask yourself, is this the person I want to be with on a car at 3AM in the morning with a sick kid on the back?

You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will look back in a few years and be absolutely perplexed and awed by how every little thing added up and brought you somewhere wonderful– or where you always wanted to be. You will be grateful that things didn’t work out the way you once wanted them to. — Brianna Wiest

You can only connect the dots backwards.

Many years ago, when I was somewhere between 9 and 11, I participated in a community summer recreation program in the town where I grew up. I remember in particular a diving competition for the different age groups held at the community swimming pool. Some of the wealthier kids in our area had their own pools with diving boards, and they were pretty good amateur divers. But there was one kid my age from the less affluent part of town who didn’t have his own pool. What he had was raw courage. While the rest of us did our crisp little swan dives, back dives, and jackknives, being ever so careful to arch our backs and point our toes, this young man attempted back flips, one-and-a-half’s, doubles, and so on. But, oh, he was sloppy. He seldom kept his feet together, he never pointed his toes, and he usually missed his vertical entry. The rest of us observed with smug satisfaction as the judges held up their scorecards and he consistently got lower marks than we did with our safe and simple dives, and we congratulated ourselves that we were actually the better divers. “He is all heart and no finesse,” we told ourselves. “After all, we keep our feet together and point our toes.” The announcement of the winners was a great shock to us, for the brave young lad with the flips had apparently beaten us all. However, I had kept rough track of the scores in my head, and I knew with the arrogance of limited information that the math didn’t add up. I had consistently outscored the boy with the flips. And so, certain that an injustice was being perpetrated, I stormed the scorer’s table and demanded an explanation. “Degree of difficultly,” the scorer replied matter-of-factly as he looked me in the eye. “Sure, you had better form, but he did harder dives. When you factor in the degree of difficulty, he beat you hands down, kid.” I am thankful for my blessings but not smug about them, for I never want to hear the Scorer say to me, “Sure, you had better form, but she had a harder life. When you factor in degree of difficulty, she beat you hands down.”

We NEVER give up. We NEVER give up. We NEVER give up.

Plus est en vous. There is more in you.

A hand. I had never thought about  it before, but a hand has the perfect weight, the perfect temperature, the perfect size. Because your hand on mine lets me know that I am not alone, that you are here with me, in my anger, in my loneliness, in my brokenness.

We all live under the same sky, but we do not have the same horizon.

“Life belongs to the discontented” Robert Woodruff. That restlessness of spirit that impels some of us to go that extra step that brings about a breakthrough.

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them — work, family, health, friends and spirit — and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls —family, health, friends, and spirit — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked. nicked. damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. Brian Dyson

How will you measure your life?

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves

Pain demands to be felt.

There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for you. But I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days.

One thing I am convinced of is that the more you do, the more you can do.

Learn to know and value the praise which is worth having, and to excite the admiration of excellent people.

Successful people are successful because they are willing to do the things that unsuccessful people won’t.

In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the differences of their habits.

This too shall pass. For all the worldly things shall indeed pass. When I am heavy with heartache I shall console myself that this too shall pass; when I am puffed with success I shall warn myself that this too shall pass. When I am strangled in poverty I shall tell myself that this too shall pass; when I am burdened with wealth I shall tell myself that this too shall pass.

Success, if it is to be meaningful, must be a personal thing. It varies from individual to individual as personality varies; indeed, it springs from the very depths where personality itself arises, and often it takes insightful probing to find out for ourselves what our own ideas of success actually are.

One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts, once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness-simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience. ~George Sand

These are the dynamic factors in success. The first constant factor is purpose. One must know that in whatever he does he is moving forward toward a goal. Secondly, success has the intrinsic character of a batting average. So, too, a successful life will have its days or even years of failure. It will certainly have its moments of utter washout. These are not blights upon such a life but merely the inevitable failings which bear testimony to the fact that success isn’t easy. A third constant ingredient of success is the price of it. There is no success for free. A fourth essential ingredient, without which success is not success, is satisfaction. Success must be enjoyed. It may be won with tears but it must be crowned with laughter. A final basic element of success is spirituality. It is hard to imagine anyone feeling successful without also feeling related somehow to the greater purposes of life.

Think and Thank.

It is not hard to ignore the fact that we are doing much less than we are able to do, very little of what we had planned even modestly to accomplish before a certain age, and never, probably, all that we had hoped.

Always thank people; even if they are doing what they have to do.

“Lift where you stand.” Transitions and changes are part of everyday life and always have been for followers of Jesus Christ. Even if it is hard to make a change at times, let’s not look back in sadness. Let’s look back with gratitude for the experiences we’ve had and look forward with faith and hope to the future to all that God will grant us. Lift where the Lord puts you. Lift with a grateful heart, and I promise you that joy will follow.

We may have to struggle to achieve our goals, but our struggles may yield as much growth as our learning. The strengths we develop in overcoming challenges will be with us in the eternities to come. We should not envy those whose financial or intellectual resources make it easy. The stuff of growth was never made of ease, and persons who have it easy will need to experience their growth with other sacrifices or forego the advancement that is the purpose of life. ~Elder Dallin H. Oaks April 2009

No other success can compensate for failure in the home. ~Spencer W. Kimball

The truth about foreordination also helps us to taste the deep wisdom of Alma, when he said we ought to be content with things that God hath allotted to each of us (Alma 29:3, 4). If, indeed, the things allotted to each of us have been divinely customized according to our ability and capacity, then for us to seek to wrench ourselves free of our schooling circumstances could be to tear ourselves away from carefully matched opportunities. To rant and to rail could be to go against divine wisdom, wisdom in which we may have once concurred before we came here. God knew beforehand each of our coefficients for coping and contributing and has so ordered our lives. Neal A. Maxwell

Places are kingdoms of memories and relationships, the landscape is only ever a reflection of how you feel inside.

Remember the tumultuous  times of your life, the stories you’d like to remember but never want to recreate.

It takes a village to mend a broken heart.

Sometimes you don’t fall in love, love falls on you.

A break up will never be as hard as the first one.

Consider what you leave behind and what you are about to approach.

We all make, allow, and enable mistakes. People are people.

Life is a difficult, hard, sad, unreasonable, irrational things. So little of it makes sense. So much of it is unfair. But life is a wonderful, mesmerizing, magical thing.

Do as much as you can. The weighty representation of the world cannot rest on every decision you make.

No practical matter is important enough to keep you in the wrong relationship. Don’t hide your cowardice in practical matters.

Everyone has a story. Take time to hear theirs.

The perfect man is kind, funny and generous. He bends down to say hello to dogs and puts up shelves. Looking tall, with blue eyes, and biceps should be an added bonus and not a starting point.

We can’t be daunted at the first hurdle.

Sometimes we act with less than immediate obedience and more than a little negotiation. It is possible that sometimes we look back with resentment toward the Lord for what He is asking us to leave behind. We don’t only look back; we look back longingly. In short, our attachment to the past outweighs our confidence in the future. So, do not dwell on days now gone, nor yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. To yearn to go back to a world that cannot be lived in now; to be perennially dissatisfied with present circumstances and have only dismal views of the future; to miss the here-and-now-and-tomorrow because we are so trapped in the there-and-then-and-yesterday is a sin.

Never doubt the Lord’s ability to give you something better than what you already have. Never believe that nothing that lays ahead could possibly be as good as the moments you are leaving behind. 

This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 3:13–14]

Keep your eyes on your dreams, however distant and far away.

We don’t marry perfection, we marry potential.

Don’t maneuver the ladder of success so wantonly that you discover in the end you had it leaning against the wrong wall.

If correcting all the world’s ills seems a daunting task, so be it. Go out there and be undaunted.

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Troubles need never be permanent nor fatal. Darkness always yields to light. The sun always rises. Faith, hope, and charity will always triumph in the end. Furthermore, they will triumph all along the way.

We were all hungry, but it was Elizabeth who realized our true starvation… for connection, the company of other people, for fellowship.

Reading gives you a private freedom to feel the world growing darker all around you, but need only a candle to see new worlds unfold.

‘What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?

A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy.

Who buys a minute’s mirth to wail a week?

Or sells eternity to get a toy?

For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy?

Or what fond beggar, but to touch the crown,

Would with the sceptre straight be strucken down?

We give to our children what we are.

Brethren, marry a woman who is your better in some respects; and, sisters, do likewise, so that your eternal partnership is one of compensating competencies. This is certainly the case in my own marriage, so far as certain attributes are concerned. I am gladdened—not threatened—by my wife’s superior qualities. I am grateful for her traits and qualities that excel my own in some critical dimensions of our partnership.

Always be looking beyond the mark.

Correct conduct under stress is more likely when one has correct expectations about life.

One day we will understand fully how complete our commitment was in our first estate in accepting the very conditions of challenge in our second estate about which we sometimes complain in this school of stress. Our collective and personal premortal promises will then be laid clearly before us.

Our lives have been fully and fairly measured.

Being in agony, we will pray more earnestly, for cries of agony are not the same as cries of despair.

Our individual experiences may not always be unique, but they are always authentic.

God will even take into account our perceptions of, as well as our responses to, our trials.

We must remember that only the Lord can compare crosses!

There are certain mortal moments and minutes that matter—certain hinge points in the history of each human. Some seconds are so decisive they shrink the soul, while other seconds are spent so as to stretch the soul.

Sometimes we must “take the heat” even if we are not certain the thermostat of trial will soon be turned down. We must decide before anything else is really decided!

There are some decisions we make when we have a reasonable understanding of the consequences that will flow from such decisions. There are other times when we are swept along by events and must simply trust the Lord. There are still other times when we can see the consequences of our decisions, but we deliberately try to repress them because we do not want to face them.

Action and service, happily, require enough of our attention that the sagging of self-pity can be avoided.

There are no idle hours; there are only idle people.

There is always more to be done than we have time to do it in.

Time will thrust you to your places on the stage even before you feel ready.

The periodic pain, can be smiled at now, but it was real enough then.

During this period I noticed that recycling regrets didn’t change reality. Pawing through the past is not productive. Thus an insight dawned, although not all at once, showing me that too much attention to what might have been actually gets in the way of what still can be. Those valleys you and I are sometimes in are really the sloping sides of hills to be climbed, with as little muttering as possible.

Along with believing in the gospel, we need to believe in our own possibilities—not as to status, but as to power to do good. God could surprise—yes, even stun—each of us here today if we could manage such divine disclosures. Such must usually be kept from us (or can only be hinted at) for now. But specific and special opportunities are pending for every person here today, if we can trust God and do each day’s duties and bear our present pain. We can’t walk a straight and narrow path in the dark; hence, God gives to us the gospel, by which we get direction, motivation, and illumination. But there appears to be no point, I learned, in God’s constantly illuminating the trail beyond where my eyes of faith can now see.

Sometimes, in the mutual climb along the straight and narrow path, brothers and sisters, we need friends to shout warnings to us or to give us instructions, but we also need those moments when warm whispers can help us to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Good friends can give us the gifts of approval and acceptance and of perspective. “Deserved specific praise” is the ingredient of fellowship, of commending Christians.

God gives to us the lessons we need most, not the ones we think we need. Also, often that which we resist learning vicariously we must learn the hard way—experientially. There is a learning efficiency that comes with being humble per se, because of the word, instead of being compelled to be humble and to be open.

He needed to say what he said more than I needed to hear it, but I am so grateful I did not rush in to fill the silence that morning in the lesson he taught me so well.

Spiritual silence is a school. We may think we are sitting in that school only waiting, but really we are witnessing those marvelous moments of creative communication and of new commitment.

If you and I want to be more effective, we must be more righteous.

I have found, too, that it is better to trust and sometimes be disappointed than to be forever mistrusting and be right occasionally. This is to endorse empathy, not naivete. Neither is this to suggest that our fellowship be flaccid. The finest of friends must sometimes be stern sentinels, who will insist that we become what we have the power to become. The “no” of such stern sentinels is more to be prized than a “yes” of others. God’s seeming sternness is actually a sweetness beyond our comprehension.

Petitioning in prayer has taught me that the vault of heaven, with all its blessings, is to be opened only by a combination lock: one tumbler falls when there is faith, a second when there is personal righteousness, and the third, and final tumbler falls only when what is sought is (in God’s judgment, not ours) “right” for us.

I can tell, looking back, that God truly loves me by the petitions that, in his perfect wisdom and love, he has refused to grant me.

God’s love will call us at times to do things we may wonder about, and we may be confronted with circumstances we would rather not face. I believe with all my heart that because God loves us there are some particularized challenges that he will deliver to each of us. He will set before us in life what we need, not always what we like. And this will require us to accept with all our hearts—particularly your generation—the truth that there is divine design in each of our lives and that you have rendezvous to keep, individually and collectively.

The future “you” is before God now. He knows what it is he wishes to bring to pass in your life. He knows the kind of remodeling in your life and in mine that he wishes to achieve.

People don’t start in the same place. Be gentle.

The race grows sweeter near its final lap.

Even if all others, not I.

To disagree well, one must understand well.

If you have to scold someone, do it privately. Never, ever, ever, scold someone in public.

It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

“And no matter what places you travel to,
what wonders you choose to see,
I will always belong right there with you,
and you’ll always belong with me.”

When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. Toni Morrison

Service is the kindness of recognition.

Master your fears, conquer your doubts.

Porque puedes irte lo lejos que quieras, pero una parte de ti siempre se queda en el lugar. Igualmente, puedes volver las veces que quieras, pero jamás volverás al mismo sitio.

We are all being asked to do hard things, for which we need greater faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who will open doors that are closed. He will inspire and guide and provide. He is in charge. -Dallin H. Oaks

Everything is a little bit terrifying when you think about it too long, so after preparing as best as you can, it’s time to just go for it. Run into the darkness with your map, your new flashlight and the destination you’ve set sights on. Go get’em!

The ability we have to handle adversity will determine the degree of success that we will have in life.

Those who believe that you can make that dream come true before you actually do are your real friends. -Juansen Dizon

Ask your heavenly Father to bless you with faith and courage, and He will help you endure any challenges you may face. He will help you overcome loneliness, feelings of desperation and hopelessness, setbacks of a personal, emotional, financial, and even spiritual nature, or will strengthen you when you are simply feeling overwhelmed by all the demands for your time and attention.

Always let the lady set the pace when walking.

For a small moment have I forsake thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.

They have no idea what it is like
to lose home at the risk of
never finding home again
to have your entire life
split between two lands and
become the bridge between two countries.

“Most of our prayer lives could use a tune-up.
Some prayer lives lack consistency.
Others need sincerity.
And some honestly wonder if prayer makes a difference.
We are tempted to wait to pray until we know how.

But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it,

and not in the one who says it,

our prayers do make a difference.”

  • Max Lucado

May we all be seen and loved for our giant, giving hearts until our actions can perfectly mirror their good intentions.

If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves — Maria Edgeworth

“I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.”— Leo Buscaglia

“There is something about losing your mother that is permanent and inexpressable – a wound that will never quite heal.”

Susan Wiggs

For better or worse, to be the oldest in afamily takes strong shoulders and often I feel the weight of what he might be up against.

A shout out to everyone who is trying right now… Trying to do the right thing. Trying to stay open. Trying to keep going. Trying to hold on. Trying to let go. Trying to find their flow. Trying to stay afloat. Trying to meet each new day. Trying to find their balance. Trying to love themselves. Trying new things and new ways. I see you. I am there too. We are in this together. – SC Lourie

You know how it matters the very most when the people who really know us- recognize us for all we are, and hope to be? Well, this is it. We hold in our hands the same importance for the people who look to us for love.

Instead of magnifying a moment, a molehill or a difference of opinion, we’ve gotta act as if the world depends on how we treat it. Because really, our whole world just might.

Even if your timing feels off… it’s not your chance at winning that matters… it’s that you give yourself a winning chance.

Why would we let that stop us?

How you say something is often more important than what you say.

“You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will look back in a few years and be absolutely perplexed and awed by how every little thing added up and brought you somewhere wonderful– or where you always wanted to be. You will be grateful that things didn’t work out the way you once wanted them to.” — Brianna Wiest

To my babies—Keep your faith and sights on God. You may not be able to see beyond the fork in the road, but do not wish it away too soon. From His vantage above – not only can your path be seen, but every important destinations as well. And He is diligently working to guide you there. Chin up, my love- you are in view.

Hold on. Rest is coming.

I’m sure there are times for all of us who are a little more shy, or a little less sure footed… when we go home at night feeling like our day wasn’t what we’d hoped for… wishing we could have done a little better, tried a little harder, or been a little braver… But inevitably there will come a day, if you just keep at it, when you’re able to dig a little deeper for that courage and with one deep breath, force your heart to inhale it— and suddenly there you are!

Reach a little lower to lift a little higher.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Don’t ever do a cheap or a tawdry or a mean or an evil thing, my dear ones. You don’t have to engage in these things. The world is on a slippery slide, it is going downhill and it is going fast. And you are as a beacon on a hill young people of rectitude and virtue and decency and goodness. Remain that way. Do not destroy your effectiveness. Do not become involved in any kind of behavior which would destroy you, injure you, hurt you, debilitate you in any way whatever. You don’t have to do those things. You can stand above them. You must stand above them! The world will look to you as the years pass, of that I have no doubt whatever. For if it continues to go in the direction in which it is going, the disparity between the world and this Church will grow and lengthen and we will become more and more of a peculiar people.

Now, be faithful, be true, go forward, be ambitious. Don’t short-circuit yourself. Don’t stop now. Keep growing. Keep going. Educate your minds and your spirits and never lose sight of the fact that you are a child of God with a divine destiny and capability of doing great and good and wonderful things. Don’t sell yourselves short. Don’t cheapen yourselves. You know who you are. Each of you knows that you are a child of God and that your Heavenly Father expects something great and noble and good of you.

As I look into your faces, I see the future. Keep the faith. You will marry. You will have children. You will have grandchildren. You will go out and do the work of this world, but maintain your integrity. Be honest. Be good. Be decent. Be prayerful and the God of heaven will smile upon you and bless you, and give happiness in your hearts and a sense of peace in your lives.

I wish for you nothing but the best. You are so choice and so wonderful and the future is so great that you can’t afford to betray yourselves in anyway or to do anything less than that which each of you is capable of accomplishing.

May heaven smile upon you. May you be blessed. May you be happy. May you have joy in your lives. May your tears be few and your smiles many as you go forward with your lives.

If every good deed had a reward and every bad one had a punishment, we would stop living by faith.

Know your heart before you make commitments.

Demand more from yourself.

A morning can start off like any other, but by nightfall things have occurred that could change a course forever.

Don’t go feeling you have to do something because people expect it. Don’t go moving halfway around the world on a maybe.

Be fearless and therefore powerful.

All will be well.

You can only know something when you know it. Not a minute before.

We can give our children education, lessons, athletics, the arts, and material possessions, but if we do not give them faith in Christ, we have given little.

Dreamers change the world.

Caring deeply will always be the right thing.

Whatever you do, do it fully, unwaveringly, with open arms.

There’s an obvious difference between the children who live in homes where the money can run out and the ones who don’t. How old you are when you realize that also makes a difference.

An old man saw the future. And now it’s overtaken him.

You don’t have to care about other people’s interests. We just need to care for them.

Some of you were born with talent, some weren’t. Some of you are lucky and got everything for free, some of you got nothing. But there’s one thing you need to know: desire always beats luck.

One of the hardest things about getting old is admitting mistakes that it’s too late to put right.

The worst thing about having power over other people’s lives is that you sometimes get things wrong.

When your desire to win is stronger than your fear of losing, you have a chance.

No one wins when they’re frightened.

All adults have days when we feel completely drained. When we no longer know quite what we spend so much time fighting for, when reality and everyday worries overwhelm us and we wonder how much longer we’re going to be able to carry on. The wonderful thing is that we can all live through far more days like that without breaking than we think. The terrible thing is that we never know exactly how many.

You never really stop fighting. You never stop being scared of falling from the top, because when you close your eyes you can still feel the pain from each and every step of the way up.

“The only time I’m not moving forward is when I’m taking aim.”

“Culture is as much about what we encourage as what we permit.”

We become what we are told we are.

Any living thing that is kept behind bars for long enough eventually becomes more scared of the unknown than its own captivity.

Bitterness can be corrosive; it can rewrite your memories as if it were scrubbing a crime scene clean, until in the end you only remember what suits you of its causes.

Humanity has many shortcomings, but none is stronger than pride.

Most people don’t do what we tell them to. They do what we let them get away with.

Jokes are powerful like that, they can be both inclusive and exclusive.

You can love something without loving everything about it.

Laughter can be liberating. Roaring with laughter can unite a group. Heal wounds, kill silence.

People grow up mercilessly fast.

When enough people are quiet for long enough, a handful of voices can give the impression that everyone is screaming.

Don’t be surprised that someone can be more than one thing.

It’s always easier to lecture other people about morality when you’ve never had to answer for anything yourself.

Sometimes life doesn’t let you choose your battles. Just the company you keep.

Because in the end that’s all anyone can ask of another person. That we are prepared to admit that we don’t know everything.

Time always moves at the same rate, only feelings have different speeds. Every day can mark a whole lifetime or a single heartbeat, depending on who you spend it with.

Big secrets make small men of us, especially when we’re the men others have to keep secrets from.

When you give the best you have to someone in need, it translates into something much deeper to the receiver. It means they are worthy. If it’s not good enough for you, it’s not good enough for those in need either. Giving the best you have does more than feed an empty belly—it feeds the soul.

Ill habits gather by unseen degrees,

As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.

Bad habits also can be such pitfalls. At first we could break them if we would. Later, we would break them if we could.

Stick to your task till it sticks to you;

Beginners are many, but enders are few.

Honor, power, place, and praise

Will come, in time, to the one who stays.

Stick to your task till it sticks to you;

Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it too;

For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile

Will come life’s victories, after awhile.

Formula “W” is interesting: “Work will win when wishy-washy wishing won’t.” 

In the game of life, a second effort is often required.

It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to take time, some try and fail, but you must learn when it’s worthy to persevere and when it is even more worthy to change direction.

Mentor the young and urge them to pay it forward.

You like because and you love despite….

Vivir lejos de casa no es para todos.

Debes tener un corazón grande, lo suficientemente grande como para empacar todo lo que dejas:

Alegrías y dolores, amigos y amores.

Este bagaje cardíaco late incluso cuando tocas un suelo que no te pertenece o cuando estás acostado en un colchón que no tiene tu forma y una almohada incómoda, y miras al techo preguntándote adónde vas.

Amigos que no son tuyos, una ciudad que no es tuya.

Debes tener un corazón grande, tan grande para hacer cosas nuevas.

Un corazón que a veces teme que otros se hayan olvidado, porque el presente ha tomado el control de sus vidas.

Un gran corazón, pero no demasiado fuerte.

Entonces ahí es donde se detiene.

Está bajo arresto, te confunde y no sabe quién eres.

Así que te acuestas en el colchón que ahora ha sufrido un poco tu peso, y la almohada es más suave por un lado y te preguntas quién te estás haciendo más que a donde vas.

Porque cuando te vas, más que moverte hacia un destino, vas hacia un destino, el tuyo.

Estamos echos de otra pasta,quien no lo vive no puede entenderlo.

What’s for you, won’t pass you by.

We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.

One of the universal feelings we have at times as humans is that of loneliness. I believe that one of the best ways we can overcome our loneliness is by establishing two important connections. The first connection is with God. God knows your every thought, your sorrows, and your greatest hopes. God knows the many times you have sought Him. The many times you have wept in loneliness. Remember that He extends His hand to you. If you will hear Him, He will speak to you this very day.

The second connection is with those around us. When we face loneliness, fear, inadequacy, or any number of other humanly struggles, we should not hesitate to reach out for help and connection with those around us. Sit by someone new. Show genuine interest in them. Look for ways to connect with them. Through our personal connections through our service or ministry, we can combat the loneliness or homesickness we might feel.

Words cannot express what I feel for Harriet. I really love her. She is the greatest blessing to ever come into my life. Harriet is the kind of person who makes those around her better and happier. She has certainly had that influence on me.

I know that many yearn for this kind of relationship without being blessed by it at the time. I know also that God is our loving Father in Heaven. He is a just and compassionate God, and no one will be deprived of the fullness of experiences and happiness as we continue living our lives as best as we can, trusting in His goodness and love. We can trust Him. He trusts us.

Perhaps you don’t consider yourself all that useful; perhaps you don’t consider yourself a blessing in somebody’s life. Often, when we look at ourselves, we see only our limitations and deficiencies. We might think we have to be “more” of something for God to use us—more intelligent, more wealthy, more charismatic, more talented, more spiritual.

Blessings will come not so much because of your abilities but because of your choices. And the God of the universe will work within and through you, magnifying your humble efforts for His purposes.

How encouraging it is to know, though we are imperfect, if our hearts are turned to God, He will be generous and kind and use us for His purposes. No matter your position in your community or in the Church, God will use you, if you are willing. He will magnify your righteous desires and turn the compassionate actions you sow into a bountiful harvest of goodness.

God knows your every thought, your sorrows, and your greatest hopes. God knows the many times you have sought Him. The many times you have wept in loneliness. The many times you have felt helpless, confused, or angry. The many times you have failed.

Yet, no matter your history—if you have faltered, feel broken, bitter, betrayed, or beaten—know that you are not alone. God still calls to you.

Faith has nothing to do with what we don’t know, and everything to do with where we turn when we don’t know. A lack of understanding is not a lack of faith—it is just a fact of faith.

I did not come this far only to come this far.

Do not let uncertainty about how others seem to feel about you this week get in the way of how God has always felt about you.

Our intertwining insecurities, the hunger for peer reassurance, and the tendency to be carried on the tides of today’s troubles and disappointments will diminish as we mature. As our understanding of the gospel deepens, it becomes ever more clear that proximate problems need not, and must not, undercut ultimate realities. Thus, as we confront problems which we might shiveringly sidestep, if we could, let us realize, as one poet did, that “sometimes the only way to go is through.” We go on that journey with justified hopes to help our hunger and with realities to reassure us. And, in the midst of our transitory troubles, we have the knowledge that he is near at hand, and within us there is even the sense that in the dim past we agreed to all this and that now we must perform on that pledge.

One is not only to endure, but to endure well and gracefully those things which the Lord “seeth fit to inflict upon [us].”

It is so easy to be confrontive without being informative; so easy to be indignant without being intelligent; so easy to be impulsive without being insightful. It is so easy to command others when we are not in control of ourselves.

A patient willingness to defer dividends is a hallmark of individual maturity.

In our deepest prayers, when the agency of man encounters the omniscience of God, we sometimes sense, if only momentarily, how very provincial our petitions are; we perceive that there are more good answers than we have good questions; and we realize that we have been taught more than we can tell, for the language used is not that which the tongue can transmit.

Keep believing that things will eventually get better… until things actually do.

Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.

Not sharing an opportunity to learn is a cardinal sin.

Self-discipline has a bigger effect on academic performance than does intellectual talent.

Eventually, we all must arrive at the recognition that we have the potential to hurt someone else and the responsibility to try not to.

In this world there are many people who are deserving but who have, for one reason or another, not quite gotten a fair shot in life.

Sometimes we just get the broad strokes of the painting we had planned for our lives.

We should feel the longing to bring the world closer to perfection.

There will be times when you have to cross into a place where you have to go alone.

Try, whenever possible, to articulate what you’ve done and why. You need to be intentional and plan your work.

Everything is worth looking at more closely.

The only worse feeling than feeling that you missed out on something is feeling that you gave up something you didn’t know you wanted.

No one is exclusively bad, nor is anyone exclusively good. Some are just forced to work harder at suppressing the bad.

It’s okay to quietly grieve what could have been. What is. What wasn’t.

We break the pattern before the pattern breaks us.

Some risks are never worth taking.

Write what you need to read.

What stands in the way becomes the way. 

Listen with the same passion with which you want to be heard. 

Choosing your own comfort over hard conversations is the epitome of privilege.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

People don’t see what they’re not looking for.

If you do ruin your painting you gotta know you have everything in you to get that pretty good painting again. But if you never do the bold stroke you’ll never know if you could’ve had a great painting.

Not so pointed as to be alarming and not so vague as to not be understood.. that’s what flirting should be.

We can admire those who are “doing well”, but let’s not forget those who are doing good.

This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again. -Howard W. Hunter

“Several years ago, I had the unique privilege of visiting with individuals at the Cara Tepe refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece. While there, I met some amazing families who are facing some tremendously difficult circumstances.
One of the children was a nine-year-old boy, Amer, who—along with his family—had spent recent days on a treacherous trip across the Aegean Sea in what can best be described as a rubber dingy. I was there as the family arrived. As Amer and his family came out of the water, volunteers handed family members snacks to help provide some comfort after the difficult journey. Amer received a roll of Oreo cookies.
In what was one of the most selfless acts I have ever experienced, this sweet boy offered me the first cookie. In fact, he refused to eat anything until I first took one. I couldn’t help but be profoundly touched by the selflessness of one so young who had so little.
Here he was, with nothing but the clothes on his back (which were still wet, I might add), and yet the first thing he thought to do was share a treat with a stranger. I now keep this cookie on my desk as a reminder to reach out to those who struggle around the world.”

“For when things feel a little bit harder than not: Go outside, look up, stare at the sky. Give thanks for how small you feel. Cry, just as often as you need – which may be more than you’d expect and certainly more than you’d like. Do the thing, even if it’s lonely. Do it because it is itself an act of faith – a quiet way of dragging an unknown future towards you. Forgive yourself that you only half told him how you felt. And forgive yourself the moments you should have reached out your hand and didn’t. So you weren’t perfect, no one ever is.”

“If there is a thing I am worst at in the world it is sitting with uncertainty. It turns me into a crazy person, a small person, an unkind person. I will do anything to avoid it, to move through it, to make it not real. Self-protection is a hell of a drug.

I was recently telling a friend about my love for…what to call it? The occult, let’s say. Mysticism, maybe. And she looked at me, incredulous, and said, “But you love statistics — you are good at statistics.” And I laughed and said, “I contain multitudes.” But what I meant was, “Both are ways of making the unknowable knowable.”

The problem with my particular brand of uncertainty avoidance is that I have a terrible habit of expecting the worst — believing the worst. Because even if it is a sort of doomsday certainty, at least it is known.

But I am reminded of the words of Eliza Griswold: “You’re wasting this life expecting disappointment.” So I’m trying to practice saying, “I don’t know. I don’t know what will happen in a month. And I don’t know what will happen in two months. And this fear, this ambiguity — overwhelming as it is — much as it feels like it might kill me, is fundamentally survivable.”

Perhaps the most radical, the most important thing I can do right now, is to make space for the unknown. Hope, too. To refuse to believe my own worst thoughts. Perhaps there is a thing on the other side of this that I cannot know, cannot predict, that is only knowable by moving through it. And perhaps that thing is good.”

When it’s the time for you to venture out, don’t let fear have you looking back at what you’re leaving behind.

There are apologies I’m still owed and apologies that will probably never come, but by far the most important apologies are the ones I owe myself. For not thinking I was enough, for nor thinking I was worthy, for not realizing my magic before.

You are not the only one. Let that sit with you a while. Everyone has a secret that tries to tank them. Everyone has a truth that haunts the throat at night. And we all wonder, is it normal? Would they love me if they knew?

All chances are good. Even the minimal ones.

Please believe there is still time for you to be all that you want to be.

I think it’s brave. I think it’s brave that you get up in the morning when your heart aches and life is messy and you do not feel like being soft for the world. I think it’s brave that you continue to love and express and open your soul, despite the way you were treated in the past. I think it’s brave that you keep going, that you keep believing in something more, something bigger, even when you may not know what you are hoping for. I think it’s brave that you fight, I think it is brave that you choose, every single day, to move forward—because that is what makes you strong. That is what makes you strong.

Let go of expectation.

Future joy often exceeds our imaginations. –Connie Shultz

There is no greater injustice than to treat everyone the same.

Find a way to fill someone else’s gap. It’ll make you both better.

Value more growth than success.

Thank God for dirty dishes / they have a tell to tell / while other may go hungry / we are eating very well

Stuff of growth was never made of ease. We may have to struggle to achieve our goals, but our struggles may yield as much growth as our learning. Dallin H. Oaks Liahona Apr. 2019

You can’t pretend to try.

It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

Being able to proceed when outcome is not assured is one of the greatest tests in life. A Peggy Worthen

People who want something they show it, work for it, show up for it,. You can’t miss it.

The secret to getting ahead is getting started. Agatha Christie’s

Be content with what you have.

Say no. You have the right to use it. Don’t be a people pleaser.

Hazlo bien a la primera. -Papa

Learn to live with the consequences of your actions.

Don’t be a victim. Change your circumstances.

It’s the persistent march that makes the difference. Kristen Cox

Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely. And we are left only with the choice of what to do next. We can choose to be afraid of it. To stand there trembling, not moving, assuming the worst can happen. Or we could step forward into the unknown and assume it will be brilliant.

That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed, but that our power to do so is increased.

I must try harder. Matthew Richardson

You create opportunities yourself.

Value creates flexibility.

Go for it. Work for it.

You don’t win awards. You earn them.

Like no one ever has.

One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people. Dick Gregory

100% effort six days a week. Even if you are tired, even if you want to walk away… you don’t.

I can go the distance.

Life is a series of colossal mistakes.

We have the power to imagine

There is magic in knowing that while not everything can be repaired, most everything can be survived.

Great opportunities are rarely convenient.

Good judgement comes from experiences. Experiences come from bad judgement.

In this short Life that only lasts an hour, How much – how little – is within our power.

Keeping clear-eyed about the choices that we want to make, and those that do not matter.

Where the worry once was that you might not stand out, it’s now about not fitting in.

The marketing expert Phil Barden says that there are different neural circuits regulating our feeling of ‘wanting’ and ‘liking’; that we could want something without actually liking it.

Freighting ourselves with responsibility may prompt a pause that currently eludes us.

In Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, 1920s society wife Clarissa views herself not as a distinct entity, but as a compilation of relationships – ‘so that to know her, or anyone, one must seek out the people who completed them’.

I have been flattened and, at times, have willingly flattened myself. For as long as I can remember, I’ve tried to shave off the louder, messier, more abrasive parts of my personality. And with the bits I cannot change no matter how hard I try, I trail apologies behind me.

‘A job has boundaries. An identity has none.’

‘Are we the sum of what we’ve crossed off? Or are we only what we still have left to do?’

It is the scourge of comparisonitis, whereby you cannot help but compare yourself to other women, ‘rather than think critically about whether or not you really want that for yourself’.

Saxbe identifies this stress – the invisible responsibility of remembering, rather than the visible one of doing – as the cognitive load.

This cognitive dissonance is crucial; it allows for a detached assessment of our own authenticity, which the psychoanalyst Louis Ormont calls, ‘the observing ego’. It is now entirely possible to scroll through our social media accounts and ‘read’ ourselves like a stranger.

We have come to think of consistency as authenticity. Rather, it is a self made of many, in a constant and necessary state of flux.

The downside to our non-stop sharing is that it has started to feel essential rather than voluntary.

Your authenticity is never dependent upon youractivities being unusual.

The assumption that you are always on and answerable to everyone.

Instant messaging may mimic the speed of an IRL conversation, but it doesn’t give you the opportunity to gauge how a message has landed. You don’t get the chance to correct your words. You don’t get to see the nuance of the body language of whoever you’re writing to. Or, as the psychologist Sherry Turkle puts it, you don’t ‘get to see the shadow of your words across someone’s face’. Instead, you indulge in metamessaging – where you read between the lines.

We no longer experience feelings. We are our feelings.

I’m always surprised by how certain so many people seem about so many things. Information flies at us from all corners, all the time, so we think we know about an issue we’ve read one sentence on, five minutes earlier.

Believing we know more than we do is called the Dunning-Kruger effect. We have begun to fill the gaps in our knowledge with the opinions of those who seem like us – or even those of the person we want to be like.

Distilling ourselves into every cause and every conversation renders them meaningless. You can be annoyed by someone or something without feeling duty-bound to express it. It sounds obvious and yet it seems like we’ve forgotten it’s possible.

People who have the self-awareness to know they may not be unequivocally right.

A necessary component of a contented life is seeking out the good news as much as the bad.

In trying to control everything, we are, paradoxically, left feeling out of control. It leaves us unable to tolerate things we have not predicted, or that we do not have power over.

Walk the paths of logic. Every outcome has its cause, and every predicament has its solution. Every lock its key.

Each minute that passes is one fewer in this house. In this life.

“Don’t tell lies. Lie to yourself, Werner, but don’t lie to me.”

But to raise one’s hopes is to risk their falling further.

Deceits of the mind.

Do not try to be everything to everyone.

Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.

Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.

How long do these intolerable moments last for God?

Important not to assume the worst.

The Simultaneity of Instants

People said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?

I only want to sit here with her for a thousand hours. To be here, in this room, high in this house, out of the cellar, with her: it is like medicine.

To men like that, time was a surfeit, a barrel they watched slowly drain. When really, he thinks, it’s a glowing puddle you carry in your hands; you should spend all your energy protecting it. Fighting for it. Working so hard not to spill one single drop.

He lingers over images of Marie-Laure—her hands, her hair—even as he worries that to concentrate on them too long is to risk wearing them out.

Goodness, more than anything else, is what lasts.

Is she happy? For portions of every day, she is happy.

Over time, thinks Marie-Laure, events that seem jumbled either become more confusing or gradually settle into place.

It was hard for him not to do what was expected of him.

Without whom this could not exist, and upon whom all this depends.

He showed none of the disconnect between what he did and what he believed that I’d seen in so many of my law professors.

It was deeply affirming to meet someone whose work so powerfully animated his life.

In their thirties, men and women, black and white, these lawyers were comfortable with one another in a way that reflected a shared mission, shared hope, and shared stress about the challenges they faced.

The black people around me were strong and determined but marginalized and excluded.

My relatives worked hard all the time but never seemed to prosper.

You can’t understand most of the important things from a distance. You have to get close.

My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.

The true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the
incarcerated, and the condemned.

We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated.

In the South, crimes like murder or assault might send you to prison, but interracial sex was a transgression in its own unique category of danger with correspondingly extreme punishments.

The people in my church always encouraged me and never asked me for anything back, but I felt a debt accumulating.

If we don’t expect more from each other, hope better for one another, and recover from the hurt we experience, we are surely doomed.

Thank you for making a lot of the positive occurrences that are happening in my life possible.

We get angry when people fail to recognize the need for thoughtful and compassionate assistance when it comes to the physically disabled, but because mental disabilities aren’t visible in the same way, we tend to be dismissive of the needs of the disabled and quick to judge their deficits and failures.

It was overwhelming but gratifying.

We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent.

We’ve pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute.

In fact, there is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy.

The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It’s when mercy is least expected that it’s most potent—strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering.

A system that denies the poor the legal help they need, that makes wealth and status more important than culpability, must be changed.

But all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.

People often belittle the place where they were born. But heaven can be found in the most unlikely corners.

That is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth.

This is the greatest gift God can give you: to understand what happened in your life. To have it explained. It is the peace you have been searching for.

When you are an outcast, even a tossed stone can be cherished.

There are no random acts.

You get to make sense of your yesterdays.

You made one. I made one. We all make them. But you were angry over yours. You kept thinking about what you lost. You didn’t get it. Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to. Little sacrifices. Big sacrifices.

Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.

To share his part of the secret of heaven: that each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.

A woman’s biggest career decision is who she marries.

Sit with it.

Don’t let good be the enemy of great.

“We should always have three friends in our lives-one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.” – Michelle Obama

“As a man is, so he sees.” -William Blake

“My willingness to judge something should be proportional to how much I know about it.” -Danny Guo

Min sense is not always