When I find myself in the familiar swamps of everything unsavory, I let the sages of old speak to me and use their insights to reel myself back in. Below, I’ve gathered a snippet of such insights that you, the reader, may find solace in an hour of need.
I.What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.
II. Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
III. The cure for pain is in the pain.
IV. Respond to every call
that excites your spirit.
V. I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.
VI. Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.
VII. Take someone who doesn’t keep score,
who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing,
who has not the slightest interest even
in his own personality: he’s free.
VIII. And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?
IX These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.
X. Within tears, find hidden laughter
Seek treasures amid ruins, sincere one.
XI. When you feel a peaceful joy, that’s when you are near truth.
XII. You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.
XIII. Not only the thirsty seek the water, the water as well seeks the thirsty.
XIV. If you desire healing,
let yourself fall ill
let yourself fall ill.
I. As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
II. If you’ve never eaten while crying you don’t know what life tastes like.
III. A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.
IV. A person hears only what they understand.
V. We are our own devils; we drive ourselves out of our Edens.
VI. You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never
Rises from the soul, and sways
The heart of every single hearer,
With deepest power, in simple ways.
You’ll sit forever, gluing things together,
Cooking up a stew from other’s scraps,
Blowing on a miserable fire,
Made from your heap of dying ash.
Let apes and children praise your art,
If their admiration’s to your taste,
But you’ll never speak from heart to heart,
Unless it rises up from your heart’s space.
VII. If you would create something,
you must be something.
VIII. Difficulties increase the nearer we get to the goal.
IX. Leap and the net will appear.
X. One never goes so far as when one doesn’t know where one is going.
I. Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding… And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy.
II. They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.
III. Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen.
IV. Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it so that the other half may reach you.
V. Darkness may hide the trees
and the flowers from the eyes
but it cannot hide
love from the soul.
VI. Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.
VII. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
I. Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
II. Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final.
III. Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
IV. I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.
V. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.
I. Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
II. Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door.
III. This is my letter to the world
That never wrote to me.
I. Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.
II. What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.
III. If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose.
IV. Find what you love and let it kill you.
V. Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.