What inspirational quote would you associate with this past year for you?
I have three quotes that resonated with me this past year
1. As you know, I have had struggles in my marriage this year. The quote below put a lot of things in perspective for me. It reminded me of something a priest once said to me about love being a gift you give and not something you take. Somewhere in these seven years, I stopped being so willing about giving, about backing down. To give, for me is an act of trust, and I stopped trusting. This quote reminded me of the idea that is actually the basis of the Christian faith, that to win you have to lose.
“When it comes to winning and losing, I think there are three kinds of marriages. In the first kind of marriage, both spouses are competing to win, and it’s a duel to the death. Husbands and wives are armed with a vast arsenal, ranging from fists, to words, to silence. These are the marriages that destroy. Spouses destroy each other, and, in the process, they destroy the peace of their children. In fact, the destruction is so complete that research tells us it is better for children to have divorced parents than warring parents. These marriages account for most of the fifty percent of marriages that fail, and then some. The second kind of marriage is ripe with winning and losing, but the roles are set, and the loser is always the same spouse. These are the truly abusive marriages, the ones in which one spouse dominates, the other submits, and in the process, both husband and wife are stripped of their dignity. These are the marriages of addicts and enablers, tyrants and slaves, and they may be the saddest marriages of all.
But there is a third kind of marriage. The third kind of marriage is not perfect, not even close. But a decision has been made, and two people have decided to love each other to the limit, and to sacrifice the most important thing of all—themselves. In these marriages, losing becomes a way of life, a competition to see who can listen to, care for, serve, forgive, and accept the other the most. The marriage becomes a competition to see who can change in ways that are most healing to the other, to see who can give of themselves in ways that most increase the dignity and strength of the other. These marriages form people who can be small and humble and merciful and loving and peaceful.”
2. As we weigh up moving to India, I am once again struggling with where I belong. I fear that in eschewing being a foreigner in a foreign land, I will land up in the more disturbing position of being a foreigner in my own land, or worse, realising that I never had my own land. This quote offers a different perspective to the idea of being rooted to places.
Via Masala Chica:
“Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it’s not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you’ve been to. I’m not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don’t have to be like anyone else. I’m walking on the wall and nobody can stop me.” (From The Speckled People, A Memoir of a Half-Irish Childhood)
3. Related to quote 1, the following quote provides a strategy for me. I need to learn to back down, and one of the ways to do that is to let things go, to not dwell.
Via Melbourne Maharani:
It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days… Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me… So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling.
(Aldous Huxley, The Rainbow)