#1. "We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are." Anais Nin
I hope I never forget my reaction to this quote the first time I read it; it was as if I understood it and knew it was true, but I'd never actually thought about it for myself. Since then, I try to keep this idea in the back of my mind when I'm tempted to be critical or judgemental. I tell myself that, as much as I think I know all the details of a situation, I probably don't. And even if I do, how I handle a situation is probably different from how someone else will handle it... and that's OK.
#2. "Forgiveness is the final form of love." -Reinhold Niebuhr
How true is this? It's fairly easy to invest yourself in someone else, to spend time with them, to cultivate a friendship, to trust them, and care about them. True love is shown when forgiveness is given and the relationship is restored. It's in that forgiving moment that the forgiver chooses to let that person back into their life, to foster a friendship between two imperfect people, to put yourself in the position of (possibly) being hurt. To be forgiven, truly forgiven, is to be shown love.
#3. "The biggest communication problem is that we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply." Unknown
So true. I don't need to elaborate on this one!
#4. "Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. Let this be a sign that you've got a big heart and aren't afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength. " Brigitte Nicole
I remind myself of this quote very often. I stumbled across it a few years ago when I was really struggling with a lot of hurt. I thought that I was overly sensitive and too easily hurt. I do take things personally, but that's different from being sensitive. I've grown to appreciate my sensitivity because it guides me to people that are hurting, and I am able to empathize with them. I open up to others because I'm sensitive. It's just a part of who I am but it does not mean that I'm weak and it's no excuse to call me dramatic.
#5. "How you make others feel about themselves says a lot about you." Unknown
This is one of those thoughts that I try to always keep in the back of my mind. It's a thread that runs through all of my relationships, something I try to remember regardless of who I'm interacting with. I don't always succeed, but I think there's a good bit of truth behind the idea that how you leave others feeling reflects who you are and what you are feeling.
#6. "Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters." Unknown
This is hugely important. Someone's got to bring up the "real" stuff, let it be you. Be the one that starts a meaningful conversation. Get beyond the small talk and go deeper. It leads to closer, more fulfilling relationships. Some people call this "confrontation", but I call it being vulnerable and open with someone you care about; this is essential to enjoying a close relationship.
#7. "You don't protect your heart by acting like you don't have one." Unknown
This goes back to #6 for me. If you're hurting and you feel like you need to protect your heart, you've got to go to someone who will help you, someone that you can trust to take care of your heart. Don't protect your heart by pretending you don't have one.
#8. "There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart." Jane Austen
Ahh, I love Jane Austen! As women, I believe that one of our most attractive qualities is our vulnerability. Apparently Jane Austen would agree! "Tenderness of heart" is being sensitive, caring about others, and being brave enough to be vulnerable with your emotions and feelings. It's a beautiful thing!
#9. "Learn to do common things uncommonly well." George Washington Carver
No explanation really necessary! I find this idea so inspiring; whether it's learning to make a really good pot of coffee, knowing how to use your time quite efficiently, or being skilled at driving, it's so nice to be able to do insignificant things very well!
#10. "Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity." Weil
....Especially in this generation where social media is so distracting and that distraction is always in our pockets or in front of our faces. One of my favorite gifts to receive is time spent face to face with phones set aside, attention given to each other.
So there you have it, my thoughts on ten of my favorite quotes! I'd love to hear some of your favorite quotes and why you love them :)