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Thoughts to ponder

A number of you commented on my recent blog about detoxing our brains.   Here are some additional concepts and thoughts that may help you detox from negative self-directed messages.  They’ve certainly got me thinking about the many ways I create problems for myself.

–What they say about me says a lot more about them than it does me.

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–Guilt is fear turned inward.  When you feel guilty, look for what you resent.  Guilt makes it hard to set boundaries.

–What are you willing to do to be part of the solution?

–Recovery does not guarantee me anything, but it does give me options.

–A boundary is not about punishment; it’s about purpose –  to take care of yourself.

–Forgiveness is letting go of the expectation that you can have a better yesterday.

–There are no good things and bad things.  There are only things I like or dislike.

–Life is not an equation.  There is a vast difference between acceptance and complacency.

–Just remember; the only normal people are the ones you don’t know well!

More thoughts to ponder

I just finished reading Jodi Picoult’s The StorytellerSome ideas and quotes from Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller, which deals with the Holocaust.   Here are some quotes or ideas that got me thinking.

“When a freedom is taken away from you, I suppose you recognize it as a privilege, not a right. ”   I find it sad that we have to lose certain freedoms before we recognize that much of what we take for granted are really privileges that we need to value and protect.

“When the war ended, this is what it took getting used to.  The comfort.  I couldn’t sleep on a mattress for a long time.  I’d take a blanket and sleep on the floor.”   I have been thinking about my response to comfort and suffering…how detached I am from the reality of others’ experiences.  What makes me the saddest is that we don’t seem to learn from history; we humans are still dehumanizing our brothers and sisters and killing anyone who gets in our way.

 “Sometimes words are not big enough to contain all the feelings you are trying to pour into them.” We need words in order to think, yet some of life’s experiences are just too overwhelming to describe, let alone live through.  Those of us who have never experienced war, racial and ethnic discrimination, religious bigotry, etc. can only imagine what true suffering is.  Yet we need to try!

“After what the Germans’ did to you, how could you forgive them?  I could never forgive the officer for killing my best friend…because it is not my place to forgive him.  That could only be done by Darija, and he made that impossible by killing her.”    I’ve never thought of forgiveness in this sense – that we cannot or should not forgive in absentia.   If forgiveness is untying the knots that bind us to the past, are there times when we need to remember and relive not to perpetuate a cycle of violence and revenge but to ensure something similar never happens again?

“History isn’t about dates and places.  It’s about the people.”  How would our understanding of The Civil War or our treatment of Native Americans be different if we looked back on slavery as the story of the affected people, not economics, power, wealth, or status?  Tragically history tends to be written from the perspective of the winners, not those who are most deeply affected by the decisions made by the rich and powerful.

“I don’t believe in God.  But sitting here, in a room filled with people who do, I realized that I do believe in people.  In their strength to help each other and to thrive despite the odds.  I believe the extraordinary trumps the ordinary any day.  I believe that having something to hope for– even if it’s just a better tomorrow – is the most powerful drug on the planet.”   Amen and amen.

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