Photo taken by Ben McCartney, June 2007
"A gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener. So our prospects brighten on the influx of better thoughts. We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us, like the grass which confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it; and did not spend our time in atoning for the neglect of past opportunities, which we call doing our duty. We loiter in winter while it is already spring."
~Henry David Thoreau
"Be not the slave of your own past -- plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience, that shall explain and overlook the old."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience."
"You did then what you knew how to do,
and when you knew better, you did better."
"Is willing to accept that she creates her own reality except for some of the parts where she can't help but wonder what the hell she was thinking."
And finally this, from one of my wisest friends, who pulled all the above passages together for me:
"Yes, looking back can be a trap, for me anyway. I like the Serenity Prayer--because "accept the things I cannot change" includes the entire past, through and including five minutes ago. That doesn't leave me off the hook for "changing the things I can." But it saves wear and tear on my nerves and heart to forgive myself for all my decisions, and to remember that given the emotional and other data I had at the time, I made what seemed like the best decision I could, at the consciousness level I had achieved to that point. That's what it is to be human--no crystal ball.
"Having said that, I think it is the ongoing challenge to listen to the "still small voice." That is my spirituality. I don't equate the voice with God. It's more like my own unique and local feeling of happiness and aliveness, in any scenario where I am one of the key players. What will I wish I had done, when the immediate pressures bearing on the situation are no longer there? Is it too much to ask, to be allowed to be true to myself? Something like that."
And to conclude ~
A couple of my favorite songs
sung by Judy Collins
on her CD Trust Your Heart
"Trust Your Heart"
The heart will teach us all we need to learn
We have dreams, we hold them to the light like diamonds . . .
Some we keep to light the dark nights on our journey . . .
The heart can see beyond our prayers
Beyond our fondest schemes . . . Trust your heart.
"The Life You Dream"
There's a time that comes once every morning
When you choose the kind of day you will have
It comes in with the sun and you know you've begun
To live the life you dream
You can light all your candles to the dawn
And surrender yourself to the sunrise
You can make it wrong you can make it right
You can live the life you dream.
Lyrics & music for both by Judy Collins
[also on Kitti's List: book blog on "Inner Quiet"]