After twelve years of therapy my psychiatrist said something that brought tears to my eyes: “No hablo inglés.”
Depressed? Of course we’re all depressed. We’ve been so quickly, violently, and irreconcilably plucked from nature, from physical labor, from kinship and village mentality, from every natural and primordial antidepressant. The further society “progresses,” the grander the scale of imbalance. Just as fluoride is put in water to prevent dental cavities, we’ll soon find government mandating Prozac in our water to prevent mental cavities.
One loses the capacity to grieve as a child grieves, or to rage as a child rages: hotly, despairingly, with tears of passion. One grows up, one becomes civilized, one learns one’s manners, and consequently can no longer manage these two functions — sorrow and anger — adequately.
He . . . treats his emotions like mice that infest our basement or the rats in the garage, as vermin to be crushed in traps or poisoned with bait.
Why is it that people who cannot show feeling presume that that is a strength and not a weakness?
No matter what you’re feeling, the only way to get a difficult feeling to go away is simply to love yourself for it. If you think you’re stupid, then love yourself for feeling that way. It’s a paradox, but it works. To heal, you must be the first one to shine the light of compassion on any areas within you that you feel are unacceptable.
Don’t look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes, you’ll know you’re dead.
This body that we have, this very body that’s sitting here right now in this room, this very body that perhaps aches, and this mind that we have at this very moment, are exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, and fully alive. Furthermore, the emotions that we have right now, the negativity and the positivity, are what we actually need. It is just as if we looked around to find out what would be the greatest wealth that we could possibly possess in order to lead to a decent, good, completely fulfilling, energetic, inspired life, and found it right here.
If my life were not a dangerous, painful experiment, if I did not constantly skirt the abyss and feel the void under my feet, my life would have no meaning and I would not have been able to write anything.
During a recital in Berlin, Andrés Segovia’s guitar was heard to emit a loud cracking sound. Segovia rushed offstage and, cradling his instrument, kept repeating, “My guitar, my guitar.” It was soon learned that the man who had built the guitar had died in Madrid at the exact moment in the concert that Segovia’s guitar had split.
If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly.
You think your pains and heartbreaks are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who have ever been alive.
Many people feel guilty about things they shouldn’t feel guilty about, in order to shut out feelings of guilt about things they should feel guilty about.
I like the snot to run a little, the tears to accumulate a bit before I reach for the handkerchief. Then I know I’m really crying. Crying just isn’t crying unless it’s messy.
No amount of fine feeling can take the place of faithful doing.
It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.