Bedrock Truths

bedrock

Below is a collection of some of my most cherished wise words – beautifully expressed, joy-giving truths that hijack my best-laid plans and crack me open, again and again. I needn’t elaborate; they are sermons unto themselves. 


A new command I give you: Love each other as I have loved you. – Jesus Christ

I have looked our destruction, our miserable end, straight in the eye and accepted it into my life, and my love of life has not been diminished. I am not bitter or rebellious, or in any way discouraged…. By ‘coming to terms with life’ I mean: the reality of death [brokenness, suffering, pain, lack, failure, difficulty, disaster, disappointment, disease, decay, destruction, delay, darkness, destruction, disruption, descent] has become a definite part of my life; my life has, so to speak, been extended by death, by accepting destruction as part of life and no longer wasting my energies on fear of death or refusal to acknowledge its inevitability. It sounds paradoxical: by excluding death from our life we cannot live a full life, and by admitting death into our life we enlarge and enrich it. – Etty Hillesum, [words in parenthesis, mine].

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, – that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost, – and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment… A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across the mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages… There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We do not think our ways into new ways of living, we live our way into new ways of thinking. – Fr. Richard Rohr

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we are supposed to be and embracing who we are. – Brene Brown

Such words as “God” and “death” and “suffering” and “eternity” are best forgotten. We have to become as simple and as wordless as the growing corn or the falling rain. We must just be. – Etty Hillesum

The greatest among you will be your servant. – Jesus Christ

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – C.S. Lewis

Our real journey in life is interior: it is a matter of growth, deepening, and an ever greater surrender to the creative action of love and grace in our hearts. – Thomas Merton

I really see no other solution than to turn inwards and to root out all the rottenness there. I no longer believe that we can change anything in the world until we first change ourselves. And that seems to me the only lesson to be learned. – Etty Hillesum

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me… whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. – Jesus Christ

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. – Maya Angelou

Friends are those angels who lift us to our feet when our spirit has trouble remembering how to fly. – François Fressinier

We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies. – Etty Hillesum

Faith is not for overcoming obstacles; it is for experiencing them—all the way through! – Fr. Richard Rohr

No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!… See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you. – Jesus Christ 

I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply molding one’s inner life. And that too is a deed. – Etty Hillesum

Life cannot be captured in a few axioms. And that is just what I keep trying to do. But it won’t work, for life is full of endless nuances and cannot be captured in just a few formulae. – Etty Hillesum

Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will be in our troubled world. – Etty Hillesum

There are moments when I feel like giving up or giving in, but I soon rally again and do my duty as I see it: to keep the spark of life inside me ablaze. – Etty Hillesum


Drop some of your own favourite wise words in the comments. Unleash your inner sage! I invite you. 🙂
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