Oftentimes I find myself thinking of a quote and how it has shaped me and my ways in life, either directly or indirectly. Sometimes I stumble upon a quote – one of the many hundreds of thousands that cloak Tumblr, Pinterest, Google and any other space that they can find their way into, and I read it, and suddenly like a lightbulb turning on inside of me, I resonate with the words and think “that sounds an awful lot like me” or “oh my gosh I do this too”.
Over time I have collected a bundle of these quotes and sayings that I live by (most of the time – I’m only human, we all slip up) or handily remember when my environment triggers them. Below I’ve laid out the words which resonate the most with me and included just a little of my reasoning for you to all get to know me a smidge better.
I came across most of these via the internet as random images, mostly without an author so perhaps you will recognise them and fill in the blanks?
1. This one was the first to really stick and make roots. It came about at a dark period in my life where I was just beginning to see people and things for what they were, and when big changes and decisions were surrounding me. It grew into one of my staple values when I had the good old “aha” moment that this quote represented in certain traits of me that screamed, “yes, this has been me for so many years!" I decided I would benefit from more no–regrets moments in the future and made a mental note to pin this to my brain when I would suffer decision paralysis, paranoia and the good old “what if?".
2. For all of you in relationships, this is one to keep and ponder over in the tough moments. This will always bring you back to the basics; forcing you to stop the overthinking, negative feelings or downright unloving behaviour and bring you face to face with that one simple question you need to ask yourself in order to see which way is up again. This is one of my list toppers because a number of times it has grounded me and seen me through some silly thoughts, moods and wobbles is countless. It makes you see the bigger picture and one way or another you receive the answer that you need to hear.
3. I’d realised how true this could be for me, or rather, how to describe what I felt about something that I had just experienced. People would want a reaction out of me for something immediately passed and I wouldn’t be able to say anything or give the desired reaction. This quote is such an accurate representation of me because 99% of the time I am too busy looking at what I'm experiencing, or taking photos of it – to fully process it. That part takes place over the following days.
This would count for those experiences that weren’t always pleasant too; on a neverending-ly long car journey cross–country in Sri Lanka I felt like death was upon me, my head was continually trying its utmost to roll back and off of my neck, letting myself bump around with the car and slowly appear as if I was in a drugged state. This torture journey lasted 7 hours on exemplary potholed, tarmac and dirt roads.
This was, at the time viewed as one of, if not the most torturous car journey that I had partaken in. However, a few months later and once home, to this day even, I see it as one of the best journeys at the same time. I guess I was only focusing on the negatives when later on all of the positives had had a chance to come to the surface I saw what a great experience it was. I do secretly love a long car journey. But only if I can see out of a window.
What I am trying to say is that sometimes you can be so absorbed in a moment (even if you feel really disconnected or spaced out) you don’t see what you think you should be seeing or feeling (based on what you’ve been told its like or how it should be, when really you are experiencing everything you need to in the moment, the full effects often reveal themselves later on. This is what makes memories so sweet and why I’m so hot on reliving mine. I would love to know if anyone else is like this because it can’t just be me!?.
4. Another staple quote that everyone on this earth should know, but one that is more likely to be masked by arguments, gossip and broken friendships - or relationships. It has taken me longer to find, and start believing in this one. Although, when I looked back at my friendships over the years and romantic relationships and any hiccups that they have suffered I could clearly see it.
Sometimes you meet someone, you click and hit it off, imagine you'll be causing mischief into your nineties and never leave each other's sides, but years later you move away, lose contact and gradually you find the months passing by with barely a hello and their name becoming just another name on your Facebook friends list.
As sad as this is (and its how I 'lost' my closest best friends after university) I see the reason why it is how it is today, and how we just couldn't go back because it would not work. It makes the memories all the sweeter, and I appreciate the friendship they gave me at the time.
Another example; what appears to be a great friendship runs well for a few months, you think you have another long-term pal and then something happens, something changes, the person changes, they show their true colours in regards to what you are worth to them and you now despise them, the 'friendship' abruptly ends and forms ice around the both of you. You remain bitter and angry when their name is brought up and it takes too long for you to forgive them and move on with your life.
Often with situations like these, you don't see the reasoning (of this quote) appear for some time, perhaps years. This has unfortunately been me (if you hadn't already guessed) and was my catalyst for understanding the reasoning. Living by this helps to make those connections that aren't working out seem less of a weight on my shoulders.
All of those people that you unintentionally ignore, neglect and class as acquaintances over friends and who you feel you really should make more of an effort to contact, don't worry. If you force it and things just aren't working out then your answer is clear - it's one of those connections. This person has served their purpose in your life and you have no need to feel guilty. The lesson you needed to learn or information you needed has been given to you by this person, now save yourself the unnecessary pain and let them go.
(In reference to those friendships and relationships you know you need rid of!)
5. How often do you look at someone and judge them like the cover of a book? Or people watch and wonder what everyone’s stories are? How do they fit into this world? You end up putting together imaginary lives for everyone in the vicinity and create some sort of amazing TV show in your head.
The human mind is capable of great creativity and curiosity; society has instilled in us a sense to be judgemental and very nosey, prying into everyone’s lives like they belong to us or because you think you own the right to. We all do this countless times we meet someone new or are put in a social situation (at a party or out shopping in town) regardless of whether we mean to, or even know we are doing it! It's just another product of our under sanitised brains in an overly complicated modern world.
I admit, well I can't fake it, I do this. All of the time.
The trick is to be more conscious of your thoughts, try to catch yourself in the act and stop your wandering mind, or imagine the opposite story to the one you have just made for this person you are casting in your new TV show. Remember, the mother in the supermarket who seems despondent to her three hyperactive children shouting and running riot with fizzy drinks and pleas of buying sweets might not be the 'bad mother' you just automatically branded her as. When you begin to judge, compare or assume - stop. Take a breath. Think of this quote.
This woman could be doing her best to raise these children single - handed and it's just 'one of those days'. We can all empathise with this situation as in some form or another, childless or surrounded by them, we all have our hard days. The situations may differ but the feelings are often shared.
I could give countless examples of how people have shocked me when I have learnt their stories but I would rather you went away and refrained from judging as an automatic reaction. Doing so creates mindfulness and the room to step back and just be. Whoever you are casting for your TV show, behind you, above you and all around you at least one other person is doing the same to you.
So why not be another person in this game called life and become more aware of the billions of unique stories of the people around you? Heightening your compassion and empathy is a good way to becoming a better human.
6. For the last one, it's a biggie! But not in an up in your face kind of way; this sits quietly to the side of my everyday thoughts and only makes visits out when I reflect on my life and the years passed. Over the years my lightbulb moments have been a mix of both big realisations and subtle little happy moments.
So many things have not panned out in the past five years - so many that at times it was just one event after another. However, with reflection, I could see that what I wanted so desperately was just not right for the time; I was clinging in vain and did not have the awareness necessary to see it was blatantly not going to happen.
It's only when you look at your life like a timeline you can see so clearly that you are exactly where you need to be right now. The world works in strange ways (many of which we haven't yet figured out) so it's in times like these that I lay my faith in the universe and gently remind myself to trust that where I am currently may not be perfect (perfection doesn’t exist!) or be 100% to my desires, but it is where I should be.
We are all continually growing and learning (this is lifelong) and the process means we can never be 100% satisfied, this is what drives us to create and mould our now into something better.
At the end of the day, we are a body of chemical reactions and a mind of emotions and thoughts, learning and evolving every second that we spend alive. Everyone believes in something or has their own take on well-known information like this. The point is to live your life authentically and understand of the world what you will, adapting it to fit your mould.
I hope you have enjoyed digging around in some of my morals and values in this post; let me know in the comments if you have any other quotes different to my own that mean a lot to you, and let's share the love and wisdom.