There Is No Protection Against Adversity … What You Have Is Yourself …

There is no protection against adversity.
There are no guarantees.
What you have is yourself, made
in the image of something very great,
the Greatest thing.
You have yourself, and
the particular circumstances of your life.
What you create
is your measure of love.
What you create
is up to you.
We choose what we will risk.
But only the freedom that drives the risk matters.
— Paula D’Arcy from A New Set of Eyes: Encountering the Hidden God

God comes to you disguised as your life.
― Paula D’Arcy from Gift of the Red Bird: The Story of a Divine Encounter

I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.
― Nelson Mandela from Long Walk to Freedom

The Navaho have a prayer and a blessing based on the phrase, “Walk in Beauty.” Beauty is all that pulls us toward life. “It is what calls to us when we despair, seduces us into opening again and again to the possibility of love and laughter. It is the manifestation of the Mystery – God, Spirit, the Divine – that surrounds and beckons to us every day of our lives. It is life that chooses life.”
 Oriah Mountain Dreamer from The Invitation

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.
― Nelson Mandela from Long Walk to Freedom

Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger.
― St. Basil from Positive Matters: Words, Quotations, and Stories to Heal and Inspire

Every great loss demands that we choose life again. We need to grieve in order to do this. The pain we have not grieved over will always stand between us and life. When we don’t grieve, a part of us becomes caught in the past like Lot’s wife who, because she looked back, was turned into a pillar of salt. Grieving is not about forgetting. Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain. It is a sorting process. One by one you let go of the things that are gone and you mourn for them. One by one you take hold of the things that have become a part of who you are and build again.
― Rachel Naomi Remen from My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

The journey to happiness involves finding the courage to go down into ourselves and taking responsibility for what we find there: all of it.
― Richard Rohr, author Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self

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