by Samantha Griffitts, MA, LMFT
Some of these quotes will leave you inspired; some will help you better understand yourself and others. When we feel understood, we can be free to put down roots, reach our fullest potential, and encourage others to do the same.
Scarlett O’Hara’s utters these words as her world is falling down around her. She can’t think about anything at that moment besides surviving the present. Many of us have been there, in the place where we are reluctant to even move for fear of the tears overflowing, going about only what is necessary for that day. Anything else would be too much. If you’ve been there, hear Scarlett say “me too.” A few years ago, someone told me, “Sometimes the holiest thing you can do is to take a nap.” Do you need to hit the “pause” button right now? It’s not always a bad idea to rest before we have to face the realities that are banging down our doors.
Have you ever experienced numbness or apathy, that feeling that is much like being a casual observer of your own life? Francie Nolan speaks to that, as what she desires most is to be something. Every minute, every hour, every day; to feel things deeply, and to inhabit herself and her life experiences to the fullest. If any book encourages us to fully experience what it means to be a self in this world, it is A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. What reality are you inhabiting this very minute? How will your story unfold next?
Victor Hugo has to be my favorite author of all time. His work is so full of depth and raw emotion. It is amazing how he captures the desperation of fear, but also the relief of sleep, peace, and reliance in this quote. We can be free to go to sleep in peace because God is awake. How wonderful is that? What are your great sorrows that require courage right now? What about small sorrows that require our patience? However you go about accomplishing your daily tasks, rest in the knowledge that when your energy is spent and you have nothing left to give, you can go to sleep in peace knowing that God sees you. He is still awake.
My grandmother once told me not to store up troubles, that each day would bring enough trouble of its own. I like to think that she and Mary Oliver would be in good company, both going out into the morning, releasing their worries and singing their hearts out. There is more to anxiety than worry. I am acutely aware of that, because I have experienced clinical anxiety. But there is value in wisdom like Mary Oliver’s, stated so beautifully and so simply. In some small way, maybe it can remind us that there is beauty to be found, even in the midst of struggle.
Leave it to Dame Agatha Christie to sum up the whole of human existence in one sentence. It is possible, I remind people quite often, to feel more than one thing at the same time. For example, we can feel happy about an accomplishment, but sad that someone we love isn’t here to see it. In the same way, we can be filled with sorrow, tormented by despair, and also aware that it is a “grand thing” just to be alive. What parts of life remind you that it is a grand thing just to be here? What are your greatest miseries and sorrows, your greatest triumphs and joys? I would love to hear your thoughts!
As always, the information above is not meant to serve as medical or mental health advice, or to take the place of help given by a licensed professional.