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Quotes on seeking oneself

”We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochrondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us.”
Anthony Doerr. All the Light We Cannot See. New York: Scribner, 2014.

“Half her work is tricking him into trusting himself and the other half is giving him the tools to make the right decisions. She doesn’t know it yet, but she will find that these are the first steps toward being an adult.”
Lindsey Drager. The Archive of Alternate Endings. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Dzanc, 2019.

"Denied the Sought-After,
He longed to deserve
To be the Sought-After."
Dag Hammarskjöld. Markings [Vägmärken], (1963) Translated by Leif Sjöberg and W. H. Auden, 1964. Ballantine Books/Epiphany, 1987. p. 158.

“You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are."
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

" the time you read this I will have already accepted myself, as well as the existence of alternate dimensions."
“Greenhorn.” K. Tait Jarboe. Printed in The Collection, ed. by Tom. Léger and Riley MacLeod. New York: Topside Press, 2012. p. 129.

“In African knowledge systems, a mask often represents an ideal. Masks used by the women’s Sande society, for example, represent ideals of female beauty for the Mende. As the African worldview rarely distinguishes between aesthetic and inner beauty, masks also represent spiritual paragons.
African masks, like all art, are driven by emotion, but here the art is not the African mask itself but rather the masked performance. Displaying an African mask at a museum is akin to exhibiting Leonardo da Vinci’s paintbrush at the Louvre. The product itself is missing. It is when a dancer impersonates the message of the mask that the art is produced.
I mention this because although the mask is typically perceived as a symbol of concealment and insecurity, I urge you to think of a mask differently—as an opportunity for reinvention, awakening, and the shedding of the old. The mask reflects one of the important truths about freedom—there is no fixed, authentic self. Who you are today is not who you must be tomorrow.”
Minna Salami. Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach For Everyone. Amistad, 2020. Chapter 2. “Of Liberation.”

"I began to realize that all my life I’ve been leaving myself breadcrumbs. It didn’t matter that I didn’t always know what I was walking toward. It was worthwhile, I told myself, just trying to see clearly, even if it took me years to understand what I was trying to see."
Jia Tolentino. Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion. New York: Random House, 2019. Introduction, p. 5.

"The world is as it is, and I am as I am, and how will I ever change either one?"
Chris Adrian. The Children's Hospital. San Francisco: McSweeney's, 2006. p. 337

“Is there change through any form of compulsion? Can there ever be change through legislation, through any form of fear?”
J. Krishnamurti. Think on These Things. ed. by D. Rajagopal. New York: Perennial, 1964. p. 178.

"If you are a breathing human being, you are resistant to change. Like all your fellow human beings, you are designed to be incapable of starting with a blank sheet of paper."
Tracy Goss, author, The Last Word on Power., quoted by Robert Hargrove. Masterful Coaching (Third Edition). Jossey-Bass, 2008. p. 49.

“Most learning consists of extended plateau periods in which we solidify progress through repetitive activity, followed by little spurts of improvement.”
Paraphrasing the thought of George Leonard, author of Mastery. Ronald S. Miller and the editors of the New Age Journal. As Above, So Below: Paths to Spiritual Renewal in Daily Life. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1992. p. 35.

Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance. Choosing to live and love with our whole hearts is an act of defiance. You’re going to confuse, piss off, and terrify lots of people—including yourself. One minute you’ll pray that the transformation stops, and the next minute you’ll pray that it never ends. You’ll also wonder how you can feel so brave and so afraid at the same time.”
Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Center City, Minn.: Hazelden Publishing, 2010.


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