1332. Can you remember who you were before the world the world told you who you should be? ~Charles Bukowski

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy,
a quickening that is translated through you
into action, and because there is only one of you
in all time, this expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never exist through
any other medium and will be lost.
~Martha Graham

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Not only would the uniqueness of you be lost forever, but the desires and dreams you once had would “be tamed,” possibly into near non-existence. For they were were not simply urges but ordained “beacons of truth” leading to divine and holy purpose. Because there is power in your authenticity, being who you were created to be helps you shine your light in the world. To that end the Lord wants to connect with you so that you can plug into His light and beginning a dialogue with Him is the way to start building that blessed connection. But if we have any resentment about who and what we are, that destructive attitude will limit us because “fear cannot coexist with love.” We have to let go of the past regardless of how painful and/or disappointing it may have been and stop bringing our past into the present and “replaying it into the future.” Shame and guilt has to be released in order for us to create new and healthy patterns. Also as we move forward, we must daily find ways to take action on things that stir, inspire, and ignite joy and the sacred calling on our lives. And we must bring acceptance and compassion into our moments of self-talk, and why not? Since we are the only ones who can hear what we say to ourselves, there’s no reason we can’t be nice and affirming and encouraging to ourselves. Finally, we must also let go of what we “think” we need, and when we do, what we really need will miraculously begin to show up.

“…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord…” ~Jeremiah 29:11-13 and part of 29:14  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest; border and special effects done by Natalie on iPiccy

1241. The strongest force in the universe is a human being living consistently with his true identity. ~Tony Robbins

No one else on the planet has the same face as you. No one else has the same heartbeat as you. None other has the same fingerprints as you. You are completely unique and made so to fulfill a purpose that only you can achieve. No one else can be you or do what you are capable of doing. So, why, why, why instead of embracing that truth do we give power to others to decide what is “normal” and whether we fit into their definition of that. That’s why I’ve always had an enormous disdain for critics because they are essentially “judging” that which they are not themselves and so have no right to do. Nor do they have any idea whatsoever what it feels like to be who and what we are. So again why, why, why do we give others so much power over how we feel about ourselves and/or our abilities???

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For example, as a child I was much taller than others my age; I had lots and lots of freckles; from the time I was 4 years old I had to wear glasses; I was extremely thin; I was very clumsy; I was very sensitive; I was above average intelligence. Sadly all these were things which made me a target for young and old critics alike. And so I endured hurtful words and behaviors which unfortunately I allowed to diminish my self-esteem for some time. In other words I gave over authorship of my destiny and happiness to the hands of others instead of holding onto the pen in my hand that would write my life story. What a HUGE MISTAKE that was and is!!! We must learn to love ourselves for who and what we are so that we can open ourselves to the world in our authenticity and shine! We must never let other people stop us from being ourselves and from doing what we do best. Or we will be betrayed in the end by what is false within us and put locks on the door to wisdom. I’ve read that a rattlesnake, if cornered will become so angry it will bite itself. And that is exactly what harboring resentment about our past and what others have said and done to hurt us is — a biting of ourselves. As Henri-Frédéric Amiel said, you must “learn to…be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not.” Self-hate and loathing is “a fire that consumes only the altar upon which it burns.” Please don’t any of you allow that fire ever to burn or let such things cage your uniqueness and all the good things that reside within your truest selves.

For we are His Creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God ordained ahead of time so that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10  ✝

1185. We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

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Today is not just another day, it is the one day that is given to you today. It is a gift, the only gift of a day that you have right now. And so the only appropriate response is gratefulness. If you do nothing else but to cultivate that response, to the great gift that this unique day is, and if you learn to respond as if it were the first day of your life and the very last day, then you will have spent this day very well.

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Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open, the incredible array of colors that is constantly offered to us for pure enjoyment. Look at the sky; we so rarely look at the sky, so rarely note how different it is from moment to moment with clouds coming and going. We just think of the weather, but we don’t think of all the different nuances of weather. We just think of good weather and bad weather. This day, right now, this unique weather, maybe a kind that may never come in that form again. The formation of clouds in the sky may never be the same than it is right now, open your eyes and look at that.

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Look at the faces of people that you meet. Each one has an incredible story behind their face, a story that you could never fully fathom not only their own story but the story of their ancestors. We all go back so far. And in this present moment, this day, all the people you meet, all that life from generations and so many all over the world, flows together and meets you here like life giving water if you only open your heart and drink. Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilization gives to you. You flip a switch and there is electric light. You turn a faucet and there is warm water and cold water and drinkable water. It is a gift that millions and millions of people will never experience. ~Br. David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine Monk

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Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34  ✝

**Images via Pinterest except for middle one that I took at the bottom; collages by Natalie

867. The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts. ~Marcus Aurelius

Come out here where the roses have opened.
Let soul and world meet.
~Rumi

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May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone, that your soul
in its brightness and belonging
connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for you own individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique,
that you have a special destiny here, that behind the façade of your life
there is something beautiful, good, and eternal happening.
May you learn to see yourself with the same delight,
pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.
~John O’Donohue

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. ~Psalm 62:5 ✝