Journal Entries and other Relevant Quotations
Writings and Private Journal Entries
These are some of the private writings of clients and seminar participants composed during their time working with me, used by permission.
- A Father’s Legacy to his Children
- The child was born and her parents rejoiced with the usual celebration and for a moment they were touched in a deeper place…
- The me I was is lost and is not the me I see…
- My name is Julie…
Other Relevant Quotes
- An honorable human relationship is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of….
- A Poet’s Advice to Students
- AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS
- DH Lawrence
- Each man’s life represents a road toward himself, an attempt at such a road, the intimation of a path…
- How do we forgive our fathers, maybe in a dream…
- I will call the world a school instituted for the purpose of teaching little children to read
- One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice — though…
A Father’s Legacy to his Children
I was a cripple — learn from me, how to walk — teach your children to run, so they may teach theirs to fly.
I was a dwarf — learn from me to rise and stand tall — teach your children to be pillars and they will teach theirs to be giants.
I was subdued by demons — learn from me to wrestle with your demons, teach your children to be human beings so that they may teach theirs to be angels.
I was overcome by darkness — learn from me to struggle towards the light, teach your children the glory of the light so they may teach theirs to become blazing suns.
My spirit was impoverished — learn from me to nurture your spirit, teach your children the strength of humility and they will teach theirs to inherit the earth.
I lost faith — learn from me to seek the truth and stand firm — teach your children that they are the children of God and they will help theirs to be worthy of the Kingdom.
February 28, 1999
The child was born and her parents rejoiced with the usual celebration and for a moment they were touched in a deeper place.
They looked with wonder at the gift they had been given. They pondered the charge they had received and her spirit face shone for a moment.
And then they became involved again in their own maze of darkness. They forgot the gift, as they had been forgotten long before.
And they could no longer see the shining spirit face of the little girl, the gift they had been given.
And soon the little girl’s spirit face ceased to shine, because her light was not attended and her fire was squelched.
And she built a mask to hide her darkened spirit face, and wore the mask for many, many years. And those who saw her thought her face was shining, but it was only a silver-plated mask and not a face at all.
One day someone said to the girl, a grown woman now, “I know you. You are not the mask you wear. You are hiding, and your face is truly dark. But once it shone.”
And the woman saw that this was true, and she grieved for her lost spirit face and as she grieved her face began to glow again, a faint light. And her tears began to wash away her mask and the wonder of the gift began to return to her. And she wanted more.
She began to show her true spirit face to another who truly cared to see it and the glow increased.
Another child was born and the parents rejoiced with unusual celebration and saw their own glowing spirit faces in the small tender face of their child.
The me I was is lost and is not the me I see.
The me you see is not the me that I want me to be.
If I could find or phone or write the me when I was three
I’d ask me what its like to be nothing but only me.
“Hi” I’d say “Hello” I reply. “My how I’ve changed”, say I
I know, I remember losing me when I was eight or nine.
I used to kiss my sister every night before going to bed
But something happened to me & from then on I pushed her away instead.
She tried, I guess for about a week, to pull the hands from my head,
To kiss the face of the brother she loved but the brother she knew had fled.
I could see the pain on her four year old face as she tried to revive what was dead.
But though she tried & tears she cried I pushed her away instead
But then after about a week or so she came to say goodnight
And she didn’t try to kiss me, she had finished with the fight.
She just said
Look my brother, now I’m just like you I have hands in front of my face too.
By Ralph Shaw
My name is Julie. In my hand I am clutching a ticket — a ticket that will allow me to embark on a thrill of a lifetime. I am standing before the most beautiful sight — a carousel. It has just started and I must wait until the next time before I can have my ride. While I wait, I’m going to choose which horse to climb on. I’m going to watch and pick the one, and when it is my turn, I’ll race up to it and jump on.
It’s starting! Oh, it is so beautiful! So many horses. It is going slowly so I can see well enough to choose my horse, the one most like me.
There’s one; a bright yellow horse smiling with joy and contentment — yes, that is me, that’s the one. But wait, when did I last feel that way?
There’s another; a little grey pony with its head hung down in shyness. No, that can’t be my pony. My head is high. But wait, why do I suddenly feel shy, like everyone is looking at me.
Ah, there I am, that big pink one, the one with the smug look, the one that is saying “Look at me, I feel good and everyone loves me and I love everyone.” Definitely, that is my pony. But suddenly, I feel alone. I look around to see if there is anyone there who loves me. Where are you?
Suddenly I see the most beautiful horse; a large black stallion, which seems to loom over all the others, his legs are high, his back is straight and he is throwing his head up in the air. He is so proud! No, that’s not me. But as I watch him my body feels stronger, my head is held higher, and I feel so good. Who knows, maybe that is the horse I should choose.
Here comes another — a big, red horse with a look of anger. No, that’s not me — but suddenly I feel it. Deep in my heart, I too am angry, but I push it away — that can’t be me.
Just then I see it; a tiny horse with a look of fear in his eyes; as if he is afraid that he can’t keep up with the others, that nobody will choose him. Oh no, please don’t let that be me.
Look at that pretty blue one; I like her. But she looks hurt. Oh, now I see, she has a big white bandage on her leg. That can’t be my horse, I’m not wounded. But wait, why does my heart start to ache. I am in pain. Maybe that’s the one to choose.
Here comes another — a polka dotted horse, so pretty, but so sad. It looks about ready to cry. Poor thing, but I look away — that’s not me. Oh no, why is there a tear in my eye — why am I crying?
The carousel is slowing down. It is my turn and I can’t choose. Which horse is Julie? Which on do you want to be? I can’t choose so I turn and walk away. Suddenly, I stop and slowly walk back to the carousel. I know now what I want to do. I bravely climb up on the platform and the music starts and the carousel begins to turn. I walk around the horses, touching and caressing each one. I can’t choose just one. They are all so beautiful. Without one of these horses, the carousel wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t work… and neither would I. I am not just one feeling, I am them all. Let me feel joy and anger, let me feel hurt and pain, let me feel shy and proud, let me love and be loved. Let me hear the music and watch me spin in circles. Let me be me and I will be beautiful.
A honorable human relationship is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they tell one another.
It is important to do this. It breaks down self-delusion and isolation and does justice to our own complexity.
It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.
A Poet’s Advice to Students
A lot of people think or believe or know they feel, but that’s thinking or believing or knowing, not feeling.
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know you’re a lot of other people, but the moment you feel, you’re nobody but yourself.
To be nobody — but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle that a human being can fight and never stop fighting.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS
by Portia Nelson
I. I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost… I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
II. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
III. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in… it’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
IV. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
V. I walk down a different street.
D.H. Lawrence says it well:
When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego and when we escape like squirrels turning in the cages of our personality and get in the forests again, we shall shiver with cold and fright but things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in, and passion will make our bodies taut with power, we shall stamp our feet with new power and old things will fall down, we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like burnt paper.
Each man’s life represents a road toward himself, an attempt at such a road, the intimation of a path.
No man has ever been entirely and completely himself. Yet each one strives to become that —
One in an awkward, the other in an intelligent way, each as best he can.
The slime and eggshells of his primeval past — with him to the end of his days.
Some never become human, remaining frog, lizard, ant. Each represents a gamble on the part of nature in creation of the human. We all share the same origin, our mothers; all of us come in at the same door.
But each of us — experiments of the depths — strive toward his own destiny. We can understand one another; but each of us is able to interpret himself to himself alone.
How do we forgive our fathers, maybe in a dream.
Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, or forever, when we were little.
Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage or making us nervous because there never seemed to be any rage there at all.
Do we forgive our fathers for marrying or not marrying our mother, for divorcing or not divorcing our mother, and shall we forgive them for their excesses at warmth or coldness.
Shall we forgive them for pushing or leaning, for shutting doors, for speaking through walls, or never speaking or never being silent.
Do we forgive our fathers in our age or in theirs, or in their deaths saying it to them or not saying it.
If we forgive our fathers, what is left?
“I will call the world a school instituted for the purpose of teaching little children to read. I will call the human heart the book used in that school — and I will call the child able to read, the soul made from that school and it’s book. Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?”
– John Keats in a letter to his brother, George
quoted in Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul
One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice — though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
“Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations — though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do — determined to save the only life you could save.
Dreamwork – Mary Oliver