I am a big fan of quotes, and I have found in the best and worst of times that they can provide strength, motivation, wisdom, and even laughter. When I fail to find the right words, it is to others’ words that I turn. I have seen in many cases that other people’s words can go precisely to the heart of what I am trying to articulate. Below I have listed some of my favorite quotes, what they mean to me, and how they have helped see me through many points in my life.
Strength – Moving Forward
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
“Hard times are often blessings in disguise. Let go and let life strengthen you. No matter how much it hurts, hold your head up and keep going. This is an important lesson to remember when you are having a rough day, a bad month, or a crappy year. Truth be told, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your spirit needs most. Your past was never a mistake if you learned from it. So take all the crazy experiences and lessons and place them in a box labeled,” Thank You.“
The first quote has assisted me through some of the most significant struggles in my life. It is a quote I’ve recited to myself when I have felt low or defeated by life’s curve balls. It is a simplistic and direct way to refocus and gain perspective on the road that lies ahead of me. The second quote is one I stumbled upon not too long ago but it so reflects the mindset I have established about my life and the world around me. I wholeheartedly believe that everything happens for a reason. I can look at the trajectory of my life and see how each moment both good and bad has shaped me into the person I am.
“Know your worth, then add tax.“
“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.”
“The best apology is changed behavior.”
“Integrity is doing the right thing even when no is watching” – C.S. Lewis.
Determining your self-worth can be a tricky thing, especially if you have felt diminished or held yourself in little regard. Five years ago during a shallow point in my life. I was gaining a lot of weight, feeling depressed about my future, and my self-esteem and confidence had taken a nose dive. I spent a lot of that year comparing myself to others and apologizing for coming up short, and I did not like the person I was becoming. I found solace in the quotes above. It was also during this time that social media was becoming more and more popular and I found myself posting so that I could get likes and show the world I was doing okay when I wasn’t. I found the C.S. Lewis quote at a time when I was starting to lose the weight I had gained. I was getting ready to post a transformation picture to show my progress, and I found myself questioning why I was posting the picture? What was the purpose? I could have lied to myself and said it was for accountability, if others saw my progress it would make it more difficult to revert to my old bad habits. Or I could have said it was to inspire others who may be dealing with the same struggles, if I can do it so can you. But I knew those reasons would be lies, I would be doing it for likes, praise, and attention from others which was not what I wanted this new journey I was on to be about, so I didn’t post. Please don’t read this and think I am criticizing others who post pictures of their transformations because I am not, I am merely talking about my experience and how one quote help change my perspective on my behaviors.
“You had the power all along my dear.“
“Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.“
“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening that’s where the power is.“
Power is an intriguing thing. I have observed many people give power over their lives to others in the form of excuses and blame. I am guilty of doing it as well. I believe many people do this because it is easier to push off our ill feelings towards ourselves and our situations on others than to look at our contribution. Acknowledging our participation would mean admitting we are not perfect and that we are capable of causing damage to ourselves and others. It is a hard pill to swallow. Eventually, I came to the realization that by pointing the finger at others, or things I allowed them to control my happiness, my self-confidence, and my life. Once I started taking responsibility for my actions, behaviors, and feelings, I became more empowered, and everything for me completely changed. It was even more exhilarating when I discovered I had it in me all along; I just did not give myself enough credit.
“Know what? Bitches get stuff done.” – Tina Fey
I love this quote despite its uncouth nature. I have been called a bitch multiple times in my life. It is primarily due to my strong and assertive personality, and it is almost always said by a male. Most often when I am called the name, it is when I am taking control of a situation to try to progress it forward, or I am voicing an opposing opinion, or I am calling someone out for doing something that wasn’t right. When I was a teenager, if a guy would utter the word to, about, or at me, it would sting. My feelings would be hurt, and I would find myself trying to put myself in a box to appease and gain favor from others. However, it wasn’t in my nature to sit back, shut up, and go with the flow. I wasn’t raised to be submissive so no matter what I did my bold and robust personality would slip out. It still hurt when I was called a bitch, but I learned to deal with it.
Then I started my practicum my last semester of undergrad at a rehab facility that housed individuals from the prison system who were seeking treatment for their addictions. There was one gentleman who had spent the last ten years in the Department of Corrections, and he noticed after another guy called me a bitch that my confidence wavered a bit. He said something so profound that completely changed my outlook on being called that name. He told me, ” Don’t take being called a bitch as a negative thing. Despite how it looks when you get called one, you just gained his respect because you didn’t back down. Women like you take charge; you get looked at when people need to know what to do or where to go, or how to act. It’s a good thing.” The gentleman was right, and from that point on instead of cowering away from the word, I have tried to embrace and accept it, just like Tina Fey said, I get stuff done.
“Being an adult is like folding a fitted sheet. No one really knows how.”
The quote above makes me laugh because of its truthfulness. There is a perception when you are younger that the adults have it all figured out and when you reach a certain age you too will have the knowledge. Once you reach adulthood, you discover that no one knows what to do for sure and that there isn’t some giant book of knowledge passed on containing all the wisdom of the ages. Everyone is just doing their best, and that to me is a comforting feeling.