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Soul Vitamin

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If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.   Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.   Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.   -this version is credited to Mother…

“The opposite of recognizing that we’re feeling something is denying our emotions. The opposite of being curious is disengaging. When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away – they own us then they define us. Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending – to rise strong, reckon with our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends.” – Brene Brown. At moments of sorrow, despair and exhaustion, it is only too easy to look back over the years and feel that our lives have, in essence, been meaningless. We take stock of just how much has gone wrong: how many errors there have been; how many unfulfilled plans and frustrated dreams we’ve had. No…

In the moment when you are hurt… Sit with yourself, let yourself feel the hurt, acknowledge the shames it touched and accept them. Hug yourself, let yourself cry. Let yourself shout. Let it all out. No it’s not lame. Embrace your shames. But do not go and sink with them. You are a fighter, turn them around. You will grow through it, if you let yourself. And once you have gone past it all, don’t forget to look back and appreciate the growth. Thank the pain and always keep Gratitude above Hurtitude.

Stoikiy Muzhik. I first heard the phrase in Bridge of Spies, the 2015 historical drama directed and produced by Steven Spielberg. In the movie, Colonel Abel used it to describe the quality he observed in his lawyer James Donovan. He said the words after watching how resilient Donovan was in defending him. Stoikiy Muzhik, or standing man, the man who keeps standing back up even though everyone tries to put him down, made an impression on me. What can be more impressive than the thought of a man who just won’t back down?  According to Colonel Abel, “Every time they hit him, he stood back up again. Soldier hit him harder, still he got back up to his feet. I think because of this they stopped the beating and let him live.” I think what made such an impression on me wasn’t his resoluteness. It wasn’t the strength, nor the conviction.…

For everything under the sun there is a time. This is the season of your awkward harvesting, When the pain takes you where you would rather not go, Through the white curtain of yesterdays to a place You had forgotten you knew from the inside out; And a time when that bitter tree was planted That has grown always invisibly beside you And whose branches your awakened hands Now long to disentangle from your heart. You are coming to see how your looking often darkened When you should have felt safe enough to fall toward love, How deep down your eyes were always owned by something That faced them through a dark fester of thorns Converting whoever came into a further figure of the wrong; You could only see what touched you as already torn. Now the act of seeing begins your work of mourning. And your memory is ready…

Why worry about the loaves and the fishes? If you say the right words, the wine expands. If you say them with love and the felt ferocity of that love and the felt necessity of that love, the fish explodes into the many. Imagine him, speaking, and don’t worry about what is reality, or what is plain, or what is mysterious. If you were there, it was all those things. If you can imagine it, it is all those things. Eat, drink, be happy. Accept the miracle. Accept, too, each spoken word spoken with love. – Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things. – Mary Oliver.

Ndidi Nwuneli has advice for Africans who believe in God — and Africans who don’t. To the religious, she advises against using God to outsource responsibility for what happens in their lives. To the non-religious, she asks that they keep an open mind and work with faith-based organizations, especially on issues like health care and education. “There’s so much potential that can be realized when we walk across the divide of faith and, hand in hand, try to solve many of our problems,” Nwuneli says.

Is anybody happier because you passed his way? Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today? This day is almost over, and its toiling time is through; Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you? Did you give a cheerful greeting to the friend who came along?  Or a churlish sort of “Howdy” and then vanish in the throng?  Were you selfish pure and simple as you rushed along the way,  Or is someone mighty grateful for a deed you did today? Can you say tonight, in parting with the day that’s slipping fast, That you helped a single brother of the many that you passed? Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said; Does a man whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead? Did you waste the day, or lose it, was it well or sorely spent? Did you leave…