Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.
— Thomas Merton
You must put love behind your thoughts to make them work. There are many good courses of thought development and management which would work better and have more lasting results if the power behind thought were more fully understood. Compare your love and your thoughts to an archer. If your love is the archer, then your mind is the bow, and your thoughts are the arrows. Without careful direction of thoughts, you will not hit the target. Without love to pull the bow string, your motivation will be weak or misdirected. These things are all part of your totality, yet love is the simplicity of your power. It is important to guard and direct your thoughts. Even so, do not assign them a separate power from your love, and do not think the keys to heaven can be grasped by your mind. Your mind cannot open that door.
— Glenda Green, Love Without End
(Thanks to Jenny Norris)
So much of this path involves coming to trust again in the wisdom of our direct experience, as we reorganize outdated relationships with the members of our inner families: the shamed one, the raging one, the terrified one, the lonely one, and the one who is unworthy of being seen.
Slowly, in each moment, we can make this journey. Knowing that it may not always “feel” safe, we can push ourselves a little – making use of even a bit of anxiety as a wrathful sort of heart-guide – but not so much that we become overwhelmed and re-traumatized. We can learn to rest in the holy middle.
While clear awareness of these narratives, perceptions, emotions, and sensations is important, in the end perhaps it is not clarity and insight that heal. Rather, it is the unfolding of the embodied heart. It is not just a detached, pulled back, safe witnessing that will open the door into the sacred world, but warmth, compassion, and a relentless sort of kindness toward our surging experience.
In the radical commitment to no longer abandon yourself – to not pathologize your vulnerability nor hold it as evidence that something is wrong with you – a new pathway appears. Out of the crystalline purity of awareness the qualities of that awareness flow: slowness, curiosity, attunement, tenderness, and warmth.
Surround your inner world with these qualities and over time the new circuitry of love will be encoded.
— Matt Licata