I am a collector of quotes. I pin them on Pinterest, like them on Facebook, and cut and paste them into my writing. Sound bites I hear on the radio, funny things my kids say, and sentences I love from books find their way to the backs of receipts, used envelopes, and sticky notes. Recently in a dark movie theater, I blindly jotted down a quote from "Oz" in the middle of my grocery list.
These collected quotes are distributed all over the place - the bottom of my purse, the pocket in the car door, tucked into books and magazines. I stumble upon them when I least expect it, and sometimes exactly when I need them.
Rustling through my kitchen junk drawer for a paper clip, I ran across this little gem:
"Anything you dislike in others is somewhere in you."
It amazes me how a few words and punctuation marks can hold together so much truth.
I started playing around with this quote in my head. It's rather negative, the word "dislike". What if we replaced it with its antonym?
"Anything you like in others is somewhere in you."
Now we're getting somewhere. The original quote struck me with it's capacity to free me from judgement, the second quote fills me with the promise of acceptance.
A friend at the gym recently advised me to "get out of my head". Now there's a quote worth writing across my forehead with a Sharpie. As I listened to my friend, however, I realized he was talking to himself as much as he was talking to me. He, too, is too much in his head. It occurred to me that the advice he was giving me was advice he needed himself.
Let's change that original quote one more time:
"Anything you see in others is somewhere in you."
We possess the traits which we like or dislike in others. We judge and assess ourselves through judging and assessing those around us. We give others the advice or encouragement we ourselves need, perhaps even more than they need it.
So listen up. Hear what you have to say. Be your own audience. Your thoughts and words are telling you something you need to know about yourself. And yes, I am talking to myself. I just needed to get out of my head and put my thoughts into words.
Like most people, I have a laundry list of things I'd like to change about my body. Just this morning, drinking coffee in bed, I rattled off a short version of my list to my husband. I even put a price tag on such changes.
"That's the price of a car," he said.
"Yep. And just like a car, I'll depreciate," I said.
I got up, made a second pot of coffee, put my ipod on the dock and put "Folding Chair" on repeat. It's become my mantra. It got me through 30 rope climbs at the gym the other day. It got me my first muscle up today. It will get me through my first CrossFit Open workout this Saturday.
"I've got a perfect body because my eyelashes catch my sweat. Yes, they do, they do."
My body does what I push it to do. Not always the first time I ask, but eventually. My body is perfect. My eyelashes do indeed catch my sweat.
Your body is perfect too. Yes, it is, it is. Work up a sweat and you'll know it's true. Yes, you will, you will.
Then come and open up your folding chair next to me. We'll tear up our laundry lists and scatter them in the breeze.