a day at the beach

{photo by the Meaty Bohemian}

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.


  1. That is a good quote :) I guess its true when they say you can't love others until you learn to love yourself!

    1. so true, amber! the scripture, "you must love your neighbor as yourself", implies that you must love yourself first. it can be a challenge, though, right?

  2. I love your take on this (I love your take on most things. Does this mean I love MY take on most things? This could get funny...)

    So, here's where I start to wonder...if I get out of my head, where do I go? My gut, my heart, my body, outer space? I think about how you and jeff say you don't hear the music when you WOD. I wonder about that space, and about how to access it in places where it is not "natural" - i.e. I don't flow when I'm at the gym, but I flow at other times.

    Just thinking. I like your spin on this quote, one that I have used to chastise myself with many times in the past. I much prefer your vision. Kinda like smiling while jumping rope. As usual, thank you for good thoughts to chew on.

    Naked child beating on door asking to be let in...must go...

    1. you loving my take on things absolutely means you love your take on things, just like my loving your take means i love my take. i'm getting dizzy thinking about it!

      i wondered the same thing about getting out of my head - where else would i be if not in my head? the perfectly constructed and timed WOD certainly takes me somewhere else, somewhere i'd rather be, inside my body. how do i get there without the weights and the timer and the thumping base of the music i can't even hear?

      smiling while jumping rope is way better than what usually happens when i jump rope. talk about flow at the gym! chew on, my friend.

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  4. This is good! Very good!
    Thanks for putting it into words!

  5. I like how changing just one word changed the intent, yet not the idea. I think I'm saying that right. What I mean is it all pertains to how we relate to others and ourselves - we see, we hear, we judge, yet it does not change the fact that while we are projecting these opinions of others we are internalizing them on ourselves. Words to live by.

  6. I too am a collector of quotes... they are everywhere. And like you, I seem to stumble back on them at just the right moment.
    Such a great conversation... thank you!

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  8. mmmhmmm...
    This reminds me of when a friend of mind loaned me the book, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves. All I had to do was read the title and take those words to heart, and it was already the best parenting book I ever read (or didn't read). Everything I want to teach him is something I need to learn. And a million other permutations, but you get me, yeah?

    1. absolutely. just like quotes, book titles can contain an enormous amount of wisdom in a few words.

  9. Loved this post. It totally defines me and my thoughts because I'm a big quote collector but I usually stick to bulletins or use them as bookmarks. Maybe I should start keeping them in drawers and other random places too.


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