"Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary line and adding to one's liberty." - Henry Frederic Ameil
What difficulties have I conquered recently?
"There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year's course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness."
- Carl Jung
How can I trust my dark nights will be followed by happy days?
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." - Anaïs Nin
As I think about my friends, what specific ways have they shown me a new world?
"We should all know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color." - Maya Angelou
What image do I envision when considering diversity in my life?
"Even to your old age I am your God.
Even when your hair turns gray,
I will carry you.
I have always supported you, and I
I will carry you to safety." - Isaiah 46:4
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
What thing must I do?
"Would any among you give a stone to your
child who is asking you for bread? Or if your
child asks for fish, will you hand over a
poisonous snake? If you then, who can do
wrong, give good gifts to your children, don’t
you think that your Father/Mother in heaven
will give you good things when you ask?" - Matthew 7: 9-11
In what ways do I make the most of my life?
"I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge." - Oprah Winfrey
Whose bridges have I crossed?
"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances."
- Martha Washington
Do I give in to circumstance? If so, how can I work to change my perspective?
"Time teaches and time disappears...The purpose of time is not accumulation. The purpose of time is to alert us to ourselves so that we can become the only thing it is really worth our time to be: a totally human, deeply spiritual human being." - Joan Chittister, OSB, from Growing Into Life
How can I become a more deeply spiritual human being?
"It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give us happiness." - Thomas Jefferson
Where do I find serenity and satisfaction?
"Just remember the world is not a playground but a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday but an education. One eternal lesson for us all: to teach us how better we should love." - Barbara Jordan
How can I love better?
"Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence."
- Henry David Thoreau
What is it that I am pursuing? Am I on the path that will reach my goal?
Does this frustrate me or am I comfortable with such definitions?
"Love is the essence of human experience and emotion. It is at the root of all and everything we, as humans, do. Without love what do we live for?"
How is love rooted in my life?
"Even if the mountains should leave their place and the hills be shaken,
My love will never leave you." - Isaiah 54:10
In what ways can I go from good to great? To keep from being overwhelmed, how do I know when good is good enough?
For whom do I care? Are there others who may benefit from my care?
"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly." - Thomas Paine
What do I cherish because of the difficulty in achieving or obtaining it?
"If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day." - Alex Noble
What brings me peace? When do I consider my day successful?
How have I been living?
"I pray for the God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you a spirit of wisdom and clarity as you get to know God. May the eyes of your heart be filled with light so that you may know the hope to which God calls you, the riches of God’s glorious inheritance to be shared among the saints." - Ephesians 1:17-18
When am I most genuine? When is it most challenging for me to be genuine?
"Nobody sees a flower, really — it is so small — we haven't time, and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time." - Georgia O'Keefe
How might I teach myself to see more — to be more attentive?
"The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart,
The secret anniversaries of the heart..."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
What are my secret anniversaries?
"This isn't the end, but the start of something much better."
- Jimmy Gimenez, serving his 9th year in Marion Correctional Institution, helps others to have hope.
Do I tackle new challenges with faith?