Scattered Wounds: I should like to understand myself properly before it is too late
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
In the book you write, “The problem with life’s purpose is that we know damn well what it is, but are unwilling to face the changes in our lives that a commitment to self-transcendence, to being the best human being we could possibly be, would entail.”
Having reached a point in life where my years of adventure and romance seem well behind me, I often tell people that now I’m “in it” for the wisdom ... Hidden in short phrases or quotes ... Speak less, say more
Be Brave: be hungry for your voice to be heard and to articulate your soul, no matter the cost... You live only once
Knowledge is like underwear. It is useful to have it, but not necessary to show it off
Only trust someone who can see these three things in you: the sorrow behind your smile, the love behind your anger, and the reason behind your silence.
Wise people continue to doubt themselves (and that’s part of what makes them wise)
What Matters in Old Age: Rereading, Reconsidering and Reassessing “Late-Life Love” is an easier read than “Memoir of a Debulked Woman,” although there are moments when pain sears through. One night Gubar has an “accident” — her excrement-containing ostomy bag, girdled to her stomach, oozes with messy seepage. Cleaning up, she catches sight of herself in the bathroom mirror. There’s “every mark of an old crock: a tall scarecrow with a balding head, no eyebrows or eyelashes, a bump on my chest where a port was embedded, abdominal surgical scars, no pubic hair, a plastic bag hanging from my belly, what little flesh there is hanging downward too. I don’t look like the person I used to be; I am not the person I used to be.”Well, as Bette Davis said, growing old ain't for sissies.There is also, as for life in general, no one-size-fits-all.
“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”
We shouldn’t confuse ‘Don’t! Stop!’ with ‘Don’t stop’.
As Shakespeare noted: “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."