Quotes to Help Keep Life in Perspective
I knew when I started working on this piece that I was home. Keeping perspective and staying centered when life gets painful or excessively stressful is a skill not especially bestowed upon the sensitive, which I’ve known all too well. Fortunately, I’ve been able to follow some of the greatest peace-promoting blogs and websites online, and therefore can share some of their best with you now. Collecting items of inspiration, including the quotes of the wise and most grounded among us, has been a source of peace for me for many internet years now, having recently culminated in an embarrassingly well-stocked tumblr archive. Without any special regard to religion or geographical origins, my sources are as diverse as the internet is wide. Please follow along on my inspirational and perspective-providing quote journey and share your favorite quotes with me in the comments below if you feel moved to do so!
“See the light in others, and treat them as if that is all you see.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
A source of love, light and positive perspectives for over 5 decades, Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote over 30 self-help books in his lifetime and has been featured on countless nationally-televised programs, documentaries, and newscasts. Leaving us lightless, Dyer died at age 70 in 2015. Additional profundity from Dyer in the form of his best quotes can be enjoyed here.
“Be a true representative of the goodness in your heart, and don’t expect it to be easy or even noticed.” – Adyashanti
Adyashanti is an American spiritual teacher who, according to his website, is “devoted to serving the awakening of all beings.” Having written numerous books and a continuous slew of videos throughout the internet, Adyashanti lives in the San Franscisco Bay area with his wife and travels frequently offering retreats and talks throughout the United States and abroad.
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” – Pema Chödrön
Pema Chodron is an American Tibetan Buddhist nun and author of several books including When Things Fall Apart, Practicing Peace, and The Places That Scare You. She directs the Gampo Abbey of Nova Scotia. Having trained under Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Chodron offers both live teachings and recorded lectures, through which she often conveys to participants, “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things….my mother would say to me; Look for the Helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” — Fred Rogers.
Fred McFeely Rogers, star of PBS’ preschool program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, ended up becoming a source of optimal perspective and endless inspiration for not only children, but millions of adults as well, over his lifetime. Sadly, Fred passed away in 2003, but many more of his famous words can be enjoyed here.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” — Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela, the first Black President of South Africa, philanthropist, and anti-apartheid revolutionary, spent 27 years of his life imprisoned for his beliefs. Mandela sadly left us in 2013 after giving a lifetime of inspiration to the world.
“Think of all the beauty still left around you, and be happy.” – Anne Frank
These and other hauntingly beautiful words were found in the famous diary of young German-born Anne Frank, which was composed while she and her family were in hiding from her 13th birthday on 12 June 1942, until 1 August 1944, just before they were captured. Anne eventually died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — Viktor Frankl
Both a survivor of Auschwitz and an Austrian psychologist, author-healer Viktor Frankl offers the epitome of perspective when dealing with the ups and downs of life.
‘We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” — Virginia Satir
Need a hug? You’re not alone. Reminding us of what many of her fans already know, Satir was famous for her counseling model and social work, and often promoted hugs as being not only comforting, but a very important form of healing, which, of course, should be given freely.
The Kingdom of God is within you.” – Jesus Christ
The most frequently uttered words of Christ, this phrase has caused both disagreement and profound clarity among modern day spiritualists. Doubtlessly, Christ was encouraging followers to look inward for their spiritual treasures, from which the rest of life’s challenges can be placed into their proper perspective.
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” — Carl Jung
Famous for his perspectives on the necessity of understanding our own “darkness,” Swiss psychologist Carl Jung became influential throughout not only the realm of mental health, but also archeology, anthropology, religious studies, and philosophy.