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Self-Creation

  • The change of life is the time when you meet yourself at a crossroads and you decide whether to be honest or not before you die.

  • But I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply moulding one's inner life. And that too is a deed.

  • Our deeds still travel with us from afar, / And what we have been makes us what we are.

  • ... not wholly consciously, but not quite unconsciously, as far as I can remember, I determined to fashion my future as a sculptor his marble, and there was in it the same mixture of foresight and the unknown. The thing in the mind of the artist takes its way and imposes its form as it wakens under his hand. And so with life.

  • A vital force is active in every individual and leads it towards its own evolution.

  • My goal is always, how do you get better?

  • There is no paycheck that can equal the feeling of contentment that comes from being the person you are meant to be.

  • I still want what I've always wanted ... to be the best person I can be.

  • It's never too late for a happy childhood.

  • ... imagining anything is the first step toward creating it. Believing in a true self is what allows a true self to be born.

  • I am the daughter of myself. / I am born of my own dream. My dream sustains me.

    • Rosario Castellanos,
    • "Wailing Wall," in Magda Bogin, trans., The Selected Poems of Rosario Castellanos ()
  • Our choices tell our story.

  • ... one is never got out of the cave, one comes out of it.

  • We make ourselves our own distress, / We are ourselves our happiness.

  • Superficial to understand the journal as just a receptable for one's private, secret thoughts — like a confidante who is deaf, dumb, and illiterate. In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself. ... The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather — in many cases — offers an alternative to it.

    • Susan Sontag,
    • 1957, in David Rieff, ed., Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963 ()
  • What we do modifies us more than what is done to us.

  • It is my firm belief that all our lives we are preparing to be somebody or something, even if we don't do it consciously.

  • It is hard work to control the workings of inclination and turn the bent of nature; but that it may be done, I know from experience. God has given us, in a measure, the power to make our own fate.

  • What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.

  • I am becoming something — I am living the most intensely happy time of my life.

  • Improvement begins with I.

  • ... doing and being are very closely tied together, and unless you are doing what you secretly want to do, you aren't able to be the sort of person you want to be.

  • There's always the sunshine, only we must do our part, we must move into it.

  • You have control over three things — what you think, what you say, and how you behave. To make a change in your life, you must recognize that these gifts are the most powerful tools you possess in shaping the form of your life.

  • We need to find the courage to say no to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.

  • What she wanted was to donate to the world a good Maud Martha. That was the offering, the bit of art, that could not come from any other. She would polish and hone that.

  • I wasn't born a redhead, but I was born to be a redhead.

  • I will not ask that you nor you shall teach my soul the way, but I will trust my soul.

  • Have we arrived at our own faith and our own path or simply internalized the beliefs of parents, clergy, spouse, or friends?

  • A man would rather fail according to his own ideas than succeed according to another's.

  • If, as the girls always said, it's never too early to think about whom to marry, then it could certainly not be too early to think about who to be. Being somebody had to come first, because, of course, somebody could get a much better husband than nobody.

  • A child should be allowed to take as long as she needs for knowing everything about herself, which is the same as learning to be herself. Even twenty-five years if necessary, or even forever. And it wouldn't matter if doing things got delayed, because nothing is really important but being oneself.

  • Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.

  • I/woman give birth: / and this time to / myself.

  • Whatever we really are, that let us be, in all fearlessness. Whatever we are not, that let us cease striving to be.

  • You can't have relationships with other people until you give birth to yourself.

    • Sonia Sanchez,
    • in Houston A. Baker, Jr., "Our Lady," in Henry Louis Gates, Jr., ed., Reading Black, Reading Feminist ()
  • How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be someone.

  • Growing into one's personal power does not happen overnight. It is an evolutionary process that encompasses observation, reflection, letting go, decision making, developing commitments, accepting validation, taking action, and experiencing the success of responsible choices.

    • Cheryl A. Maloney,
    • in Mary Pinney Erickson and Betty Kling, eds., Streams From the Sacred River ()
  • We make ourselves up as we go ...

    • Kate Green,
    • "Possible Love, Possible Sky," If the World Is Running Out ()
  • The gift is that we are unfinished. The sixth day is not yet over for us.

  • Believe it or not, I used to be a self-help victim. A hapless seeker trapped on the treadmill of self-improvement. For years, I left no stone unturned. I perfected my orgasm. I fell in love with myself. I got in touch with my shadow, my inner child, my past lives, my power animals, my Higher Self, my lower chakras and my former husbands (they owed me money and as soon as I got in touch with my rage, I went after them). I learned how to rebirth, rebreathe, meditate, communicate, have meaningful dreams and walk on hot coals.

  • I want the freedom to carve and chisel my own face, to staunch the bleeding with ashes, to fashion my own gods out of my entrails.

  • Your world is as big as you make it. / I know, for I used to abide. / In the narrowest nest in a corner, / My wings pressing close to my side.

  • i, woman, i / can no longer claim / a mother of flesh / a father of marrow / I, Woman must be / the child of myself.

  • ... I ran away. I hurried more than if lions had chased me. Without telling him. Without telling my mother or father. There wasn't any liberty in San Francisco for ordinary women. But I found some. No jobs for girls in offices like there are now. You got married, were an old maid, or went to hell. Take your pick.

  • Like any art, the creation of self is both natural and seemingly impossible. It requires training as well as magic.

    • Holly Near,
    • in Holly Near, with Derk Richardson, Fire in the Rain...Singer in the Storm ()
  • As one goes through life one learns that if you don't paddle your own canoe, you don't move.

  • I have become that third gender: a human person, the being one creates of oneself.

  • Maybe being oneself is always an acquired taste.

    • Patricia Hampl,
    • in Janet Sternburg, ed., The Writer on Her Work, vol. 2 ()
  • The most important thing is to hold on, hold out, for your creative life, for your solitude, for your time to be and do, for your very life ...

  • ... when asked, most folks will gladly tell us about ourselves, who we are, what we're feeling, and where we should be heading. And if we don't honor ourselves by listening to our lives, we'll believe them.

  • Free to be ... you and me.

  • Being, I imagine, must be very simple. It is Becoming which is so messy and which I am all for.

    • Alice B. Sheldon,
    • in Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon ()
  • We think we need to create ourselves, always doing a paste-up job on our personalities. That is because we're trying to be special rather than real. We're pathetically trying to conform with all the other people trying to do the same.

  • She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.

  • The people and circumstances around me do not make me what I am, they reveal who I am.

  • There's always room for improvement, you know — it's the biggest room in the house.

  • Once we let go of the belief that we are helpless, we may find that we are powerful.

  • It was the worry about not making the most of herself. The thing that troubles nearly all of us, nearly every day.

  • I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the woman I wanted to be.

  • In youth, it was a way I had / To do my best to please, / And change, with every passing lad, / To suit his theories. / But now I know the things I know, / And do the things I do, / And if you do not like me so, / To hell, my love, with you!

  • I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will.

  • My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.