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  • If you can't have what you like, you must like what you have.

  • The most beautiful thing is inevitability of events, and the most ugly thing is trying to resist inevitablity. I do not struggle.

  • Such words as 'God' and 'Death' and 'Suffering' and 'Eternity' are best forgotten. We have to become as simple and as wordless as the growing corn or the falling rain. We must just be.

  • ... acceptance is an art that must be mastered if we want to keep our friends for the span of life that remains to us, and presently step off the stage with our self-respect intact.

  • Every hen thinks she has laid the best egg! Can we not all believe as we choose? But the choice of others — what is that to us? Let them alone ...

  • I accept the universe!

    • Margaret Fuller,
    • to Thomas Carlyle (1846), in Perry Miller, ed., Margaret Fuller: American Romantic ()
  • I can accept the world, the plan / Allotted to the race of man. / But Margaret Fuller's brag was worse. / She could accept the universe. / Carlyle said, 'By Gad, she'd better!' / And so did everyone who met her.

    • Helen Bevington,
    • "Margaret Fuller in Chelsea," Nineteen Million Elephants ()
  • We shall hardly notice in a year or two. / You can get accustomed to anything.

  • That chill is in the air / Which the wise know well, and even have learned to bear. / This joy, I know, / Will soon be under snow.

  • You sell a screenplay like you sell a car. If somebody drives it off a cliff, that's it.

  • As a Black lesbian feminist comfortable with the many different ingredients of my identity, and a woman committed to racial and sexual freedom from oppression, I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some one aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self. But this is a destructive and fragmenting way to live.

    • Audre Lorde,
    • "Age, Race, Class, and Sex," speech (1980), Sister Outsider ()
  • To see men admitting that you are what you believe yourself to be, is one of the triumphs of existence.

  • Events are absorbed and become a part of who we are. To attempt to get over them is as futile as to keep living them.

  • Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it's no worse than it is.

  • What is broken is broken — and I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived.

  • ... to the true servant of God every place is the right place and every time is the right time.

    • Catherine of Siena,
    • 1378, in Vida D. Scudder, ed., St. Catherine of Siena As Seen in Her Letters ()
  • As the dead year is clasped by a dead December, / So let your dead sins with your dead days lie.

  • Whatever is — is best.

  • For it seemed to him that the actual boundary between youth and age is the moment when one realizes that one cannot change life.

  • It would save a lot of trouble, he thought, if every man and woman could realize at the outset which leaf of the triune clover claimed his allegiance, accept the limitation with humility, and not try to behave as though he — or she — had it in him to be the whole damn plant.

  • Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs. With this creed, revenge never worries my heart, degradation never too deeply disgusts me, injustice never crushes me too low. I live in calm, looking to the end.

  • It is better to learn early of the inevitable depths, for then sorrow and death take their proper place in life, and one is not afraid.

  • I sometimes think there's two sides to the commandment; and that we may say, 'Let others do unto you, as you would do unto them,' for pride often prevents our giving others a great deal of pleasure, in not letting them be kind, when their hearts are longing to help ...

  • Now who is to decide between 'Let it be' and 'Force it'?

  • ... if I can't get what I want — well, I'll want what I can get.

  • ... the more one advances, the more one sees the goal is still far off. And now I am simply resigned to see myself always imperfect and in this I find my joy.

  • It is rather calming to remember that you really couldn't have foreseen what is happening to you.

  • At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.

  • I endeavor to drink deep of philosophy, and to be wise when I cannot be merry, easy when I cannot be glad, content with what cannot be mended, and patient where there is no redress. The mighty can do no more, and the wise seldom do as much. ... I am resolved to make the best of all circumstances around me, that this short life may not be half lost in pains ... Between the periods of birth and burial, I would fain insert a little happiness, a little pleasure, a little peace: to-day is ours, yesterday is past, and to-morrow may never come.

  • ... letting be is as important as mastering. Our tradition has encouraged us to be effective, to make or fabricate but not to let be born or let be.

  • Because you're not what I would have you be / I blind myself to who, in truth, you are.

  • ... I do not expect or want you to be otherwise than you are, I love you for the good that is in you, and look for no change.

    • Mary Ann Lamb,
    • 1803, in The Letters of Charles and Mary Ann Lamb, vol. 2 ()
  • Stay quiet; refuse nothing; flowers grow only because they tranquilly allow the sun's rays to reach them. You must do the same.

    • Juliana Krüdener,
    • in J. Christopher Herold, Mistress to an Age: A Life of Madame de Staël ()
  • Why must you always try to be omnipotent, and shove things about? Tragic things happen sometimes that we just have to submit to.

    • Rebecca West,
    • "The Salt of the Earth," The Harsh Voice ()
  • I make the most of all that comes, / The least of all that goes.

  • It seems to take a lifetime for us to learn that wisdom consists largely in a graceful acceptance of things that do not immediately concern us.

  • We learn from every experience, in retrospect, that everything has turned out perfectly.

  • There are people who live lives little different than the beasts, and I don't mean that badly. I mean that they accept whatever happens day to day without struggle or question or regret. To them things just are, like the earth and sky and seasons.

  • I love my past. I love my present. I'm not ashamed of what I've had, and I'm not sad because I have it no longer.

  • When love turns away, now, I don't follow it. I sit and suffer, unprotesting, until I feel the tread of another step.

  • There are some people that you cannot change, you must either swallow them whole, or leave them alone. ...

  • You have got to play the game with the cards that have been dealt to you, and it is of no use for you to bewail your fate because you don't hold different ones. Look them over, arrange them, and play. You certainly must play them before you will get any others, and you need never expect to have other people's cards.

  • No behavior can be changed before it's acknowledged. And no addiction is beyond the reach of Love.

  • Anything in life that we don't accept will simply make trouble for us until we make peace with it.

  • In a man they forgive anything. In a woman nothing.

  • ... maturity ... is letting things happen.

  • Life will go on, hour after hour, day after day. Nothing can stop it, not grief, nor sorrow, nor anguish. It goes on and the living are caught in its time like flies in amber. Despite the neighbors and her husband Ellen Livingston became enriched by her sorrow and her soul ripened like a rich nut encased. Because she took all things, even death and sorrow, she was enriched more than those who rejected these things to save themselves from madness and disaster.

  • To release others from the expectations we have of them is to really love them.

  • Life is for most of us a continuous process of getting used to things we hadn't expected.

  • The secret of life is not to do what one likes, but to try to like what one has to do.

  • ... the habit of shutting doors behind us is invaluable to happiness; we must learn to shut life's doors to cut out the futile wind of past mistakes.

  • ... until you have, once at least, faced everything you know — the whole universe — with utter giving in, and let all that is 'not you' flow over and engulf you, there can be no lasting sense of security. Only by being prepared to accept annihilation can one escape from that spiritual 'abiding alone' which is in fact the truly death-like state.

  • The best course was to buy a house across a road from a cemetery and look at it every morning. Reminding yourself where it all ended anyway, you'd never get upset about anything again.

  • This moment, we are right where we need to be, right where we are meant to be.

  • In order to go anywhere it is necessary to be where one is.

  • Whichever way the wind doth blow / Some heart is glad to have it so; / Then blow it east or blow it west, / The wind that blows, that wind is best.

  • Everything is everything / What is meant to be will be. / After winter, must come spring / Change, it comes eventually.

    • Lauryn Hill,
    • "Everything Is Everything," The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill ()
  • ... all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

  • Change is one thing. Acceptance is another.

  • I'll be forgotten? That is really nothing. / I have been forgotten a hundred times, / A hundred times I have lain in my coffin, / I may be dead and buried even now.