Tag Archives: Quotations

Changing Myself

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl

This past week, the above quote was the prompt phrase for Tuesday at Ten. I am very late to join in, but I find the prompt particularly interesting. It signifies how we cannot have control over every situation in our lives, but we can have control over how we handle said situation.

I am just a tiny bit hypocritical (oh well, not a tiny bit) writing about changing one’s thoughts and actions around an uncontrolable situation today, because I just spent hours on or over the edge of crisis. There wasn’t really a situation I needed to change that led to it, other than my unquiet mind itself. So for today, I am going to write about changing that aspect of myself.

I remember in 2007, when I had only been on the acute psychiatric unit for a few weeks, moaning to my fellow patients that I’d gone to all sorts of rehabilitation and training places and still hadn’t learned how to handle my unquiet mind. Now I can add to these places three different psychiatric units. The thing is, however, wherever I go, I take me with me.

It is terrilby hard being me. However, I can change. I change all the time. Whether I grow is up to me. That is a terribly ironic phrase to write down for a pessimist with a terribly external locus of c ontrol. I’m not even sure I believe it myself. Maybe that is where I need to start: believing that I can’t change all situations of my life, but I can change myself.

I can change the way I think or act. I have come a long way already, because I have far fewer meltdowns than I had in 2007. I usually think my medication deserves the credit, but it isn’t like anyone forces these pills down my throat.

Also, while medications can alter your brain chemistry, so can thought processes. It is a myth that therapy works on the mind only, as if the mind is somehow separate from the body. The mind and body mutually influence each other.

I have never been all that great a psychotherapy client. As I said, I have yet to fully believe that I can change my brain chemistry by changing my thoughts. However, I practise this changing my thoughts sometimes already, like when I try to reassure myself. Now I just need to practise on.

Hope Not Fear #MondayMusings

“May your choices reflect your hopes. Not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

This quote was one of the writing prompts for last week’s Friday Reflections. However, I had already written about another prompt, and in fact, didn’t find out about this prompt until I’d written my post. Since this quote is very fitting for my life, I thought I’d write on it now.

I have often been guided by fear in the choices I made in my life. For most of the eight years of my institutionalization, I have feared taking the leap towards independence. This led me to reject my husband’s idea of having me live with him, which he had voiced long before our wedding. I’d rather live in a supported housing accommodation, because I was deathly afraid of the situation I’d been in when living independently in 2007. At the time, I’d not coped from the start but I’d been on the waiting list for mental health services and the crisis team didn’t feel my situation was serious enough. Ultimately, it took me becoming suicidal in another city to get me the help I needed.

By letting my fears dictate my choices, however, I was not taking chances, for taking chances requires taking risks as well. Because no supported housing place could accommodate my needs, I remained in the institution for presently almost eight years.

I had a boyfriend and later a husband, of course, and I was and am totally in love with him. My fear guided my choice not to go live with him, because I feared if I needed to be admitted to the psychiatric unit again while living with him, he’d abandon me. Never mind that he stuck with me through eight years of institutionalization.

yesterday, I saw a thread on a Dutch eating disorder forum I particpate on that asked where you would be in ten years. I will write a more elaborate post on this later on, but what it taught me was to have hope. Still having an optimistic attitude from last Friday’s meeting with the social worker, I realize now that I need to let this hope shine through when I make my choices.

I remeber in high school needing to make SMART goals. The S stands for “specific”, and it had as an explanation: “Write down what you want to achieve, not what you want to avoid.” For example, you’d write down “pass Latin”, not “not fail Latin”. The Mandela quote I started this post with, illustrates the difference: while in a way, “pass” and “not fail” are the same, “pass” is based on hope, “not fail” on fear.

Back to my situation with regards to my going to live with my husband. I have often based my goals on fear, saying for example that I wanted to avoid being overburdened. I could reword these, saying for example I want to be supported. That is a much clearer, but also much more optimistic goal.

This post was written for #MondayMusings, which I co-host with Corinne of Write Tribe this week (see her post too). Please feel free to join in. Click on the button below to be taken to the linky.



Everyday Gyaan

Wayne Dyer Quotes #MondayMusings

Wayne Dyer, a well-known self-help guru, passed away last Saturday. I first heard about his work in like 2003, when the Dutch translation of one of his books was published. I can’t be sure what year it was or what the book was called, as I can’t find it on GoodReads.

Several years later, when I was interested in the Unity movement, I found out Dyer was a supporter. Unity is an offshoot from Christianity that sees Heaven and Hell as metaphysical states of being and encourages people to be Christ-like in order to enter Heaven. Heaven is seen as similar to the Buddhist Nirvana. I was only briefly into Unity, as I soon lost interest in religion. I sitll support some of Unity’s beliefs, but prefer to associate more with mainline Christianity.

Never having read any of Dyer’s books, I cannot be sure I agree with his views, but I like to use quotes as starting points for my thinking and writing. In this post, I will share a couple quotes atributed to Dyner, plus some of my own thoughts.

1. “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” Thos one reflects Dyer’s involvement with the Unity movement, as it refers to karma. I don’t believe in karma in the Buddhist sense of the word. Like, if you endure tragedy, it’s sometimes thought to be because of mishaps in your past life. I won’t swallow that. I do, however, agree that the way people treat others says more about them than about the people they treat badly, and that it is best to respond to hostility with kindness. That will reflect back on you, making you the wiser in the interaction.

2. “Friends are God’s way of apologizing for your family.” LOL. I just found this one funny, but it also resonates with me. You choose your friends, after all, not your family.

3. “With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” This one is very true. We don’t get to choose some of our life experiences, but we do get to choose how we handle them. It may sometimes seem like I choose to feel sorry for myself when I write about my life experiences. Writing, however, is my way of transforming these experiences into an opportunity for growth.

4. “You are not stuck where you are unless you decide to be.” Though change is inevitable in life, this quote shows all the more that standing still means going backwards. Also, it shows us that we can decide to move forward, even if it is with tiny steps, every single day. I need to practise what I preach here, as I have not been reaching my goals for a few months, and didn’t even set any for August.

5. “When the choice is to be right or to be kind, always make the choice that brings peace.” I tend to be quite an argumentative person when it comes to getting my point across. Sometimes this helps, but sometimes, I need to remember what my father at one point told me: “I don’t need to be told I’m right to know I’m right.”

#MondayMusings

Linking up with #MondayMusings, in case the button doesn’t work. This is my first time trying to create the code for inserting a button myself. I will be co-hosting #MondayMusings next week, so I hope to see you all join in then.

Healing Quotes: Looking Fear in the Face

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

We are often afraid of what the future might hold. At least I am. Today, I don’t feel like taking the leap and preparing for living with my husband at all. I’d rather choose stability, even though ultimately, standing still means going backwards in life.

When I look back at my life, I often tend to look at my life experiences with a level of sadness or anger. How much more will life hand me, if I’ve already been through this?

Another way of looking at it is, I’ve been through it and survived. This means I am strong. If I’ve been able to handle what I have, why won’t I be able to handle the next hurdle in life?

Another thing is, of course, that uncertainty is scary, but without taking risks, we won’t go forward, and without going forward, we slide backward. I believe I read it in this book I mentioned of poems by a rape survivor, but not sure. Wherever I read it, I read that there are generally two kinds of people in life: those who warn you about all the risks of following your dreams, and those who encourage you to take the chances that following your dreams will present you with.

I have generally been trying to stay on the safe side, not taking risks but thereby not taking chances either. A few of the chances and risks I took, have not turned out well. For example, I went to university in 2007 and fell flat on my face. Then again, does that mean that taking chances and risks is altogether bad?

I took the chance and the risk of transferring from the city institution to my current small town institution. It hasn’t been an altogether good choice, but opportunities have arosen from my taking this chance/risk too. For example, day activities are generally better here than in the city institution.

I tend to choose stability over opportunity, but maybe that needs to change a bit. I’ve gone through a lot already and survived, so doesn’t this indicate that I am strong enough to handle the future?

Favorite Quotes #TuesdayTen

Today, Tuesday Ten is all about quotes. I love quotes. In this sense, I’m not lucky that most quotes today are shared as pictures on social media, although maybe I’m lucky not to get enough of them this way. I use quotes for jumpstarting my writing process sometimes. I also use quotes as part of my art journal pages, although I’ve not done one in a long while because I find it a nuisance to have to ask someone to print and cut out a quote for me.

art Joural Page

Today, I share ten of my favorite quotes, or more accurately, ten randomly assembled quotes I happened to come across and happen to like. I have attempted to make a good mixture between the inspirational and the funny.


  1. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
  2. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

  3. “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” – Winston Churchill

  4. “I love deadlines I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” – Douglas Adams

  5. “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain

  6. “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” – Virginia Woolf

  7. “I decided early in graduate school that I needed to do something about my moods. It quickly came down to a choice between seeing a psychiatrist or buying a horse. Since almost everyone I knew was seeing a psychiatrist, and since I had an absolute belief that I should be able to handle my own problems, I naturally bought a horse.” – Kay Redfield Jamison

  8. “There is within each one of us a potential for goodness beyond our imagining; for giving which seeks no reward; for listening without judgment; for loving unconditionally.” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

  9. “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” – Sigmund Freud

  10. “The greatest need that any child has is the need for unconditional love” – Brenda Boyd


That last one isn’t famous (although I bet the Redfield Jamison one isn’t famous to anyone not involved in mental health either), but I got it out of Parenting a Teen or Young Adult with Asperger Syndrome (Autistic Spectrum Disorder by Brenda Boyd. The quote, she says, came from her original publication in 2003.

The Golden Spoons