I enjoy collecting quotes: those handy and comforting adages that can offer cheer and relief when things don’t make sense, when the world doesn’t make sense- when you can’t help wondering, despite the wisdom of your years that has taught you that the world does Not have a personal vendetta against you or anyone else, why bad things happen to good people. Even today I received a Whatsapp message from a younger relative, and in my response to him I found myself typing ‘This too Shall Pass.’ Sometimes (usually in fact) there just are no perfect or fully satisfying answers in life, and we find ourselves with more questions than answers, and that kind of waiting period where we try to fix or at least to ‘adapt’ to a difficult situation, only to find ourselves dealing with the next crisis or a different challenge soon after! And we rise to the challenge once again, and sometimes life feels like just a series of events that asks (almost) more of us than we have to give.
Nevertheless, he seemed to appreciate my ‘This too shall pass’ comment, responding with a smiley face 🙂 and hearts ♥♥♥, so I’m glad I could help.
Looking through my Pinterest board recently, the one called Quotes that is, I was struck how many of these wise sayings that I have collected are centred around the theme of water, the qualities of water. I wondered if it is because am drawn to water, particularly the ocean, that I am attracted to the beautiful phrases and maxims that capture and describe its myriad qualities.
Some of these are well known quotes, that have been written about and pondered and explored over decades, becoming part of ‘popular culture’; quotes such as Bruce Lee’s “Be like water”, or as he uttered, “Be water, my friend.” There is plenty about Bruce Lee and this particular quote on the internet, (just Google it, or even better, Ecosia it!) and in fact I wrote a post here, a few months ago. For me, this quote is about a kind of formlessness, of not being rigid or resistant, where you can sink /relax into whatever situation you are dealing with so that there is minimal tension. A kind of ‘go with the flow’, of being adaptable and stress free as far as possible.
Two others that I just love come from Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, now 94 years old, who puts things together so beautifully that for me, that there is nothing else to say: “Enlightenment is when a wave realises it is the ocean” and “People say that walking on water is a miracle, but to me walking peacefully on earth is the real miracle.” Words are powerful.
And how about this one to bring on a smile? Sweet and simple, but no less profound, and a happy reminder of the company that keeps us: “Whenever you feel sad, just remember that there are billions of cells in your body, and all they care about is you.” The reason I associate this with water is because whenever I read it I visualise lots of little odd-shaped bodies swimming and vibrating inside their pools of fluid that help to make up the watery expanse of our physical bodies. (From bscb.org): Water is present both inside and outside cells. In the body of a mammal for example although it is about 70% water by weight, about 46% (approximately 2/3) is inside cells, and about 23% (approx. 1/3) is present outside cells in blood plasma and other body fluids.
I don’t know where that quote about cells comes from: when I tried to access the link, I hit a kind of dead end or deleted item. It’s a reminder that the slightly vague slant on ‘looking within to find inner peace’ may not be so enigmatic after all! Perhaps inner peace is well within reach, ticking along right there with you! Your cells are right there, always, going about their days and nights, getting on with the business of life, right here and right now. Maybe there are days where that alone is what keeps us going ♥