Blue Heron
Occasional Picture September 2013

Blue Heron

Blue Heron

© 2013 Marina Rundell


Excerpts from Handbook for the Heart. Original writings from various authors.

Rabbi Harold Kushner:

“I think our society puts too much emphasis on finding someone who will love you; our culture focuses too much on being loved and not enough on being a loving person.”

“You don’t make yourself happy by chasing happiness. You make yourself happy by being a good person.”

“Loving ourselves doesn’t mean narcissism and self-worship. It means accepting the imperfections in ourselves and realizing that nobody expects us to be perfect. Self-love means seeing that not every mistake is a permanent stain on our self-esteem and our sense of worthiness.”

“We act against our essential nature when we are dishonest or devious or selfish. And acting against our essential nature impinges on our ability to give and receive love and on our ability to experience happiness.”

Stephen and Ondrea Levine:

“To be truly loving means living in the present—not in the past or in the future—and trying to meet even the closed heart with kindness.”

“People say to us, ‘If I could just find the right mate, I’d be happy the rest of my life.’”

“A relationship does not in itself make us happy. Nothing makes us happy except the work we do inside, because we’re only truly happy when our heart is open. But relationships are a forum for that inner work.”

Barry Neil Kaufman:

“An initial awareness that has been a guiding point and beacon in my life, and one that may actually be the best-kept secret on this planet, is simply this: love is a choice. I never realized this as I was growing up. Instead, it almost seemed to me that love fell out of the sky and hit you on the head or was otherwise magically manifested. And I believe that this idea is not an uncommon one. In our culture, love is viewed as a passive experience, something that just “happens to you.” We see love more as a reaction than an action, and we have systematically learned to become wallflowers in the dance of love. Even the way we speak of it—“I fell in love”—makes it sound as if it weren’t within our control. Many people never understand that love really comes from an opening-of-the-heart decision that we can make at any time in our lives.”

“Yes, love is a choice; it doesn’t just happen. But to love, you must first find the happiness within yourself, because when you are unhappy, you are not loving. Once you learn to be happy, you can learn to open your heart to loving.”


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