Worth Quoting

Do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

I like quotes. I curate them the way my dad did humor – but instead of using notecards, I use an Excel spreadsheet with a column for where I’ve used them and where I got them. I loan my spreadsheet out now and again – like to my friend who was taping quotes to her teenager’s mirror every morning as they waited for college admissions results to come in.

Quotes have such an elegance – a succinctness of capturing a particular idea so that it can be passed on. It’s an amazing gift to be able to do that, to coin a phrase or sentence worth repeating. And worth repeating outside of the context of any longer writing.

There is also an inferred meaning of a quote based on who said it, if attributed to someone. One of my favorite quotes is from Anne Sexton “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.” It doesn’t take much looking to find that while Anne Sexton tackled some deep and revealing subjects in her work, she also is alleged to have physically abused her children. Knowing that, I find it harder to use that quote because who said it matters.

When I first started writing, I had a difficult time believing my own voice had any credibility so I wanted to rely on quotes as a crutch. To counter that, I changed my process so that I wrote and only when I was done or had trouble pulling together the last sentence did I go and find a quote that helped me clarify my topic. In that way, I’ve found a way to add another voice to what I’m writing without silencing my own.

The quotes that I think of when I’m in a crunch or stuck change with the major themes in my life. I had a different set of go-tos when I was trying to work up the courage to have kids then now when I’m in the thick of parenting. With that said, here are a few of my personal favorites.

You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl

“Everything you’ve always wanted is on the other side of fear.” – George Adair

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.‘” – Erma Bombeck

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” – Matthew 7:3

The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

“God breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open.” Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Please remember, it is what you are that heals, not what you know.” – Carl Jung

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Great things are done when men and mountains meet.” – William Blake

You don’t have a soul, you ARE a soul.” – Dick Leon

And the perfect one to end this post comes from the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, “Everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

(featured photo from Pexels)

32 thoughts on “Worth Quoting

  1. I enjoyed your sharing of quotes and especially the Martin Luther one. I like to make notes of quotes and inspiring thoughts. I often use them as a closing thought in the final role of my Toastmaster Club meetings. A collection of quotes and poems are on my list that I have memorized and forgotten over the years.
    One of the long’ish quotes I like is the one from Theodore Roosevelt – It’s not the critic who counts. Another one that you might enjoy reading is My Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Wynne,, you’ve done it again–delivered a wonderful post, full of such rich quotes. I have several quotes that I love (many of which you mentioned), but one of my favourites, is by Rumi: “I searched for God and found only myself. I searched for myself and found only God.” 🙏

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  3. I really enjoyed this post, Wynne Leon! I am a big fan of quotes, though I never thought to read up on who wrote them. This has me thinking about a quote that I’ve read, but have no idea who said it. “We fly by lifting others up”. Have a great day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really enjoyed listening to that, Dr. Stein! Yes, the imposing opening was recognizable – as were the loud drums at minute 9. I’ve heard those drums in the sound of my heart on a mountain! Thank you for this great trip!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve inspired me to start a list of quotes 🙂 I like your list a lot. One of my favorites is from the poet Rumi: “If everything around you seems dark, look again, you may be the light.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t heard that Rumi quote before – it is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing that one! And Rumi is one of those examples that just amazes me how a man in the 13th century said things we are still quoting today!


  5. These are such lovely quotes. And some of them particularly resonated and soothed me after quite a day (that’s another post!).

    I love quotes too. They serve so many functions – inspiration, to heal, to reflect. And I love that you have a spreadsheet of them much like your dad’s notecards.

    And you do have a voice – one that many listen to on a regular and ongoing basis! 😊🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing these Wynne.
    Quotes encourage, inspire, assure and and convict me, but pick a favorite would depend on the situation of the moment I find myself in. One however, in those situations of the moment when darkness descends, ever endures to assure me it has previously been be encountered and resolved by the unfathomable humanity of the One who loves me to death . . . “Jesus wept”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a beautiful comment, Fred. Thank you for this! I personally come back to “I praise you because I’m fearfully and wonderfully made” again and again. The depth and comfort – wow!


    1. Yes! I do know that. In fact, checking my spreadsheet, I notice that I have at least one that I got from you, “Insecurity is loud; confidence is quiet.” – Nancy Juvonen

      I love the inspiration you provide! Thanks for reading and commenting on this one!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for such kind words, and I agree that is a wonderful quote by Nancy Juvonen. I love your idea of creating an excel spreadsheet. Perhaps one day I will find time to be that organized. 

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing!!.. I often use quotes to help share my thoughts… for example, I enjoy visiting because I able to see the world through your eyes and thoughts because “Life gives us brief moments with another, but sometimes in those brief moments we get memories that last a lifetime, So live that your memories will be part of your happiness.” (Author Unknown)… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is awesome: my friend who was taping quotes to her teenager’s mirror every morning as they waited for college admissions results to come in.

    Some of those quotes are familiar and are fab. I came across the Bombeck one some years ago and saved it (somewhere…head scratch.) Saving inspirational quotes is a great idea. And that last one, from a great movie, is indeed the perfect one to end on. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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