Tiny Beautiful Things

Things I took away from this wonderful book:  

Below are the things I highlighted in my first read through of this book.  I bet when I read it again, there will be different highlights, different turns of advise will hit me in other ways or I’ll be ready to hear them at a different time.  But for today, here are the ones that resonated with me:

The best thing you can possibly do with our life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of love.

Strategic and coy are for jackasses. Be brave. Be authentic.

Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true.

The prospect of not writing a book was more awful than the one of writing a book that sucked. And so at last, I got to serious work on the book.

If you had a two-sided chalkboard in your living room I’d write humility on one side and surrender on the other for you.

I know it’s hard to write, darling. But it’s harder not to. The only way you’ll find out if you “have it in you” is to get to work and see if you do. The only way to override your “limitations, insecurities, jealousies and in eptitude” is to produce.

How many of them didn’t collapse in a heap of “I could have been better than this” and went right ahead and became better than anyone would have predicted or allowed them to be. The unifying them is resilience and faith. The unifying them is being a warrior and a motherfucker. It’s not fragility.

Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.

Write like a motherfucker.

Faking it never works

Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours.

To use our individual good or bad luck as a litmus test to determine whether or not God exists constructs an illogical dichotomy that reduces our capacity for true compassion. It implies a pious quid pro quo that defies history, reality, ethics and reason. It fails to acknowledge that the other half of rising – the very half that makes rising necessary – is having first been nailed to the cross.

What if the worst thing happened and your rose anyway?

She told me that at a certain point we get to decide who it is we allow to influence us. She said, “I could allow myself to be influenced by three men who screwed me against my will or I could allow myself to be influence by Van Gogh. I chose Van Gogh.

Go, because you want to.

You can’t fake the core.

Listen to yourself. And have fun.

We have to be as fearless about our bellies as we are with our hearts.

Real change happens on the level the gesture. It’s one person doing one thing differently than he or she did before.

You have to be brave enough to build the intimacy you deserve.

You’re running your own race. We don’t dig or not dig people based on a comparison chart of body measurements and intellectual achievements and personality quirks. We did them because we do.

Nobody’s going to do your live for you. You have to do it for yourself, whether you’re rich or poor, out of money or raking it in, the beneficiary of ridiculous fortune or terrible injustice. And you have to do it no matter what is true. No matter what is hard. No matter what is unjust, sad, sucky things have befallen you. Self-pity is a dead-end road. You make the choice to drive down it.

You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding.

We have to be whole people to find whole love, even if we have to make it up for awhile.

Not regretting it later is the reason I’ve done at least three quarters of the best things in my life.

You thought maybe if you talked it out one more time the person who crushed your heart would change his/her mind and uncrush it.

Desperation is unsustainable. It might have gotten you through until now, but you’re too old and awesome to fake it anymore.

Maybe waht happened in those years you were stealing and lying is you had a mother-sized hole to fill inside of you and so you stuffed a bunch of things into it that didn’t belong to you and said alot of things that weren’t true because on some subconscious level you thought doing so woule make the hole disappear. But it didn’t.

My grief is tremendous but my love is bigger.

It is impossible to go on as you were before, so you must go on as you never have.

You go on by doing the best you can.

Don’t do what you know on a gut level to be the wrong thing to do.

You get no points for living… It isn’t enough to have had an interesting or hilarious or tragic life. Art isn’t anecdote.

The reality is we often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be a selfish jackass first.

We do not have the right to feel helpless… That we must help ourselves. That after destiny has delivered what it delivers, we are responsible for our lives.

Stop worrying about whether you’re fat. You’re not fat. Or rather, you’re sometimes a little bit fat, but who gives a shit?

You don’t need a reason to leave. Wanting to leave is enough. Leaving doesn’t mean you’re incapable of real love or that you’ll never love anyone else again. It doesn’t mean you’re morally bankrupt or psychologically demented or a nymphomanic. It means you want to change the terms of one particular relationship.

Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life.

You can’t convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.

Acceptance is a small, quiet room.