One of my dear friends ended a long, long-distance relationship recently, and she wrote about it in her blog in a way that made me think about a book title I saw recently. I'll get this title wrong, but it's something like "The Intersection of Bitter and Sweet." I've been going through some of this recently too - growth that is sometimes painful, but ultimately good. She thanked this person on her blog, and said, "our time together changed me for the better." Wonderful words.
I grew up in a literate family. Both of my parents have multiple college degrees in english and english-related things. My mother worked in a library. It's pretty natural for me to read and write, and for decades I've been collecting words that strike a chord in me when I read them. It's actually sequences of words, sentences and paragraphs. Single words alone don't do much for me.
Here are some words that I've been carrying around for over 20 years. The original source is long-lost to me. Every time I re-discover the index card I have these written on, I pause and reflect.
Ask yourself these five questions about your life choices: (the company you keep, the foods you eat, the work you do, the ways you give and receive love and money)
1. Does it lead you toward a fuller life or does it confine you?
2. Does it bring you closer to your heart or does it take you farther away?
3. Does it open you or does it close you?
4. Does it allow you to trust yourself further or does it make you frightened of yourself?
5. Does it enlarge your life or does it make your life smaller?
As fall turns into winter and I make choices for my own life, it helps to think about whether and how the choices I am making change me for the better as well.