What Quotes Do You Love?

Michelle Obama dancing with Barack Obama

On Sunday evening, I was eating popcorn and scrolling around Instagram (as one does) when I stumbled across a quote…

Technically, it was a quote about a quote:

“When Oprah interviewed Michelle Obama, Oprah asked how Michelle got over feeling intimidated sitting at big tables filled with smart, powerful men and Michelle said, ‘You realize pretty quickly that a lot of them aren’t that smart.’ I think about that quote every single day.”


What is it about quotes? They’re like one-sided conversations with your psyche, cutting out all the small talk and hitting you right where it’s needed.

A couple years ago, during an intentionally-trying-to-change-my-life phase, I took to writing quotes on my bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. I’d update it every weekend and read over the words when I washed my face and brushed my teeth. They may have sounded a little like what a basketball coach says before a game, but I found it was surprisingly effective (even if everyone who came to my apartment was like, “What’s up with that?”).

Maybe, I thought, as I hit the “like” button, it’s time for the quotes to make a comeback.

What Quotes Do You Love

Do you have a favorite quote, or a phrase you turn to when the going gets tough — whether it’s from a famous person, or from someone in your life?

P.S. Becoming the person you’re meant to be and wise words.

  1. “What you love to do the most is the shortest distance between where you are now and your dreams.”

  2. If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

  3. Aly says...

    “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”

  4. hh067 says...

    “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” ~ Louis L’Amour

  5. Al Gore, Senior, after losing his Senate seat because he refused to give into segregationists: “Failure can serve as well as success to shake the soul and let the glory out.” I love it and think about it at least once a day, certainly every time I fail (gloriously).

  6. Nithasha says...

    I have always loved quotes. The one that I connect to the most now is
    ” The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”
    -Alice Walker

  7. Ashley says...

    One of my favorite quotes came from an interview on Cup of Jo, I don’t remember the name of the person, but I think about these words constantly:

    “Love is a muscle and a verb.”

  8. Helena says...

    “How wild it was to let it be” by Cheryl Strayed in Wild. I think this is the perfect quote to stick in the head of a person that needs to feel in control… ME! I learned the hard way that there are things we cannot control, so I just need to surrender and let it be. It’s hard, but I’m trying.

  9. EL says...

    A long one but one of my favorite things I’ve ever read!
    “To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. Be humble for you are made of earth.
    Be noble for you are made of stars.
    -Serbian proverb

    When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.
    -Paul Hawken

    The possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people, are a kind of alchemy. They are the most interesting thing in life.
    -Adrienne Rich

    Let everything happen to you
    Beauty and terror
    Just keep going
    No feeling is final.
    -Rainer Maria Rilke

    We must, between periods of digging in the dark, endeavor always to transform our tears into knowledge.
    -Alain de Botton

  11. Katie says...

    “The more you are motivated by Love,
    The more Fearless & Free your action will be.”

    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  12. Lindsey says...

    “We either make ourselves miserable,
    or we make ourselves strong.
    The amount of work is the same.”
    – Carlos Castenada

    As a chronic worrier this quote is so important to me.

  13. taylor says...

    I discovered one of my all-time favorite quotes via CoJ linking out to Swiss Miss….it was a post from years ago.

    “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de St. Exupery

    Its most obvious application is leadership, but has often served as a reminder to me to find my own “sea” – the bigger picture, the reason I do the hard and/or menial things.

  14. Kayla says...

    A few I always go back to:

    What’s for you won’t pass you by. – reminds me that life unfolds the way it should even if it doesn’t feel like it! And this is a favorite one to share when someone feels they’ve missed something like the job they didn’t get, the house they put a bid on, etc. it feels better than “it wasn’t meant to be”.

    Not everything that weighs you down is yours to carry. – reminds me not to worry about alllll the things.

    Many things are good, many things are important, but only a few things are essential. – reminds me to keep it simple as an elementary teacher and new mom, who puts loads of pressure on myself!

    • kris says...


  15. Emma A says...

    “I am going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.” ― Elsie de Wolfe

  16. Allison says...

    Another Michelle Obama favorite quote from the DNC in 2016, “When they go low, we go high.” Loved that SO much and I often think of it when I am tempted to behave ungraciously!

  17. Katy says...

    OMG as if I needed another reason to worship Michelle Obama. Seriously, Michelle, you are the BEST.

  18. Libby says...

    Normal is an illusion. What’s normal for the spider, is chaos for the fly. -Charles Adams

  19. Rebecca says...

    I love this one from a Toni Morrison novel—reminds me to walk away from the narrow constructs of my imagination and look up and around. “I do like a good storm.”

    “Young people, Lord. Do they still call it infatuation? That magic ax that chops away the world in one blow, leaving only the couple standing there trembling? Whatever they call it, it leaps over anything, takes the biggest chair, the largest slice, rules the ground wherever it walks, from a mansion to a swamp, and its selfishness is its beauty. Before I was reduced to singsong, I saw all kinds of mating. Most are two-night stands trying to last a season. Some, the riptide ones, claim exclusive right to the real name, even though everybody drowns in its wake. People with no imagination feed it with sex—the clown of love. They don’t know the real kinds, the better kinds, where losses are cut and everybody benefits. It takes a certain intelligence to love like that—softly, without props. But the world is such a showpiece, maybe that’s why folks try to outdo it, put everything they feel onstage just to prove they can think up things too: handsome scary things like fights to the death, adultery, setting sheets afire. They fail, of course. The world outdoes them every time. While they are busy showing off, digging other people’s graves, hanging themselves on a cross, running wild in the streets, cherries are quietly turning from greed to red, oysters are suffering pearls, and children are catching rain in their mouths expecting the drops to be cold but they’re not; they are warm and smell like pineapple before they get heavier and heavier, so heavy and fast they can’t be caught one at a time. Poor swimmers head for shore while strong ones wait for lightning’s silver veins. Bottle-green clouds sweep in, pushing the rain inland where palm trees pretend to be shocked by the wind. Women scatter shielding their hair and men bend low holding the women’s shoulders against their chests. I run too, finally. I say finally because I do like a good storm. I would be one of those people in the weather channel leaning into the wind while lawmen shout in megaphones: ‘Get moving!”

    ― Toni Morrison, Love

  20. Mona K Poinsett says...

    I loved that book so much.

  21. Stephanie Chaplin says...

    Grief is just love with nowhere to go.

  22. I try to live by this one:
    Never suppress a generous thought.
    -Camilla Kimball

  23. Allie says...

    In a letter to Joe Hirshhorn about opening his gallery in DC, Georgia O’Keefe said “Hurry up. It’s later than you think.” Just gives me chills about how quickly time passes without us even thinking about it.

    • Megan W says...

      Right now I’m living by two quotes (seriously- LIVING BY THEM) from cup of jo reader comments! 1) Babies be babies and 2) just add water (she wasn’t kidding- it works every time- a bath, the sink, offering a drink- whatever- it works!) As a first time parent with a just-turned-one-year-old I use these every day!

  24. Amanda says...

    “Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.”

    • Suzy says...

      This is what I needed. Thank you!

    • OMG, so true! Needed to read this, thank you.

  25. Lauren says...

    “You will make all kinds of mistakes, but as long as you are generous and true and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.”
    Winston Churchill

  26. Faith Busch says...

    In Denzel Washington’s commencement speech, he quoted Les Brown…”Imagine you’re on your deathbed—and standing around your bed are the ghosts representing your unfilled potential. The ghosts of the ideas you never acted on. The ghosts of the talents you didn’t use. And they’re standing around your bed. Angry. Disappointed. Upset.
    “We came to you because you could have brought us to life,” they say. “And now we go to the grave together.”
    So I ask you today: How many ghosts are going to be around your bed when your time comes?”

  27. Lauren says...

    “Life is always on time.”

    It has keept me calm and hopeful so many times.

  28. Laura Filshtein says...

    I recently came across this one which I really love –

    “Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
    -Viktor Frankl

    • Althea says...

      “We we’re together. I forget the rest.”

      Walt Whitman, I think. That’s exactly how I feel about life with my husband/best friend.

  29. Shannah says...

    I remember reading this James Baldwin quote in a Dorothy Allison book years ago.

    “People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.”

    • Megan says...

      What are we supposed to do with such devastating truth, James Baldwin?!

  30. Vera says...

    ”How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

    • Althea says...

      “We were together. I forget the rest.”

      Walt Whitman, I think. It’s exactly how I feel about life with my husband/best friend.

  31. Rosa says...

    “I have found that if you love life, life will love you back” Arthur Rubinstein

  32. Longdenlife says...

    Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind – Dr Seuss?

    • Addie says...

      Ralph Waldo Emerson-“to know one life has breathed easier because you have lived-this is to have succeeded” – this quote is my guiding light and is the reason my third little boy is named Emerson

  33. vanessa says...

    “Be kind for everyone you meet is carrying a heavy burden.”
    -Ian MacLaren
    These are words I think of every day. If someone is angry or rude or if they seem perfect and I am tempted to compare myself unfavorably, this quote helps me remember that no one lives without some struggle.

  34. Viv says...

    So interesting to see how different quotes resonate with us in different phases of life!

    For me it’s this right now: “When you make a decision, ask yourself, does it come from a house of love or a house of fear?”
    I can’t remember where I got it from (maybe a previous COJ comment?) and I can’t find the original author online, so I guess this is only paraphrased.

    Also: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”
    Just found out it’s a Christian prayer, but I find it so wise, no matter which religion.

  35. Mariam says...

    The last four lines of invictus
    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.[1

  36. Sally K says...

    “Enjoy every day of your life. If you don’t, who will?” unknown

  37. J says...

    I was due for a promotion at work, but tanked the internal interview! I felt so bad. Shed a few tears and had a few mopey days. Then I remembered Michelle Obama had spoken about failure in her book-Becoming that I had finished reading a couple of weeks before. So, went to look it up. She wrote about failing her bar exams and having to retake the test . She stated that: “Later that fall, I buckled down and studied for a do-over test, going on to pass it handily. In the end, aside from issues of pride, my screw up would make no difference at all.”

    Dear Readers,
    I immediately felt better! Had a change of mindset, and got on with my work. Fingers crossed i have been told i should be promoted by the end of this year!

  38. Jo says...

    “Shake the goddamn frost from your ankles and run.”

  39. Kathy says...

    ‘Always the more beautiful answer who asks the more beautiful question.” E.E. Cummings

  40. Tanya P says...

    A few have stuck with me.

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” -Eleanor Roosevelt

    “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” – CS Lewis

    And one that I am reminded of more and more the way our world is going:

    A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’” -St Anthony the Great

  41. Saba Khonsari says...

    I recently heard an interview with Riz Ahmed, where he shared this Zadie Smith quote, “… ‘All I want to do with my work is to take words like black, British or woman and stretch them so they’re big enough so I can live in them comfortably.'” It’s so brilliant and exactly what I needed to hear. And isn’t that the beauty of a good quote? It feels like someone is speaking directly to you.

  42. L says...

    When I was working, taking care of two kids, and trying to write a novel at the same time, I kept these quotes above my desk. They worked :)

    If you nurture it, it will expand, and it will nurture you in return.
    – Kim Addonizio, on the creative process

    If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
    – Jim Rohn

    If we can combine KNOWING what we want with being OPEN to what we want, wonders can be worked.
    – Jenny (my sister)

    • Rebecca Flaherty says...

      “Life is joyous, each moment a gift”

  43. Sally says...

    Why is it popular now to put down men in the most sweeping and general way? There are a lot of men I love and respect. These kinds of comments (or quotes) are nothing if not bigoted. Of all the amazing, inspirational quotes out there, Cup of Jo chose this one?

    • M says...

      It’s reality in a lot of situations.

    • Julia says...

      I see the quote in a different light. It seems that Oprah honestly believed that Michelle played not in the same league as all those successful guests and thus felt inferior. But Michelle rejects being seen this way.

    • Heidi Seely says...

      What about that is putting men down in a sweeping way? She doesn’t say all men aren’t smart.
      I read that quote as about power. How does it feel to sit at a table full of powerful people? Did she feel smaller or Less than somehow? No. She realized that there is nothing to be intimidated about. They are people, same as her, and she should not feel like they are better than her (because they aren’t).

    • Sharon says...

      I can identify with the Obama quote. Often as women, we feel we are not qualified enough, not well read enough, not well spoken enough, etc. Not enough. Men do suffer from this, but in my experience, it’s much less common. Specifically in the workplace, I recognized a few years back that I was just as smart and qualified as my male boss, if not more so, to complete a specifically challenging project. The only difference? He was loads more confident in his own abilities.

  44. Christie says...

    “Come to the edge,” he said.
    “We can’t, we’re afraid!” they responded.
    “Come to the edge,” he said.
    “We can’t, We will fall!” they responded.
    “Come to the edge,” he said.
    And so they came.
    And he pushed them.
    And they flew.”

    ― Guillaume Apollinaire

    I love this one every time I feel afraid. It has especially resonated when I’m on the precipice of something new and unknown- my first job, motherhood…

  45. Natalie says...

    “You must chill!” – John Cusack in Say Anything.

    Thinking of this scene never fails to make me laugh , and – most of the time we just need. to. chill.

    • Mary says...

      Haha! Love this.

  46. Cindy says...

    Build your wings on the way down.

  47. Sarah says...

    “Worry is the interest paid on a debt you might never owe. ”

    A simple but powerful one I’ve needed to remind myself of lately.

  48. Ll says...

    I have different favorite quotes for different parts of my life. At the moment “the dream is free, the hustle is sold separately”. It just reminds me to work my behind off for what I’m dreaming of instead of sitting around waiting for it to happen. A quote I used to think of a lot a few years ago, when I was 25, the by far youngest and the only woman in a male dominated work space: “if you are the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room”. Instead of feeling like an imposter, I re-wired by brain to think WHAT CAN I LEARN FROM THIS. And oh boy did I learn when I stopped trying to prove myself.

  49. Lucia says...

    Everything has its season; there is a time for all matters.
    A time for being born and a time to die.
    A time for planting and a time to pluck up what was planted.
    A time to heal and a time to kill.
    A time to break down and a time to build up.
    A time to weep and a time to laugh.
    A time to mourn and a time to dance.
    A time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together.
    A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.
    A time to tear and a time to sew.
    A time to keep silence and a time to speak.
    A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.

    Ecclesiastes. I’ve memorized it. Helps me remember to live in the moment, even if the moment is uncomfortable it will pass as it is part of my life’s seasons.

  50. Dominique Bietlot says...

    “It’s nice to be cool, but it’s way cooler to be nice”

    • H says...

      Hell yes!!

  51. Irene says...

    “I talked about wings/
    you just flew”

    from “The Whole of the Moon” by the Waterboys
    (Thou shall not underrate a 80s song)

    • Jill says...


    • Madeleine says...

      That’s an inspirational quote in itself.

  52. Mara says...

    As someone who is childless by choice, this quote by Cheryl Strayed really resonates with me:
    “I’ll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.”

    • SJ says...

      So good!

    • Molly says...

      This quote gives me such peace. We all make choices and life is lived in the trade-offs. I take this as a sign to honor those choices, not dwell on what-iffs. I love the imagery of it!

  53. Emily says...

    I enjoy all these optimistic, encouraging quotes, but I have to say I enjoy pessimistic ones more: Pessimism is simply funnier than optimism, there’s no way around it. And for me, anyway, black humor makes me feel more optimistic than any words of encouragement that can sometimes come across as syrupy and false. Maybe I am just too Eastern European?

    Anyway, I love catty, biting, bitchy quotes by the likes of people like Dorothy Parker and Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde. So here are a few:
    Dorothy Parker : “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”

    Oscar Wilde (allegedly his last words): “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.”

    George Carlin: “I think the warning labels on alcoholic beverages are too bland. They should be more vivid. Here is one I would suggest: ‘Alcohol will turn you into the same asshole your father was.’”

    • Emily says...

      Emily, re: Eastern European humor from another Eastern European Emily, a joke from my dad:

      The American says, “the situation is serious, but it’s not fatal.”
      The Hungarian says, “the situation is fatal, but it’s not serious.” ;)

    • Ancy says...

      Ahh, Emily. You speak to my soul.


  54. Mims says...

    “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace” . Amelia Earhart

    “Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched.”
—Mindy Kaling

  55. Eileen Mars says...

    “Be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do”

    • YES! Knope fangirl for life!

    • anne says...

      haha : )

  56. love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. – ursula la guin

  57. silly lily says...

    “……….Wisdom does not usually fall from high places. The mighty and the splendid have taught me little. I have learned more from my dog than from all the great books I have read. The wisdom of my dog is the product of his inability to conceal his wants. When he yearns to be loved, there is no pouting in the corner. There are no games entitled: Guess What Is The Matter With Me. He puts his head on my lap, wags his tail and looks up at me with kind eyes, waiting to be petted. No professor or sage ever told me that I might live a more successful life if I simply asked for love when I needed it…….
    Gerry Spence

  58. Ris says...

    “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”
    -Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata

    • Anon says...

      Actually,I think this is part of a longer quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. One of my favourites, too. :)

  59. Kayce says...

    I don’t know where it came from, but I love “What you let continue, continues”.

  60. Mona says...

    “They’re like one-sided conversations with your psyche, cutting out all the small talk and hitting you right where it’s needed.”

    New fav. quote about quotes!

  61. Nade says...

    I’m not sure who is the author of the quote I repeatedly tell myself. It might be a fusion of multiple. Here it is

    -To accept everything and everyone is to accept life-

  62. Juliette says...

    When things are getting a little heavy and serious, I like to remember:

    ”We are all just monkeys in shoes’
    – Tim Minchin

  63. Bara says...

    “i miss you
    doesn’t mean
    i’m coming back
    i love you
    doesn’t mean
    i’ll stay”

    • silly lily says...

      Except I think “I love you” DOES mean you’ll stay. Otherwise — is it really love?
      Just a thought.

    • Ali says...

      Wow, this quote is not comforting. At all.

    • Libby says...

      I think it’s comforting to those who need to hear it. If it doesn’t comfort you, it’s still a thought provoking quote.

  64. Alice says...

    “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it stop me from doing a thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

    I mean, if she got scared…!

    Also, “WWWMD?” or, What Would a White Male Do?” – my friend (not sure if she got it from elsewhere)

    A little flippant, but a reminder that people who seem confident often have no more to go off of than you, experience or knowledge-wise. So trust yourself and your voice.

  65. spark says...

    My two favourite are:

    “you are somebody else’s weirdo”

    “your worst day is someone else’s best day”

  66. Teesa says...

    Hahaha, I think my guardian angel drinks!

  67. m.e. says...

    Leap and the net will appear.

    The wall is the door.

  68. p says...

    I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming. – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

    • Rosie says...

      The line between wisdom and nonsense is very thin. – Alyssa Mastromonaco

    • Lissie says...

      I am pretty sure that is Hiam Ginott. It’s about teaching.

  69. Elsie says...

    I recently just came upon the Edith Sampson five-choices speech. I love it so much I copied it down in my notebook (just another old fashioned thing I do).

    • Liberryannie says...

      Okay, I just read this and watched it and sent it to my family and friends. Good stuff.

  70. Anna says...

    Hold on tightly, but let go lightly.
    – Richard Carlson.

    He says prepare, do the work, do your best…but let go of the results. It means knowing that when something doesn’t match your expectations / hopes / vision the universe has something else in store for you. Have faith in the mystery of the unknown. Trust that despite the disappointment and pain there is a gift of something to learn or even an opportunity. And we will get through whatever it is we are going through.

  71. Steph says...

    “Here’s to strong women.
    May we know them.
    May we be them.
    May we raise them.”
    – anonymous

  72. Laura says...

    “You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female’.” – Erin McKean

    I think about this all the time when I hear women saying that they “can’t” leave the house without doing their hair, putting on makeup etc. I also repeat it in my head when I find myself judging other women on their appearances. Once you really let it sink in, that you have every right to go out in public looking your absolute worst with apology, it’s really freeing.
    I’m 32, so I don’t have any gray hairs yet but I have no intention of dying my hair once I do start to go gray. When I share this with people, they are horrified! As if allowing my hair to just go through its natural life cycle is some act of rebellion.

    • Michelle says...

      I have seen this quote written differently “pretty isn’t the rent you pay for occupying space in the world.”
      Same meaning and true.

  73. Calla says...

    “Don’t suffer twice” I don’t remember where I heard this but I think about it all the time. If you are worried about something that could go terribly wrong, don’t torture yourself by playing out the failure in your head. If it does end up going wrong, suffering in advance is not going to make it any less painful.

    • Alice says...

      That is a good one, and something that I am slowly getting better at practicing! Same goes for obsessing over something afterwards, too.

    • Amanda says...

      My husband always says this about food and drinks. You paid for it and don’t like it; don’t suffer more by eating or drinking it.

    • CEW says...

      Word. I’m a hypochondriac and I try to use this to shake off my insane health worries. Even if I DO get super cancer with a side of Zika and the measles… Will having worried and cried about it beforehand have helped alleviate that pain then?


      That would be a great blog post to read, if at all possible, Cup of Jo. Hypochondria is such an exhausting nightmarish facet of general anxiety. I’ve spent many a night rocking my baby to sleep imagining how he’ll have to grow up without me because of whatever Illness of the Week I have. (Admittedly I am bipolar and this gets much more pronounced during manic episodes. Before anyone asks, I take medication and practice CBT, and this helps a LOT and allows me to live functionally and mostly quite happily.)

  74. Kersten says...

    I love quotes!
    One of my favorites is this one. It’s a good message to stop and notice the big, and little, things that make us happy or give us joy.

    “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’”
    -Kurt Vonnegut

  75. Marki says...

    Just above my desk at work, for those moments when I feel overwhelmed and I think I might lost it: “Chaos is inherent in all things. Strive on with diligence.” -Buddha

  76. Stephanie says...

    I’ve often struggled with anxiety and fear about making the ‘wrong’ decision. I once came across this quote and it has been a touchstone in moments where I knew I needed to take that step forward… “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud, was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

  77. Steph says...

    no less than the trees and the stars,
    you have a right to be here

    Actually, the entirety of Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata,” but those two lines in particular give me a deep breadth of peace. I plan on framing it so my boys always know they have that right, no matter what.

    • Stephanie says...

      This hangs in my bedroom! There are different parts of it that resonate at different moments in my life. Lately I’ve loved the part “whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

    • a says...

      I have it in my girls’ room and recite it to them regularly <3

  78. Meredith Taylor says...

    “Nothing happens until you decide. You need to decide and then it will be” – Oprah

  79. Lynda Giguère says...

    I have two quotes to add:
    «There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is or how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.»

    Martha Graham quoted by Suzanne Braun Levine in Inventing the Rest of Our Lives. Women in Second Adulthood : What matters, what works, what’s next. (p.107)

    «Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.»

    Marianne Williamson

  80. Kate says...

    Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
    He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
    who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

    Finish every day and be done with it.
    You have done what you could.
    Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
    Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
    begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
    to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

    This new day is too dear,
    with its hopes and invitations,
    to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • I love this so much. What exactly is this quote from?

  81. Lisen says...

    “If you defend your limits, you’ll get to keep them.” Richard Bach, I forget which book.

    “Treat people as they are, and you make them worse. Treat them as they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

  82. Lydia says...

    I’ve always loved a powerful quote. In college I littered my speeches and essays with quotes. I guess people noticed because a fellow classmate in my speech class quoted ME QUOTING e. e. cummings

    “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

    I was slightly embarrassed but also a little pleased.
    I actually collect quotes- I write them down in a journal as I find them. I have so many and they do such a good job of lifting me up on a sad day. I would recommend collecting quotes to everyone.

    p.s. Caroline I can always tell when you post because your writing is so dynamic. I start reading without looking at the author, and as I scroll I’m like yep this is Caroline. So far I think I’ve been 99% accurate.

    • Lizzie says...

      Agree! Love Caroline’s “voice”.

    • Thelma says...

      Me too. I always know.

  83. i LOVE quotes and have them scattered throughout my planners, journals, notes and photo log (reading through them is such a joy).

    • you guys should reeeallllly reconsider your exclusionary comment “policy”. the helpful quotes i recently shared on me blog:
      “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.” -Martha Graham
      and from a writer I wish I could’ve befriended
      “Though we do not wholly believe it yet, the interior life is a real life, and the intangible dreams of people have a tangible effect on the world.”
      “And it was up to me, therefore, to make of my brief opportunity the most that could be made.” – James Baldwin

  84. Shannon says...

    “It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for.” – Amy Poehler

    “Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” – Oscar Wilde

    “I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you f*cking like something, like it.” – Dave Grohl

    • Jennie says...

      Yes! That Dave Grohl quote reminded me of something that I heard Mos Def express in an interview (which I can no longer find…I think he was in Tokyo somewhere?!) which struck me so profoundly. He was talking about nerdy or unpopular pastimes/ obsessions that we all have and he said: (paraphrasing)…but you can’t be ashamed of what you love. You have to love what you love. Loove what you loove.
      “Love what you love”- that to me is such a beautiful reminder to be yourself and devote your full heart, time, and attention to the things that matter most to you.

      I also love this African Proverb:
      If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm

  85. tressa says...

    “everytime I find the meaning of life, they change it”

    “a picture is a secret about a secret. the more you look at it the less you know”

  86. Annye says...

    “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”

    Think about that a lot when I’m going through down periods of my life. There is always something to be thankful for!

  87. Lauren says...

    I believe both of these quotes were shared on COJ…

    “If all you did was just looked for things to appreciate, you would live a joyously spectacular life.” -Esther Abraham Hicks

    “Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” -Mary Oliver

  88. Elizabeth P.F.B. says...

    “A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

    James A. Shedd

  89. Marn says...

    “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” Albert Camus
    Flaubert’s ” A hundred times in life, the good one does seems to serve no immediate purpose: yet it maintains in one way or another the tradition of well wishing and well doing without which we would all perish.”

  90. Sydnie says...

    Every year around my birthday (and just in general when I’m feeling blue), I like to reflect on this gem from Jhumpa Lahiri in Interpreter of Maladies

    “Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”

    • Katie says...

      Wow, this is beautiful. When you look back on the life you have led, things that were likely mundane in the moment can seem nearly magical in hindsight.

      I’ve just written this in my diary and made a mental note to return to it often, thank you.

    • To me, this is the most beautiful line ever written. It was the last line of her book and I remember reading it, closing the book, and never having read something so beautiful. I will never forget it.

  91. Alex says...

    I don’t remember where I heard it but one of my favorites is, “the best way to have self esteem is to do esteemable things.” I remember hearing it during a point in my life where I was experiencing a lot of self loathing and it really helped change my perspective. The more good things I do, the better I feel. I was struggling at the time with hating my body and physical appearance and it helped me realize that when I’m kind or helpful or charitable, I feel so much better about myself. And when I recognize kindness in others, I realize that self esteem and confidence don’t come from appearances but from knowing the quality of your own character.

  92. My second semester in college I was struggling my way through an Econ 101 class. I somehow just could not grasp what I was supposed to be learning, and no amount of office hours and extra reading could help me. One afternoon I was sitting in my professor’s office and was getting visibly upset at not understanding the concepts, when he very sweetly stopped my tirade and we had the following exchange:
    Him: Veena, are you planning to major in Business or Economics?
    Me: Definitely not [trying not to cry]. I’m here to get my core requirement.
    Him: I want you to remember this – your final grade in this class does not determine your final worth in life.

    I have repeated that phrase to myself so many times in the 18 years since he said it to me, and I have in turn shared it with the youth I work with whenever they are struggling with something.

    So remember: your final grade [or outcome or whatever it may be] does not determine your final worth in life.

    • Mary says...

      Thank you for that, Veena!
      What a beautiful reminder.

  93. Sophie says...

    “I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.”–Traci Chapman, Heaven’s Here on Earth

  94. Cindy says...

    Take a deep breath and remember who you are.

  95. robin says...

    As my yoga instructor once said “we are all just bozos on the bus” ! So don’t take yourself too seriously!

    • Chloé says...

      I love this!

  96. Anne says...

    “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” -Nelson Mandela

    I work in a very political environment where it is easy to become paralyzed about decisions, but necessary to be creative in order to move forward. I post this next to my computer and take a deep breath with each email I send.

  97. Tyler says...

    My favorite for life’s big leaps or transitions:
    “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Anais Nin

    Also, I had this posted at my desk for a few years, working in a male-dominated industry, to help me remove any self doubt:
    “Facts, not feelings.”

    • Kate says...

      Just the words I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing!

    • Em says...

      That Anais Nin quote is the one I always come back to.

  98. Wendy says...

    I have one of those little light boxes where you can post a sentence using plastic letters, like an old-fashioned marquee. I give myself reminders to “be soft”, “listen”, “ask questions” — basically, how to be better at almost anything. It sits in my bathroom and I turn it on every morning to absorb the light and a beautiful reminder for my day.

    • AMK says...

      “If it does not raise my vibration, my spirit, energy or my bank account balance, my answer is NO!” Robin Arzón of Peloton

      “When making choices, does the choice enhance your spirit or drain it?” Anatomy of the Spirit

  99. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese. Made me (a reluctant people-pleaser) realize that you can’t please everyone all of the time!

    • Laura says...

      Yes! I always quote this!

  100. Twyla says...

    Your thoughts are stories – not truths.
    I read this somewhere last month and I have thought about it every day since. We put ourselves through a lot of pain because we are convinced that what we think is true. What are the possibilities if we learn to challenge our thoughts?

  101. Jessamyn says...

    There is some debate as to who actually said this but I’ve always loved “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

    Also, a grad school professor once told me “there is virtue in the struggle”. I’ve repeated that to myself a thousand times throughout the years.

  102. Val says...

    Everything will be OK at the end.
    If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.

  103. ErikaMC says...

    No matter where you go, there you are.
    Don’t look back – you’re not going that way.

  104. Karen says...

    Expectations are premeditated resentments

    • Jen says...

      Love that.

  105. Katherine says...

    “I believe that appreciation is a holy thing–that when we look for what’s best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.” – Fred Rogers

  106. Jodie says...

    “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is my favorite quote. It takes the “life” out of life in the best possible way. It gives possibility to life maybe just being a stop along the way of a longer journey. It appeals to my curiosity and my optimism and comforts me.

    • Catherine says...

      I love this quote! Thanks!!

  107. Lindsay says...

    I named my daughter Lucy because of a James Taylor song (Got to Stop Thinkin’ Bout That)

    He says “They talk about amazing grace, it meant something when I saw your face.”

  108. Macy says...

    I so appreciate the treasure that is the collection from the COJ community!

    I have always been impacted by words and quotes, and a few weeks ago, in the midst of a traumatic and chaotic few months where my happy, healthy, active husband is completely bedridden for now, my mom sent me a tiny gold bracelet that says “just keep swimming.” So anytime I see it I hear Dory saying it, and feel brave enough to keep going. Words truly make a difference.

    • Rachel says...

      Thinking of you and hoping the swim is going ok. You’re not alone.

  109. katie says...

    John Wooden’s, “nothing works unless you do,” goes through my mind at least once a week. great for grinding out a tough task; a menial one; or just taking a bath because you know if you do, you’ll be better.

    …and everything works better when we’re working better. XOXO

  110. Loesie says...

    “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.”

    If I’m not mistaken, it’s a Buddhist phrase. I once bought a postcard that had the saying on it and kept it.

    Also this one by Groucho Marx: “A black cat crossing your path signifies the animal is going somewhere.”
    Again, from a postcard I found 😊
    I love this phrase whenever I am overthinking things (which is, like, all the time!)

    And this one: “ Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get to keep the tomatoes.” Also from a postcard! It makes me smile. Side note: I believe in both gardening and therapy 😊

  111. SusieG says...

    “Life is tough, my dear, but so are you,” Stephanie Bennett Henry (I tell myself and my teenage daughter this)

    “When I’m 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I’ll be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me, ‘After all this time?’ And I will say, ‘Always.’” Alan Rickman (because I love Harry Potter, Snape, books, AND Alan Rickman and it makes me sob to think he didn’t live long enough to show us)

    “Comparison is the thief of joy,” Theodore Roosevelt (so that I don’t spend too much time on social media)

    • Michele says...

      I, too, loved Snape and Alan Rickman. And the Roosevelt quote is my mantra. No one excels at the soul-crushing skill of comparing like I do.

  112. Emily says...

    (chanting) “It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter! I just. doesn’t. matter!” – Bill Murray in Meatballs

    • Vanessa says...

      Ha! I occasionally still pull that one out.

    • Bonnie says...

      Oh my goodness!!! I was just saying that last weekend!! Along with, “you’re wudy the wabbit”…not seen it in decades.

  113. Ellen says...

    “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

    A reminder that times inevitably get tough, and then inevitably balance out and get better again. You just have to keep going.

    • Merri says...

      My mom tells me this all the time and it helps.

  114. Megan says...

    Caitlin Moran to her daughter:
    ‘Nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit’

    It is not so much that I miss you
    by Dorothea Grossman

    It is not so much that I miss you
    as the remembering
    which I suppose is a form of missing
    except more positive,
    like the time of the blackout
    when fear was my first response
    followed by love of the dark. 

  115. Tammy says...

    “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” We have a piece of artwork on our living room wall with this Louisa May Alcott quote. I want it to seep into my daughters’ brains and give them courage and strength to make their own way. Parenting is the ultimate long game, so check back with me in 10+ years and I’ll let you know if it works!

    • Lee Ann says...

      I needed this today. Thank you.

  116. Emily R says...

    “When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence.”

    • SusieG says...

      Love this.

  117. Chelsea says...

    “It will be, and then it will be over” helped me get through 4 months of a colicky baby! I said it over and over in my head daily.

  118. Carrie says...

    “Don’t put it down, put it AWAY.” Not really a quote so much as a mantra to deal with the clutter and put it where it belongs rather than letting it build up on the countertop. Also, “You bring your own weather to the picnic” (who knows you first said that), and “I am the one thing in life I can control.” (Hamilton Musical).

  119. dana says...

    “Maybe life doesn’t get any better than this, or any worse, and what we get is just what we’re willing to find: small wonders, where they grow.”
    ― Barbara Kingsolver

    • Lindsay says...

      love this.

  120. Who doesn’t love a good quote! Great post, Caroline; I love that you put wrote them on your mirror. These are my top 3 faves:

    “Action is the best antidote for worry.”
    “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
    “Work hard in silence, let success be your noise.”

  121. Shelby says...

    “Do not be daunted by the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” Rabbi Tarfon

    Frodo : I can’t do this, Sam.
    Sam : I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.
    Frodo : What are we holding on to, Sam?
    Sam : That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

  122. Alexa Raab says...

    The best manager I ever had would say to me: “Don’t replay old tapes.” It was her lovely way of saying, everyone (even you!) deserve a fair shake and a second chance. I also love: “I am not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it.” It’s taped to the backside of my office door and a good reminder that you know what, girl? You don’t have the killer instinct and that’s a-okay. You do you.

  123. Therese says...

    “Always remember that there was nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name.” – The Avett Brothers

    Gives me a lump in my throat all the time; could be thinking about siblings, parents, marriage, kids, etc.

    • Lindsay J. says...

      I love this one, too! I quoted it at my Sister’s wedding during my MOH speech.

  124. Heather says...

    Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!

    • katie says...

      love. totally.

  125. KBW says...

    “What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.” —George Saunders

  126. Hilary says...

    “Toxic people will not be changed by the alchemy of your kindness. Yes, be kind, but move on swiftly and let life be their educator.” – Brendon Burchard

    This is perhaps the opposite of all these lovely inspiring quotes, but I needed to hear it! I’ve recently realized that a long friendship has truly run its course. I’m sad, of course, but I also can’t be around this person any longer, especially as they compare their life unfavorably to mine and talk about me behind my back. She’s holding on for dear life, but it’s okay for me to let go. I’ve been kind. And now life’s natural consequences are going to kick in…and that’s ok.

    • Emily says...

      Hilary, I was secretly hoping to see a quote about toxic people. I’m currently trapped in a job I only started 4 months ago and am desperately trying to escape while keeping my character intact! Thank you for this <3

  127. Laura says...

    “Do it afraid”.

    It’s always been a good reminder to me that not being afraid is optional. Sometimes the best I can do it just show up and and do the thing, even if i’m scared! And that’s enough.

  128. Lauren says...

    “Extreme highs and extreme lows. I am with you”- my Dad

    My husband had recently been diagnosed with cancer. I was overwhelmed with emotions. I was terrified and sad and scared but also so grateful at the insanely generosity of everyone around us. My dad, whose son passed from cancer at 4, was familiar with the highs and lows this disease brings. I felt so seen and so understood. Also, calling out a “high” moment during this time was so powerful. Even in fighting Cancer, life can be great.

    Another quote I love: “If it’s meant to be, its up to me.”

    I first saw this quote on a friends Myspace. (!!!) It was exactly what I needed to hear exactly when I needed to hear it.

    • silly lily says...

      So sorry, best wishes and much future joy to you both.

  129. Meghan says...

    The only Zen you’ll find on mountain tops is the Zen you bring up there with you. – Alan Watts

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      This hit me hard. I joke a lot about climbing to a mountain top to find peace. But after reading this, I’m beginning to think that maybe I already have peace within me. Thanks for sharing.

  130. Clou says...

    “Not my circus, not my monkeys,” which I believe is Polish. Retired now, but when I was working it was a great reminder to use my energy on my own projects and outcomes.

    Another favorite, “Responsibility without authority is hell on earth.” Not helpful in the least although absolutely true.

  131. Janna says...

    Many of Gretchen Rubin‘s secrets of adulthood and other wisdoms like „The days are long, but the years are short“ or „Something that could be done anytime, often gets done at no time“.
    I‘m also a sucker for dramatic poetic lines like „It matters not, how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.“ (W.E. Henley)

    • Mimi says...

      Love Gretchen! I use her wisdom daily.

  132. Madeleine says...

    « you are presented with two choices: evolve or repeat »

  133. N says...

    “You can’t help how you feel.”

    AKA…we’re human, we have emotions, they’re not rational, but they’re there. We get embarrassed by our feelings, or feel anger/guilt/loss/happiness…but if we can accept that and hold our feelings close, it may help us discover, accept, and acknowledge ourselves more in the long run.

  134. I have so many, but this is my current favorite, by Shel Silverstein:
    Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
    Listen to the DON’TS
    Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
    Listen to the NEVER HAVES
    Then listen close to me –
    Anything can happen, child,
    ANYTHING can be.

    • Sarah says...

      Love this one, thank you for sharing!

    • Michelle says...

      Thanks for sharing. This is mine too! I’ve loved this since I first heard it in 3rd grade.

  135. Kristin says...

    “you will be lost and unlost. over and over again. relax love. you were meant to be this glorious. epic. story.” -nayyirah waheed

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      I love this so much. Thanks for sharing.

  136. M says...

    In Swahili:
    Napenda kukuona mpenzi wangu ni furaha ya moyo wangu

    “I love to see you my dear, you are the joy of my heart!”

  137. E says...

    “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.”
    Mary Anne Radmacher

    I’m teary just thinking about it.

    Another favourite comes from Mary Oliver (of course):
    Instructions for living a life.
    Pay attention.
    Be astonished.
    Tell about it.

    My boyfriend and I started dating about 6 months ago. Recently I’ve been inspired by this quote to write him love notes and letters about all of the things I notice and am astonished by in our relationship. I can’t wait to give them to him at Christmas.

  138. Holly says...

    My senior quote in high school is still one of my favorites today! It’s a little more lighthearted for this Wednesday.

    “Never let anyone dull your sparkle”- Marilyn Monroe.

    Just for giggles, one of my best guy friends in high school made his senior quote-

    “I’m going to dull Holly’s sparkle.”

    LOL still makes me laugh!

    • Rachel says...

      Literally laughed out loud. Thank you.

  139. Tania says...

    I love reading all these quotes!

    I have always liked “nothing is ever as good or bad as it first seems” — I have a tendency to catastrophize and this helps me keep perspective and “be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a great struggle”- I can be irritable and judgy! of others and this reminds me we are all in this life together.

  140. Kara Holzwarth says...

    “My past is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was something they could sleep on.” Michele Roberts – Head of the National Basketball Players Association.

    This quote is on my computer at work…I work in a male dominated industry and try to crush it every day.

    • B says...

      Also in a male dominated industry (last job in particular was an anything goes boys’ club) and I love this quote. Thank you for sharing.

  141. Claudia says...

    “This too shall pass”.
    This is what I usually think and sometimes say to someone that is going through rough times. And to myself, on those less happy days and moments, I usually say to myself “this too shall pass”.
    And although this proverb is applicable on both good and bad moments, I choose to use it only for the bad ones. 😊

    • Summer says...

      I love this quote also. My Mom would say this to me when I was having a bad day.. “This too shall pass”. Totally calms me down :)

    • Joaquina says...

      of all the profound or esoteric quotes on here, THIS one stays with me.
      It just works. Easy to recall, easy to implement.

  142. Olivia Tedaldi says...

    “A prayer for the wild at heart kept in cages.” – Tennessee Williams

    This quote came to me at a particularly tough moment in my life when I needed to be reminded just how wild, just how strong, just how powerful I was and still am today. I will always remember reading it for the first time in a college bookstore in Providence, RI on a brutally cold day and feeling catalyzed to make my own choices. It was 2005, I was 23 and no one was going to tell me what my life was or wasn’t anymore.

    This quote still reminds me of how powerful I am, how resilient and how capable of defiance I will always be.

  143. WMom says...

    “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
    ― Pablo Picasso

    I am a teacher and this quote inspires me to teach boring rules.

  144. hm says...

    “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.” – Flannery O’Connor

    “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux, on ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    (The essential is invisible to the eyes, we see only with the heart.)

    I guess those two quotes are related, in a way. You are who you are, and isn’t that wonderful?

    Oh, and a third! Lyrics about the mystery and magic of becoming a parent:
    “My darling, what wonder have we wrought here?
    It’s weird and it’s wonderful, dear
    An ankle, an earlobe, an elbow bone
    It’s weird how it wonderful grows
    And it was only me and you
    That made this three come out of two.”
    -Colin Meloy, from the song “Wonder”

  145. Elly says...

    “Happiness, not in another place, but this place. Not for another hour, but for this hour.” —Walt Whitman

    One of my favorites. I had it as my desktop background for a long time.

    • Emilie says...

      I love this one too. I have a tendency to focus on future plans and on things I want to improve in my life, things that I’m unsatisfied about. But, really, my life is perfect in its imperfections, and WW’s simple words help to bring me back to the present.

  146. Sarah says...

    “Put your lips on.” My grandmother repeated this often to my mother, and my mother to me. It was her way of saying that how you present yourself to the world matters. My mom tells the story of my grandmother sitting her three children in front of the TV each night when my grandfather was about to get home…she’d “put on her lips,” make him a cocktail, and meet him on the front porch. She said it was important to look nice for him because he did so much for his family, and it was also important to get a few minutes alone with him before the craziness of three kids overtook the evening. When my grandmother passed away, I started wearing lipstick everyday as a sort of homage to her. I think of her every time I swipe it on.

    • Tiffany says...

      This made me teary-eyed. How lovely!

  147. Sara says...

    When I was spending endless evenings at the hospital while my mom was in her final days of cancer, I scrolled through my facebook feed and saw “Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, everyday can end beautifully.” Usually this would not be my kind of thing but the sun was setting and her hospital room had a perfect view of it. There had been a sunset every night I visited her but in that moment I saw how truly magnificent they were and felt comforted. A quote to remind me that as huge as my grief was, it must be part of something much bigger and beautiful. I still think of her when I see a pretty sunset.

    • Rachel says...

      I lost my dad recently and cling to the same thing.

  148. Simone says...

    “If you didn’t come from a healthy family, make sure a healthy family comes from you.”

    Not sure who to attribute it to (I’ve seen it make the rounds on instagram), but it is a perfect reminder for me to do the work to heal and be intentional about breaking the cycle of abuse that runs in my family. I may not be able to go back and change the trauma of my childhood, but I can make a warm, safe home for my children.

    • Morgan says...

      So many great quotes here, but this is the one that Prompted me to get out my journal and write it down. This could easily become my Little Engine That Could “I think I can…” mantra. Let’s change the legacy.