If Beale Street Could Talk de James Baldwin

Those were great days and we were always very happy – but that was because of our father, not because of the city. It was because we knew our father loved us. Now, I can say, because I certainly know it now, the city didn´t. They looked at us though we were zebras – and, you know, some people like zebras and some people don´t. But nobody ever asks the zebra.

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The Cruellest Month de Louise Penny

She knew that kindness kills. All her life she´d suspected this and so she´d only ever been cold and cruel. She´d faced kindness with cutting remarks. She´d curled her lips at smiling faces. She´d twisted every thoughtful, considerate act into an assault. Everyone who was nice to her, who was compassionate and loving, she rebuffed.

Because she´d loved them. Loved them with all her heart, and wouldn´t see them hurt. Because she´d known all her life that the surest way to hurt someone, to main and cripple them, was to be kind. If people were exposed, they die. Best to teach them to be armored, even if it meant she herself was forever alone. Sealed off from human touch.

Braving the Wilderness de Brené Brown

I.

True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn´t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.

II.

Acting culture can be brutal. The notes can simply say, “Not attractive enough. Too old. Too dark-skinned. Not skinny enough.” They tell you to develop a thick skin so things don´t get to you. What they don´t tell you is that your thick skin will keep everything from getting out, too. Love, intimacy, vulnerability.

I don´t want that. Thick skin doesn´t work anymore. I want to be transparent and translucent. For that to work, I won´t own other people´s shortcomings and criticisms. I won´t put what you about me on my load.

Viola Davis

III.

Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don`t belong. You will always find it because you´ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people´s faces for evidence that you´re not enough. You will always find it because you´ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don´t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.

La mujer singular y la ciudad de Vivian Gornick

I.

El escritor romano del siglo III Cayo comprendió que el origen de sus numerosas dificultades en el ámbito de la amistad radicaba en su incapacidad de sentirse en paz consigo mismo. “Ningún hombre tiene derecho a esperar la amistad de los demás”, escribió, “si no es amigo de sí mismo. Éste es el primer y principal deber de los hombres, ser amigos de sí mismos. Hay miles de personas que no sólo son hostiles consigo mismas, sino que frustran las mejores intenciones de los demás de servirles; y, aun así, ésos son los que más suelen quejarse de que “en este mundo no existe tal cosa como la amistad”.

II.

Conforme fueron pasando los años, comprobé que el amor romántico estaba inyectado como un tinte en el sistema nervioso de mis emociones, entrelazado a conciencia en el tejido del deseo, la fantasía y el sentimiento. Atormentaba a la psique, era un dolor de huesos; se incrustaba con tal profundidad en la naturaleza del espíritu que hacía daño a la vista contemplar sus enormes consecuencias. Sería un motivo de sufrimiento y conflicto durante el resto de mi vida. Atesoro mi corazón endurecido -durante todos estos años siempre lo he atesorado-, pero la pérdida del amor romántico todavía puede desgarrarlo.

III.

“Todos los hombres en soledad son sinceros”, decía Ralph Waldo Emerson. “En cuanto entra en escena un segundo, comienza la hipocresía […]. Un amigo, por lo tanto, es una especie de paradoja de la naturaleza.”

IV.

Empecé a darme cuenta de lo que todo el mundo sabe y olvida sistemáticamente: que ser amado sexualmente es ser amado no por el yo real, sino por la capacidad de despertar el deseo en el otro. Era un hecho que el poder conferido al yo que Manny deseaba duraría poco. Sólo los pensamientos de la mente o las intuiciones del espíritu pueden atraer para siempre, y ésos, Manny no los amaba. No los odiaba, pero tampoco los amaba. No le resultaban necesarios. En última instancia, aquella conexión de los sentidos significaba que tendría que encerrarme en mí misma hasta un grado intolerable, que me sentiría tan vulnerable que muy pronto me ahogaría en mi propia inseguridad.

 

Negroland de Margo Jefferson

I.

So much melancholy, I think, reading these pages. But why choose that word instead of “depression”? “Depression” has gone flat from so much use. I mistrust “depression” because it´s too easy (for me, anyway) to forget the rage, even petulance, inside it. “Melancholy” is prettier than “depression”; it connotes a kind of nocturnal grace. Makes one feel more innocently beleaguered.

II.

“The human psyche is pathetic,” I say -I declaim- to my psychopharmacologist.
“It´s what we have, Miss Jefferson,” he replies, “it´s what we have.”
And what I have is what I take to my psychotherapist each week. What I have is what we make together, each supplying the material she knows best.
There are days when I still want to dismantle this constructed self of mine. You did it so badly, I think. You lost so much time. And then I tell myself, so what?
So what?
Go on.

Still Life de Louise Penny

Life is change. If you aren´t growing and evolving you´re standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead. Most of these people are very immature. They lead “still” lifes, waiting.

Waiting for what?
Waiting for someone to save them. Expecting someone to save them or at least protect them from the big, bad world. The thing is no one else can save them because the problem is theirs and so is the solution. Only they can get out of it.
(…) That´s it. The fault lies with us, and only us. It´s not fate, not genetics, not bad luck, and it´s definitely not Mom and Dad. Ultimately it´s us and our choices. But, but- the most powerful, spectacular thing is that the solution rests with us as well. We´re the only ones who can change our lives, turn them around. So all those years waiting for someone else to do it are wasted.”

Salinger de David Shields y Shane Salerno

I.

Y eso me recuerda a algo que Jerry me dijo en una carta: “A veces tienes que darte la aprobación a ti mismo. A veces la gente no te la da. O bien te llega demasiado tarde o bien no te llega nunca.”

II.

Todos estamos rotos; todo el mundo en algún momento, y sobre todo en la adolescencia, se siente irreparablemente traumatizado, todos necesitamos curación. El guardián entre el centeno proporciona esa curación, pero muy sutilmente. Ni siquiera sabes cómo; al final solamente te llega una pizca de optimismo, pero no te da la sensación de que te haya suministrado un remedio universal. Solamente te sientes curado a un nivel profundo e imposible de expresar.

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