Quotations about Self

Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul.  ~Henry Van Dyke, The Prison and the Angel

We are all primary numbers divisible only by ourselves.  ~Jean Guitton

We sometimes feel that we have been really understood, but it was always long ago, by someone now dead.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Every man has a mob self and an individual self, in varying proportions.  ~D.H. Lawrence, Pornography and Obscenity

To wash one's hair, make one's toilet, and put on scented robes; even if not a soul sees one, these preparations still produce an inner pleasure.  ~Sei Shonagon

Man is never alone.  Acknowledged or unacknowledged, that which dreams through him is always there to support him from within.  ~Laurence van der Post

We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.  ~Jane Austen

Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.  ~Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894

Think positively about yourself.... ask God who made you to keep on remaking you.  ~Norman Vincent Peale

Each of us is something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against ourselves.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

I was right not to be afraid of any thief but myself, who will end by leaving me nothing.  ~Katherine Anne Porter

Looking back, you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life, and that person was you.  It is not too late to become that person again.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

The only man we have any respect for, is he who uses all the endowment he has, and uses it until he bleeds.  ~Martin H. Fischer

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.  ~Confucius

There are at least two kinds of cowards.  One kind always lives with himself, afraid to face the world.  The other kind lives with the world, afraid to face himself.  ~Roscoe Snowden

So you are lean and mean and resourceful and you continue to walk on the edge of the precipice because over the years you have become fascinated by how close you can walk without losing your balance.  ~Attributed to Richard M. Nixon

The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge.  ~Eckhart

Self-destruction is the effect of cowardice in the highest extreme.  ~Daniel Defoe

My life has been one great big joke,
A dance that's walked,
A song that's spoke,
I laugh so hard I almost choke,
When I think about myself.
~Maya Angelou

What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart!  What jailer so inexorable as one's self.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables, 1822

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.  ~Agnes Repplier

I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart.  I am.  I am.  I am.  ~Sylvia Plath

In every part and corner of our life, to lose oneself is to be the gainer; to forget oneself is to be happy.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

The words "I am" are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to.  The thing you're claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.  ~A.L. Kitselman

People wish to be settled:  only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, 1841

You have the Answer.  Just get quiet enough to hear it.  ~Pat Obuchowski

Your soul is all that you possess.  Take it in hand and make something of it!  ~Martin H. Fischer

The greatest hazard of all, losing one's self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all.  No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. - is sure to be noticed.  ~The Sickness Unto Death

We are sure to be losers when we quarrel with ourselves; it is civil war.  ~Charles Caleb Colton

At some point in my life, I swallowed a Sun.  And now it dawns and sets in my belly.  ~Erika Harris, empathicwriter.com

My heart filled with love, flowing over with joy, my own little drum that I like to march by!  ~Gunda Fijnje-Nolan

A man is ever apt to contemplate himself out of all proportion to his surroundings. ~Christina G. Rossetti

The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual - namely to You. ~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1892

Sometimes we give up our dream to accept a larger role in someone else's dream. ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

You are your own judge. The verdict is up to you. ~Astrid Alauda

Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book shown to him by heart, and his friends can only read the title. ~Virginia Woolf

Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us. ~Thomas Browne

It is no good casting out devils. They belong to us, we must accept them and be at peace with them. ~D.H. Lawrence

No matter how hard you pursue pleasure and success, there are times when you fail. No matter how fast you flee, there are times when pain catches up with you. ~Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

One cannot spend forever sitting and solving the mysteries of one's history. ~Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the Thirteenth: The End, 2006

Sometimes at night I light a lamp so as not to see. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

There comes a morning in life when you wake up a new person; that is to say, you wake up the same person but you realize it's your own fault. ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused. ~Marcel Proust

There are plenty of people holding flashlights casting shadows, offering directions. Perhaps it's best if you light your own way. ~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.com

Be there for others, but never leave yourself behind. ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com

Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail.  ~John Donne

Just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things, and stand firm in that which you are. ~Kabir

My greatest wealth is the deep stillness in which I strive and grow and win what the world cannot take from me with fire or sword. ~Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe

At this very moment, you may be saying to yourself that you have any number of admirable qualities.  You are a loyal friend, a caring person, someone who is smart, dependable, fun to be around.  That's wonderful, and I'm happy for you, but let me ask you this:  are you being any of those things to yourself?  ~Phillip C. McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom, 2003

Care for yourself enough to listen carefully to what you say to yourself. ~Willis Goth Regier, In Praise of Flattery, 2007

Let's get lost in the dark, forget who we were, and resurface as something new.  ~Daniel, @blindedpoet

The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.  ~Lorraine Hansberry

Every morning I start with a drink from my cup of sunshine, to remind myself of who I am before I step into the world of "this is who we think you are."  ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com

Once your awareness becomes a flame, it burns up the whole slavery that the mind has created.  ~Osho

A wise man never loses anything if he have himself.  ~Michel de Montaigne, translated

The finest thing in the world is knowing how to belong to oneself.  ~Michel de Montaigne, Of Solitude

Your heart knows your song, but you have to be willing to listen to the words.  ~Sue Rock, http://sue215.blogspot.com

All men are sculptors, constantly chipping away the unwanted parts of their lives, trying to create their idea of a masterpiece.  ~Eddie Murphy, 1979

May those who are impoverished by their thoughts be blessed with the realization of the richness of their spirit.  ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com

We are happy when for everything inside us there is a corresponding something outside us.  ~W.B. Yeats

A bud can be beautiful, a work of art even.  But I'm finding it simply can't compare to the openness of the blossom.  Looking for my sun.  ~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.com

Present yourself always
As who you would be,
And that is the person
The world will see.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

What we do flows from who we are.  ~Paul Vitale

There is great security in the prisons we create for ourselves.  ~Stephen G. Scalese, The Whisper in Your Heart

Tell me what you feel in your room when the full moon is shining in upon you and your lamp is dying out, and I will tell you how old you are, and I shall know if you are happy.  ~Henri Frederic Amiel

Every day I go into the world to seek my identity, feeling greatly blessed by the things I don't find it in.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

We do not deal much in facts when we are contemplating ourselves.  ~Mark Twain

Anyone can promise the stars. Only you can reach them. ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com

Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about.  And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us.  Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny.  ~Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind

The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one's self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.  ~Michelangelo

Do what you must,
And your friends will adjust.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

Every man is his own ancestor, and every man his own heir.  He devises his own future, and he inherits his own past.  ~H.F. Hedge

No sooner is your ocean filled, than he grumbles that it might have been of better vintage. Try him with half of a Universe, of an Omnipotence, he sets to quarrelling with the propieter of the other half, and declares himself the most maltreated of men.—Always there is a black spot in our sunshine: it is even, as I said, the Shadow of Ourselves. ~Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, Book II, "Chapter IX: The Everlasting Yea"

My heart beat, beats me senselessly,
Why's everything gotta be so intense with me...
~Katy Perry, Glen Ballard, and Matt Thiessen, "Long Shot"

There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person.  The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.  ~Hindustani Proverb

Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again.  ~Chinese inscription cited by Thoreau in Walden

Every day ask yourself, "What would I do today if I were a better person?" ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

Almost always it is the fear of being ourselves that brings us to the mirror.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

The peace you seek is there, it's there between all the traffic in your mind, stop and rest for peace will find you if you let it.  ~Mike Dolan, www.hawaiianlife.com

I lack the peace of simple things.
I am never wholly in place.
I find no peace or grace.
We sell the world to buy fire,
our way lighted by burning men....
~Wendell Berry, "The Want of Peace"

Your burden is of false self-identifications—abandon them all. ~Nisargadatta Maharaj

How easy it is to be "deep": all you have to do is let yourself sink into your own flaws. ~E.M. Cioran

Having perfected our disguise, we spend our lives searching for someone we don't fool.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

I like too many things and get all confused and hung up running from one falling star to another till I drop.  ~Jack Kerouac, On the Road

I loathe the expression "What makes him tick."  It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression.  A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.  ~James Thurber

Take your work seriously, but never yourself.  ~Margot Fonteyn

My life should be unique; it should be an alms, a battle, a conquest, a medicine.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Your spirit is the true shield.  ~Morihei Ueshiba

No matter what you do in life, a part of you still sits at a curbside, still hearing the drumbeat of a distant parade, still waiting for it to turn the corner.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys.  ~Doug Horton

When I look for my existence I do not look for it in myself.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

The power inside you is energy amplified.  ~Claire Todae

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself.
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1892

When I dance, I dance; when I sleep, I sleep. Nay, and when I walk alone in a beautiful Orchard, if my Thoughts are some part of the Time taken up with strange Occurrences, I some part of the Time call them back again to my Walk, or to the Orchard, to the Sweetness of the Solitude, and to my self. ~Michel de Montaigne, "Of Experience," translated from French by Charles Cotton

It's like, at the end, there's this surprise quiz:  am I proud of me?  I gave my life to become the person I am right now!  Was it worth what I paid?  ~Richard Bach

Just let awareness have its way with you completely.  ~Scott Morrison

A man's subconscious self is not the ideal companion.  It lurks for the greater part of his life in some dark den of its own, hidden away, and emerges only to taunt and deride and increase the misery of a miserable hour.  ~P.G. Wodehouse

My flag is raised high today.  For others to see, sure.  But more so to find which way my wind is blowing.  Almost time to chart a course.  ~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.com

Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man - the biography of the man himself cannot be written.  ~Mark Twain, Autobiography, 1924

Misfortunes one can endure - they come from outside, they are accidents.  But to suffer for one's own faults - ah! there is the sting of life.  ~Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892

One's only real life is the life one never leads.  ~Oscar Wilde

Are there not hours of an immortal birth,—
Bright visitations from a purer sphere,
That cannot live in language? Is there not
A mood of glory, when the mind attuned
To heaven, can out of dreams create her worlds?—
~Robert Montgomery, "Beautiful Influences," A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell; &c. &c., 1829

Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. ~Buddha

A criminal becomes a popular figure because he unburdens in no small degree the consciences of his fellow man, for now they know once more where evil is to be found. ~Carl G. Jung

We're all on different paths, but action is hard work and you must drive your own soul. ~Terri Guillemets

We are known to our friends by a look in our eyes that we never see in a mirror. ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

When the fight begins within himself, a man's worth something.  ~Robert Browning, "Bishop Blougram's Apology"

Many a one cannot loosen his own fetters, but is nevertheless his friend's emancipator.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Dig within.  There lies the well-spring of good: ever dig, and it will ever flow.  Marcus Aurelius

The man that shows off, to that one who wants to convince of his value is to himself.  ~Doménico Cieri Estrada

Get involved.  You don't want to look back on your life and realize that you successfully managed to stay out of it.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
for where I am closed, I am false...
~Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours (Das Stunden-Buch), translated from German and modified by Anita Barrows and Joanna Marie Macy

A man is sometimes lost in the dust of his own raising.  ~David Ruggles

Not a blade of grass but has a story to tell, not a heart but has its romance, not a life which does not hide a secret which is either its thorn or its spur. Everywhere grief, hope, comedy, tragedy; even under the petrifaction of old age, as in the twisted forms of fossils, we may discover the agitations and tortures of youth. This thought is the magic wand of poets and of preachers: it strips the scales from our fleshly eyes, and gives us a clear view into human life; it opens to the ear a world of unknown melodies, and makes us understand the thousand languages of nature. Thwarted love makes a man polyglot, and grief transforms him into a diviner and a sorcerer. ~Henri-Frédéric Amiel, 28th March 1855 (journal), translated from French by Mary Augusta Ward

Some things become so completely our own that we forget them.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

The inward light is forever striving to gather enough additional light to penetrate the fog of our senses.  ~Henry Stanley Haskins, Meditations in Wall Street, 1940, originally published anonymously

Though confined to our destiny, we do get to pick the color scheme.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

It is not impossibilities which fill us with the deepest despair, but possibilities which we have failed to realize.  ~Robert Mallett, Apostilles, 1972

Sometimes I feel like I'm going nowhere, in opposite directions.  ~Terri Guillemets

The Divine does not like to be shut up in a building.  The Divine likes to be out in the open.  It is right here in this very body.  Each one of us is a miniature universe, a living shrine.  ~Morihei Ueshiba

Up to a point a man's life is shaped by environment, heredity, and movements and changes in the world about him.  Then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be.  Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate.  Everyone has it within his power to say, "This I am today; that I will be tomorrow."  ~Louis L'Amour

There is part of us that stands in quiet witness to what we do, taking notes, waiting for a solitary moment to bring up the subject.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

There is luxury in self-reproach.... When we blame ourselves we feel no one else has a right to blame us.  ~Oscar Wilde

Take the time to come home to yourself every day.  ~Robin Casarjean

If men could regard the events of their own lives with more open minds, they would frequently discover that they did not really desire the things they failed to obtain.  ~André Maurois

That's the thing about needs.  Sometimes when you get them met, you don't need them anymore.  ~Michael Patrick King, Sex and the City, "The Good Fight"

Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living.  ~Jonathan Safran Foer

Alexandros of Antioch took a block of marble and chiseled away from it everything that was not his masterpiece, the Venus de Milo.  If you will chisel away one fault from your character every day, you may discover -
a) that you're actually a statue of Margaret Thatcher.
b) that you're still just a block of marble.
c) that there are pigeon droppings on your shoes.
d) that you, too, are a hidden masterpiece.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.  ~Michel de Montaigne

Reputation is in itself only a farthing candle, of a wavering and uncertain flame, and easily blown out, but it is the light by which the world looks for and finds merit.  ~James Russell Lowell

The only person you should ever compete with is yourself.  You can't hope for a fairer match.  ~Todd Ruthman

If we cannot be happy and powerful and prey on others, we invent conscience and prey on ourselves.  ~Elbert Hubbard

Unjust.  How many times I've used that word, scolded myself with it.  All I mean by it now is that I don't have the final courage to say that I refuse to preside over violations against myself, and to hell with justice.  ~Lillian Hellman

Only you can set you free.  ~Living Colour, "Cult of Personality"

I say me, knowing all the while it's not me.  ~Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable, 1953

There's nothing like self-improvement to get your friends to like you for who you were.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

Everything that I bear within me bound, is to be found somewhere else free.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

You grow up the day you have your first real laugh, at yourself. ~Ethel Barrymore

Did you really run into a monster on your path, or just a mirror? ~Terri Guillemets

Daily I learn - sometimes painfully, other times with glee - that mine is a path never meant to be paved. ~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.com

I am my own heaven and hell!  ~J.C.F. von Schiller

Grace is within you. If it were external, it would be useless. ~Ramana Maharshi

Most often, walking alone with my shadow is how I find my answer, the result of gathering together all agreeable parties.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

Falling, falling, falling, falling down.  Look yourself in the eye before you drown.  ~Emily Saliers, "Center Stage," Indigo Girls, 1989

We must be our own before we can be another's.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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