Quotes - Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer

Quotes from Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak. Feel free to add to it:

Let Your Life Speak

 
  • “Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • “But if I am to let my life speak things I want to hear, things I would gladly tell others, I must also let it speak things I do not want to hear and would never tell anyone else! My life is not only about my strengths and virtues; it is also about my liabilities and my limits, my trespasses and my shadow. An inevitable though often ignored dimension of the quest for 'wholeness' is that we must embrace what we dislike or find shameful about ourselves as well as what we are confident and proud of.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
 
 
  • “We must come together in ways that respect the solitude of the soul that avoid the unconscious violence we do when we try to save each other that evoke our capacity to hold another life without dishonoring its mystery never trying to coerce the other into meeting our own needs.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
 
 
  • “In my own life, as winters turn into spring, I find it not only hard to cope with mud but also hard to credit the small harbingers of larger life to come, hard to hope until the outcome is secure. Spring teaches me to look more carefully for the green stems of possibility; for the intuitive hunch that may turn into a larger insight, for the glance or touch that may thaw a frozen relationship, for the stranger's act of kindness that makes the world seem hospitable again.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
 
  • “embracing one's wholeness makes life more demanding--because once you do that, you must live your whole life. One of the most painful discoveries I made in the midst of the dark woods of depression was that a part of me wanted to stay depressed. As long as I clung to this living death, life became easier; little was expected of me, certainly not serving others.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
 
  • “Vocation does not come from willfulness. It comes from listening. I must listen to my life and try to understand what it is truly about-quite apart from what I would like it to be about-or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
 
  • “If we lived close to nature in an agricultural society, the seasons as metaphor and fact would continually frame our lives. But the master metaphor of our era does not come from agriculture - it comes from manufacturing. We do not believe that we 'grow' our lives - we believe that we 'make' them. Just listen to how we use the word in everyday speech: we make time, make friends, make meaning, make money, make a living, make love.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
 
 
  • “The underground is a dangerous but potentially life-giving place to which depression takes us; a place where we come to understand that the self is not set apart or special or superior but is a common mix of good and evil, darkness and light; a place where we can finally embrace the humanity we share with others. That is the best image I can offer not only of the underground but also of the field of forces surrounding the experience of God.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
 
 
  • “The human self also has a nature, limits as well as potentials. If you seek vocation without understanding the material you are working with, what you build with your life will be ungainly and may well put lives in peril, your own and some of those around you. 'Faking it' in the service of high values is no virtue and has nothing to do with vocation. It is an ignorant, sometimes arrogant, attempt to override one's nature, and it will always fail.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
 
  • “One sign that I am violating my own nature in the name of nobility is a condition called burnout. Though usually regarded as the result of trying to give too much, burnout in my experience results from trying to give what I do not possess-the ultimate in giving too little! Burnout is a state of emptiness, to be sure, but it does not result from giving all I have: it merely reveals the nothingness from which I was trying to give in the first place.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
 
  • “When I give something I do not possess, I give a false and dangerous gift, a gift that looks like love but is, in reality, loveless—a gift given more from my need to prove myself than from the other’s need to be cared for. That kind of giving is not only loveless but faithless, based on the arrogant and mistaken notion that God has no way of channeling love to the other except through me. Yes, we are created in and for community, to be there, in love, for one another. But community cuts both ways: when we reach the limits of our own capacity to love, community means trusting that someone else will be available to the person in need.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
 
  • “I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Therefore, choose life" (Deuteronomy 30:19). Why, I wondered, would God waste precious breath on saying something so obvious? I had failed to understand the perverse comfort we sometimes get from choosing death in life, exempting ourselves from the challenge of using our gifts, of living our lives in authentic relationship with others.” ― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation