Need a little lifting up today? Then ponder some timeless thoughts from Eleanor Roosevelt, a great humanitarian and one of the most inspiring figures the world has ever known.
Despite her let downs and disappointments – the loss of both parents during childhood, being raised by a cold and distant grandmother, referred to as plain or homely by her peers, and her husband’s (FDR!) betrayal of their marriage – she always rose above the nonsense and created a life of joy and purpose.
She was wise yet approachable, strong but graceful, and by all accounts, one of the loveliest people you could ever meet. Let her eloquent insight into the human spirit empower you today and always….
1. “The Future Belongs to Those Who Believe in the Beauty of Their Dreams.”
Yes, your dreams are beautiful and yes, your dreams can come true, no mater how daring or audacious, as long as you do not allow the naysayers, or society, or your own inner critic, to distract you.
Your dreams come from your soul, your life force, they are perfect in formation and utterly worthy of pursuit because they are unique and divinely inspired. No human being ever created success and happiness without them first coming forth in their dreams.
In a misogynist age, Eleanor Roosevelt dreamed of a world where women could influence world events just as much as men, and she became the first U. S. delegate to the United Nations and the first chairperson of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, just to name a couple of her great accomplishments. (Wikipedia)
She believed in her dreams, in the beauty of them, of why they must come true, and made it happen even though there were those who wished to stop her.
You can do the same with your dreams, whatever they may be.
2. “Great Minds Discuss Ideas; Average Minds Discuss Events; Small Minds Discuss People.”
Discussing events and people is merely chatter but when you put words to new ideas and share them with others, you join a universal community of like minded people raising the vibration of the human race.
Man, woman, or child, it is human nature to love gossip, which is usually a just subconscious attempt at ignoring our own emotional pain. Yet a significant part of our journey is to overcome the more frivolous instincts we all have in common and to evolve ever closer to the highest ideals of humanity.
Discuss those magnificent ideas you have with like minded people, thereby elevating your own life and the lives of others.
3. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt’s own mother referred to her as homely and she lived with this complex through much of her early years. Then in adulthood, she encountered stupid men who told her husband that he needed to tell her to shut up.
But what Eleanor figured out, as indicated in this famous quote, is that you have complete and total control over how you feel about yourself.
Your personal power comes from within, not without. Your source of happiness and self worth come from YOU and nowhere else.
Also realize that when people criticize you, they are really criticizing some part of themselves. If they have time to criticize you, it is because they are so far removed from their own happiness that they are really just making a pitiful attempt to make themselves feel better.
The only way they can make you feel inferior is if you let them.
4. “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
You may finish some days tired, bent, and disgusted. BUT when you lay your head down on that pillow, remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day, another opportunity to start all over again.
It serves you in no useful way to begin the day with the negative thoughts that burdened you yesterday, no matter what challenges you may be facing.
If you begin a new day just not feeling it yet, repeat Eleanor’s words over and over in your head until you feel a positive shift….with the NEW DAY comes NEW STRENGTH and NEW THOUGHTS.
Find something, anything, to feel good about because one good thought leads to another good thought just as one bad thought leads to another bad thought. Solutions thrive on good thoughts while problems thrive on bad thoughts.
5. “If life were predictable, it would cease to be life and be without flavor.”
If you knew exactly how each moment, day, or week would pan out, how exciting would that be? (Not.)
Eleanor Roosevelt always rolled with the changes and stayed optimistic no matter what.
It’s doubtful that she expected her parents to die when she was so young, or that her marriage would be less than faithful, or that she would spend 12 long years as a resident of the White House, also known as the loneliest place in the world. Yet these things flavored the greatest events and achievements of her life.
Life is an EPIC JOURNEY is it not? We would not appreciate the UPs nearly as much without the challenges we overcame to get there. Enjoy YOUR journey!
6. “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”
Eleanor was probably hearkening back to her own youth when she uttered these words. She was told by her culture and people she looked up to that she was not the prettiest girl in town.
But this quote also speaks volumes about how we should all approach aging, common notions of physical beauty, and the natural process of life that affects us all.
Even 20-somethings dread the big ‘3-0’; 30-somethings dread the ‘4-0’; and so on. It’s all such utter nonsense how marketing executives love to divide us into categories…and even more nonsense that we buy into it.
ER’s notion of aging is the best for anyone’s long term happiness: rely on your inner beauty, use age as an opportunity to become more of who you are, always be looking forward and getting better by your own standards.
If you want to be beautiful at any age, embrace and accept where you are at this very moment, emit a vibration of vitality and love of humanity, be patient, kind, and gracious, be unflappable, show that the passing of days only makes you better – that is a true work of art.
7. “Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it, one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”
We all need friends in this life. Not only do friends make the good times even better, they help us smooth over the tough times.
Friendships are cultivated when people like each other and it so much easier to like someone when they like themselves. When someone doesn’t like himself or herself, they give off unintentional negative energy , pushing away what could be deep, fulfilling friendships.
What this all rolls around to is self worth and authenticity. You are worthy of real friendship and there are those who would love to be your friend as long as you are authentic to yourself rather than being who you think people want you to be.
There are plenty of people in this world with similar desires and interests as you who would like to be your friend but to attract them you must love and accept yourself. If you don’t like what you see in you, they’re going to think you don’t like what you see in them. Make sense?
You are WORTHY! There’s nothing wrong with you. Be yourself. Love yourself. Go all out and be your authentic, unapologetic self. Got it? Do this is people will come out of the woodwork looking for a friend just like you.
8. “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”
This quote ties in perfectly with the previous one on friendship but exhorting that you be your true authentic self a little more strongly.
Look at nature, there are no two things alike. Even identical twins develop their own distinct personalities. We don’t need another famous celebrity – whoever – whatever – so and so, we’ve already got one of them, we need YOU!
No two pieces in the Cosmic puzzle are the same. When you try to be just like somebody else, you’re screwing up everything!
BE you. DO you. Go out there and fulfill your obligation to the Universe and all humanity to be nothing but YOU!
9. “The giving of love is an education in itself.”
Giving love does not always mean you will receive it back, at least not directly or right away. ER learned this the hard way just like the rest of us do.
She gave love to her parents who were not always the best parents. She gave love to FDR, who did indeed love her, but probably not the way she anticipated when they married. She showed love to all humanity and was often criticized for it.
BUT, she also knew this: The more you give love, the more you learn how to direct it where it is needed and in what measure. In return, it will flow back to you tenfold from unexpected places at unexpected times.
10. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
ER married a political superstar who contracted polio in the prime of his life. He thought his career was over but Eleanor would have none of it.
Up until that time, it was inconceivable that anyone with a debilitating physical illness would run for President much less become President. With Eleanor’s help and encouragement, he did it anyway. They did it together.
The two of them came to the White House during one of the most daunting episodes of the 20th century. There was much to fear: a collapse of the United States financial system and a Nazi-Fascist menace in Europe that threatened to pull the entire world into an abyss. Then came Pearl Harbor and WWII.
One by one they faced down each fear, rallied from each disaster, and gained strength from every battle won.
This is a great lesson for life: Face your fear. Face it down! You might not know what the next step will be. You may have no idea how you will conquer this thing you are afraid of but one thing is for sure, to get what you want, you must first face the fear that stands between you and your desire!
11. “Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. So you might as well be damned if you DO.
Eleanor Roosevelt was criticized for a lot of stuff – for being a woman who wanted to assert herself, for helping people nobody else wanted to help, for challenging people to change their outdated beliefs, for being a goodie-goodie, and so on.
And surely the criticism hurt at times, but it didn’t stop her. Nor should it you.
Make it a point to NOT give a damn what everybody else thinks. Whatever you’re striving for, remember that the only voice that matters is the one inside of you.