Love Quotes and Sayings
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John O’Donohue Quotes on Love and other Sayings

John O’Donohue Quotes on Love (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom) and other Sayings

1. Every friendship travels at some time through the black valley of despair. This tests every aspect of your affection. You lose the attraction and the magic. Your sense of each other darkens and your presence is sore. If you can come through this time, it can purify with your love, and falsity and need will fall away. It will bring you onto new ground where affection can grow again.

2. If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.

3. When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with yourself. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.

4. Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person’s soul.

5. We do not need to go out and find love; rather, we need to be still and let love discover us.

6. All the possibilities of your human destiny are asleep in your soul. You are here to realize and honor these possibilities. When love comes in to your life, unrecognized dimensions of your destiny awaken and blossom and grow. Possibility is the secret heart of time.

7. Love is the only light that can truly read the secret signature of the other person’s individuality and soul. Love alone is literate in the world of origin; it can decipher identity and destiny.

8. The heart is the inner face of your life. The human journey strives to make this inner face beautiful. It is here that love gathers within you. Love is absolutely vital for a human life. For love alone can awaken what is divine within you. In love, you grow and come home to your self. When you learn to love and let yourself be loved, you come home to the hearth of your own spirit. You are warm and sheltered.

9. Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits.May all that is unlived in you blossom into a future graced with love.

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John O’Donohue (1 January 1956 – 4 January 2008) was an Irish poet, author, priest, and Hegelian philosopher. He was a native Irish speaker, and as an author is best known for popularising Celtic spirituality.

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Sayings by John O’Donohue

1. One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

2. Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

3. Your beloved and your friends were once strangers. Somehow at a particular time, they came from the distance toward your life. Their arrival seemed so accidental and contingent. Now your life is unimaginable without them. Similarly, your identity and vision are composed of a certain constellation of ideas and feelings that surfaced from the depths of the distance within you. To lose these now would be to lose yourself. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

4. There is the solitude of suffering, when you go through darkness that is lonely, intense, and terrible. Words become powerless to express your pain; what others hear from your words is so distant and different from what you are actually suffering. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

5. Real friendship or love is not manufactured or achieved by an act of will or intention. Friendship is always an act of recognition. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

6. No one else has access to the world you carry around within yourself; you are its custodian and entrance. No one else can see the world the way you see it. No one else can feel your life the way you feel it. Thus it is impossible to ever compare two people because each stands on such different ground. When you compare yourself to others, you are inviting envy into your consciousness; it can be a dangerous and destructive guest. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

7. Beauty is the illumination of your soul. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

8. Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

9. We do not need to grieve for the dead. Why should we grieve for them? They are now in a place where there is no more shadow, darkness, loneliness, isolation, or pain. They are home. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

10. If you try to view yourself through the lenses that others offer you, all you will see are distortions; your own light and beauty will become blurred, awkward, and ugly. Your sense of inner beauty has to remain a very private thing. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

11. The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

12. Your noble friend will not accept pretension but will gently and very firmly confront you with your own blindness. Such friendship is creative and critical; it is willing to negotiate awkward and uneven territories of contradiction and woundedness. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

13. It could be a meeting on the street, or a party or a lecture, or just a simple, banal introduction, then suddenly there is a flash of recognition and the embers of kinship glow. There is an awakening between you, a sense of ancient knowing. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

14. It is lovely to meet an old person whose face is deeply lined, a face that has been deeply inhabited, to look in the eyes and find light there. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

15. One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own. (Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong)

16. Nature is the direct expression of the divine imagination. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

17. All you can ever achieve is a sense of your soul. You gain little glimpses of its light, colors, and contours. You feel the inspiration of its possibilities and the wonder of its mysteries. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

18. The way you look at things is the most powerful force in shaping your life. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

19. Your soul is the priestess of memory, selecting, sifting, and ultimately gathering your vanishing days toward presence. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

20. When you cease to fear your solitude, a new creativity awakens in you. Your forgotten or neglected wealth begins to reveal itself. You come home to yourself and learn to rest within. Thoughts are our inner senses. Infused with silence and solitude, they bring out the mystery of inner landscape. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

21. Even though life may have moved wearily and painfully through such a person, they have still managed not to let it corrode their soul. In such a face a lovely luminosity shines out into the world. It casts a tender light that radiates a sense of wholeness and wholesomeness. (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)