May 2023 Favorites

The older you get, the more you realize it’s not what happens, but how you deal with it.” Tina Turner, 1939-2023

I love that quote by the legendary Tina Turner, may she rest in peace. This month was the hardest. There were days where all I had were questions, stacked.

Despite the loss and heaviness of the month– I did turn a year older. I saw my family. Played hours of Clue (I love a good board game) and walked thousands of steps per day. I got stronger. I saw an original Andy Warhol. There was healing, and there was pain. I cleaned. I spent time away from work after waiting months to do so. Some were unpleasant but needed days. But even in the darkness, there is light. Light always has a way of reaching us.

This month was the kind of month I need months to recover from, but I am here. As the We Croak App reminds its users, we are alive, and death awaits, so seize the moment.

You will note that many of this month’s quotes belong to Jordan B. Peterson. His book was riveting. Life-changing. The most profound reflection. I share with you some of my favorite parts. Matt Higgins was another figure who inspired my month.

Dr. Taryn Marie says there are no resilient people, just people who choose resilience. That thought kept echoing in my head. The people who choose resilience never cease to amaze me. They are the stars that light up the night as the rest of us chart our course.

Life takes courage. Courage– I have never prayed for it harder.

That’s a conscious decision to presume the primary goodness of Being. That’s an act of courage. […] Be careful. Put the things you can control in order. Repair what is in disorder, and make what is already good better. It is possible that you can manage, if you are careful. People are very tough. […] Aim continually at Heaven while you work diligently on Earth.” Jordan B. Peterson

This month’s post: The Whisper


In the middle of Job’s darkest hour, when he was the most discouraged and didn’t think it would ever work out, God said to him in Job 8:21, “I will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” God is saying to you what He said to Job. Joy is coming, breakthroughs are coming, healing is coming, promotion is coming. God is about to fill your mouth with laughter. He’s going to do something so amazing, so extraordinary, you’ll be so overwhelmed, so grateful that all you can do is laugh. Your mourning is going to be turned to dancing, your sorrow turned to joy.” Unknown

Trying to heal, while trying to grieve, while trying to live, while trying to dream, while trying to smile, while trying to give love, while trying to be love.” Unknown; I saw this, and it resonated with my soul. This is the goal of every day, right?

Joy is the serious business of heaven.” C.S. Lewis; May we never forget it.

True freedom is the power to possess your own mind, and like use it in a way that uplifts yourself and other souls.” Garrain Jones in conversation with Ed Mylett

Success is an answer; failure is an answer— not trying is a lifetime of not knowing.” Dr. Taryn Marie

Being in relationship with God alters our understanding, perception, and attention towards others. People become divine, beautiful beings to be cherished as Imago Dei. […] Every sensation of annoyance towards another becomes an opportunity for compassion and empathy.” pg. 108, Alabaster, Towards Rest

The reason we feel alienated is because the society is infantile, trivial, and stupid. So the cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation. I grapple with this because I’m a parent. And I think anybody who has children, you come to this realization, you know -what’ll it be? Alienated, cynical intellectual? Or slack- jawed, half-wit consumer of the horseshit being handed down from on high? There is not much choice in there, you see. And we all want our children to be well adjusted: unfortunately, there’s nothing to be well adjusted to!” Terence McKenna

Escribir es como abrir una ventana a uno mismo. Ayuda a otros a mirar lo que llevamos dentro y a nostros a recordar quienes somos.” Ariadne Artiles; “To write is to open a window to oneself. It helps others see what we carry inside, and it helps us remember who we are.”

No me gusta la incertidumbre, pero no hay nada mas bonito que dejar que la vida nos muestre lo que nos tiene preparado porque, sin duda, lo mas apasionante es lo que ni siquiera hemos llegado a imaginar.” Ariadne Artiles

When things break down, what has been ignored rushes in. When things are no longer specified, with precision, the walls crumble, and chaos makes its presence known.” Jordan B. Peterson

First ask yourself who you want to be, and then do what you have to do.” Epictetus

Don’t confront the chaos and turn it into order–just wait, anything but naive and innocent, for the chaos to rise up and engulf you instead. Why avoid, when avoidance necessarily and inevitably poisons the future?” Jordan B. Peterson

Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you.” Welcome to Night Vale

Something is out there in the woods. You know that with certainty. But often it’s only a squirrel. If you refuse to look, however, then it’s a dragon, and you’re no knight: you’re a mouse confronting a lion; a rabbit, paralyzed by the gaze of a wolf.” Jordan B. Peterson; We must learn to confront life and our issues head-on or fear and imagination will take over.

There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.” Elie Wiesel; This quote hit me like a ton of bricks. A win doesn’t always look like a win from the outside, but the victory is truly for us to detect, even in the unexpected.

You must determine where you are going in your life, because you cannot get there unless you move in that direction. Random wandering will not move you forward.” Jordan B. Peterson

Confront the chaos of Being. Take aim against a sea of troubles. Specify your destination, and chart your course. Admit to what you want. Tell those around you who you are. Narrow, and gaze attentively, and move forward, forthrightly. Be precise in your speech.” Jordan B. Peterson

It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.” Victor Hugo

If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” Dolly Parton

Here’s the fundamental problem: group identity can be fractionated right down to the level of the individual.” Jordan B. Peterson

Trust visions that don’t feature buckets of blood.” Some art piece at the MoMA

There are only two major reasons for resentment: being taken advantage of (or allowing yourself to be taken advantage of), or whiny refusal to adopt responsibility and grow up.” Jordan B. Peterson

You may do this, I tell you, it is permitted. Begin again the story of your life.” Jane Hirshfield

Leadership makes all the difference in the world. Yet changing leadership is fraught with friction, so it’s usually considered last. If something isn’t working, assume the person in charge is responsible until proven otherwise. The fish rots from the head.” Matt Higgins

The dream he needed most was the dream that frightened him more.” Sherman Alexie

Agreeable, compassionate, empathic, conflict-averse people (all those traits group together) let people walk on them, and they get bitter. They sacrifice themselves for others, sometimes excessively, and cannot comprehend why that is not reciprocated. Agreeable people are compliant, and this robs them of their independence. The danger associated with this can be amplified by high trait neuroticism. Agreeable people will go along with whoever makes a suggestion, instead of insisting, at least sometimes, on their own way. So, they lose their way, and become indecisive and too easily swayed. If they are, in addition, easily frightened and hurt, they have even less reason to strike out on their own, as doing so exposes them to threat and danger (at least in the short term).” Jordan B. Peterson

And if you think tough men are dangerous, wait until you see what weak men are capable of.” Jordan B. Peterson

I was born with a terrible need for affection and a terrible need to give it.” Audrey Hepburn

Knowing what must be done does away with fear.” Rosa Parks

Tragedy at such a time seems particularly unfair. It is the sort of thing that can make you distrust even hope itself. It’s frequently sufficient to cause genuine trauma.” Jordan B. Peterson

Though I doubted and worried, my disbelief didn’t change God’s plans for me– and all your fears and feelings of defeat will not change God’s plans of provision for you either. God will never abandon His beloved children to hopelessness.” Bonnie Gray

Silence = death. Act up.” Unknown

You cannot break free from the crowd while seeking approval from it.” Ed Mylett

You must decide whether to insist upon the absolute correctness of your view, or to listen and negotiate.” Jordan B. Peterson

Freedom is not merely a means to some other end or a greater good. Freedom itself is the greatest good.” David Asscherick

We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full.” Marcel Proust

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” Albert Camus

We have been altered in the most profound of ways. By death, yes. But more importantly, by love.” Empowered Through Grief

Hating life, despising life– even for the genuine pain that life inflicts– merely serves to make life itself worse, unbearably worse.” Jordan B. Peterson

They’re all good days, if we choose.” Seth Godin

The key to being emotionally self-regulated is define your baseline of happiness as narrowly as possible so it’s entirely within your control. Meditation. Nature walk. Morning coffee. Chat with loved ones. Simple stuff. More is upside you’re not counting on.” Matt Higgins

What shall I do with a torn nation? Stitch it back together with careful words of truth.” Jordan B. Peterson

Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received– only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.” Francis of Assisi

The heightened knowledge of fragility and mortality produced by death can terrify, embitter and separate. It can also awaken. It can remind those who grieve not to take the people who love them for granted.” Jordan B. Peterson

Life sucks! And then it gets better, and then it sucks again.” Nick Miller (New Girl)

When you are visited by chaos and swallowed up; when nature curses you or someone you love with illness; or when tyranny rends asunder something of value that you have built, it is salutary to know the rest of the story. All of that misfortune is only the bitter half of the tale of existence, without taking note of the heroic element of redemption or the nobility of the human spirit requiring a certain responsibility to shoulder. We ignore that addition to the story at our peril, because life is so difficult that losing sight of the heroic part of existence could cost us everything.” Jordan B. Peterson

Articles and Stuff

Podcast episodes from Ed Mylett:



Important reminders for peace from Elle Macpherson

People Who Intrigue Me

Matt Higgins: Author of Burn the Boats and Shark Tank Investor

Dr. Taryn Marie of the Resilience Leadership Institute and author of The 5 Practices of Highly Resilient People

June has got to be better, right? Moving forward into the light.

What shall I do to strengthen my spirit? Do not tell lies or do what you despise.

What shall I do to ennoble my body? Use it only in the service of my soul.

What shall I do with the most difficult of questions? Consider them the gateway to the path of life.

What shall I do with the poor man’s plight? Strive, through example, to lift his broken heart.

What shall I do when the crowd beckons? Stand tall and utter my broken truths.”

Jordan B. Peterson

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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