It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days…Lightly, lightly—it’s the best advice ever given me. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling.
from a letter to someone who was recovering from major surgery:Look for a different kind of toughness in yourself now. Like dogs that always pee on the same places, we keep going back to the same strengths (and weaknesses) in our selves whenever we’re faced with and trying to overcome new problems. But you are not the same person you were pre-illness, pre-operation. You’re someone else now with different strengths and weaknesses resulting from that horrible experience. Whether you recognize it or not, this new you needs a new, realigned perspective to continue. If for some reason a person can’t walk down stairs anymore, rather than waste their energy being angry or fearful because of this new limitation, better to spend that energy looking for an elevator. The same fundamental You still exists and always will, but parts have changed or shifted in profound ways that you must now discover and work from. Those old tried and true methods that got you through life in the past are no longer applicable.You should try to discard them, or at least give them less emphasis. Once you recognize and accept that, I think you’ll be on your way to new strength.