News Billy Keane

Thursday 18 September 2014

Powerful words that really can help when we reach our darkest hour

Published 30/12/2013 | 02:30

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New Year’s Eve is a chance to start over

I've been collecting quotes for years now. There are days when the right line can get you nicely on your way.

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Most people review their lives at Christmas. "I should be happy but I'm not" is a common result from the end of year self-assessment.

Then there's New Year's Eve. Again we are under pressure to be deliriously happy.

There's the big kiss at one second past midnight with your lover. It lasts forever and some one of your friends might shout: "Hey you two, get a room." Everyone laughs and you go home hand in hand, happy ever after, for the new year that's in it.

That's the ideal and the ideal may be impossible to attain. New Year's Eve can be the eve of destruction for lonely men and women. New Year's Eve is a chance to start over. To throw away the bad and bring in the good.

I have hundreds and hundreds of quotes. Sometimes I dip in and take one for the day. These are a few I fished out for today. Some may be of use to you and more may not. Maybe you might like to type one or two into your phone and text yourself. Maybe you can fish for some of your own with the aid of the gillie Google.

This one is from Omar Khayyam. The preceding lines advised to go and get drunk. Forget that. My father gave me this one when I was in trouble and I cherish the lines.

"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life."

The concept is easy enough to grasp. Every day is made up of millions of moments. Just try to be happy for each of those moments. Maybe happy is too hard. Just try to be content. Then before you know it all those sections will build up together like Lego.

There may be a huge back-to- work task before you today and this quote from Buddha might help.

"A jug fills drop by drop."

It isn't so terrifying if you look at it this way. Try it out and before you know it the jug will be full.

"If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare."

This one is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American philosopher.

It's so true, isn't it? A billion stars twinkled in the night sky. Twinkle twinkle little star. How we wonder what you are. You are six and you want to hop from one star to the other. Go back now to that moment when you discovered the stars.

There is no need to travel around the world in search of wonders. We all have a beach we love, or a shady corner of a field where we can think, or a favourite tree in an old oak wood, or in the corner of a suburban garden. Wonders are all around us.

All we have to do is look up.

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever" -- Mahatma Gandhi.

Don't you just love this one. I visited a 90-something-year-old man in the hospital over Christmas and he was learning a new song. There's a tradition on death row that the poor misfortunate whose life is about to be ended gets a last request. If you think about it, you can do that every day and it doesn't have to be a last request.

Donal Walsh passed away last summer after a long battle against cancer. He was barely 17 yet his wisdom and courage changed my life forever and for the better. Here are some of Donal's last words:

"When I'm feeling low because of what happened to me, I always... I take time to think. So I'd say to someone who is standing there in a room where they feel there's no windows and no doors, it's just black, to take time and a door will open. Someone will be at that door. You can go to the door as well. Anyone can find their own door out, they just have to ask and it takes a lot of courage as well to ask, but to take time and search for their door, I'd say."

I know people who suffer from the blues feel trapped but I do believe Donal's death was not in vain. So if this dying boy said these beautifully simple words for us, the least we owe him is to take heed and live life. Those two words are Donal's.

"Live Life."

I love this quote from Buddha and it sorts of links in with what Donal was saying.

"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."

Look at it this way. A friend is down and out. You're there to give the friend a boost. You say, "Hey pal you're a good one. So kind and loving with so many good qualities." You give your friend a big hug.

But we never seem to tell ourselves just how good and true we are. We've been trained into doing ourselves down. I think it's an Irish thing not to be seen as big headed. There's a lovely quote I got from my friend Moira it goes: "If that lad was an ice cream, he'd lick himself."

Go on. Give yourself a lick.

Finally there is the most important quote of all from the greatest story ever told by the greatest man who ever lived.

"Love one another."

Happy New Year.

Irish Independent

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