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Quotations about Self

Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul.
~Henry Van Dyke, The Prison and the Angel
We are all primary numbers divisible only by ourselves.
~Jean Guitton
We sometimes feel that we have been really understood, but it was always long ago, by someone now dead.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
Every man has a mob self and an individual self, in varying proportions.
~D.H. Lawrence, Pornography and Obscenity
To wash one's hair, make one's toilet, and put on scented robes; even if not a soul sees one, these preparations still produce an inner pleasure.
~Sei Shonagon
Man is never alone. Acknowledged or unacknowledged, that which dreams through him is always there to support him from within.
~Laurence van der Post
We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.
~Jane Austen
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
~Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894
Think positively about yourself.... ask God who made you to keep on remaking you.
~Norman Vincent Peale
Each of us is something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against ourselves.
~Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963
I was right not to be afraid of any thief but myself, who will end by leaving me nothing.
~Katherine Anne Porter
Looking back, you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life, and that person was you. It is not too late to become that person again.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
The only man we have any respect for, is he who uses all the endowment he has, and uses it until he bleeds.
~Martin H. Fischer
And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
There are at least two kinds of cowards. One kind always lives with himself, afraid to face the world. The other kind lives with the world, afraid to face himself.
~Roscoe Snowden
So you are lean and mean and resourceful and you continue to walk on the edge of the precipice because over the years you have become fascinated by how close you can walk without losing your balance.
~Attributed to Richard M. Nixon
The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge.
Self-destruction is the effect of cowardice in the highest extreme.
~Daniel Defoe
My life has been one great big joke,A dance that's walked,A song that's spoke,I laugh so hard I almost choke,When I think about myself.
~Maya Angelou
What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart! What jailer so inexorable as one's self.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables, 1822
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
~Agnes Repplier
I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.
~Sylvia Plath
In every part and corner of our life, to lose oneself is to be the gainer; to forget oneself is to be happy.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
The words "I am" are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you're claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.
~A.L. Kitselman
People wish to be settled: only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, 1841
You have the Answer. Just get quiet enough to hear it.
~Pat Obuchowski
Your soul is all that you possess. Take it in hand and make something of it!
~Martin H. Fischer
The greatest hazard of all, losing one's self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. - is sure to be noticed.
~The Sickness Unto Death
We are sure to be losers when we quarrel with ourselves; it is civil war.
~Charles Caleb Colton
At some point in my life, I swallowed a Sun. And now it dawns and sets in my belly.
~Erika Harris, lifeblazing.com
My heart filled with love, flowing over with joy, my own little drum that I like to march by!
~Gunda Fijnje-Nolan
A man is ever apt to contemplate himself out of all proportion to his surroundings.
~Christina G. Rossetti
The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual - namely to You.
~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1892
You are your own judge. The verdict is up to you.
~Astrid Alauda
Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book shown to him by heart, and his friends can only read the title.
~Virginia Woolf
One cannot spend forever sitting and solving the mysteries of one's history.
~Lemony Snicket
Sometimes at night I light a lamp so as not to see.
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
There comes a morning in life when you wake up a new person; that is to say, you wake up the same person but you realize it's your own fault.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused.
~Marcel Proust
The naïve follow their hearts. The wise lead with their hearts.
~Author Unknown
Be there for others, but never leave yourself behind.
~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com
Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail.
~John Donne
At this very moment, you may be saying to yourself that you have any number of admirable qualities. You are a loyal friend, a caring person, someone who is smart, dependable, fun to be around. That's wonderful, and I'm happy for you, but let me ask you this: are you being any of those things to yourself?
~Phillip C. McGraw, The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom, 2003
Let's get lost in the dark, forget who we were, and resurface as something new.
~Daniel, @blindedpoet
Once your awareness becomes a flame, it burns up the whole slavery that the mind has created.
A wise man never loses anything if he have himself.
~Michel de Montaigne, translated
The finest thing in the world is knowing how to belong to oneself.
~Michel de Montaigne, Of Solitude
Your heart knows your song, but you have to be willing to listen to the words.
~Sue Rock, http://sue215.blogspot.com
All men are sculptors, constantly chipping away the unwanted parts of their lives, trying to create their idea of a masterpiece.
~Eddie Murphy, 1979
We are happy when for everything inside us there is a corresponding something outside us.
~W.B. Yeats
A bud can be beautiful, a work of art even. But I'm finding it simply can't compare to the openness of the blossom. Looking for my sun.
~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.com
Present yourself alwaysAs who you would be,And that is the personThe world will see.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
Who has not sat, afraid, before his own heart's curtain?
~Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies, "The Fourth Elegy," translated from German by Albert Ernest Flemming
What we do flows from who we are.
~Paul Vitale
We do not deal much in facts when we are contemplating ourselves.
~Mark Twain
Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about. And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us. Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny.
~Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind
The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one's self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.
Do what you must,And your friends will adjust.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
Every man is his own ancestor, and every man his own heir. He devises his own future, and he inherits his own past.
~H.F. Hedge
My heart beat, beats me senselessly,Why's everything gotta be so intense with me...
~Katy Perry, Glen Ballard, and Matt Thiessen, "Long Shot"
There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.
~Hindustani Proverb
Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again.
~Chinese inscription cited by Thoreau in Walden
Almost always it is the fear of being ourselves that brings us to the mirror.
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
I loathe the expression "What makes him tick." It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression. A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.
~James Thurber
My life should be unique; it should be an alms, a battle, a conquest, a medicine.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
No matter what you do in life, a part of you still sits at a curbside, still hearing the drumbeat of a distant parade, still waiting for it to turn the corner.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys.
~Doug Horton
When I look for my existence I do not look for it in myself.
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
The power inside you is energy amplified.
~Claire Todae
Do I contradict myself?Very well then I contradict myself.(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1892
It's like, at the end, there's this surprise quiz: am I proud of me? I gave my life to become the person I am right now! Was it worth what I paid?
~Richard Bach
Just let awareness have its way with you completely.
~Scott Morrison
My flag is raised high today. For others to see, sure. But more so to find which way my wind is blowing. Almost time to chart a course.
~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.com
Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man - the biography of the man himself cannot be written.
~Mark Twain, Autobiography, 1924
Misfortunes one can endure - they come from outside, they are accidents. But to suffer for one's own faults - ah! there is the sting of life.
~Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892
One's only real life is the life one never leads.
~Oscar Wilde
A criminal becomes a popular figure because he unburdens in no small degree the consciences of his fellow man, for now they know once more where evil is to be found.
~Carl G. Jung
We are known to our friends by a look in our eyes that we never see in a mirror.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
When the fight begins within himself, a man's worth something.
~Robert Browning, "Bishop Blougram's Apology"
Many a one cannot loosen his own fetters, but is nevertheless his friend's emancipator.
~Friedrich Nietzsche
The man that shows off, to that one who wants to convince of his value is to himself.
~Doménico Cieri Estrada
Some things become so completely our own that we forget them.
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
Though confined to our destiny, we do get to pick the color scheme.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
It is not impossibilities which fill us with the deepest despair, but possibilities which we have failed to realize.
~Robert Mallett, Apostilles, 1972
Up to a point a man's life is shaped by environment, heredity, and movements and changes in the world about him. Then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate. Everyone has it within his power to say, "This I am today; that I will be tomorrow."
~Louis L'Amour
There is luxury in self-reproach.... When we blame ourselves we feel no one else has a right to blame us.
~Oscar Wilde
Take the time to come home to yourself every day.
~Robin Casarjean
If men could regard the events of their own lives with more open minds, they would frequently discover that they did not really desire the things they failed to obtain.
~André Maurois
That's the thing about needs. Sometimes when you get them met, you don't need them anymore.
~Michael Patrick King, Sex and the City, "The Good Fight"
Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living.
~Jonathan Safran Foer
Alexandros of Antioch took a block of marble and chiseled away from it everything that was not his masterpiece, the Venus de Milo. If you will chisel away one fault from your character every day, you may discover -a) that you're actually a statue of Margaret Thatcher.b) that you're still just a block of marble.c) that there are pigeon droppings on your shoes.d) that you, too, are a hidden masterpiece.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.
~Michel de Montaigne
Reputation is in itself only a farthing candle, of a wavering and uncertain flame, and easily blown out, but it is the light by which the world looks for and finds merit.
~James Russell Lowell
The only person you should ever compete with is yourself. You can't hope for a fairer match.
~Todd Ruthman
If we cannot be happy and powerful and prey on others, we invent conscience and prey on ourselves.
~Elbert Hubbard
Unjust. How many times I've used that word, scolded myself with it. All I mean by it now is that I don't have the final courage to say that I refuse to preside over violations against myself, and to hell with justice.
~Lillian Hellman
Only you can set you free.
~Living Colour, "Cult of Personality"
I say me, knowing all the while it's not me.
~Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable, 1953
Everything that I bear within me bound, is to be found somewhere else free.
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
You grow up the day you have your first real laugh, at yourself.
~Ethel Barrymore
Daily I learn - sometimes painfully, other times with glee - that mine is a path never meant to be paved.
~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.com
I am my own heaven and hell!
~J.C.F. von Schiller
Most often, walking alone with my shadow is how I find my answer, the result of gathering together all agreeable parties.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
Falling, falling, falling, falling down. Look yourself in the eye before you drown.
~Emily Saliers, "Center Stage," Indigo Girls, 1989
We must be our own before we can be another's.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson