This week I’ve been having a little trouble with staying motivated to do — well, just about anything, really. I go through these cycles now and again of full-steam productivity followed by existential angst and wondering if the work I did made any difference, a cycle I’ve always thought of as motivational inertia. A productive person tends to stay productive until an equal and opposite force (i.e. doubt, depression, exhaustion, etc.) stops them, at which point some effort is required to get back to being productive again.
Whenever I find myself stuck like that, one of the things I like to do is look up motivational quotes. I know how cheesy that sounds, but bear in mind that words are basically the building blocks of my existence. I have to believe that they can (and do) make a world of difference, or else I wouldn’t want to be a writer in the first place.
Quotes and sundry other readables also helped me feel connected and understood when I first started dealing with my heart issues. Especially with a situation as rare as mine apparently is (only 1-2% of the general population have bicuspid aortic valves, and of them only 30% or so develop complications, according to the Cleveland Clinic website), it’s nice to be reminded that I’m not alone, that other people have gotten through this and, by implication, so can I.
Here are just a few of my favorite quotes related to heart disease and surgery (some more directly so than others). Please feel free to suggest more in the comments!
Surgery & Scars
“There is something beautiful about all scars, whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with.” -Harry Crews
“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.” -Cormac McCarthy
“Life is a battle. Wear your scars with pride.” -Unknown
“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.” -Akshay Dubey
“Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” -Unknown
“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” -Carl Jung
“Everyone can survive a broken heart, but the pieces don’t come back together the same way. You walk away a different person, and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be THAT person with THAT heart again.” -Unknown
“From every wound there is a scar. And every scar tells a story. A story that says, I survived.” -Craig Scott
“I was born with a broken heart. I am beating the odds, one beat at a time. I am a survivor.” -Unknown (I’ve seen this associated with Mended Little Hearts, but I’m unsure of the actual origin.)
“Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.” -Gene Tunney
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” -Randy Pausch
“Pain is real. But so is hope.” -Unknown
“Hearts are wild creatures. That’s why our ribs are cages.” -Unknown
“The world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places.” -Ernest Hemingway
“Because the world is so full of death and horror, I try again and again to console my heart and pick the flowers that grow in the midst of hell.” -Herman Hesse, as translated by Ursule Molinaro
“Take a shower, wash off the day. Drink a glass of water. Make the room dark. Lie down and close your eyes. Notice the silence. Notice your heart. Still beating. Still fighting. You made it, after all. You made it, another day. And you can make it one more. You’re doing just fine.” -Charlotte Eriksson
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” -Edward Everett Hale
“Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars.” -Victor Hugo