“In separateness lies the world’s great misery, in compassion lies the world’s true strength.” ~Buddha
When asked why I write fiction, I used to say, “Because I enjoy writing and revising sentences” or “Because I like practicing an art I’ll never perfect” or “Because I love to read.” All those reasons remain true, but my answer has changed.
The most important reason I write stories, and read them, is to practice empathy.
Strange how we often feel empathy more easily for fictional characters than for real people. One reason is that sometimes we get to know fictional characters more deeply …
“Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.” ~Buddha
I’d like you to meet someone. He’s me and he’s not me. What I mean is, he’s inside me—a part of me.
His story goes something like this: “I need to be the best at whatever I do, but no matter how hard I work, I will never be the best because the world is unfair.”
For most of my life he’s been carrying around this impossible task, and it has really weighed me down. He’s caused me a lot of pain and anxiety, and …
“Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~Albert Einstein
I feel grateful to be a writer not only because I love to write, but also because writing has been one of my greatest spiritual teachers. Challenges I face as a writer teach me important life lessons, just as life teaches me lessons I can apply to my writing.
Here are seven spiritual lessons I’ve learned—some the hard way—that can apply to writing and to life in general.
1. Be mindful.
Showing up—really showing up with all your attention—is the first and most important …
“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” ~Karl Barth
We were lying in bed. I said, “We can’t do it.” She said, “I don’t see what else we can do.” We lay there in silence, trying to figure it out.
It was the third big decision of our relationship. The first was when I asked Nicole to marry me. The second was when she said yes. And the third—the one we couldn’t figure out—was what to do about Ralph.
She’d had Ralph—a female German Shepherd—for a little over a year. Nicole had been waiting for years to get a dog, …