Thursday Thoughts: Quotes That Inspire and Single Events That Light a Fire

Thursday Thoughts: Quotes That Inspire and Single Events That Light a Fire

Recently, I blogged  a quote from French novelist and author of The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery as part of my #wisewords blog series. I mentioned at the time that discovering the quote inspired me to want to blog further about it, interpret it personally and maybe even compel readers to spend time absorbing the words and uncovering their own meaning unique to them. So today’s #thursdaythoughts are inspired by another writer and in turn, I hope this writer here offering up a deeper look into words might inspire you, too.


The quote is:

A single event can awaken within us

 a stranger totally unknown to us.

To live is to be slowly born.

—– Antoine de Saint-Exupery



There have been so many times in my life when I thought that a major event would be complete collapse, my total downfall, and only upon reflection six months to a year down the road do I realize that it is precisely what my trajectory needed to regain direction or passion about work, relationships,…life!  We believe we may not be smart enough to find our way, tough enough to get through it, resilient enough to bounce back in a whole new way and plenty of other doubting phrases we tell ourselves. And then an event happens that tests us. It could be a single event or a long string of events, but we are given this sudden blast of unpredictability that lands on our lap like a radioactive hot potato and we have to figure out what the hell to do with it.


When I went through my own divorce at such a young age following my first marriage, I could have easily curled up in a ball under the sheets and tried to wish away the last several years. When I was let go from a job I loved more than any other time in my life or when I embarked on my own business as a freelance writer, going full-time on my own and losing the security of a predictable income —  these are those moments that can terrify. We cannot see in what appears to be calamity that this could instead be opportunity. We may not yet sense that this is what will drive us to tap into a part of us we may rarely turn to for survival, for growth. Better yet, we may reach deeper and find part of ourselves we have never seen, a strength we didn’t know we had.











We may face the sudden loss or health scare of a family member or beloved pet, or find our own health suffering and there from the hospital bed, see the daily patterns of our lives in a while new light. I have found myself in all of these situations, as well, and I my perspective was reshaped every time. It is in these moments that we quickly realize what we do on a daily basis that matters and what is merely filling in the quiet moments with noise.


That’s not to say these ‘shock to the system,’ life-changing events are any less painful. But there is a confidence and self-assurance that begin to sprout after the universe has just roared at us, “OH YEAH?” and we have finally accumulated enough chutzpah to bark back “YEAH!”


I especially love how the writer uses the word ‘awakens’ even though at the time we may feel like life, the universe, our past, God, whoever or whatever we may see as the culprit is DOING something to us — a passive scenario, removing us from being part of the action and just falling victim to someone or something else’s actions. The word “awakens’ puts us back into the ring, at the center of the action. Life is not happening to us but at times, it may poke us a little, to see if we’re paying attention, to see if we still want to be in this match-up — and we can stay as we are but if we truly want to live, we will respond to that poke and in this way, we are nudged and roused from the comfort of our slumber that is a predictable life and forced to pick our next move.


We are never the same after these single events, part of why I love this quote. It is true, it is as if a new ‘me’ rises from the ashes and introduces herself like a familiar stranger, as oxymoronic as that may sound. And the result, too, is conflicting as we greet this new side of us that feels both scary and yet exhilarating, unknown and yet exciting as hell.


I have shared with you a few of my single events that helped me discover a different part of me or unearth resilience I didn’t know lay deep within me. What about you? Going back to the quote, what single events can you point to and how did they lead a new stranger to emerge? I’d love to read your thoughts on the subject so comment here or on the social media timeline where you first saw this blog link and become part of the narrative here. And as always, thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.




(source for illustration above, unknown)




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