"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

James Baldwin Quotes

by Steve M Nash
(Brockholes, W Yorskhire, UK)

Weekly Wonder Online: 24

James Baldwin wonders...

"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced."

Listen to my thoughts about James Baldwin's inspirational quote in the video below. You'll also discover a bit more about a favourite part of West Yorkshire, this time the River Holme in Brockholes, in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.

NOTE: Looking for 2015/16 version - click here!

What I Wonder...

(NOTE: Yes, I wrote any captions you see in this video. It's called self-deprecation, and it's mostly a healthy thing (I think!).)

So, as I say in the video, I find James Baldwin's quote compelling and powerful IF acted on.

Firstly, it is important to have an understanding of what it is in our lives that we do not face, either through ignorance or fear:
  • So it could be we choose not to face our anger. (This is true of me, I know, mainly because it feels so familiar to me that it doesn't feel 'wrong'.)

  • Or it could do not want to face our dislike of a certain person or people who have certain 'characteristics' (shy or brash, forceful or demure, joyful or miserable, etc.)

  • We may even not wish to face the idea that we have any imperfections at all!

If we do not face these truths about ourselves, about the attitudes we bring to how we are actually living our life, then we truly cannot make things 'better' for ourselves.

Again, it's not about looking finding fault with yourself and giving yourself a hard time for those faults!

It's not about changing everything that is 'wrong' with yourself.

It's about being honest about yourself, as you would be with a dear friend, and seeing yourself as others see you - both the good bits and the not-so-good bits.

It's about understanding (and NOT avoiding) your flaws, so that you can look to change those flaws.

It's also about understanding that some things about yourself are always going to remain true, that not everything can be changed!

But the liberation, here, is that you can then accept that this is how you are, that these are your flaws and then they come as a package with your qualities too!

Once you can know and accept yourself for who you truly are, I believe you can find peace. I believe you can stop hiding who you are from people. I believe you can open yourself up to love.

This is what I believe about James Baldwins' inspirational quote, but I'd love to hear what you think too, I really would.

Yes, that's right, I'd love to hear your wisdom, your thoughts, regarding this James Baldwin quote! :-)

Thanks for reading,

PS And here are three more free inspirational quotes from James Baldwin

"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."

"I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all."

"I can't believe what you say, because I see what you do."

PPS Now please comment, please have your say - thanks.

Comments for James Baldwin Quotes

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Jan 10, 2011
Strange how it goes...
by: Steve

Strangely, and uncomfortably too, I was reminded of something I was not facing yesterday just 20 minutes after recording this video.

And it put me into a bit of a spin, too, I have to admit!

And I could clearly see why we choose not to face things, sometimes, because - in my case anyway - what we face feels BAD, unwelcome, and we'd do anything not to think of ourselves like this, as bad...

Still, I believe facing who we are is the only way to go. That life will get better if we do. That the pain of 'self-knowledge' is worth it.

Nobody is perfect after all. How hard can it be for us to truly realise this about ourselves!...


Jan 16, 2011
Heart softening video, Steve
by: Anonymous

I found your comment to this quote very moving, Steve, in your Weekly Wonder video, not least perhaps because you seemed on the edge of crying in it! You spoke very open heartedly and you can tell this comes from the very core of some important soul searching process for you, THANK YOU!

Yes, change comes from facing up to the dis-comfort zones in ourselves, and when that happens, so much can be stirred up, awakened, all those reasons why we put the scary stuff there and shut the door in the first place! We might feel shame, grief, anger, even shock, maybe hopelessness, for a while, we might want to shut the door again and run.

But if we can allow ourselves to let it be, to acknowledge our discovery for what it is, with compassion and humility, then the shift seems to happen by itself, the space that opens up form having let the skeleton out of the cupboard is freed for us to breathe and move through an change.

I have a few of those skeletons out right now, some disconcerting sight, some impulse to justify and explain and make it all go away... But there is beauty to be had and a fresh surge of love and hope in the processing through, and the newly found land, to me, is worth the trouble, completely!

Thank you for offering this Steve :-)

Filo xxx

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