The Soul of a Woman: On Impatient Love, Long Life, and Good Witches
By Isabel Allende
"I would like to have Sophia Loren's full breasts and long legs, but if given a choice, I prefer the gifts of several good witches I know: purpose, compassion, and good humor."
"According to Gerald G. Jampolsky, a famous psychiatrist and the author of many bestsellers about psychology and philosophy, an aptitude for happiness is determined 45 percent by genes and 15 percent by circumstances. That means that the remaining 40 percent is based on our beliefs and attitude about life. Even at ninety-five, Jampolsky is still seeing patients and writings; he goes to the gym five days a week, and every morning when he wakes up he gives thanks for the new day and commits to live it happily, no matter his physical state. Age should not limit our energy or creativity or our willingness to participate in the world.
Now that we live longer, we have a couple of decades ahead of us to redefine our goals and find meaning in the years to come. Jampolsky recommends letting go of grievances and negativity. More energy is needed to sustain ill feelings than to forgive. The key to contentment is forgiveness of others and of ourselves. Our last years can be the best if we opt for love instead of fear, he says. Love doesn't grow old like a wild plant, it needs a lot of care."
"This has strengthened my decision to be active forever and use every brain cell and soul spark so there will be nothing left when I go."
"For as long as possible I will crawl up the stairs to the attic where I write and spend my days entertained by telling stories. If I can achieve that, old age is none of my business."
"In brief, I am in a splendid moment of my destiny. This is good news for women in general: Life gets easier once we get through menopause and are done with raising kids, but only if we minimize our expectations, give up resentment, and relax in the knowledge that no one, except those closest to us, gives a damn about who we are or what we do. Stop pretending, faking it, lamenting, and flagellating ourselves about silly stuff. We have to love ourselves a lot and love others without calculating how much we are loved in return. This is the stage of kindness."