Kiss Your Life
Leo Buscaglia


I don't know about you, but I don't feel that it's my vehicle that is essential.  I don't know about you, but I don't feel that it's my education that is essential.  I don't think what is essential about me is my house or my car or my clothes.  What is essential about me?  Well, I think what is essential is that I live and embrace life right now, wherever I am.  I grab it in my arms!  Don't spend time crying about yesterday--yesterday is over with!  I forgive my past.  I forgive the people who've hurt me.  I don't want to spend the rest of my life blaming and pointing a finger.  I get so sick and tired of hearing people gripe about what their parents did to them.  You know what your parents did to you?  The best thing they could do.  The best thing they knew how, the only thing in many cases that they knew how.  Nobody has set out maliciously to hurt their child, unless they were psychotic.

Can you forgive?  Can you forget?  Can you say it's "OK"?  Can you say, "They are people, too"? and you take them in your arms and embrace them?  Then take your self in your arms.  Find out again that you are special, that you are unique, that you are wondrous, that in all the world there is only one of you.  Hug yourself, you sweet old thing!  Sure you've screwed up, and sometimes you do dumb things and you forget that you are a human being, but the most wonderful thing about you is that, no matter where you are, you have potential to grow.

You are just starting.  There is only this much of you now, and there is an infinite amount to discover and to find!  Don't spend your time crying!  Forgive others!  Forgive yourself.  Forgive yourself for not being perfect.  And accept responsibility for your own life.

Nikos Kazantzakis says, "You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint paradise, then in you go."  Do it!  Take orange and magenta and blue and purple. . . and green, and yellow--and paint your paradise.  You can do that!  You can do it right now.  It's your life that is essential.

I don't know how many of you are acquainted with Arthur Miller's wonderful play called After the Fall.  It's probably one of the most underrated works of American literature.  He wrote it right after the suicide of Marilyn Monroe, who had been his wife, and he tried to ask the question I tried to ask myself earlier, and that maybe many of you have asked yourselves:  What could I have done to have saved someone in my life?  This was a play that said, "I have to learn to forgive.  Others and myself."  In it he has a beautiful thing that I'd like to share with you.  One of the healthier characters says this:

"I think it is a mistake to ever look for hope outside of yourself.
One day the house smells like fresh bread, and the next, smoke
and blood.  One day you faint because the gardener cuts his
finger.  Within a week you're climbing over corpses of children
bombed in subways.  What hope can there be if that is so?

"I tried to die near the end of the war.  The same dream returned
to me each night until I dared not go to sleep, and I grew ill.  I
dreamed I had a child.  And even in the dream I felt that the child
was my life, and it was an idiot, and I ran away from it.  But it always
kept climbing into my lap, and clutching at my clothes, until I thought,
if I could kiss it, whatever was in it that was my own, perhaps I
could sleep again.  And I bent to its broken face, and it was horrible.
But I kissed it.  I think, Quentin, one must finally take one's life into
one's own arms, and kiss it

Fantastic statement.  It doesn't matter who you have hurt, if you've learned not to hurt again.  It doesn't matter what mistakes you've made as long as you don't make them again.  As long as you learn, as long as you're willing to take your life in your own hands, and kiss it and go on from there.  Then there is growth.  Then there is life!

Living, Loving, and Learning
 is a delightful collection of
Dr. Buscaglia's informative
and amusing lectures, which
were delivered worldwide
between 1970 and 1981.
This inspirational treasure is
for all those eager to accept
the challenge of life and to
profit from the wonder of love.


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