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Nobody But Yourself June 1, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Writing & Writers.

RWS_Tarot_01_MagicianAll my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was.

I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory.

I was naรฏve.

I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer.

It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with:

That I am nobody but myself.

~ย Ralph Ellison
Author of Invisible Man

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - June 1, 2014

Beautiful quote! Great start to my day!

nrhatch - June 1, 2014

Have a good one, Kate! His thoughts remind me of the prose poem, Desiderata:


And Goethe’s ~ Trust yourself and you will know how to live.

2. Pix Under the Oaks - June 1, 2014

It IS a beautiful quote! I am getting started late today.. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am still thinking over your post on sarcasm.

nrhatch - June 1, 2014

Morning, Pix. Your comment prompted a thought in me about sarcasm ~> there are some people (like my brothers) that I am often sarcastic with, and others that I rarely use sarcasm on.

I expect it’s because I know who will “get me” and who might not.

3. nancytex2013 - June 1, 2014

Ralph Ellison is a smart, smart man. Thanks for sharing.

nrhatch - June 1, 2014

When we plug in to our inner power, we can move mountains . . . and scale canyons! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

nancytex2013 - June 1, 2014


nrhatch - June 1, 2014


4. Jill Weatherholt - June 1, 2014

Love this, Nancy!

nrhatch - June 1, 2014

Yay! Life is much simpler when we start relying on our internal compass.

5. Grannymar - June 1, 2014

Nancy, you are unique!

nrhatch - June 1, 2014

Thanks, GM. You too!

6. Val Boyko - June 1, 2014

Great reminder Nancy!

nrhatch - June 1, 2014

It’s a great quote . . . especially the subtle sarcasm at the end. Yup. He’s the ONLY ONE who didn’t get the memo.

7. Patricia - June 1, 2014

It does sometimes seem everyone else knows what we should know but don’t. But then age intervenes and we learn the truth…nobody really knows much more than we do.

nrhatch - June 1, 2014

Exactly. Most of us are stumbling around in the dark looking for the light switch. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

8. sufilight - June 2, 2014

This gave me unexpected goosebumps! I can identify with the search and realization I can only look within for answers.

nrhatch - June 2, 2014

I think it is a realization that we’re born with . . . but we see that our survival depends on pleasing parents/ caretakers/ teachers so we start looking to them for clues on how to behave and lose touch with our inner GPS.

And then comes Peer Pressure, interviewing for jobs, pleasing the boss, snagging a mate, etc. No wonder many of us lose our way.

9. suzicate - June 2, 2014

I love the saying , go back to being who you were before everyone told you who to be.

nrhatch - June 2, 2014

Yes! That’s exactly it, Suzi. Much of socialization is aimed at getting us to conform to the norm so that we become predictable and more easily manipulated by consensus.

If we want to honor our uniqueness, we need to wash off that mud.

10. diannegray - June 2, 2014

Fantastic quote, Nancy. Whenever I see quotes from Ralph Ellison now it reminds me of The Book Thief (not sure if you’ve read the book or seen the movie but I really liked it) ๐Ÿ˜‰

nrhatch - June 2, 2014

Loved the movie, haven’t read the book ~ I expected not to like it as much as I did.

I was just headed around to your place with a book recommendation:


It’s not released yet. And I haven’t read it. But as I looked over the reviews from the Vine Voices, I thought of you.

nrhatch - June 2, 2014

I didn’t recall the book from The Book Thief, so I checked on Wiki ~ it’s “The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells:

In the 2013 film “The Book Thief” the protagonist, a girl growing up in Nazi Germany, saves a copy of “The Invisible Man” from a Nazi book burning and on several scenes reads aloud parts of it. H. G. Wells was an author on the banned authors list during Nazi Germany.

Ellison’s “Invisible Man” was published after the end of WWII.

diannegray - June 2, 2014

Thank you! I’m heading over now to take a look ๐Ÿ˜€

nrhatch - June 2, 2014

It sounds like a great story, based loosely on Margaret Mead. And, while I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, I love the cover art.

11. livelytwist - June 3, 2014

How true. A few days ago, I was searching for validation. I went to person A, they said, “Blah.” I went to person B, they said, “Blah, blah.” I came home and told myself, “You’ve got to stop this. Go with your heart!” So this post resonates.

nrhatch - June 3, 2014

Yay! it’s great when we realize that “they” don’t always have the answers that we need to hear.

Another post that you might enjoy:


12. Three Well Beings - June 4, 2014

A wonderful quote and I love the photo, too. There is freedom in those words, and I have often wondered why it is somehow easier to accept that others are “themselves” and to appreciate that, and yet it can take a whole lot longer to accept who we are. Who we truly are! I really appreciate the focus, Nancy. I need frequent reminders. ๐Ÿ™‚

nrhatch - June 4, 2014

Glad it struck the right chord with you, Debra. On an Intellectual level, we may “get it” . . . yet still need frequent reminders to put that knowledge into daily practice. Not surprising given that we are socialized to be part of the tribe, to go along & get along, to fit in, NOT to stand out.

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