What can you sit with?

Young child and teddy bear sitting together

“Instead of asking ourselves, “How can I find security and happiness?” we could ask ourselves, “Can I touch the center of my pain? Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away? Can I stay present to the ache of loss or disgrace—disappointment in all its many forms—and let it open me?” This is the trick.” ~Pema Chödrön

How well are you able to sit with your own suffering? What about the suffering of others? The only way to heal our pain is by going through it, and that means being able to sit with it, open to it, and touch its very center. We need to be able to do that for ourselves and accompany others as they do the same, without rushing to make it all go away. This may be the hardest challenge most of us will ever face.

Embracing all emotions

silhouette of woman facing water and sunset with arms spread wide

“Instead of resisting any emotion, the best way to dispel it is to enter it fully, embrace it and see through your resistance.” ~Deepak Chopra

We naturally resist those emotions that we find to be unpleasant in any way, but our resistance makes them linger. Embracing even those emotions we do not enjoy and entering fully into experiencing them allows them to tell us what they need to say and move through us. The quickest way out is always through.

Be grateful for whoever comes

an open doorway in stone wall looking through to sky and trees

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
~Rumi

Oh, how hard we try to edit out of our experience all that we find to be unpleasant, unacceptable, or uncomfortable. We push those things into our shadow and try to pretend that they don’t exist.

But those uncomfortable parts of our experience have much to teach us if we would but welcome them in and be ready to learn from what we find there. It is only by bringing our shadows into the light that they surrender their healing gifts.

What parts of your experience need to be invited in, greeted with laughter, and allowed to guide you into growth and healing?

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