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I love Pema Chödrön’s emphasis on being present with ourselves.
Simply being present.
She talks about the softness, the kindness, the gentleness, the tenderness, and the self-compassion I wish that we all had with ourselves—that I feel we need to have with ourselves.
It’s too easy to be hard on ourselves—too many of us do this.
And it’s also too easy to try to run from our uncomfortable emotions or to try to force ourselves to not feel what we feel. Many of us shirk from fear or sadness and try to push them away rather than feel into them, lean into them, and learn what they’re trying to show us, what’s there lingering beneath what we’re trying to avoid.
Our emotions just want to be felt, and we can learn so much from them.
We can learn so much from simply being present with ourselves.
Here are 15 Pema Chödrön quotes that will bring peace to your heart:
1. “When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.”
2. “The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
3. “When we touch the center of sorrow, when we sit with discomfort without trying to fix it, when we stay present to the pain of disapproval or betrayal and let it soften us, these are times that we connect with bohdichitta.”
4. “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
5. “Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all.”
6. “We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
7. “Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of sh*t and not be squeamish about taking a good look.”
8. “When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something. We might realize that this is a very vulnerable and tender place, and that tenderness can go either way. We can shut down and feel resentful or we can touch in on that throbbing quality.”
9. “A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us.”
10. “When we protect ourselves so we won’t feel pain, that protection becomes like armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of the heart.”
11. “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”
12. “Without giving up hope—that there’s somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be—we will never relax with where we are or who we are.”
13. “We have two alternatives: either we question our beliefs—or we don’t. Either we accept our fixed versions of reality—or we begin to challenge them. In Buddha’s opinion, to train in staying open and curious—to train in dissolving our assumptions and beliefs—is the best use of our human lives.”
14. “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”
15. “When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment.”