You need a reliable compass to set your direction and steer through the rough waters. When you are going through hard times, when you’ve been betrayed, when you’ve lost your job, when you’ve lost your friends or loved ones, when you’re in conflict with your family, or when you’re going through illness, you need a way to guide yourself. But how can you set your direction when you can’t see any clear harbor? And how can you navigate through difficult waters when you’re swamped by overwhelming emotions, when so much of your awareness is taken over with trying to figure out who’s at fault and who did what to whom, or creating stories about who’s wrong and who’s right and why? When we’re overwhelmed by a difficult situation, sometimes we know we’re behaving in a way that is only making matters worse, but we don’t know how to stop. Yet even a part of us may be grieving or angry or wanting revenge, there is a wiser spirit in us that knows that it would be best for everyone involved if we behaved with dignity and courage and magnanimity, no matter what the circumstances. Living our highest intentions can happen in great ways, or in what may seem small- yet critical- ways of refusing to be conquered by the difficulties that come to us in our lives. We can choose our spirit in spite of everything. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can always set our compass to our highest intentions in the present moment. If you have enough awareness to take this small step, your heart will give you an answer that will take the conversation in different, more positive direction. As Albert Camus wrote, ‘We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes, our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and others.’ In fact, the two things that you are always free to do- despite your circumstances- are to be present and to be willing to love. Your intuition and your good heart will guide the way…..Jack Kornfield
this may be our most chaotic, challenging, maddening, and crushingly painful task in life….to measure our suffering, lift it up to sit high with love and honor and grace…..then to make ourselves worthy of being with the process……all in the light of forgiveness and deep compassion……may we know we are never alone, never lost, always worthy……
There is praise and blame,
gain and loss, pleasure and pain,
fame and disrepute.
Did you think this would not happen to you?
The on-the-spot practice of being fully present, feeling your heart, and greeting the next moment with an open mind can be done at any time: when you wake up in the morning, before a difficult conversation, whenever fear or discomfort arises. This practice is a beautiful way to claim your warriorship, your spiritual warriorship. In other words, it is a way to claim your courage, your kindness, your strength. Whenever it occurs to you, you can pause briefly, touch in with how you’re feeling both physically and mentally, and then connect with your heart-even putting your hand on your heart, if you want to. This is a way of extending warmth and acceptance to whatever is going on for you right now. Having connected with what is, with love and acceptance, you can go forward with curiosity and courage. I call this step ‘taking a leap.’….Pema Chodron