Let difficulty transform you


“When we’re putting up the barriers and the sense of ‘me’ as separate from ‘you’ gets stronger, right there in the midst of difficulty and pain, the whole thing could turn around simply by not erecting barriers; simply by staying open to the difficulty, to the feelings that you’re going through; simply by not talking to ourselves about what’s happening. That is a revolutionary step. Becoming intimate with pain is the key to changing at the core of our being – staying open to everything we experience, letting the sharpness of difficult times pierce us to the heart, letting these times open us, humble us, and make us wiser and more brave.  Let difficulty transform you. And it will. In my experience, we just need help in learning how not to run away.”

~ Pema Chödrön

Image: Detail from a bookmark design by Australian boy, Zane Austen-Young, which won a prize in a bookmark competition for the Book Depository site, based on his favourite book, Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek; notice the love hearts he’s drawn on the sheep’s face and the nostrils and the speech bubble that says “Roar”.



6 thoughts on “Let difficulty transform you

  1. This teaching from the oh-so-wise Pema seems counterintuitive, but it’s dead on. Her wisdom helped me embrace some of the most painful moments in my life. Was it scary? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Yes, because I was transformed and that which scared me became my gentle teacher.

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