Pema Chodron’s approach to spirituality inspires courage and self-compassion. In a book of short meditations, The Pocket Pema Chodron, she invites us to move beyond self-protection.
“We think that by protecting ourselves from suffering we are being kind to ourselves. The truth is, we only become more fearful, more hardened, and more alienated. We experience ourselves as being separate from the whole. This separateness becomes like a prison for us, a prison that restricts us to our personal hopes and fears and to caring only for the people nearest us. Curiously enough, if we primarily try to shield ourselves from discomfort, we suffer. Yet when we don’t close off and we let our hearts break, we discover our kinship with all beings.” (p. 123)
Her words remind me of Michael Singer’s passionate encouragement in The Untethered Soul to keep the heart open, no matter what.
“Remember, if you love life, nothing is worth closing over. Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over.” (p. 47)
Spiritual courage and self-compassion meet in an open heart.