Book: Pema Chodron: “The Places That Scare You”
Chapter 13: “Meeting the Enemy”
“With unfailing kindness, your life always presents what you need to learn. Whether you stay at home, or work in an office or whatever, the next teacher is going to pop right up.”
– Charlotte Joko Beck
I opened my book last night and the “random” page I discovered literally amazed me. I thought about it for a minute, and realized that it shouldn’t have. Quite a few years ago I learned – the hard way – that life is all about synchronicity and uncovering the hints and assistance that lie all around us . I also learned that there really is a higher power that is looking out for us: all we have to do is stay calm; try to avoid forcing a result; do only what’s in our own power; and allow the answers to come to us.
This was one of those hard lessons that I had to learn. I struggled with this truth and fought it every step of the way for years, until I started to see those “little coincidences”. These moments of synchronicity – seeing someone that I had just been thinking about; hearing someone say something that I needed to hear; opening a book at random to a page I should be reading – are always there, ready to help. We just have to be open and ready to see them when they appear to us.
This is what this post has brought to me today, and it happened in the midst of a tough month – a month filled with too many severe headaches; and too many moments of fear, doubt and challenging family situations. Opening this page last night has reminded me of the grand plan for me as well as for everyone else. I just have to remain quiet: the answers – and the compassion – will come. Here are my phrases from that book (sorry – two of them from the first two paragraphs, plus the poem above really stood out for me):
The essence of bravery is being without self-deception…
…It is easy to mask fear, pain and self-criticism. Bravery lies in the ability to get the self into the light, push past the doubt and pain, and present it to the world as-is. This is the only way to love and be kind to the self – self-acceptance.
A warrior begins to take responsibility for the direction of her life…
…and she knows that in order to be happy/successful/loved/necessary, she will have to use her strength and absolute power to move those mountains. But she will also use her calm serenity to invoke the truth, and she will then wait for the earth to respond. The massive rock before her cannot move through sheer force alone, and she knows it.
I still forget sometimes that the universe really does work this way: there is help, there is love, and it’s just outside those doors. The doors do open, but many times, we don’t even know they exist.
Until we begin to see them…