pema chodron transformation

Sometimes when I meet my own stuck places, I find that the mantra that comforts me the most when I’m still right here in the messy, yet-to-be-transformed place but I wish I was over there in the nice, happy, transformed place, is this: “When something is ready to transform, it transforms.”

This is about acceptance. We have all of these choices coming at us, moment to moment to moment as for how we’re going to hold something. I’ve wrung my hands any number of times, thinking, “If I know better, then why aren’t I doing better? Why aren’t I doing things differently?”

Answer: When we know better but don’t do better, it’s because we don’t really truly know better, yet. When something is ready to transform, it simply does. It’s that basic and elemental. Things that are still resistant to transforming aren’t yet ready.

Can we all just have some love and acceptance now, for the places in our hearts that are still not ready to transform, that are still waiting? Will we risk loving ourselves anyway?

I loved this from Pema Chodron (from the classic, When Things Fall Apart):

“Perhaps nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion. Perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched. Maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. But what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. If we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent to get away from an obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. It just keeps returning with new names, forms, and manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves.”

Transformation is a process.

To whatever degree we can open up some spaciousness for ourselves around our process, the better we’ll be able to get a wider picture, a clearer view, and a more informed perspective.

Often we think the thing to do is clamp down and work harder on “getting it right.” I know that I go there, thinking that I can grit my teeth and work harder to self-help myself out of a tough time. We’ve all done this.

But that’s contracting. That’s running a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent to hope that we won’t have to go through the messy middle part.

Let’s open something up, here. Let’s claim the places where we still haven’t transformed something, where we still want to hide, and just sit in that. “Hi, my name’s __________. I still want to hide in the areas of ________, __________, ________.”

When I claim those places, I notice that it feels much the way I feel after finally making an apology. Sure, I might feel embarrassed about something I’ve done, but it is such a relief to just apologize, to do my best to clean up my part and create connection.

Take out a sheet of paper, a journal (or feel free to use the comments). Write out the areas where you still want to let yourself hide. Then ask yourself: “If I know that nothing ever goes away until it has taught me what it needs me to know, what is this messy stuff that I wish I could avoid actually teaching me?”

Are you willing to have some love and acceptance in your heart for the places that are not yet willing to transform?