"The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy." -Pema Chodron
I don't know how she does it, but Pema gets it right every single time. Oh wait, I know how she does it: She meditates, contemplates, extrapolates, and then shares open-heartedly with all. Thanks for that, Pema. She is a good example of not closing down or retreating into the self (meaning the ego self) when the "going gets rough." Or maybe she DOES retreat into dark spaces at times because she is, after all, a human being. The key is, however, that she realizes life isn't an experiment in completely annihilating "negative" emotions; it's an opportunity to directly face the grief and misery (and the relief and joy) and see it for what it is -- an emotion, a passing wave, a perfect time to practice loving-kindness towards others and ourselves. The importance of accepting, embracing, and falling in love with ourselves is vital. I cannot stress it enough. Do you think you are already being kind to yourself? Well, go one step further and then go one step past that. Be as gentle to yourself as you would be to a newborn child. We are delicate, but we are also defiant. We have more strength inside of us than we have ever thought possible. Is it possible to love oneself? Let's at least try to find out.