Patience With Yourself

Some wonderful quotes from the Buddhist nun, Pema Chödron. She was born in New York City, went to Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut, and then to Berkley. Miss Porter’s (now called, simply Porter’s Farmington) has a long list of famous alumnae, including Gloria Vanderbilt, Gene Tierney, Lilly Pulitzer, Letitia Baldridge,  Jacqueline Kennedy, and Dierdre Blomfield-Brown, now known as Pema Chodron.

Learning how to be kind to ourselves, learning how to respect ourselves, is important. The reason it’s important is that, fundamentally, when we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering. We’re discovering the universe.

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We can drop the fundamental hope that there is a better “me” who one day will emerge. We can’t just jump over ourselves as if we were not there.

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People get into a heavy-duty sin and guilt trip, feeling that if things are going wrong, that means that they did something bad and they are being punished. That’s not the idea at all. The idea of karma is that you continually get the teachings that you need to open your heart. To the degree that you didn’t understand in the past how to stop protecting your soft spot, how to stop armoring your heart, you’re given this gift of teachings in the form of your life, to give you everything you need to open further.

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Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.

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—Quinn McDonald is writing a book about inner heroes and inner critics. She’s wondering what they are saying about her.