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.


12 thoughts on “Patience With Yourself

  1. I just recently read that there’s another interpretation of karma entirely; in Jainism (which I also had never heard of before) karma is, as far as I understand it, a kind of subatomic particle (or, well, along those lines). Pretty interesting idea, and dampens the tendency toward anthropomorphizing events by implying that there’s an association between what happens and “what you need”. I’m firmly in the William Munny camp: “‘Deserve’s’ got nothing to do with it.”

    • The word “deserve” makes me itch. I hear it a lot when something nice happens. (I suspect it’s thought just as much when something not nice happens, but not voiced as often.) But I’m going to take Pema’s definition. Largely because I can understand it.

  2. I love these quotes, Quinn. They come at a perfect time for me. I know I can arrive back at the place where I think ” why am I here AGAIN! How come I still haven’t learnt.” especially when I feel wounded by the world. Or by people in it. Maybe I’m there because I need to feel the wounding. To stop “protecting my soft spot”, to “stop armouring my heart”. Thanks Quinn

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