So as I am working with my worry, the message that is arriving from all directions is what I mentioned yesterday~ embracing it, discovering compassion for the parts of myself I wish to push away (in this case, worry). I came across this passage by Thich Nhat Hanh yesterday and was just STRUCK by the realization that I have the ability to transform this “demon” into a gift for myself and those around me. To develop greater understanding and depth as a result of the thing that I consider a painful nuisance…
“If you have experienced hunger, you know that having food is a miracle. If you have suffered from the cold, you know the preciousness of warmth. When you have suffered you know how to appreciate the elements of paradise that are present. If you dwell only in your suffering, you will miss paradise. Don’t ignore your suffering, but don’t forget to enjoy the wonders of life, for your sake and for the benefit of many beings.
I grew up in a time of war. There was destruction all around — children, adults, values, a whole country. As a young person, I suffered a lot. Once the door of awareness has been opened, you cannot close it. The wounds of war in me are still not healed. There are nights I lie awake and embrace my people, my country, and the whole planet with my mindful breathing.
Without suffering, you cannot grow. Without suffering, you cannot get the peace and joy you deserve. Please don’t run away from your suffering. Embrace it and cherish it. Go to the Buddha, sit with him, and show him your pain. He will look at you with loving — kindness, compassion, and mindfulness, and show you ways to embrace your suffering and look deeply into it. With understanding and compassion, you will be able to heal the wounds in your heart, and the wounds in the world. The Buddha called suffering a Holy Truth, because your suffering has the capacity of showing us the path to liberation. Embrace your suffering, and let it reveal to you the way to peace.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh in The Heart of the Buddha’s Teachings