Pema Chodron

What happens when you begin to feel uneasy, unsettled, queasy? Notice the panic where you instantly grab for something. That grabbing is based on hope. Not grabbing is called hopelessness.

So what does it mean to admit that we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about it? That’s the compassionate thing to do. We can actually know the nature of intense dislike, shame, and embarrassment without believing there is something wrong. We can drop the fundamental hope that there is a better “me” who will one day emerge. It’s better to look straight at our hopes and fears – then some kind of basic sanity arises.

Giving up hope is encouragement to stick with ourselves, to return to the bare bones no matter what’s going on. If we totally experience hopelessness, then we give up all alternatives to the present moment, and we can have a joyful, honest, direct relationship with our lives.

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