When you don’t punish or condemn yourself, when you relax more and appreciate your body and mind, you begin to contact the fundamental notion of basic goodness in yourself. So it is extremely important to be willing to open yourself to yourself. Developing tenderness toward yourself allows you to see both your problems and your potential accurately. You don’t feel that you have to ignore your problems or exaggerate your potential. That kind of gentleness toward yourself and appreciation of yourself is very necessary. It provides the ground for helping yourself and others
Chögyam Trungpa, The Sanity We Are Born With
Be present as the watcher of your mind – of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations. Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react. Notice also how often your attention is in the past or future. Don’t judge or analyze what you observe. Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction. Don’t make a personal problem out of them. You will then feel something more powerful than any of those things that you observe: the still, observing presence itself behind the content of your mind, the silent watcher.
The best chance to be whole
is to love whatever gets in the way,
until it ceases to be an obstacle.
Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
Our lives are a mystery of growth from weakness to weakness, from the weakness of the little baby to the weakness of the aged. Throughout our lives we are prone to fatigue, sickness and accidents. Weakness is at the heart of each one of us. Weakness becomes a place of chaos and confusion, if in our weakness we are not wanted; it becomes a place of peace and joy, if we are accepted, listened to, appreciated and loved.
Some people are infuriated by weakness. Weakness awakens hardness and anger in them. But to deny weakness as part of life is to deny death, because weakness speaks to us of the ultimate powerlessness, of death itself. To be small, to be sick, to be dying, are stages of powerless, they appear to us to be anti-life and so we deny them. If we deny our weakness and the reality of death, if we want to be powerful and strong always, we deny part of our being, we live an illusion. To be human is to accept who we are, this mixture of strength and weakness.
Jean Vanier, Becoming Human
Gratitude welcomes what we are given. It doesn’t know any stories about how it should have been. To talk about gratitude is also to talk about what prevents gratitude, about resentment and bitterness. Resentment and bitterness are the residue that comes from dashed expectations. Since the world doesn’t fit our stories, there is a tension where I expected life to be more favorable to my hopes than it has been, or feel that the world has not bothered enough with me. That bitterness sticks in the body and the mind, so that the mind reruns its painful stories and the body stores them in awkwardness and discomfort.
John Tarrant, Practices of Gratitude.