Every moment offers us the gift of transformation

Every moment offers us the gift of transformation.  We can choose to respond to life by tightening up, hardening, resisting or we can choose to soften, relax into the moment.  The first doesn’t seem like a real choice.  Our bodies naturally tend to tighten when a blow comes at us.  It seems only natural to protect against harmful infiltration.  Softening into the moment feels wrong, silly, stupid. 

Dealing with trauma often seems to me the ideal training ground for personal and spiritual transformation.  We are buffeted by internal and external activation every day.  We have no where to flee to get away from incoming danger,  Our internal world is more akin to a pinball machine than the usual image of a calm, relaxed monastic experience.

One of the people in the SEOC shared this quote from Pema Chodron who writes,  “We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us.  We always have this choice.” 

What do  you think?

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  1. Melissa Butts’s avatar

    I know that I had to make a conscious choice to allow my trauma experiences to teach me how to be gentle with myself. I was really into shame and guilt. I remember feeling that my heart had hardened. It took awhile for me to understand that my heart had not hardened and that it was softening as I allowed myself to feel my pain and sadness. In feeling it and accepting it, I began to truly soften my heart and allow trust and love to reenter. It’s not an easy journey, yet I do believe it’s a necessary one in order to be transformed. I lived my life always afraid until very recently. Now, I use the mantra, “No fear…wait and see.” It keeps me in the present moment.

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