To understand all is to forgive all, and I believe that if we knew everything we'd arrive at a certain serenity. Now having this serenity as much as possible, even when one knows - little - nothing - for certain, is perhaps a better remedy against all ills than what's sold in the chemist's. A lot comes of its own accord, one grows and develops of one's own accord.
- V. Van Gogh
Neuroscience and neurobiology confirm our ability to shift our experience in a direction of our choosing. We can begin by cultivating a practice of taking care of our thoughts:
If we feel lost, we can take care this way: I trust the path that has brought me here
If we feel resentment, we can take care this way: I release those who I hold responsible for my happiness
If we feel helpless, we can take care this way: I rest in the power that resides within me
If we feel we don't have enough money, we can take care this way: I recognize the ways I am already supported
If we feel self-judgment, we can take care this way: I am at peace with myself as I am
If we feel self-doubt we can take care this way: I trust my ability to see clearly and make choices that serve me
The secret of parenting is not in what a parent does but rather who the parent is to a child. When a child seeks contact and closeness with us, we become empowered as a nurturer, a comforter, a guide, a model, a teacher, or a coach. For a child well attached to us, we are her home base from which to venture into the world, their retreat to fall back to, his fountainhead of inspiration. All the parenting skill in the world cannot compensate for a lack of attachment relationship. All the love in the world cannot get through without the psychological umbilical cord created by the child's attachment.
- Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D., Gabor Mate, M.D. - Hold On To Your Kids (adapted)
The richest relationships are lifeboats, but they are also submarines that descend to the darkest and most disquieting places, to the unfathomed trenches of the soul where our deepest shames and foibles and vulnerabilities live, where we are less than we would like to be. Forgiveness is the alchemy by which the shame transforms into the honor and privilege of being invited into another’s darkness and having them witness your own with the undimmed light of love, of sympathy, of nonjudgmental understanding. Forgiveness is the engine of buoyancy that keeps the submarine rising again and again toward the light, so that it may become a lifeboat once more.
- Maria Popova, The Marginalian
In actuality, the two poles of life are complementary opposites that together make up a total and wholly fulfilling experience of life. Although we tend to be afraid of pain, it is only in contrast to pain that we can fully experience pleasure. Without pain we would not know its opposite. Unending pleasure would become boring - and painful in its own way. Allowing these complementary opposites to arise within the field of witness allows us to be relaxed with the ups and downs of life by staying connected to the unchanging field within which these opposites move.
- Kamini Desai, PhD, Yoga Nidra, The Art of Transformational Sleep