The more the wood – the hotter the fire . . .
Excerpted from “Taking the Leap” by Pema Chodron
So we start by making friends with our experience and developing warmth for our good old selves. Slowly, very slowly, gently, very gently, we let the stakes get higher as we touch in on more troubling feelings. This leads to trusting that we have the strength and good-heartedness to live in this precious world, despite its land mines, with dignity and kindness. With this kind of confidence, connecting with others comes more easily, because what is there to fear when we have stayed with ourselves through thick and thin? Other people can provoke anything in us and we don’t need to defend ourselves by striking out or shutting down.
Selfless help, helping others without an agenda, is the result of our having helped ourselves. We feel loving towards ourselves and therefore we feel loving towards others. Over time all those we used to feel separate from become more and more melted into our heart.