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How Compassion Turns Pain Into Strength

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about how compassion turns pain into strength. So one of the things that I think we all realize as we grow up is that no matter how fortunate we happen to be, we all face suffering. And although we may wish to be able to control all the circumstances in our lives, we're all going to endure things like loss, illness, pain and personal struggles. And when pain and suffering inevitably arise in the flow of our lives, often our first instinct is to fight with it, push it away or run away.

But when we fight with pain and suffering, we actually only prolong it and make it worse. In fact, fighting suffering is a lot like struggling in quicksand. So you might remember those old Western movies, right? With the cowboys, and in those movies, the cowboys never wanted to fall in quicksand, but when you're a cowboy, sometimes it just happens. So when a cowboy used to fall in the quicksand, of course, he would always have that first instinct to struggle in the quick sand. But then of course he realizes that the struggle is futile and only makes things worse.

In fact, he knows he's going to completely be swallowed up by the quicksand if he struggles. So he gathers himself and remembers that the best thing to do in quicksand is just relax and float there on top until help arrives. In the same way we never choose suffering, but it just happens in life. And we too will probably have that first instinct to resist or run from it. But if we can gather ourselves and become present, we can meet our suffering with compassionate, accepting, and kindly awareness.

And therefore we end the struggle with it. And in this way, we can learn to gently be with our pain and work through whatever's causing us distress. And when we can face pain and suffering with compassion, we can move through it. We can learn from it. And our hardship can actually be a source of incredible personal transformation and growth.

There's an old proverb, no dirt, no flower. And what this points to is the fact that although it's hard to recognize when we're in the midst of our painful moments, the adversity actually offers often our greatest opportunities for deeper wisdom, higher awareness and greater inner strength. As William Butler Yeats once said, "Every trial injured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before." So in the days ahead, see if you can meet your pain with compassion, courage, and gentleness, so it can transform your pain into strength. So we're going to practice this skill in today's meditation. So I invite you to settle in for that.

And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

How Compassion Turns Pain Into Strength

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about how compassion turns pain into strength. So one of the things that I think we all realize as we grow up is that no matter how fortunate we happen to be, we all face suffering. And although we may wish to be able to control all the circumstances in our lives, we're all going to endure things like loss, illness, pain and personal struggles. And when pain and suffering inevitably arise in the flow of our lives, often our first instinct is to fight with it, push it away or run away.

But when we fight with pain and suffering, we actually only prolong it and make it worse. In fact, fighting suffering is a lot like struggling in quicksand. So you might remember those old Western movies, right? With the cowboys, and in those movies, the cowboys never wanted to fall in quicksand, but when you're a cowboy, sometimes it just happens. So when a cowboy used to fall in the quicksand, of course, he would always have that first instinct to struggle in the quick sand. But then of course he realizes that the struggle is futile and only makes things worse.

In fact, he knows he's going to completely be swallowed up by the quicksand if he struggles. So he gathers himself and remembers that the best thing to do in quicksand is just relax and float there on top until help arrives. In the same way we never choose suffering, but it just happens in life. And we too will probably have that first instinct to resist or run from it. But if we can gather ourselves and become present, we can meet our suffering with compassionate, accepting, and kindly awareness.

And therefore we end the struggle with it. And in this way, we can learn to gently be with our pain and work through whatever's causing us distress. And when we can face pain and suffering with compassion, we can move through it. We can learn from it. And our hardship can actually be a source of incredible personal transformation and growth.

There's an old proverb, no dirt, no flower. And what this points to is the fact that although it's hard to recognize when we're in the midst of our painful moments, the adversity actually offers often our greatest opportunities for deeper wisdom, higher awareness and greater inner strength. As William Butler Yeats once said, "Every trial injured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before." So in the days ahead, see if you can meet your pain with compassion, courage, and gentleness, so it can transform your pain into strength. So we're going to practice this skill in today's meditation. So I invite you to settle in for that.

And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Duration

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