So the more you practice and study, the more you begin to view your emotional upheavals like weather changes. They can be captivating and convincing—they can hook you and drag you under—but at the same time, you begin to know they’re passing clouds. You’ve seen the sun and you have no doubt that it’s there behind the clouds. That makes your motivation to practice stronger, because you feel there’s nothing that could happen to you that wouldn’t be a doorway through these clouds, these temporary weather conditions.
Take grief, for instance. Grief is completely pregnant with bodhichitta—it’s full of heart, love and compassion. But we tend to freeze or harden against grief because it’s so painful. We bring in the clouds. In fact, we’re good at bringing in the clouds and keeping them in place. We’re good at fixating on them.
But when you practice the teachings that say, “Stay with the grief, see it as your link to all humanity,” you begin to understand that grief is a doorway to realizing that the sun is always shining. You begin to understand that the weather is transient like clouds in the sky. You begin to have more trust in the underlying goodness—the underlying “sun quality”—of your being.
Pema Chodron- Lesson on Remaining Open in difficult times.