Everyone who undergoes severe trauma faces similar choices: to try to pick up the pieces of our lives and continue as before; or to stop and turn more intentionally toward healing, however that may appear in our lives. While we may not recognize it at the time of a traumatic event, life-changing suffering has a way of being an opening to a greater understanding of life.

The “mud” and mess of our most painful experiences can become the fertile ground for the blossoming of our understanding and self-compassion. This is a hard truth to accept if we are resolved to seeing a good life as consisting only of positive events. It is true that the cool waters of happiness are sweet and precious, but it is suffering that carves our cup.

From Flowers in the Dark: Reclaiming Your Power to Heal from Trauma with Mindfulness by Sister Dang Nghiem © 2021. Reprinted with permission of Parallax Press. 

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