We all have certain times in our lives where we feel stuck and can’t seem to find our way out. In fact, those experiences, especially when they last a while, can take us into a feeling of hopelessness. We wonder if we will ever find our way out. Pema Chodren speaks so beautifully to this from a buddhist point of view. She says in Tibetan, there is an interesting word ye tang che which translates to “totally tired out” or “totally fed up”. In my personal life, I have experienced this a lot over the last 3 years.
When we are in pain, we often want to run towards pleasure. For me, living in Boulder, Colorado, I was able to hide from a lot of the pain and suffering I had inside. I hid behind the facade of being healthy, eating organic food, practicing yoga, having a sweet home, starting a family and living a social. When a health crisis hit in my family and my life began to “fall apart”, I realized I was using all of it to run from all the pain that was underneath. I was ye tang che….,exhausted!!!!
When I became aware enough to understand that this feeling of hopelessness was actually the beginning of the beginning, as Pema puts it, I started trusting that I could rise out of this chaos that kept playing out in my life and relax into where I was. I could see the great teaching that was in front of me and that I no longer had to play out these patterns. The choice was mine and it was a moment of truth I will never forget. I realized that my perception was everything and that I could always shift my view point in every situation.
It’s a daily practice and I still going into places of feeling hopeless, especially when it impacts my personal life, but it’s less and less as time goes on. I understand what I have control over and what I don’t. I spent far more time in grief and suffering than one needs to and learned the hard way that there is always choice. I am now way more compassionate towards myself and others and am capable of rising out of the suffering when I choose to. As Buddha so beautifully taught, “Life is Suffering” and the sooner we can accept this truth, the more we can live in peace, joy and freedom.