"The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them. . . . If I carry only grief, I'll bend toward cynicism and despair. If I have only gratitude, I'll become saccharine and won't develop much compassion for other people's suffering. Grief keeps the heart fluid and soft, which helps make compassion possible.
And we must have compassion for ourselves, too. When I lead workshops on self-compassion, I begin by saying,'This is a weekend in non-self-improvement.' We are so driven to make ourselves "better" all the time, as if the better we became, the more people would like us. We are mercilessly hard on ourselves for our losses, our defeats, our wounds, our failures, the parts of us that don't measure up."