Lama Rod Owens

‘When I speak of trust and confidence, I am talking about taking refuge in my basic experience of myself. I trust that I have the ability to experience and feel. I trust that I have the ability to empathize. I trust my ability to change. I trust my ability to embody agency. I trust that I can discern the positive and constructive things the world can offer me as feedback that can help me grow through my suffering. I also trust that I can discern through the bullshit what the world is trying to tell me about myself that has nothing to do with my benefit. This trust in myself doesn’t mean that I’m okay all the time, but it does mean that when I am not okay, I can let myself be not okay and I can take care of that not-okayness. This trust is built upon a real acceptance of myself that is supported by intense gratitude. I have to let myself be sick in order to have the space to start working towards being well.’ (Love and Rage)

I read this passage with my student group last Tuesday evening, and thought it notable and worth quoting here. As I type it up, I think of how it reflects upon those who took part in the insurrection last Wednesday, and one of the phrases I saw circulating on social media came to mind – that some men would rather storm the Capitol than go to therapy. Perhaps it just boils down to discernment and empathy.


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