One of the things that Pema Chodron said on the last day of the retreat I was at just over a week ago is to stay tender and open in life. In fact, she said, "live your life from the place of a broken heart." It's not depressing or sad even really. But it's about being open to your life - to what you like and don't like, to what's there and what not's there. It's a really tender place to be.
Letting my heart be broken means seeing what's really there. Seeing the humanness in people. In myself. It means I make mistakes.
When I took the clown workshop a couple of months ago one of the things Nick said was, "we love you when you're confused." The clown can be confused and people love him/her. Sometimes being tender and open means being confused, not sure where to turn, not knowing if it's going to work out. Resting in that place takes a lot of strength. It takes something to sit while you're tender and open and uncertain.
But something happens in that space. Some kind of softening and connection to other people emerges. Compassion, even friendliness towards others and ourselves. Pema writes a lot about that, about cultivating friendliness towards ourselves.