In her book, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, Pema Chodron offers this:
"No matter how irritated you are by what you’re hearing, each sound is worthy of your attention. When you listen to it with appreciation, it begins to draw you out of yourself, out of the small, self-centered world that is always just about Me. When you have this kind of genuine connection with yourself and the world, you may begin to encounter wakefulness."
She calls this experience a doorway to a sacred world. “Sacred not in the sense of religious or holy but in the sense of precious, rare, fleeting, fundamentally genuine and good.”
So, as we open ourselves to what the other has to say, we identify and nurture the creative tension within us to integrate the varied heads-and-tails situations of our lives.
The pendulum swings equally both ways. Understanding and accepting your own joyful and awful experiences helps you recognize the elation of joy and the outrage of pain in another – even a so-called enemy. You learn, in a visceral way, the truth that both offenders and saints “act out of their own suffering” (Jan Chozen Bays).
Who provides the opportunity to cultivate patience? Not our friends. Our enemies give us the most crucial chances to grow. The Dalai Lama
Parker Palmer speaks to the transforming role of suffering (watch video)