This week I have been revisiting a book written by Pema Chodron, called “When Things Fall Apart”. I read this book a few years back when my Mom passed away. It helped me to realize that life isn’t about trying to reach a place of lasting pleasure, in order to avoid pain, but to accept that we will experience both pleasure and pain, throughout life. I have to be reminded of this often, otherwise I find myself in what Buddhism calls samsara; a hopeless cycle that goes round and round.

My body is doing odd things lately, and the feeling of being “unwell” really makes me nervous. I don’t like feeling sick or weak, and my first instinct is to resist it and fight it. In moments of clarity though I remember all that I have learned and read about resistance to these kinds of situations. There is nowhere to hide, no escape. You can either choose to walk through pain/suffering, allowing it and feeling it or you can find ways to shut down…alcohol, sex, shopping, any type of distraction. I am trying hard to stay with it.

Scary and uncomfortable….yes. Worthwhile….definitely.

Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think we need to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth of life is that things don’t really get “solved”. All kinds of things can and will probably fall apart in our lives:

• loss of a job
• loss of a relationship
• loss of health
• loss of a loved one

The trick I think is to remember that life is like that, things fall apart and come together again, such is the rhythm of life. The healing comes from acceptance of this fact, and creating the space to allow it to happen.

The spiritual journey, according to Pema, is not about heaven and finally getting to a place that’s really swell, rather it is a way of being present to what is going on each day, each moment and to use these situations as a way to wake ourselves up.

Sticking with uncertainty, relaxing in the midst of inner chaos and training our body/mind not to panic is part of the spiritual path.

Author's Bio: 

Tucker Dinnes is a life and recovery coach, or as she likes to say "a life recovery" coach. Working initially in the field of health and wellness, with a focus on self acceptance and balance, she has currently moved into the field of Recovery Coaching. To learn more about her, please visit