Pema Chodron Quotes When Things Fall Apart

Title: Pema Chodron Quotes When Things Fall Apart: Finding Strength in Adversity


Life is a series of highs and lows, and it is during the toughest times that we truly discover our inner strength. Pema Chödrön, a renowned Buddhist teacher and author, has beautifully captured the essence of navigating through challenging times in her book “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times.” This article explores five powerful quotes from Pema Chödrön’s book, followed by seven additional quotes related to the theme of resilience. We will also delve into thirteen invaluable pieces of advice from professionals who resonate with Pema Chödrön’s teachings, all with the intention of inspiring and guiding you through life’s trials and tribulations.

Pema Chodron Quotes When Things Fall Apart:

1. “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.”

This quote reminds us that by embracing vulnerability and facing our fears head-on, we discover our inner strength and resilience. It is through our struggles that we find our true selves.

2. “The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”

Pema Chödrön emphasizes the importance of self-reflection and self-compassion. Instead of avoiding our flaws and weaknesses, we must confront them with gentleness and courage, fostering personal growth and healing.

3. “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”

This quote reminds us that embracing uncertainty and stepping out of our comfort zones is essential for personal growth. It is during times of adversity that we have the opportunity to evolve and awaken to our true potential.

4. “The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with.”

Pema Chödrön teaches us that by cultivating compassion and empathy, we can overcome our own insecurities and connect deeply with others. Opening our hearts is an act of courage that allows us to build meaningful relationships.

5. “Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look.”

This quote encourages us to embrace our negative emotions and experiences without judgment. By acknowledging them, we can learn from them and eventually find peace and transformation.

Additional Quotes on Resilience:

1. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller

2. “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” – Confucius

3. “The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.” – Jodi Picoult

4. “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.” – Haruki Murakami

5. “The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.” – Unknown

6. “The only way out is through.” – Robert Frost

7. “Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.” – Unknown

Advice from Professionals:

1. Dr. Brené Brown, research professor and author: “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.”

2. Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author: “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.”

3. Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk and peace activist: “The present moment is the only moment available to us, and it is the door to all moments.”

4. Elizabeth Gilbert, author: “Embrace the glorious mess that you are.”

5. Dr. Maya Angelou, poet and civil rights activist: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

6. Oprah Winfrey, media executive and philanthropist: “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

7. Deepak Chopra, author and alternative medicine advocate: “The best way to get rid of the pain is to feel the pain.”


Pema Chödrön’s book “When Things Fall Apart” provides invaluable guidance for navigating through difficult times. By embracing our vulnerability, practicing self-compassion, and accepting the impermanence of life, we can find strength and resilience. The quotes from Pema Chödrön and other influential figures remind us that adversity is an opportunity for growth and transformation. The advice from professionals offers practical wisdom to help us navigate through life’s challenges. Remember, it is through the trials and tribulations that we discover our true strength and emerge wiser, more compassionate beings.

Common Questions:

1. How can I find strength when everything seems to be falling apart?

– Embrace vulnerability, practice self-compassion, and seek support from loved ones or professionals.

2. How can I develop resilience during difficult times?

– Practice mindfulness, focus on self-care, and cultivate a positive mindset.

3. How can I overcome fear and uncertainty?

– Embrace the unknown, step out of your comfort zone, and trust in your ability to adapt and grow.

4. How can I use adversity as an opportunity for growth?

– View challenges as learning experiences, reflect on the lessons they offer, and commit to personal development.

5. How can I build resilience in the face of repeated setbacks?

– Cultivate a growth mindset, learn from failures, and persevere with determination and self-belief.

6. How can I find meaning in difficult times?

– Seek purpose and connection in relationships, engage in meaningful activities, and focus on personal growth and contribution.

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