The Pain of Being Pruned


“Trust is my strength…and from trust I live.”

-Hermann Hesse

This hurts…terribly. Being pierced in the heart. Cracking open. Raw vulnerability.  Dying a slow death. Being pruned time and time again.

Pema Chödrön describes a time in her life when she had the following quote pinned to her wall, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” She shares that even before she heard of Buddhist teachings she knew this to be the spirit of true awakening.

When you’re suffering it can be so paralyzing that you wonder if you will ever have a chance for happiness. Change has a way of seeping into our lives whether we’re ready or not.

Chödrön depicts it as “Letting ourselves be nailed to the present moment.” This has been my experience…and it has left me with two possibilities either to let it harden me or to walk through the portal towards self-compassion. What happens next is a good question. That is where the strength of trust kicks in…it is the difference between being alive and living.

Spring Equinox


Vines of sorrow and loneliness

Have climbed the walls

Of her life

Patterns growing

Into broken


Acid tears


The secret garden

Kept long hidden

Behind lock and key

One fine day

There was an eclipse

Of the heart

The Sun and Moon

Became One

Her Soul


© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

Here I Am


“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” ― Maya Angelou

My heart is open

Longing for you to see me

As I truly am

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015



“The idea of returning is significant for all of us. We must work, explore, travel, and make our achievements in life. No matter how much we strain and how wide we wander, we all need some lodestone, some center from which to operate. For some of us, this is a place, a home. For others, it is merely withdrawal into our own hearts.”

-Deng Ming-Dao