The Opportunity of Crisis

A person’s character can be measured by how they act in a crisis. (Eva-Maria Zurhorst)
The ultimate measure of a [hu]man is not where [s]he stands
in moments of comfort and convenience, but
where [s]he stands in times of challenge and controversy. (Martin Luther King Jr.)

When things fall apart in our lives, when we lose our jobs, when relationships or friendships fall apart, when we feel stuck in dysfunctional patterns, or when we feel generally unhappy, sooner or later we begin to ask ourselves why, what are we doing wrong, or why does it keep happening?

Our friends are often kind enough to offer the standard responses like: “It wasn’t meant to be,” “Time will heal all wounds,” and “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” After exhausting all my friends with questions to which no one could possibly have any answers but myself, I decided to do some research and found a lot of useful information, tools, and ways of understanding that nagging voice inside that keeps asking ”why, why, why?” I wanted to know what you are supposed to do, after you have accepted that it’s all for the best, and that certain things aren’t meant to be, and while time is doing its healing, and you are supposedly growing stronger. What do you do in the meantime?

I went to the library and started research. I started getting answers from a wide range of sources: recent studies and publications in psychology, sociology, neuro-science, meditation, relationships, self, and Buddhism. As a researcher, I’ve learned to cross-check and consult as wide variety of sources, mediums, and different cultures, to avoid the trap of biased perspectives or one-dimensional explanations.

What I realized after my research and after talking to very different people, from different cultures, ages, genders, life-styles, faiths, and upbringings, is that we are all, eventually and essentially, asking the same questions and searching for the same answers. And once we start looking for the answers, it’s pretty much the same answers we find (just in different languages).

Here is what I found:

What is a crisis? 

In Chinese the term for crisis is written with two characters: the first character stands for danger, the second for opportunity. […] We only grow through resistance and challenges because they challenge all our strength, our potential, and our beliefs. […] We need a whole new perspective on crises. Crises challenge us to wake up, get up, and to finally listen to our inner voices. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

Science shows that we are conscious of only 4% of our self. 96% of us lie under the surface of our consciousness. Imagine you want something essential: a happy relationship, to stop smoking, success, or recognition at work. Only 4% of yourself is responsible for that, the four you are aware of. But unfortunately the 96% of our subconsciousness work against us. They are responsible for ensuring that the fulfillment of our desires is blocked, simply because they often pursue different goals than our conscious mind. Knowing about these two numbers, you can begin to see your world and everyone in it differently. If something in your life is very different than what you consciously desire, then you should remember that 4% is very little when you’re dealing with 96% opposition, and that no matter how hard you try, 4% cannot compete with 96%. […] What can propel us forward is to say: I accept that what I call myself is only 4% of me. I accept that I can never win the game against the 96%. If I want to finally find peace in my life, I can only connect to it. Not only will you understand yourself better, you can also consider the behaviour of others in a new light. You will be less inclined to condemn people when they don’t appear to be what they present themselves as. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

In a world that is dominated by logic, thinking, the mind, we are taught that we should have control over our lives. Supposedly we have freedom of speech and action. Supposedly we can determine what we want to do and achieve. Actually, our conscious mind is only a ridiculously small fraction of our whole being. In fact, our life is guided almost exclusively by our unconscious. […] Your life will only be fulfilled when you learn to steer it bravely according to your inner needs and talents. When you are willing to truly follow your heart’s desires. When you really hear what’s going on inside you and when you act accordingly. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

When we are in crisis, then we haven’t followed our feelings, but our ideas. If we face our heart, it will lead us back to vitality. […] Your crisis holds the answers to all your questions. The crisis is not your enemy. It slows you down, so that you can finally stop, so that you finally stop running away from yourself and the pain of the past, and stop abandoning your true self. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

In order to overcome something, we first have to accept it. […] Fate leads those who accept it; it forces those who reject it. Especially in crisis situations, it always works with absolute precision. It always catapults you exactly to that, from which you try to run away. … We are confronted with all the feelings, all the character weaknesses, all the loneliness, emptiness, and disconnectedness, we have tried to compensate with success and the constant race for new professional recognition all this time. […] It is important that you learn what your true needs are. Learn to build a home for yourself, to take good care of yourself, and to be honest with yourself. Otherwise you will continue to err hectically and homelessly through the world and never really arrive anywhere. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

The lowest point of a crisis is also the point just before the turning point. […] If you want something new in your life, then you cannot turn to old, familiar patterns to bring it by ways that are familiar and safe. You are entering the land beyond airbags and safe comfort zones. You are at a point where you cannot rationally plan ahead. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

Your crisis is your mirror, whether you want it or not. […] Whether you are feeling emotional or physical pain, turn to them fully, analytically, and accepting. Ask yourself: what is this pain doing with me?  What does it express? What does it prevent me from? Remember that pain wants to draw your attention to something. It wants to be understood and accepted. Do not judge yourself. Simply perceive. […] Each person has precisely the kind of crisis that she or he needs in order to heal. Each person carries the precise process for her or his own personal growth in them. When we are ready to accept this guidance, we meet people along the way who can help us to de-code this process and to rediscover our own strengths. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

Resistance is nothing but fear. (Dr. Wilfried Reuter)

When it comes down to it, many of us resist giving up our misery. As miserable as some people may be, for many there is a kind of preserve pleasure in the self-righteous indignation one feels when one is treated unfairly. We hold on to our pain, wear it like a badge, it becomes part of us and we are reluctant to give it up. (Dalai Lama)


Whatever we condemn in another person is the reflection of the part of ourselves which we reject and repress. Whatever we attack and judge in others is actually what we condemn in ourselves. Whenever we are angry at someone, we are projecting our own feelings of judgement and guilt that have been repressed in us. The things we attack and judge in others is actually what we condemn in ourselves. […] Judgment is a projection of our ego. […] If you want to know what you don’t like about yourself and with which parts of yourself you have lost contact, look at the people in your life and notice what bothers you most about them. Look into the mirror they hold up to you. If you are attracting angry people, then you have some unresolved anger in you. If many people don’t grant you love, then there is a part of you not ready to give love.  (Colin C. Tipping)


It’s like we built a wall of noise and activities so that we don’t have to listen to ourselves and can’t even feel ourselves. That way we have no contact to ourselves, no relationship to our inner being, we do not know what it needs, what it feels. We do what so many people do, we live next to each other, and slowly alienate from ourselves and from the other. How can we treat others better, if we don’t treat ourselves well? (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

An important step on the road to acceptance is to recognize that we don’t treat ourselves any better than we have been treated. That we hurt ourselves the same way that we have been hurt. Until we bring the old pain back into our consciousness, and deal with it as we would have needed to at the time. Then, finally, the chain, that often continues over generations, may be broken. Only when we learn to become the mother that we missed as a child, for example, can we heal. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

The heart and the body can only be experienced in the moment, not in thought, not in the mind. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

No matter what others out there are doing or not doing. No matter how unbearable and hopeless your relationship seems. No matter if you have just been abandoned or if you have been alone for a long time. No matter how badly you have been hurt in the past, and no matter how prospect-less your future seems. Wake up, and learn to me mindful of what you really feel in the moment. What you really believe in.  No matter how painful it may be at first: the conscious acceptance of what is right now is the only key to healing.  […] The mind has no access to this dimension of our being. It is not understandable what dedication and presence can change about feeling unhappy, lonely in your relationship, or stuck in life.  (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

Modern culture does not support the view of basic goodness. We are living in an atmosphere of heightened speed and superficiality, characterized by constant reaction. We are bombarded with stimuli telling us we need something else to feel complete. (Sakyong Mipham)

What are emotions? 

Emotions are pent-up feelings that we did not express in the past. […] Our emotions are accumulated, unlived past. They are the hardening of our un-expressed feelings that have been building up in us over time. Emotions are created whenever we did not allow our feelings free expression. Whenever we have swallowed or suppressed our feelings. Whenever we did not show what we felt at the moment. They remain in us, suppressed, but like a tension-charged field, and wait for suitable opportunities. They are greedy for the painful situations of the past to repeat, so that they can get out. As soon as something happens in our life similar to the emotional context of a past situation in which our feelings were not shown, our emotions come to light. These are great opportunities for them to be lived out. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

When we are really honest with ourselves, we begin to recognize that in most of our actions and thoughts we are motivated by fear. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

The fight-or-flight instinct doesn’t just kick in when we want to shield our bodies; we use it to shield our fragile sense of self. The challenge is to put a breathing space between the instinctive response – the jolt of anger or jealousy or whatever it is – and the way we then behave. Over time, I’m literally rewiring my neural pathways so that I can react to conflict with more patience and equanimity. I like the notion that the seemingly difficult people in my life can serve as teachers, offering me opportunities to develop patience and compassion. Your goal is to present the situation in a way that will allow them to understand why their behaviour is creating a problem without activating their own fight-or-flight response. (Gabriel Cohen)

As soon as we notice a stressful thought – such as greed, grasping, craving, envy, aversion, ill will, anger, fear, hatred, or delusion – we can train ourselves to recognize it as unwholesome and let it go. As soon as we notice a wholesome thought – such as connection, love, kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, equanimity, gratefulness, generosity, enthusiasm, or devotion – we can train ourselves to recognize it as wholesome and cultivate it. (Zenkei Blanche Hartman)


No one ever shows us how to find calm, so we have to learn it as adults, but I think it’s a skill that parents need to teach children from the very beginning. Calm means more than not being stressed out. It’s a reunion with something spiritual inside that resides beneath the outer layer of troubled thoughts and the whirling mind. Anxiety and worry are symptoms of spiritual disengagement. Worries and anxieties are teachers that can help you find inner calm. (Judith Orloff)

  • When you’re anxious or worried, change your thinking. Ask yourself what is the teaching of this anxiety or worry. Write down your answer and be very specific.
  • Be in the now. Deal with this moment only, without projecting into the future. It allows you to do small, do-able action steps in the present to better a situation, rather than wasting all your energy about what could happen in the future.
  • Work the anxiety down. Train yourself not to turn everything into one big emergency. Instead make it your practice to make anxiety smaller.
  • Meditate to calm yourself down.

Most people don’t know how to express anger healthily, without getting back at someone or hurting someone. When you spew anger, you can say things that you can never take back. This happens when anger is expressed without mindfulness. What commonly gets us angry: being treated unfairly, manipulatively, or with disrespect, especially if it’s intentional. Also feeling unappreciated, feeling threatened, or having our emotional or physical borders infringed upon. Compassion is the humane capacity of empathizing with your own or another’s shortcomings, suffering, and aspirations. Compassion allows you to put yourself into another person’s shoes. (Judith Orloff)

  • When you’re upset, pause and slowly count to 10. This off-sets the adrenalin surge of anger and trains you not to lash back impulsively.
  • Take a cooling-off period.
  • Avoid contact with those who do not respect your needs. (Judith Orloff)


In today’s society, initiation has no significance. Children do not have to learn to confront their fears in the different phases of development and to grow beyond them. They don’t have to learn to let go, and to really separate from their parents. How could it work in a society almost pathologically concerned with the compensation and displacement of pain? How should parents encourage their children to grow conscious of their dark and unconscious sides when they run from it themselves? So we now live in a world full of dependent children in grown bodies. Children who in all their actions call for help, attention, and affection. Children who are not really heard and understood because they live in the bodies of grownups, who never faced all their pain, and who have never learned to accept that pain and to transcend it. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

The lack of orientation and insecurity has repercussions deep into our perception, our bodies, even our nervous system. There is so much fear of betrayal, injury, and excessive demands in us that even in situations where it’s just about us, we cannot function properly. … This shows that we have been wounded in our basic trust. That is why it is so important that precisely in such situations we learn not to run away, not to freeze or to be ashamed. … It takes great courage to really accept a past trauma and to transform it. Most of us need the extreme pressure of a crisis to face the pain of the former child. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

From early childhood we have learned to collect victories and praise. … However, we must recognize that everything is connected. There are no detached victories. There’s only victory that makes someone else a loser. It is important that we all learn to be successful. Success means that the truly best for me is that which is also good for others. To have success means to work together, that we all learn a new kind of relationships. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

Almost everything we do in life is aimed to win the recognition of others or to gain their love and affection.  […] Look at your life. Why do you all the things you do all day? You probably tell yourself and others that you’re doing it for the family, for the career, for the relationship. No, you are doing most of it for the recognition by others and in order to keep your repressed pain in check. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

We carry many memories of insecurities in us, feelings of hurt, abandonment, or disrespect collect inside of us in a place we call the inner child, because it behaves like a child (emotional, irrational) and comes to the fore in relationships or other difficult situations. As children we received the nutrients we needed to grow, but we missed the love nutrition or the trust nutrition. As a result, our trust did not mature enough to deal with difficult or emotional situations. And sometimes that immature part of us is triggered by new situations, stress, opening in a relationship and feeling insecure. … We can learn to take care of our inner child and not let it act out. (Amana Trobe)

Most of us are detached from trust in ourselves and others. We only have an idea of trust, but real trust grows over time, trust in ourselves, our feelings, and that no matter what happens we can contain it, be with it. (Amana Trobe)

Learning to calm your inner child is essential so that you can do it when difficult emotions arise […] For example, you can learn to tell your child: “Don’t panic, I will take care of you!” When you can calm your inner child, you get more freedom to act in your separation conflict or in your future relationship conflicts. You don’t have to cling to the lost or future partner and can communicate more maturely with others. (Petra Biehler)

Courage vs. Fear: 

Courage overrides fear. A basic law of emotional energy is that we attract who we are. Fear attracts fear, courage attracts courage. If you want positivity coming at you you’ve got to generate it yourself. Here are some guidelines for distinguishing legitimate fears from irrational ones – this is how to tell fear from intuition: signs of a reliable intuition include:

  • Intuitions convey information neutrally and unemotionally; a reliable intuition feels right in the gut, you can feel it resonate
  • A reliable intuition has a compassionate, affirming tone
  • It gives crisp, clear impressions, that are often seen first in your mind’s eye then felt

In comparison, here are some signs of an irrational fear:

  • And irrational fear is highly charged emotionally, as opposed to neutral
  • It has cruel, demeaning, or delusional content
  • It conveys no gut-centered confirmation or on-target feeling
  • It reflects past psychological wounds
  • It diminishes your centeredness and perspective

Gather the courage to replace fear with a positive alternative! (Judith Orloff)


Patience is not passivity or resignation, patience is power. It means waiting and trusting for right action. It’s knowing when to act and knowing when to wait. It’s emotionally empowering. It means waiting your turn, knowing that your turn will come. It means tuning in to intuition and listening to that inner voice inside vs. “I want what I what when I want it!” In contrast frustration is a feeling of agitation and intolerance, triggered when your needs aren’t met. It’s tied to an inability to delay gratification. Patience is not a limitation. Rather it prompts us for flowering when the time is right (a small flower will die if transferred into a larger pot prematurely).  In order to know when the time is right, it’s important to tune into intuition and here is how:

  • It compliments the mind, it doesn’t work against it
  • It gives you insight into proper flow and what feels right for the body, what feels right for your life
  • But first, to tune into intuition, you first have to get into a quiet state (you can’t just stay in your mind, and the swirl of all the fears, and the worries, and the frustrations), so it’s important to be able to deeply relax
  • Ask a question and wait for your intuition’s response
  • Intuition doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear, it tells you the truth, and then you have a choice.

Tips for dealing with frustration:

  • Laughter is a quick way to break the spell of frustration, to become more patient with what it. Emotionally, laughter raises the spirits, softens your defenses and spreads positive energy. When you can lighten things up, that breaks the frustration.
  • Focus on the positive. Changing your attitude changes energy. You have the choice how to respond to frustrating situations. In any situation there is always something positive, if you just look for it.
  • Go with the flow. When there is no escape from a frustrating situation, don’t fight what is. That just makes it worse. Resisting what is causes the suffering and frustration.

Rejection: The most common source of frustration is rejection. Rejection is a turning down of a request, a refusal of something you were hoping for. Most people don’t know how to deal with rejection.

  • Strive to make your self-worth independent from other people and their opinions.
  • Don’t take things personal
  • Let friendships and romances develop slowly, it cultivates trust, instead of prematurely giving your heart away, then you won’t be a set-up for rejection
  • Turn to loving friends when you feel rejected (Judith Orloff)


Unconditional friendship with ourselves ultimately affects our friendships with others, allowing us to open genuinely to them. But it begins by unlocking warmth and tenderness in ourselves, for ourselves. (Carolyn Rose Gimian)

Relationships are opportunities to learn, about ourselves, to heal – replacing fear with love, to feel. (Dr. Wilfried Reuter)

Your relationship is nothing but a measuring instrument, the state of which reveals to you how much you are in touch with yourself, to what extent you actually live out your potential and your talents, and how bravely you follow your heart. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

The more we look for love, demand it or need it, the more it escapes, and the more we lose touch with ourselves. You have this crisis in your life because you stopped being true to yourself. You have this crisis because you act according to an image of yourself, and no longer feel what you actually need. You have this crisis because you lost touch with your inner self, and are no longer alive, but only function according to the images and requirements, because you have submitted yourself to your fears and insecurities. You stopped growing. You adapted, and thus you are preventing your essential self from unfolding. But the only thing that can fulfill you long-term, that can let you feel alive, and that fosters love between you and others, is the development of your essential self.  (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

Our outer relationships mirror our relationship with our inner self. If you never find the right partner, it is because there is something inside you that you can never really accept. If it never comes to true intimacy, it’s because you are avoiding contact with a wounded point in yourself. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

The things we do not say, our partners can hear anyway. (Eva-Maria Zurhorst)

We fall in love in order not to have to actually love. […] Your partner is your mirror – that which is subconscious in yourself, which you do not see in yourself. Our most intimate partners, as well as our most intimate enemies, reflect the core of our being. No one can love us where we have not loved ourselves. No one can hurt us, where we have not hurt ourselves. […] Love is free – it doesn’t need anything, it only wants to love. To love means to accept what it. (Eva-Maria Zurhorst)

Every person we meet is an opportunity to decide between projection or forgiveness, separation or unity. The closer the other person gets to our true self, the more probable it is that they will see our guilt-ridden self. The idea of being seen like that scares us. The temptation to project on to the other becomes irresistible. That’s the end of the honeymoon phase. Fear of intimacy becomes so big that our relationships break down. (Colin C. Tipping)

Every relationship serves our healing. (Colin C. Tipping)

All your attempts to love will fail if you do not actively try to develop your personality. […] Love is something you have to cultivate in yourself, not something you fall into. Generally, love can be described as giving and not receiving. (Erich Fromm)

In our modern society, happiness consists of “having fun.” One has fun consuming and devouring things, images, food, drink, cigarettes, people, magazines, books, and films. The world is has been reduced to the satisfaction of our appetite. […] Love is only possible when two people connect together from the core of their existence, when each experiences oneself from the core of his or her existence. Only this “living from the core” is real, only here there is vitality, and only here there is a basis for love. (Erich Fromm)

The prerequisite for the ability to love is overcoming one’s narcissism. The narcissistically oriented person experiences only that as real, which exists in his own inner self , while the appearance in the real world do not reflect reality for him, but are only experienced as something that can be of use or dangerous to him. The opposite of narcissism is objectivity. […]  We have to learn to distinguish between narcissistic perceptions of people and their behavior, and the real person, as she or he exists independently of our interest, needs, fears. When we learn to be objective and rational, the path towards the art of love is half accomplished, but one has to have this ability with all people one comes into contact with. (Erich Fromm)

True love that leads to sustainable happiness is primarily based on the inner freedom of two people who are whole and complete in themselves, and their desire to make the other person happy. (Petra Biehler)

True love is what is left behind when the story of love ends. (Karen Maezen Miller)

Understanding is the other name of love. If you don’t understand, you can’t love. To offer understanding means to offer love. Without understanding, the more we “love,” the more we make ourselves and others suffer. […] Understanding another person isn’t possible until we have practised looking deeply at ourselves. Someone who can understand our suffering is our best friend. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

True love makes us happy. If love doesn’t make us happy, it’s not love, it’s something else. True love consists of maitri (loving-kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (joy), and upeska (equanimity and non-discrimination). True love brings joy and peace, and relieves suffering. You don’t need another person to practice love. Practice love on yourself. When you succeed, loving another person becomes natural. Your love will be like a lamp that shines; it will make many, many people happy. When you practice the four qualities of true love, your love is healing and transformative. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Love is friendship, and that friendship should bring about happiness. To be a friend means to offer happiness. If love doesn’t offer happiness, if it makes the other person cry all the time, then it’s not love; it’s the opposite. Self-love is the foundation for loving another person. If you don’t know how to love and offer happiness to yourself, how can you love and offer happiness to another person? If you don’t know anything about happiness, how can you offer it? Live in a way that brings you joy and happiness, and then you’ll be able to offer it to another person. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

We have to distinguish between the willingness to love and the capacity to love. You may be motivated by the willingness to love, but if that is your only motivation, the other person will suffer. So the willingness to love is not yet love. Many parents love their children. Yet they make them suffering a lot in the name of love. They’re often not capable of understanding their children’s suffering, difficulties, hopes, and aspirations. We have to ask ourselves, “Am I really loving the other person by understanding them or am I just projecting my own needs?” […] Love doesn’t just mean the intention or willingness to make someone happy, but the capacity to do so. That capacity to love is something you have to learn and cultivate. Look into yourself and recognize the suffering in yourself. If you recognize, embrace, and transform your suffering and difficulties, then you are loving yourself. Based on that experience, you will succeed in helping another person to do the same, bringing a feeling of joy and happiness. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

You have two gardens: your own garden and that of your beloved. First, you have to take care of your own garden and master the art of gardening. In each one of us there are flowers and garbage. The garbage is the anger, fear, discrimination, and jealousy within us. If you water the garbage, you will strengthen the negative seeds. If you water the flowers of compassion, understanding, and love, you will strengthen the positive seeds. What you grow is up to you. If you don’t know how to practice selective watering in your own garden, then you won’t have enough wisdom to help water the flowers in the garden of your beloved. In cultivating your own garden well, you also help to cultivate their garden. […] When we commit to another person, we make a promise to grow together, sharing the fruit and progress of practice. It is our responsibility to take care of each other. Every time the other person does something in the direction of change and growth, we should show our appreciation. (Thich Nhat Hanh)


Forgiveness is the spiritual act of compassionately releasing resentment, anger, or the desire to punish someone or yourself for an offence. There are no shortcuts there. You cannot get to forgiveness until you honestly express your anger. Forgiveness is so important because it frees you. Ultimately it does more for you than for anyone else, because it liberates you from negativity and clenching, and lets you move forward. Ask yourself what emotional shortcomings caused the person you are angry with to treat you unfairly. (Judith Orloff)

There is only innocence. Guilt is an illusion of our ego. (Chuck Spezzano)

You will have plenty of reasons why the other is wrong and behaved wrongly. But it’s not about that, it’s about an entirely different question. Namely, despite all this, can I recognize my own innocence, and thus the innocence of the other? The search for innocence is the rule number one, and the first lesson to be learned. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

There are some behaviours that should not be tolerated, and often it is the most important thing to say no, and also to remain consistent. Sometimes all we need is letting go in order to move on. And sometimes the best help one of the partners can give is not to help anymore. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

Forgiveness means taking something into ourselves to the extent that it just dissolves on the outside. All expressions directed against our partner are expressions of our inner world. We have been feeling lost and abandoned, or threatened for a long time. […] It’s one thing to understand the principles of forgiveness and thereby love – it opens a door into a new world and gives you a sense of hope. But then, at the lowest point, you need courage to let go, and readiness to bet everything familiar and safe. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

Before we began to judge others, at some point we first judged ourselves, namely for precisely that, which the others are doing now. […] That which we reject in others, also exists in ourselves. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

Lust and hatred are generated within a conception of ourselves as being very solid. Once there is a solidly existent, palpable, overly concrete “I,” there also is “you.” Discrimination is followed by attachment to your solid self and anger toward the other side. […] The next time you feel hatred, see if you can split off from the main run of your mind an observer that watches the hatred. (Dalai Lama)

Careers and callings: 

Figure out what you love doing, and do it with all your heart. (Buddha)

Whatever makes you most happy is what you do best and what can bring you the most success and prosperity. […] Our life only changes when we change ourselves, when we have brought back old fears into our consciousness and transformed them through personal development and have grown beyond limiting beliefs. […] We need courage to accept and take back that which we have projected to the outside world for years, and we need an open heart to look even deeper. Then we can see that behind all this, fear reigns in us as it does in others. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

There is a big difference between successful people and those who want to become successful: successful people already have a lot of frustrations behind them. They know it’s just part of the way to encounter new frustrations. Successful people use them to develop new strategies and to grow. If you do not want any problems, you should not search for a deeper relationship or a new vocation. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)

Role models represent your inner potential that you have not yet brought fully to life. With a role model you come in contact with helpful, supporting, and energizing forces. Role models are guides. (Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst)


Petra Biehler, Mit Buddha die Trennung meistern. München: Gräfe und Unzer Verlag, 2009.

Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, The Art of Happiness at Work. New York: Riverhead Books, 2003.

Dalai Lama and Victor Chan, The Wisdom of Forgiveness. New York: Riverhead Books, 2004.

Dalai Lama, How to Expand Love. Transl. and ed. By Jeffrey Hopkins. New York: Atria Books, 2005.

Erich Fromm, Die Kunst des Liebens. Transl. By Liselotte and Ernst Mickel. München: Econ Taschenbuch Verlag, 2000 (1956).

Thich Nhat Hanh, Fidelity: How to Create a Loving Relationship That Lasts. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2011.

Judith Orloff, Emotional Freedom Practices: How to Transform Difficult Emotions into Positive Energy. Sounds True, Inc., 2009.

Dr. Wilfried Reuter, Trennung und Abschied. Public lecture. Berlin, Urania. March 20, 2011.

Eva-Maria und Wolfram Zurhorst, Liebe Dich Selbst und freu Dich auf die nächste Krise. München: Arkana, 2007.

Eva-Maria and Wolfram Zurhorst, Liebe dich selbst auch wenn du deinen Job verlierst. München: Goldmann, 2009.

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3 Responses to The Opportunity of Crisis

  1. Gita Badiyan says:

    An enlightening account of the human condition. Thank you Kat!

  2. Robert says:

    Thank you, I needed this.

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