How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience
you are having at the moment."
― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.”
― Pema Chödrön
It takes Practice.
Although we have to do some shape-shifting (we've often taken a lot of pride in what our hyper-materialistic society characterizes as "growing up"), we realize along the way that it is best to approach things with the basic openness and curiosity we experienced as children. In fact, Yogi Jesus is reported to have said this is a requirement for entering the Kingdom of Heaven. As Suzuki Roshi presented it, Zen mind is the mind of a beginner.
Although a commitment to a meditation practice is an excellent foundation for honing our ability to settle down to perceive the reality of our own experience in deeper and fuller ways,
the Practice actually develops and matures as we commit to bringing that same curiosity and openness to the myriad interactions of our entire lives.
As we learn to meet each moment as a teacher and a teaching, developing the willingness and ability to let go of our own preconceived notions and the many resistances that our graspings and aversions produce (or at least seeing them clearly), things get easier -- even in the midst of what we might call the "bad times." Through the spaciousness of not knowing, you don't have to work so hard at it. As you perceive the fleeting and mysterious effervescence of each moment, compassion and understanding naturally arise.
It just takes Practice.