Reflections on Chapter 22 of the Tao Te Ching:
To be flexible is to become perfectly whole.
If crooked, you’ll become straight.
If empty, you will be filled.
If worn out, you will be renewe.
If you have little, you will gain much.
By this, the Sage sets an example for the world.
When you first read this chapter, it may not make much sense. It is the yin and the yang. If you are really whole, seeing the whole picture, you are really looking at the whole. You are looking at both sides of the story and both ways that you can be. You can’t know something completely until you know the dark side of it. Especially with yourself. We can only work on ourselves. We can’t work on other people. As much as we might want to sometimes, we can’t.
Our job, as human beings is to work on ourselves and become whole.
The Tao Te Ching comes back to this time and time again. There are two sides to who we are and both are equally a part of us. There are two sides to any particular situation. With flexibility comes openness. How open are you? We need to remember to be open to things. What I’ve noticed is the points where I am least open, where I get really riled up, I am rigid there. Just because I am working on myself doesn’t mean they have disappeared! I have many points where I get to work on myself. I can tell because of this rigidity. I am not flexible. And so it goes. That would be one of those points. At that point, I am not seeing the whole of myself and what is possible for me in that.