Be Your Whole Self

cc image by wit on Flickr

cc image by wit on Flickr

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.


  1. I really like this perspective on flexibility. These verses always help me to get thinking in different directions – which is a good thing. Thanks for sharing :-).
    Nanette Levin recently posted…Nine quick tips on public speaking venue opportunitiesMy Profile

  2. Hi Amy,

    I’m glad I found your blog through mine and SITS Girls. I’m interested in following up in your journey and enjoy reading your interpretations of the passages.

    Liz Barker recently posted…The Dream QuestMy Profile

  3. Thanks for the visit from SITS. Great photo. Wholeness is important. The world is always trying to break us into pieces.
    Maggie S. recently posted…Yesterday’s Music, Tomorrow’s DanceMy Profile

    • Thanks for the visit, Maggie. I loved your blog! SITS Girls looks like a lot of fun. I appreciate your visit and hope you stop by again.

  4. What a unique blog! Looking forward to reading more. Thanks for visiting my blog today, too!
    Kate recently posted…Melanie LeBlanc: Ethically-sourced and Keeping it RealMy Profile

  5. As night is the oppoisite of day, it is easy to see when loking away from onse self. Looking inward, understanding self, is a life long journey. The TAO is there to help us understand just how much we don’t understand and to help us along that journey. My dark side shares the same hours of the day with my light side, thus I must always be aware of it, and work to improve myself.
    Chef William recently posted…Black Bean SoupMy Profile

  6. Amy, thanks for finding and commenting on my blog and leading me here to yours! I think we may enjoy following each other!
    Allison Rapp recently posted…To Get More Clients, Draw On Your Compost PileMy Profile

    • Mutually. These blog challenges are a great way to meet some new bloggers. I love your “compost pile” post. Very true!

  7. Amy, thank you so much for visiting “this little light” and for feeling the joy of that event with me!

    I love this piece. I, most definitely, am still a work in progress!
    michelle recently posted…Hot and ColdMy Profile

  8. Welcome, Michelle! I think we are all a work in progress! Lol..

  9. I really like this perspective on being flexible. There are many areas of my life that I am rigid, and I hadn’t thought of that inhibiting my ability to see the whole story. This is excellent food for thought!
    Kristin recently posted…Mayday!My Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kristin. I think that the Tao Te Ching has so many amazing things to teach us! I just love how simple it is and yet so applicable over the entire history of mankind. I am glad you got some good nuggets out of it!

  10. Pingback: 22 – Being the Opposite

  11. Outstanding post from expert and in addition it will most likely be referred to as an incredible discover how to me and thanks considerably for penning this practical information around all.

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