Reflections on Chapter 49 of the Tao Te Ching:
The sage does not set her mind.
Instead she holds the mind of the people.
She is kind to the kind and unkind alike,
because virtue is kind.
She trusts the truthful and not truthful alike,
because virtue is truthful.
A sage lives in harmony with everything around her,
and everything around her sees her as a child.
In your heart, you know the right thing to do.
Your body is your barometer.
You can feel in your body when something is right for you or when it is not. Pay attention to it. If your heart is telling you to be kind, how does that feel in your body? There is a softness there. Your every day choices are your presentations to the world…your mini PowerPoints of “who you are”. What are you telling the world about yourself today? Please don’t judge yourself. Just notice it. Do you like what you see? If not, just figure out what you don’t like and change it. Don’t fret about it, just make it different!
These little improvements are a process… not a destination.
You are not going to be a perfect person, EVER. You are always in a process of refinement. If you remember that, you can just keep starting over. There is great freedom in that! If you have a bad day, just continue on and try again. Don’t worry about the mistakes that you have made in the past. The more you focus on them and worry about them, the more difficult it is for you to move on and become that person that you wish to be.
These principles are not easy all the time.
There are days when it will be a struggle to do the right thing and days when you feel like a saint. Doing the right thing is not necessarily what you are going to do automatically, but once you get to that point where you are starting to recognize the beauty of it, it is more attractive to you. You will become more attracted to your life as you start living out of your own truth.
It’s kind of a pollyanna thing.
People tend to get annoyed or frustrated with people when they are being super good. It makes them look bad and then they judge themselves and don’t like it. It is just human nature. I do it myself. Sometimes good people kinda annoy me. I just want to mess things up. Sometimes when my husband comes out of the shower with his hair all combed nice and neat, I just have to mess it up. It’s how I’m wired. If you are practicing doing the right thing, you will find that people often scoff. They think you are being silly or naieve. People generally have no idea of the responsiblity we have just in being. We are all very responsible beings.
You have a responsiblity to everyone
you come into contact with every single day.
As parents, we see this as we raise our children. We notice that everything that we have done wrong gets reflected in our children in some way. Perhaps we get lucky and a few of our bad traits skip a generation or something, but generally we get to see all of our stuff played out as part of the game of parenthood. So I think that the responsiblity that we feel as parents is really a responsibility that we all have in the world so if you are not a parent, you are not spared. You have it too!
What I am talking about here is a responsibility to carry ourselves properly.
It is really scary. I get scared just talking about it! Am I supposed to be perfect because I am talking about these things? No! I am not. I won’t ever be. I will make mistakes and be human and keep going. That is what we all do. We just keep moving forward. We just make the mistakes and we recognize ourselves and we just move forward. It’s a good thing. A really good thing. This is a huge part of our learning… self-forgiveness!
So the old lady sage in the red hat looks the fool and loves every minute of it.
That’s her secret. Look at Mother Teresa. She got tremendous respect. But people say “Oh, Mother Teresa.” Her very name represents doing things for people…helping people. Her name represents that to the world! She lived super big. Who could be Mother Teresa? Nobody! She was not a fool, but that is the kind of thing he is talking about in this chapter. We don’t think of her as the fool, but we aren’t running off to live like she did either.
When talking about Mother Teresa, people say, “Oh, I couldn’t be that!”
If you keep not being that, then you are not going to be that. That is a certainty. When you get in a funk, as you will, as everyone does, you can just be assured that you will just be in a funk for a bit and then it will be gone. Then you can look forward to the next funk because it will happen again – there will be another one! I think the key is just to be aware.
Starting TOMORROW, (phew!) I am doing a nine-part series on Awareness. I won’t post on it every day, because I am still doing these essays and writing out the chapters, but it is a little sweetie treatie for you this month since it is Ultimate Blog Challenge Month! It has been so fun writing and creating this blog for you and I am so glad that you stopped by to read my stuff! Please make a comment and say hello! As one blogger I saw wrote, leaving a comment is like clapping. Clap if you are having fun! I’d love to hear from you! I will try and pop over and say hello back!