Emptiness and Availability
“The Tao is infinite, eternal.
Why is it eternal?
It was never born;
thus it can never die.
Why is it infinite?
It has no desires for itself;
thus it is present for all beings.
The Master stays behind;
that is why she is ahead.
She is detached from all things;
that is why she is one with them.
Because she has let go of herself,
she is perfectly fulfilled.”
Chapter 7, Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell Translation
My favorite part of this chapter is “Why is it infinite? It has no desires for itself; thus it is present for all beings….She is detached from all things; that is why she is one with them.”
I truly believe that part of my purpose here on earth (perhaps part of everyone’s purpose) is to be available for others. These days, people are “crazy busy” all the time. Nobody has the time or emotional space to process half of what is going on around them and within them. We all need that sounding board and mirror at times. To be able to do that for others has been highly fulfilling.
What does it require? Freedom from excessive desires and detachment from all things, a tall order. This means I can’t be trying to do 20 other things simultaneously. I truly suck at multi-tasking.
However, I am finding an odd down-side to making myself into a safe, empty space for others. I woke up this morning with certain aches and pains and with the sudden awareness “These pains may not even be mine. Where are they coming from?” Nature really does abhor a vacuum. The pains are relatively new, only starting maybe four or five months ago.
As I clear out my own issues, I make more room within myself for others’ emotional and physical attributes.
I need to figure out how to protect myself or I may not survive dealing with others’ traumata.