Letting Go Every Day

“In the practice of the Tao, every day something is dropped. Less and less do you need to force things, until finally you arrive at non-action. When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.” Tao Te Ching, chapter 28, Stephen Mitchell translation

This is what I’ve been living lately: dropping something every day. It sounds so easy, so deceptively easy.

I’m still fighting the weird spiritual battle of putting forth a herculean effort and not getting much accomplished, at least on the surface. I’ve been making appointments to get things done to the house to prepare it for sale—and I somehow always get canceled on. It is as if I am surrounded by a big spiritual black hole where time, effort, and energy go in and zilch comes out.

My solution? Do what I can. Every single day. I’ve been rooting around and looking for things to get rid of or organize. For example, I just cleaned out my car’s trunk, getting rid of the remnant of a bag of salt, pitching a few items, and dust-busting. Also, tomorrow the trash gets hauled away, so tonight I am looking for enough crap to fill the Granger container, given that we use less than one entire bag of trash per week.

“So what?” You may ask. By doing these “little” things, I am making my life easier for when, probably quite suddenly, things speed up for me and the timing of events is completely taken from my hands. If things are going to move excruciatingly slowly for the time being, I shall use that to my advantage as much as possible.

“Less and less do you need to force things, until finally you arrive at non-action.” To me, this sounds deceptive, as if you might finally get things the way you like them and can relax at last. That impression is the exact opposite of reality. Reality is change; change is reality. Anyone unwilling to deal with change is refusing to deal with reality. I am not talking about forcing things to happen because I am unsure if that is even possible. I am talking about accepting changes and not resisting them, riding on the wings of change, if you will.

I cannot force things to happen, but I can gradually eliminate all obstacles and sharpen my mind for the next phase of my life. I can just see it. When the next phase starts, people are going to say I am so lucky to be so ready. My attitude will undoubtedly be along the lines of, “Seriously? Lucky?” I’ll just laugh, remembering the truth of 2013-2015.

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About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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