September 07, 2010

An Event

I have been reading a great deal lately about the Tao Te Ching. More than two years ago a co-worker began talking about it and it sounded intriguing. A little less than a year ago he gave me a book for my birthday that had Tao messages woven throughout. This summer I picked up a book by Eckhart Tolle that had been recommended by another friend years ago. And finally, the book that took me to my knees a month ago smacks of these ideas.

I am not converting religious beliefs or giving up my clothes for a saffron robe and shaving my head. I am simply beginning to see something about peace that I had not the eyes to see in previous times. Were one to spend a week, perhaps less, with me they would see that one of my biggest hang ups is worry. I worry about the past, I worry about the future and I would worry about the present moment if I allowed myself to be in the present moment for a moment! I will pat myself on the back in acknowledgment that it has diminished from the enormity it once was, but it creeps out now and again.

The Tao Te Ching has been studied, dissected and written about, so I don’t for a moment pretend that I know enough about it to even consider myself educated. However, the gist of the message I am receiving is of the possibility to incorporate peace into my hectic life. Perhaps in time even do away with “hectic”. There are many other lessons but the one I am clinging to is currently related to the power I give events.

As I understand in the most recent book I am reading (and mentioned several times throughout the previous), I give events too much power. While I have long believed that there aren’t good and bad things, only things, this idea is much more profound. The idea of not giving an event power would free my mind and heart to so much conformity. Conceivably more than I can even comprehend today. This speaks to me on a core level. The idea of how diminished, if not expelled from thought completely, any guilt or shame attached to decision making overwhelms.

Most recently I sent an email to someone hoping for a particular response. Before sending it I even thought about the possible responses. I weighed the pros and cons of both positive and negative reactions. And for me, the most negative of all…the possibility of being completely ignored (which for me is an equivalent of soul torture and something I am certain to blog about in the coming weeks). I decided instead of fretting about the possible outcome and whether I should have even sent the email, I would apply this new principle.

I sent the email. And sending an email was an event. It is over, it has passed. The outcome is out of my control. Furthermore, the result does not reflect in my worth or value. No one event, no one choice, no one consequence culminates in who I am. Who I am at this very moment is simply who I am at this very moment. And at this moment I chose to be pretty spectacular.

Will I check my email a couple of times today looking for that response? I might. Maybe I won’t. Will I have feelings related to the response or lack thereof? Possibly. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Nevertheless, I will embrace the idea that each thing is simply an event. The behavior or opinion of another does not identify me. And with that thought I can put space around the feelings that are historical for me (the ones I like to refer to as “go to feelings”). And the event will simply be an event. And I will be okay.

Event by event.

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