Chapter 24 of the Tao te Ching by the legendary Lao Tzu offers helpful direction about the difference between self-awareness and self-deception. Let’s look at this one couplet.
He who has power over others
can’t empower himself.
Lao Tzu suggests that we participate in life, we can’t control it. The effort to have power over others is a timeless form of denial of this great fact. Feeding the illusion of control diverts us from facing the truth of life, which will empower us. When we can accept that we have very little control, then we begin to align with the forces of the Universe, which carry us the way an ocean carries a raft.
A Question to Walk With: Speak of time when you were too controlling and how that experience affected you and those around you.
Recently, Atria published my new book, The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom that Waits in Your Heart. To make the most of being here, we’re required to learn when to try and when to let go. This is our initiation into grace. The gift and practice of being human centers on the effort to restore what matters and, when in trouble, to make good use of our heart. No one quite knows how to do this, but learn it we must. There is no other way. By fully living the one life we’re given, we’re led to the wisdom that waits in our heart. The above piece is an excerpt from the book.
*photo credit: Tuur Tisseghem