May 27, 2018

Nature doesn’t Beat herself up & Neither should We.


Drowning in the modern self-help world
and the myriad of conflicting advice,
we have all become confused.

Positive psychology says we ought to think on the bright side;
Eastern philosophy says we should not try too hard.
The motivational speaker says we do too little;
mindfulness says we do too much.
The nutritionist says something is wrong if we have pain;
but the Buddha says suffering is an essential part of life.
When our inner critic tries hard enough,
he can turn anything into a self-defeat,
as if we can do nothing right.

We keep fixing this and that,
and yet our moods are still unpredictable,
and things remain groundless.
We have all bought in to this great myth that says:
we can fix ourselves,
or we have control over how we feel.

The truth is, it is not up to our willful efforts.

Everything is a part of nature.
Not just the trees, the animals,
but also every human—our friends, our foes,
that stranger, that challenging family member.

Everything is a part of nature.
The situations, the good and the bad, the yin and the yang.

Everything is a part of nature.
We, and everything that comes through us:
our thoughts, feelings, preferences, judgments, pleasant and unpleasant sensations.

And like everything else in nature,
there is no mistake.
There is wisdom in our spontaneous, organismic
reactions to the circumstances in life.
Our feelings—no matter what shape or form—
are our instantaneous and visceral dance with life,
are wholly organic,
and are in harmony with the natural order.

Our anger needs to be there; our fears need to be there.
Our addiction is a noble effort to survive the unthinkable trauma.
Our compulsion is a vigorous attempt to find order in a world of chaos.
The argument with our partner is a result of two people’s clumsy attempt to love,
and a touching manifestation of our dedication to each other.

We cannot “fail” to meditate, to be sane, or to be wise.
Our seemingly unwholesome actions, negative feelings, undesirable urges
are all a part of it.

In nature, there is a time for everything.
A time for grace, a time for sorrow.
A time to sow, a time to harvest.
Nature does not hurry, get anxious, or beat herself up,
yet everything gets done in just the right time.

We are a part of nature’ s creation.
And therefore, just like everything else,
the trees, the changing weather, the life cycles of all beings,
we are taken care of.

Our bodily functions are everlasting proof of this truth.
We “do” nothing, and yet nothing is left undone:
we do not breathe our breaths
or beat our heart
or contract and dilate our blood vessels.
They all take care of themselves.
In fact, whenever we try to “do something” with them,
we obstruct their natural rhythm.

So the next time we feel out of control,
perhaps we can drop the idea that there is a right and a wrong,
erase the image that there is someone in the clouds
wagging his finger at us,
disregard the sense that something is haunting us,
pushing us to do more, be better, run faster.

Like everything else, we are a part of nature.
It runs harmoniously in us—through our blood,
our breaths, our feelings, and our actions.

In nature, nothing can truly be out of alignment.
And in this sense, we can do no wrong.

We are held.



Author: Imi Lo
Image: Jordan Sanchez/Unsplash
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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