A Taoist story tells of an old man walking along a riverbank. The river was swift, and powerful rapids led to a tall waterfall just downstream. Suddenly, the man stumbled and fell into the river and was swept up by the powerful currents.
Onlookers watched with horror, worried for the man’s life as he was carried downstream and over the edge of the waterfall. They rushed to the edge of the cliffs and peered down. To their astonishment, the old man stood on the rocky banks at the bottom of the falls. He was soaked from head to toe but unharmed and had an unassuming smile.
When asked how he survived, he said, “I have accommodated myself to the water, not the water to me. Without thinking, I allowed myself to be shaped by it. I did not resist it. Plunging into the swirl, I came out with a swirl. This is how I survived.”
Moral of the Story
The above story illustrates the power of non-contention and radically accepting whatever happens to us in life.. Life is going to happen to all of us at some point; whatever will go wrong will eventually go wrong. The key to navigating the vicissitudes of life is to find meaning in the suffering of life. As American psychologist and author Tara Brach wrote in her book, Radical Acceptance: Awakening the Love that Heals Fear and Shame, Radical Acceptance is the willingness to experience ourselves and our life as it is. A moment of Radical Acceptance is a moment of genuine freedom. Only when we realize we can’t hold on to anything can we begin to relax our efforts to control our experience.
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.