This morning I began listening to Wayne Dyer’s book Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life for the 3rd time in 4 months. I commute daily to work and love me a good audio book. This wouldn’t typically qualify as what I would have previously considered good being that it wasn’t a thriller, fantasy or Sci-Fi. But I’d recently picked up a variety of Non Fiction in order to nudge me along in my seemingly stagnant state. This book was given to me at a time when my ED recovery was especially frustrating. I had been working with my team for almost 9 months and still seemed to be carrying this monkey on my back in spite of my efforts to remain compliant with the list of behaviors I had incorporated into my life. I was praying, journaling, meditating, practicing yoga, following a meal plan, I’d stopped going to the gym and I was most definitely *feeling* each emotion as they crept up on me, mostly without any subtlety. My refusal to block the emotion was evident in the absurd amount of crying that was now a part of my routine.
This book was my first exposure to the Tao Te Ching and, because I was driving, I wasn’t always intensely focused. But I became really attracted to the messages that I, at least, was extrapolating from it at that time. Regardless of the verse that was being discussed, I continued to feel like it’s place in my life was just to remind me, quite simply, to stay present and let go. To focus on where I was in this moment, what I was feeling, and being open to what was next. To let go of attachments to things or ideas that were irrelevant, uncontrollable, and above all else that just were. It seemed to be gently reminding me that my resistance to certain facets of my life or my desire to force relationships or refusal to accept what is – these were all keeping me from progression in spite of all the good that I had brought into my life.
Let go of attachments to things or ideas that are irrelevant, uncontrollable, and above all else that just are.
I feel like my ED therapist, dietician, and support group were obviously crucial to move me out of my cyclical and destructive behaviors, and I will definitely attribute them to my being able to stay in recovery at this time – not just because it cost me thousands. But I also know that equally healing and divinely appointed in my life was a healer of a different sort, and the subsequent behaviors and thought processes that were introduced into my life. Such as this book.
So for my 3rd go round with the Tao, I decided to actually do what Dr. Dyer suggests as he opens his narrative; I decided to partake of just one verse a day, understand it’s simplicity and put it into practice.
The Tao that can be told
Is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
Is not the eternal name.
The Tao is both named and nameless.
As nameless it is the origin of all things;
As named it is the Mother of 10,000 things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery; ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations.
And the mystery itself is the doorway
To all understanding.
So my intention today is living the mystery. Dyer suggests that letting go of the mystery is how we will actually come to see it. His interpretation: “Let go and Let God”. Man, if this isn’t exactly what I’ve been unsuccessful at bringing into my life in spite of the number of times someone has said this exact thing to me. He suggests that if we desire and look, we will see evidence of what we are seeking. It’s part of the creation process and preparing us for receiving. When we seek or desire something, we can begin to see the manifestations of our wants. Paradoxically, he goes on to say that we should also be “desireless” – trusting, permitting and allowing. Because “wanting transforms into effortless allowing”.
This is why I shouldn’t be driving while listening…it’s like I get what he’s saying, I do. But I need to back up, start over and back up again. I am leading the movement on seeing beauty in all things and creating beautiful souls, but still, I love a little touch of pretty in my physical world as well. So if I want to be covered in the colors and fragrances of spring time flowers while lounging on my back patio, I have to desire it and plant the seed. But then I should also be allowing that blossom to do it’s thing and grow? And I can continue wanting to forgive or I can actually forgive. I can desire to love once again, but that’s different than loving.
Today, I am seeking to understand desiring and wanting compared to trusting and allowing and making a space for both of them in my life. But also, I acknowledge that it is both desiring and trusting that has allowed my footing to stay surely on the path to recovery. For while I want to be free of my disorder and am following the plan to the best of my ability, I have also had to trust, permit and allow. Much of that trust was in hired professionals, but a greater portion of that was in my own body. At some point, I had to throw myself off my cliff of control and trust that my body would catch me. That my body would respond in a healthy manner now that I was permitting and allowing it to function the way that God had so brilliantly intended. And it has been this constant reminder to trust and create space in my present for something better that, I believe, has allowed me to muffle ED’s voice even while coping with the trauma of infidelity. To allow for something far more glorious than what I have been so twistedly trying to hold on to in my life. And so with that, I move forward with the desire to heal but also hope that by permitting and trusting and allowing, I will acknowledge and accept something far greater into my life than that which I have been mourning.
In the words of the good Dr. “do the Tao now”.