Life does, indeed, happen…every second of every minute of every day. You are going along and think you know the daily occurrences. Then a variant enters in, be it health, money, unexpected change of jobs or becoming jobless, loved ones having problems which can impact you, etc. It can be good things as well as bad. Sometimes there are companions that we think are going to last a lifetime, and somehow the variants cause them to take a course that takes them into a different reality.
It is like traveling in a canoe, paddling along, peacefully enjoying the experience. Perhaps there is another in his/her canoe going with you, side by side. Then, unexpectedly, a small island comes up — you go on one side and your companion goes on the other. You pass the island, and your friend does not appear for another current took them off on another path. You cannot reach around and try to re-establish the connection before the island. Yet, it cannot happen because life has presented you with a new way to go. Your only choice is to be where you are and go forward, paddling along.
Sometimes on my journey, this has happened to me. People whom I have dearly loved have disappeared down another channel, never to return. Rarely, do they ever return. It is difficult to let them go on their path and find where it is that I am going. Yet it is mandated by Life.
Life Flows along like a river.
Some people try to stand on the bank with one foot and put the other in the canoe. They never trust the canoe (Journey), so they hobble along, trying to be safe and secure. That can be the biggest myth of all because change comes to everyone. How we respond makes the difference.
In “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff, a story is told:
“Literally, Wu Wei means ‘without doing, causing, or making.’ But practically speaking, it means without meddlesome, combative, or egotistical effort. It seems rather significant that the character Wei developed from the symbols for a clawing hand and a monkey, since the term Wu Wei means no going against the nature of things; no clever tampering; no Monkeying Around.
The efficiency of Wu Wei is like that of water flowing over and around the rocks in its path — not the mechanical, straight-line approach that usually ends up short-circuiting natural laws, but one that evolves from an inner sensitivity to the natural rhythm of things.
Let’s take an example from the writings of Chuang-tse:
At the Gorge of Lu, the great waterfall plunges for thousands of feet, its spray visible for miles. In the churning water below, no living creature can be seen.
One day, K’ung Fu-tse was standing at a distance from the pool’s edge, when he saw an old man being tossed about in the turbulent water. He called to his disciples, and together they ran to rescue the victim. But by the time they reached the water, the old man had climbed out onto the bank and was walking along, singing to himself.
K’ung Fu’tse hurried up to him. ‘You would have to be a ghost to survive that,’ he said, ‘but you seem to be a man, instead. What secret power do you have?’
‘Nothing special,’ the old man replied. ‘I began to learn while very young, and grew up practicing it. Now I am certain of success. I go down with the water and come up with the water. I follow it and forget myself. I survive because I don’t struggle against the water’s superior power. That’s all.’
When we learn to work with our own Inner Nature, and with the natural laws operating around us, we reach the level of Wu Wei. Then we work with the natural order of things and operate on the principle of minimal effort.”
In metaphysics, I have found that if I am struggling, something is amiss. Either I am hanging onto something with a strong grip (and this can be for myself or a loved one), or there are outside forces at work which need examined, dealt with, and resolved. I know what my flow is like. I know I must pay attention to it and give it due process, or I will encounter more problems, which can multiply exponentially. “Just Let Go!” should be written indelibly onto my brain.
A personal example is that I fell on a freshly-mopped floor in a restaurant without a visible “Wet Floor” sign. I injured my left knee, tearing my MCL with Meniscus involvement. I am three months post accident, doing physical therapy. I would like to rush it so I can get better and go back to the activity level I had before the incident. I was starting to walk faster and created a reversal on my healing process. So now I have to slow down and quit trying to hasten the process. I must be where I am and take small doable steps so that I can heal properly. I have to remind myself, moment by moment, to quit “pushing the river.”
Another example is about a loved one’s health changing dramatically, making me very sad for their loss of being able to stay in their home or possibly a stroke changing how they can function. One can only watch sometimes as this happens to others. Yes, you can offer assistance perhaps, but not always. For instance, Dementia — when changes are necessitated by the condition.
When your Life alters course, are you pliable enough to “go with the flow?” Can you chart a course in unknown waters by gathering information about possibilities, choosing the best one you can (with the understanding that the moment of absolute certainty will never arrive), and then get both feet in your canoe and start paddling? Or will you fight, struggle, and resist the new reality? It is your choice, you know.
God bless your journey!
Low water flow
Heavy Water Flow
Flood Stage Water Flow