Tao Te Ching Day 22: Expectations

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“At rest is easy to hold.

Not yet impossible is easy to plan.

Brittle is easy to break.

Fine is easy to scatter.

TTC – Chp. 64 (Addiss & Lombardo)

We come into this world bound. I would like to say that we come in free, but this is not true. The truth is we come in bound by the reality of other peoples expectations of us.

As babies we have no idea of these expectations placed on us by others, but at some point the consciousness that awakens in us sees these expectations and makes a choice. We accept the expectations or we reject them, either way we are living in another’s life from the get go. Attached to another’s karma, dogma, and beliefs.

Life is full of these moments when the choice to attach or reject occupy us. However, there is a third option, and that option is The Tao- “Create before it exists. Lead before it goes astray.”

We have the option to do nothing, because nothing is still something, and it is the allowance of the expectations to drop away.

Chapter 64 is all about expectations. Something we do not yet believe is impossible we can plan for. There is no belief that what is to be done can not be done, therefore we can make it happen.

Creating before it exists is the source of creation. I can not write an entire article before I write one letter. Yet, having written one letter the entirety is created in its unfolding.

“A tree too big to embrace is born from a slender shoot.

A nine-story tower, rises from a pile of earth.

A thousand-mile journey begins with a single step.

TTC – Chp. 64 (Addiss & Lombardo)

There is never anything to do but start. The expectations of a thousand miles will hold us to never taking a step. The feeling of being burdened with someone else’s beliefs about our life will keep us from living in our own way.

Expectations of the way something should be, is a death toll to the thing ever existing. We can simply exist in the realm of possibility acting with non-action.

We start as babies and grow into adults not at the urging of others to do so, but by the nourishing of our beings.

Nourishing is allowing one step to be enough, allowing a slender shoot to be all the tree you will ever need.

Our expectations of our jobs, our money, our relationships, ourselves along the path of life keep us stuck precisely where we are, because our expectation of what should be isolates a future outcome and anything that does not resemble that expectation falls short, and anything that falls short keeps us looking for another tree, another 1000 mile journey.

“Act and you ruin it.

Grasp and you lose it.

Therefore the Sage, Does not act

And so does not ruin

Does not grasp and so does not lose.”

TTC – Chp. 64 (Addiss & Lombardo)

Here is the true freedom that we have been craving since birth. The freedom to let go of any outcomes for ourselves or others. We let go of pleasing peoples ideas about us and become what we are in the moment. There is no need to expect ourselves to do great things, we already are great things.

What if the greatness we possess is waiting for you to let go of what it looks like, so it can come to you?

What if the only thing holding us back in our lives from our dreams coming true is the vision of how we expect our dreams to show up or even to look? What if they look and come in very different packages than we expected?

What if the dreams we had were merely feelings of what we wanted, but our minds interpreted those feelings in the only way they currently knew how with information they had at the time?

What if we can not see the true beauty of what is ahead because it has never existed before in anything we have ever experienced?

Wouldn’t you want that dream more? Doesn’t that sound like a more exciting future? One that blows the roof off all your old stories.

Well here it is…

“People commonly ruin their work when they are near success.

Proceed at the end as at the beginning, and your work won’t be ruined.

TTC – Chp 64 (Addiss & Lombardo)

We can have anything we would like and live in full expression of our own divine nature by letting go in this way. We do not have to change to some other way of being and acting once we see people are watching.

Have you ever felt the need to change yourself or the way you are doing things once the thing you were doing begins to gain attention?

Isn’t that strange? Why would we change what is working? As if we expect others to expect us to give them more now that they have seen what we are capable of.

Can we hold to our center? Can we remain at the beginning even at the end?

The Tao Te Ching is expressing this beautiful message of dropping egoic outcomes so that we may live in a natural and free state. We evolve as a natural process of the Tao, not because someone asks us too.

When you were 5-years-old, if some one asked you to be 25 instead would you have been capable or would you have said, “you’ll have to give me some time.”

It is in this same way that we must approach all things in our life. “Time takes time,” expectations do not change the out come they only change the enjoyment of the journey.

Do you want happiness and enjoyment in your life?

“Therefore the Sage;

Desires no desire, prizes no prizes

Studies no studies and returns

To what others pass by.

The Sage,

Helps all beings find their nature,

But does not presume to act.

TTC – Chp. 64 (Addiss & Lombardo)

Transmission ended

Happy Day.


Published by Matthew Whiteside

I am a writer, a storyteller, a yarn-spinning freakazoid. My life is full of two things today, lessons and blessings. I write fiction mostly but I also love to write about my life and the things I go through on a daily basis. Writing it out inspires and motivates me and that's why I do it. Plus if it does that for me maybe it will for someone else too.

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