Tao Te Ching Day 52: Inflammation

There is an inflammation of the self that begins upon any great endeavor. Not an inflation of the ego but an inflamed sense of being, an agitation to the pressure of the process as it unfolds, can be seen as growing pains.

It’s like any process that requires growth. We must undertake the responsibility of pain and discomfort as we move into a distinctly different realm of our lives. There is no getting around this inflammation; it is the birthplace of a different being.

Yet, I can’t help but hate the recovery process. And the inflammation comes so much quicker than it used to. Seen in the light of exercise means that I am doing things that I haven’t done before. My old self is not used to these new movements; they are full of friction, more dynamic in nature than the way I once was.

However, like with exercise, the muscles will soon grow accustomed to the new movement and adapt to handle them. My life will quickly adapt to take my new way of living. My spirit, my mind all work the same way. The problem with these two areas of myself is that the recovery for one’s mind and spirit are not as straightforward or as quickly diagnosed as muscle soreness.

While alive, the body is soft and pliant

When dead, it is hard and rigid

All living things, grass and trees,

While alive, are soft and supple

When dead become dry and brittle

TTC 76 (Lin)

Adaptation moves into the body by accepting that life must be received into the self through willing submission. When I work so hard to change some habit, thought, or idea, the friction of change is cutting away parts that no longer serve the greatest version of myself.

I realized to become soft after such difficult hard work is a necessary process to remain in the light and flexibility of life.

I amaze myself by this constant strain of progress followed by absolute agitation at my plateaus.

It is in all reality anger that I am mortal and that my human qualities are forgotten too often by me. How do I keep forgetting that I need rest? I am not some machine, and that rigid mechanical mentality is the stuff that brings me closer to living on the side of death than on the side of life, as Lao Tzu speaks of in Chapter 76.

Thus that which is hard and stiff is the follower of death

That which is soft and yielding is the follower of life

Therefore, an inflexible army will not win

A strong tree will be cut down

The big and forceful occupy a lowly position

While the soft and pliant occupy a higher place

TTC 76 (Lin)

I’m just trying to be soft as Charmin over here, haha. I Don’t want to continue cutting myself down with my inflammatory actions.

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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