Tao Te Ching Day 68: Relationships and The Great Tao

I Don’t know that there is anything better than spending time with the people you love. It is both fulfilling and challenging. It is fulfilling because to experience the light of another divine, human consciousness connected to your own feels like the reason for the entirety of the cosmos.

Challenging because sometimes we can be a lot to handle. Some consciousness, when expressed in certain ways, bends you backward and tries to break you. That is the Yin and Yang of relationships. They fill you, and they deplete you.

If I have a little knowledge

Walking on the great Tao

I fear only to deviate from it

The great Tao is broad and plain

But people like the side paths

TTC 53 (Lin)

When I feel that my life is in harmony and I am walking in the way, I am meant to incredible things start to happen. Synchronicities start to pop up everywhere, and life takes on this state of flow that is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It is Fear, Excitement, and Uncertainty, mixed with some Hell Yeah and some Oh No.

The path is interesting, though, because, like the Tao Te Ching says, “But people like the side paths.” What is not talked about often is the loss that we endure while moving on this flowy path.

People do like the side paths, so the ones we love may end up going down different paths, and in those times, I know I have found myself questioning if I should go with them. Earlier in my life, I did go with them.

It can be difficult because, again, there is nothing more significant than spending time with those we love, but when they need to go down the side path, I have to remember that all paths lead to the same place.

It doesn’t mean that the loss of family and friends doesn’t hurt like hell. It just means that I can have faith that I will see them again. And that many times, those relationships that go off side-paths create more space for other things that are needed in our life at the moment.

So what does a side path look like?

“The courts are corrupt

The fields are barren

The warehouses are empty

Officials wear fineries

Carry sharp swords

Fill up on drinks and food

Acquire excessive wealth

This is called robbery

It is not the Tao!“

TTC 53 (Lin)

This might be confusing unless the people you love are all government officials. But what I can compare it to is the way in which people judge one another. The fields being barren can be a metaphor for one’s inner life being empty; unhappiness is their drink unless they are getting something from outside of them.

Carrying sharp swords can be the way in which they speak to you or others. Only concerned with getting theirs, taking care of themselves at all costs.

This is said not to be the Tao. Not the path of the Tao. Speaking as someone that took side paths for a few years of my life, I can attest, they are not as glamorous as they look. And from my experience walking in the Tao is so much more incredible.

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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