Woman with Flower
I wouldn’t coax the plant if I were you.
Such watchful nurturing may do it harm.
Let the soil rest from so much digging
And wait until it’s dry before you water it.
The leaf’s inclined to find its own direction;
Give it a chance to seek the sunlight for itself.
Much growth is stunted by too much prodding,
Too eager tenderness.
The things we love we have to learn to leave alone.
Naomi Long Madgett
There is a time for everything. A time for stillness and a time for busyness. A time for growth and a time for laying fallow. We so easily get caught up in the push and pull of life. Trying to control and force is easy to us. One might say this is natural to us. It is anything but natural. It is indeed easy but also terribly harmful and exhausting .
After a lifetime of tightly grasping the reins, of skillful mastering, directing, forcing and willing every little thing it is exceedingly difficult to let go; to relinquish being in charge. Lao-Tzu, in his Tao Te Ching, reminds me that the universe is sacred and perfect and cannot be controlled, especially not by me. So what’s the answer to this exhausting and debilitating role of Master and Commander that I’ve donned?
Give up control.
Simple. But not easy.
It’s a mind game and one that needs to be played moment by moment. Hour by hour. Day by day. For me this isn’t a process easily won. It’s new to me and perhaps to you. It’s about recognising and halting that learnt behaviour to interfere and control. It’s about observing rather than taking over. It’s about understanding there is a natural law that is harmony itself and allowing it to work its magic in your life.
Let’s revel in the sacred perfection of the world and let go of the reins.