At some point whether as a girl, or a child, or an American or perhaps all of the above, I came to believe that my worth was related to what I accomplish. So in order to feel more worthy, I had to accomplish more. This has lead to phrenetic periods in my life..especially when I have been at low points. The result being compulsive workings to accomplish any number of things so that I could feel restored to a sense of worth or at least a sense of deserving. Rather than moving inward to explore what is causing the low feelings, avoiding it altogether and trying to create a corresponding feeling of worth by working and working and working, until I can work no longer.
I think sometimes I have experienced Christianity in ways that reinforce this notion. And I believe that there are plenty of Christians and sects of Christianity that message this in different ways. Some theologians suggest people do good works to show gratitude or that good works are done as a result of gratitude for the grace that you have been given and is an indication that you have been Sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Do, Do, Do. Fix, fix, fix. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Hmmmm
For me, the underlying ultimate message in Christianity is that God contextualized in the world to meet humanity in their own time and space and sacrificed that incidence of humanity to correct all mistakes , to fix all problems, right all wrongs. Metaphor or literal translation both point to the fact that we as humans, need to let go of the notion that all the work in the world is ours to do. And as I get older I realize how arrogant it is of me to even think I have all the answers anyway.
A more monastic perspective is to embrace that all the problems I see may not need fixing, all tasks do not need to be accomplished. Sometimes fixing what is broken doesn’t look fixed to my eyes, sometimes things are only to be completed in their own time, not mine. There are breaks that are healed at different levels that I am not a party to. So sometimes the fixing is not mine to do. For me, the way to break with the business and need to keep moving, is to acknowledge the discomfort I feel by not having everything perfect,whatever that means. To acknowledge that things are exactly how they are supposed to be at this moment. If I don’t like what I see, the best thing I can do is acknowledge that I don’t like it and figure out why. I can pray for restoration and have faith. And I can do what I am able, when I am able.
So today, I am reflecting on Lao Tzu…I am not hurrying and I trust that all will be accomplished. Because it is such a short piece of wisdom, I invite you to say it out loud a few times and memorize it. Throughout your day say the line out loud, especially if you are feeling stressed or rushed. Spend some time with the word, accomplish/ed. What does it mean in your life right now?
Peace and Blessings