Saturday, March 29, 2008

Avoiding Sorrow

“The legs of a duck, although short, cannot be lengthened without hurting the duck. And the legs of a crane, although long, cannot be shortened without hurting the crane. So what is long by nature should not be shortened; what is short by nature should not be lengthened. All sorrow is thereby avoided.” Chuang-tzu

I find this quote interesting. First off, I think any insecure male should read it because it completely puts into perspective any penis envy he may or may not have. But this is not just useful for men. It is useful for anyone who has ever felt less than perfect just the way they are. We live in a culture of constant messages about how imperfect we are. The plastic surgery industry has made a killing on these insecurities. There is a time and a place for such things as plastic surgery. When we get into an accident that has left us disfigured, it is nice to have a plastic surgeon on hand. When I had a cyst growing on my back, it was nice to have someone who could remove it and not leave a huge scar. That someone, by the way, was extremely excited to find out that I am a shaman. He had been reading about folks like me for years. Although I was internally mortified about being referred to a plastic surgeon, I was then aware of the perfect alliance with the Universe as a result of this experience. When he asked me if I wanted to see what came out of my back I said “yes” and then upon seeing it said, “Oh, I know exactly who that is”. He asked who and I said it was the chip on my shoulder that I had been carrying regarding my father. He laughed and said he got that completely.

We need to spend time with ourselves to increase our self-awareness. This does not mean to become secluded in some mountain top temple away from the rest of humanity. Anyone can find peace this way. It is the exceptional person who can find peace in the middle of humanity, with all its flaws and beautiful imperfections. We need to let go of comparing ourselves to everyone else and everything else. This comparison only stresses us out and leaves us feeling empty inside instead of full and vibrant. I know for some this may sound weird, but every morning I look at myself naked in the mirror and tell my reflection how much I love him. He is now beginning to believe me. It has taken a very long time (45 years) but it was worth the time it took. I walk with my shoulders straighter and my chin up and feel alive again. This is a much better alternative to what was experienced before he began to believe me.

Blessed Be


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