Tao Te Ching – Chapter 22
Accepting what is, we find it to be prefect.
What seemed distorted is seen as true.
What seemed lacking is seen as abundant.
What seemed worn out is seen as fresh and new.
Possessing little, we are content.
Too much stuff and we lose our way.
When we reside at the Center, our actions nurture all things.
We don’t act out of ego needs so our actions are enlightened.
We don’t claim to be perfect, so our ideas are welcomed.
We aren’t looking for reward so our teaching is enduring and accessible to all.
We don’t try to control or convince anyone, so opposition is not an issue.
“Accept what is,
and find it to be perfect,”
is not an idle phrase.
Acceptance of life
is the only path to wholeness.
There is more resistance to the idea of “acceptance” than to any other part of the Tao Te Ching. For millennia we have believed the fiction that only non-acceptance will produce change. Obviously I do not feel that injustice is right, but I accept that it exists. Only when I see clearly that it exists and become aware of the complex causes and effects of it will my actions be effective.
Of course I would like to help change things for the better and I try to let my actions arise from that desire. But conditions are always changing and I can’t be sure whether my actions are pushing them in a helpful direction or not. Non-acceptance leads me too quickly to my own “better ideas” before I have clearly seen the situation. Non-acceptance too easily makes people whose opinions are contrary to my own into “enemies” and makes life a battle rather than a flow.
Water accepts every obstacle in its path and, without fail, finds a way to continue its journey to the ocean.