Thich Nhat Hahn’s fourth line of his poem says,
There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle.
I haven’t posted for the past two days because I intentionally chose NOT to strive to get it done. And because this line has me a little stumped, despite a number of hours meditating upon it. Frankly, I don’t know how to be with this line because I believe there are times when there is indeed a legitimate need to strive, run, search or struggle.
For instance, the Suffragettes struggled for female emancipation and the right to vote; environmental activists struggle for the right to clean air and water; ordinary folks, like you and me, struggle to survive while living in poverty in the United States:
“Belt-tightening in Washington to slash the government’s budget deficit has significantly shrunk the social safety net.
About 16.1 million children and 3.9 million people aged 65 years and older were living in poverty last year.
‘Millions are struggling to keep their heads above water, while the richest one percent is doing better than ever,’ said Joan Entmacher, vice president of Family Economic Security at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington.” Reuters
We, as a global community, are facing the worst nuclear disaster (and struggle to fix it) in world history now happening at Fukushima. When I look at the faces of the workers there in the news, I see their fatigue and their struggle.
Can we fix these problems and inequities without struggle? without striving? I don’t know. I tell myself that admitting that I don’t know is the first step to knowing.
From Poverty to Power
There is a way through this dilemma that does not involve striving, seeking, struggle. Components of this resolution might include:
- surrender to what is;
- cooperative, co-creative paradigm shifts;
- asking for help;
- being with inner peace and balanced perspective,
- lightness of being, playfulness, embracing the beautiful;
- and a positive, visionary stance while keeping eyes wide open and not burying one’s head in the sand.
In her blog post, Coach Helene poses this Journal Question:
What would I be like if I stopped running? striving? struggling?
I can only guess at the answer: I would be more of my true, authentic Self. I suspect the full answer will come the more that I embrace, honor and surrender to the Gift.
However, honestly I’m just not fully there … yet. I’ve certainly slowed down the pace of my life. I’ve stopped running; I take my time and move at a pace that suits my temperament in the moment. I don’t strive much anymore for anything. That said, the struggles still exist, and they are real.
Life is precious as it is.
All the elements for your happiness are already here.
There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle.
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