Today’s article starts with a story based in Taoism tradition. I’ve heard it told different ways. The version that follows is basic and simple, very easy for even children to understand.
“The Farmer’s Luck” by Jon J. Muth, author of Zen Shorts
There was once an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years.
One day, his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.
“Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it two other wild horses.
“Such good luck!” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the farmer.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown off, and broke his leg.
Again, the neighbors came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“Such bad luck,” they said.
“Maybe,” answered the farmer.
The day after that, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army to fight in a war. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by.
“Such good luck!” cried the neighbors.
“Maybe,” said the farmer.
You get it.
From a fairly young age, I came to think of what this story illustrates as a ‘Truth,’ something that I knew without anyone telling me. And the truth is this:
Everything happens for a reason.
This Truth has been a driving force in my life, but it’s not one I say out loud often…and for the silliest reason: because it sounds so cliche. I told you, very silly. But nevertheless, due to how commonly it’s repeated, I think its meaning has been lost for most. It’s thrown around without any thought. And when that happens, there’s not a lot of feeling or emotion associated with it either. So, I add another sentence to the end; I believe it makes it more complete.
“Everything happens for a reason. And that reason need not be known.”
In order to Trust Life, I believe you must understand this whole Truth. I realize it’s implied, but for our purposes, I believe it should be explicitly stated. Trust Life is what I consider to be a tenet at the most visceral level. To Trust, I’m talking about truly Trust, is to NOT have to understand why. And to NOT have to understand how.
In any given situation, we as humans see what we consider to be the facts, we absorb the context and meaning, then form our perception. Many of us use different techniques and go through various mental exercises to arrive at our conclusions. That’s all fine and good, but where we often get tripped up is in the trying to understand why a certain thing is happening or how it’s going to be resolved. Along with that, we often become married to the outcome we’ve envisioned.
This is where Trust comes in. WHAT IF we Let Go of believing we must know why something is happening? WHAT IF we Let Go of believing we must know how it’s going to be resolved? WHAT IF we Let Go of our attachment to a desired outcome? What if…?
I say this with much confidence: if we could learn to Trust, the events in our world would unfold in miraculous ways, far better than anything we could have planned or deemed for ourselves.
So, just for today, give it a try. Trust. Let Go of the need to know why. Let Go of the need to know how. And see how that feels. I’m guessing for some it will feel foreign. But I also suspect that with practice it will come easier. As it does, I ask you to pay close attention to the underlying feeling inside you. Is it one of Love or one of Fear? (You’ll notice it’s one of Love.)
I believe that once we’re able to feel these Love driven acts of Letting Go, our inner peace begins to grow. What better motivator to continue practicing Trust each today?
I want more peace in my life. So, for today, I choose to Let Go.
Trust Life Today.
“Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love – – and to put its trust in life.” ~ Joseph Conrad
To read a previously written article on Fear vs. Love, click here.
If you enjoyed this article, please click below to share. Thank you!! Love, Leslie