Day 1 of Taoismso i started reading the Tao of Pooh... my first book on the subject of Taoism. I'm sure its pretty simplistic, but that seems to be the goal...
so i read quite a bit in one sitting and ended for the day on the part about how we need to stop TRYING to make things happen, to stopping trying to make things go a certain way, rather than LETTING things happen naturally - in the book known as "the pooh way" rather than the WU WEI. that all appealed to me and i thought about it for awhile. then, like most life lessons, i proceeded to ignore the lesson i just learned, and go about my life as normal.... which of course made life mischevious, and decided to play a little trick on me - teaching me the lesson the hard way.
so i read all this on christmas eve afternoon. by christmas eve evening, i was sad and lonely, as i was far from all my family and friends and had no plans for that evening or the next day. while i didn't need a festive christmas by any means, i did want to something other than wake up late and realize that i couldn't even go out to breakfast because everything was closed and then starve on christmas day. i set about trying to convince my boyfriend and his brother that we should do something... make a big brunch at my house, cook christmas dinner together, have a picnic in a park, go to chinatown and have dim sum.... anything! i got non commital responses, and no interest what so ever. the only thing that was decided was a chinese restaurant for dinner, something we could do any day of the year.
not working for me.
so, rather than following the POOH WAY, and go with the flow of life, i decide to rock the boat and set up brunch at my house the next morning. i felt good about the decision and confirmed with those involved 3 times before going to the store. shopped. came home. was about to start cooking when, oh right..... everyone canceled. why? cuz they didn't really want to do anything on christmas in the first place. i tried to make them, and i got all excited, and for what. i am right back where i started with no plans and a bunch of food and alone.
so now i am pissed. not feeling exactly enlightened. kinda bitter, kinda dangerous. so i go to an ihop for breakfast with the boyfriend. saying **** the brunch, i'm going to eat disgustingly sweet crap on christmas day in a generic chain restraurant. i am like 20 feet from the door before i realize i can't go through with it and go back home. damn them all, i am going to cook christmas dinner and invite my boyfriends parents over and make my boyfriend and his grinch like brother come too. I know they stood me up for breakfast, but hey, with their parents involved for dinner they have to come right? The brother will be bitter about not going to chinese food, but come on! i'm the jewish one, not you guys, you are coming over for dinner!
so i feel great. powerful. proud of myself. i am listening to myself. i am not compromising. i am taking my life into my own hands . i am not giving in to the family like i always do. i am also making a memory for a family that has given me so much, and happens to be too busy this season for their own christmas holiday.
SO NOT THE WU WEI.... pooh would be ashamed of me
so i make dinner and the brother refuses to come out of principle. i end up making a great dinner. the boyfriend and his parents are their. things go well. BUT...
i did not succeed in creating a good memory where there would not have been one. i succeeded in making on of the first christmas memories where the family was not together... and all because i wanted to be a part of something, because i was lonely. now my boyfriend and his brother are not talking. the parents are mad at the brother, and i am suddenly in the middle of a family fight.
if i had gone with the flow.... been pooh like, followed the WU WEI... i would have gone to chinese dinner with the family... the entire family would have been together, and i would have been a part of something. it would have been different than i wanted and what i was used to, but it would have been a memory nonetheless.
be like the water, be like the river.
all this happened within 24 hours of reading about the WU WEI. did i listen? not until the lesson hit me on the head.