Is Nonaction Hard To Grasp?
"Nonaction is a hard thing to grasp. Although every time you tried to pick at a scab and your Mom told you to 'leave it alone' she was trying to teach you the concept. Hornet's nests are like that. So are viscous fluids that harden the more you stir them ... the more you play with them the more they set up like concrete." The Wise Woman smiled at me and passed me a tray of dates.
"Sometimes that is a good thing, right?" I asked.
"Yes, but most of the time you want to be able to work with things. Look at nature. Things are always growing, changing. Rocks are one of the few things nature makes hard ... most things are soft and pliable ... from butterfly wings to young saplings. Ancient wisdom makes much of the flexibility of bamboo and encourages you to emulate it." She said as she pointed to the date in my hand.
"Which do you prefer, the hard and dry ... or the soft and moist?"
I smiled and laughed. "Soft and moist ... "
"And in people?" she asked.
"Err ...." The sound filled the air in the desert tent as I thought back to my last few relationships. "I think I end up with hard and day, as a matter of fact."
"And hard and dry make brittle relationships that shatter instead of bend under heavy loads ... like the crisis that come and go in every life," she explained.
I sighed. "Yes, I have had a few of those ... err .. both people and crises."
"We all have. And then we heap more on top of the pile and set it alight like a bonfire when we act when we are heated and agitated, saying things when we are hurt, angry or upset ... that we would never let anyone else say to the ones we love. Far too often, we lose clarity and create chaos when we act out of fear or pain. And once sent, wounding words can not be recalled. We can only try to heal the damage."
"But we often keep picking at the scabs, trying to redo the fight so we can win this time," I replied, thinking of what she has said earlier.
"Yes, and we fill the emptiness with things better left unsaid or undone. So it is with most things. We interfere in our own way, create our own tribulations and toss obstacles in our own way. It is like we keep throwing ourselves out of our houses, strewing our way with the baggage of our past. And it causes us to trip, get disheartened and discouraged," she said.
"So how do we stop?" I asked.
"Nonaction and action are two sides of the same coin. You need to bring them into balance. Stop doing the things that harm you. Start doing the things that help you." She smiled at me telling me this was no easy thing.
"Can you give me an idea of where to start?" I asked.
"Sure. Start fixing the things that are broken in your life. Then put them aside or give them away. Most people keep tripping over the same ten things ... so fix them and let them move on. That will improve your life by eliminating half your worries," she answered.
I must have looked confused, because she offered me more dates.
"Just think about it. Don't you worry and obsess over the same fears that bothered you yesterday, last week and last month?"
"So go fix them. They keep coming up like a starving children looking for food. You need to deal with them. Brushing them away does not help them. It only leaves them in a worse state, hungry and dismissed. And that makes them harder to deal with. And we want easy, simple problems to deal with. Right?" she spoke gently to me.
I nodded my head, but I wasn't too sure about it.
"Which is it easier to pull? A young sprout just three days old or a mighty 30 foot oak tree?" she asked.
I smiled. "Of course, the young sprout," I answered.
"Good answer. Now do you realize that the young sprout and the oak tree are the same thing, just separated by years? Uproot the sprout before it comes a tree. And avoid planting acorns. That way your problems remain small and easy. Does that help?" she asked.
"Actually, yes. Take care of problems before they grow too big. Seems kinda simple to me. But why avoid planting acorns?"
"Because the idea is to get to a place where you do not have to take action. If you avoid planting acorns where you do not want them, there is nothing for you to do. No sprouts to uproot, no mighty oaks to fell," she explained.
"Then wouldn't life get a bit ... well boring?" I asked.