Gain and Loss
Lingyuan said to the Confucian sage Chen Yi:
Calamity can produce fortune, fortune can produce calamity. This is because when one is in situations of disaster and danger, one is earnest in taking thought for safety, and when one is deeply immersed in seeking out order, one is capable of seriousness and discretion – therefore good fortune is born, and it is fitting.
When fortune produces calamity, it is because when living in tranquility people indulge their greed and laziness, and are mostly scornful and arrogant – therefore calamity is born.
A sage said, “Having many difficulties perfects the will’ having no difficulties ruins the being.”
Gain is the edge of loss, loss is the heart of gain. Therefore blessings cannot visit over and over again, one cannot always hope for gain. When you are in a fortunate situation and so consider calamity, then that fortune can be preserved; when you see gain and consider loss, then that gain will surely arrive.
Therefore a superior person is one who when safe does not forget danger, and who In times of order does not forget about disorder.
This too shall pass
For 7 years I have lived avoiding the memory of my past, dealing with decisions I made in my twenties. I wrapped my thoughts in guilt, thought I had to change completely, discarded what I thought were mistakes and learned how to live a completely new life. I was hibernating like a bear in the cave, going deep inside and regretting over and over again for what happened in the past.
As life moved on, following the birth of new me I thought I achieved all I ever wanted: work was great, I was in a long term relationship, married, dogs, great apartment, all I ever thought was happiness was part of my life. However, the more I looked outside the more I felt inside: I was not happy – I was confused and angry, nothing to hold on to. I hired a coach, I worked some more on polishing my life and a year later I am at the edge of the new beginning. I am going through a divorce, break up of a 7 year relationship, reorganizing my life and seeing the full cycle. This too shall pass, this too shall pass – a mantra that brings insight into natural laws and seasonal change.
Maintaining focus on what you want
Like in the story of Gain and Loss I embrace what it is now. Loss is seemingly present but above all it is all just about the habit of living with somebody, having somebody’s presence daily without questioning or doubt in its existence – the end was approaching steadily, it didn’t happen over night. I am learning how much I lost my own self, decisions were always made in twos, in consideration of how not to hurt, how to mold, adjust. And there, one day, two souls have awaken and asked in each other’s solitude: is this truly what I want? Answer the same for both of us. If the loss of pattern and habit is what it is now, I look at the gains comparable only to ultimate freedom, responsibility to self, courage to love and be loved.
Moving on, exercises for peace and presence
1. Three times a day put your hand on your physical heart, get connected and ask: what is it that I can do right now to listen to my heart and follow its guidance. Listen to messages, voices, emotions and follow the guidance.
2. Write a list of things you’ve been wanted to do but have been procrastinating on. Take one step at the time and keep filling your life with excitement and new adventures.
3. When emotions arise, get in tune and define what it is exactly you feel and ask yourself:
• What is the worst that may happen out of this?
• What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
• How will you feel in 1 month from now for making this decision? A year? How about 10 years from now? Will it matter?