The great Tao is like a flood
It can flow to the left or to the right
The myriad things depend on it for life, but it never stops
It achieves its work, but does not take credit
It clothes and feeds myriad things, but does not rule over them
Ever desiring nothing
It can be named insignificant
Myriad things return to it but it does not rule over them
It can be named great
Even in the end, it does not regard itself as great
That is how it can achieve its greatness
In Verse Thirty-Four, we are reminded that any energies we devote to trying to control others is misdirected and futile. We may experience momentary mini-successes to impose our will and redirect someone toward a Path that we think is best; however these fade quickly leaving us to wrestle with the craving for more.
The only control each of us has is over our own thoughts, words, and actions. We consistently delude ourselves into thinking otherwise but the only thing this addiction invites into our lives is grief and isolation. The need to control separates us from the Whole.
Life can be an exciting adventure if we have the faith and courage to live it from our hearts. We are entitled to one life and one life only, our own. You may be blessed with an invitation to share in another’s adventure. When that happens, check in with yourself regularly to ensure that you are fueled by your heart’s energy and not your neurotic need; then let go. The Universe will provide the wind for everyone’s sails.