“The way that can be traveled/followed/wayed is not the eternal way.” –Tao Te Ching
Most of us spend a good portion of our lives looking for a particular path that is the right way for us. We are searching for particular destinations that we feel will be proof that we have made the right decisions. But is there such a thing as “the right way”?
Religion seems to lead us to believe that there is a right and wrong path to take. Both Taoism and Christianity refer to themselves as “The Way.” That sounds as if there is a single path that must be taken. New Age belief often talks about whether we are on the right path. What if we looked at this idea of The Way from a different point of view?
The above quote from the Tao Te Ching can seem confusing at first. How can it be a way if we can’t travel it? It seems contradictory. Let’s break it down a bit.
First, any system at all is a “way,” and thus is not your way.
Following someone else’s way, or system, can’t be right for you, because your way is unique to you.
Jesus said that the path to destruction is broad–meaning followed by many–but the path to life is narrow. It’s just for you. You have to understand yourself fully–your passions, your strengths, your weaknesses, your nature–in order to find your own way. All of these are yours alone. You are unique, so your way is also unique.
Second, there is no destination.
The eternal way is the understanding that you are not actually going anywhere.
You are already everywhere you need to be, having everything you need to be you. You are now. You are all. You are complete. There is no place to go and nothing to look for. Sometimes, in all our striving to improve ourselves, we forget that we are perfect just as we are.
Everyplace we are and everything we are is the way, because we are it. You can’t travel being all that is. You just experience it.
Third, there is nothing you need to do.
There isn’t a right or wrong way for you to go. Whatever happens just is.
This may be the hardest concept for us to accept. You can’t go down a wrong path, because there isn’t really a prescribed path to follow. You are creating a path from scratch, so how can it be wrong?
Think of your way as a work of art.
IS there a wrong way to create art? Does it have a destination? How can anyone else judge if your work of art expresses the true you? Can art be beautiful and sad? Your life is your way, your work of art.
If you need help with any of these aspects of understanding the Way for you, check out our Life Coaching Services