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Unclenching Your Heart

Part 4 of a the 5 part series on serenity.


Fill your bowl to the brim

And it will spill.

Keep sharpening your knife

And it will blunt.

Chase after money and security

And your heart will never unclench.

Care about people’s approval

And you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back

The only path to serenity.

~ From Tao Te Ching as translated by Stephen Mitchell


Today let’s explore the third line:

Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.


Fear seeks safety.

Love seek truth.


I have long since forgotten where I first read those words, fear seeks safety, love seeks truth, but that dichotomy, that sentiment (fear versus love; safety versus truth) and I have carried each other over the decades as I continue to navigate the paradoxes of life.


On one hand . . .

we want to be safe, but we find that we must protect that which makes us feel safe, that which gives us the illusion of safety: From a doorbell camera here to a border wall there. It touches each of us near and far. All in the name of safety. All ultimately rooted in fear.


On the other hand . . .

we want truth, but to be truthful often exposes us to vulnerability, which quite ironically takes us right back to our desire to be safe.


Play along with me here. Keep your elbows comfortable bent and reach both arms out in front of you, turning your palms upward. In your right palm, place all of your possessions. In your left palm, place love. In your right hand you have what you possess. In your left, you simply have love. Stay with me here. Close your eyes to do this next part: Turn your attention back to your right hand, to your possessions. Picture someone reaching in to take some of your possessions. What did your right hand naturally do?

Now turn your attention back to your left hand, the hand of love. Picture someone reaching in to partake of some of that love. What did your left hand naturally do?


For me, my possessions hand involuntarily clenched, while my Love hand opened more and actually lifted upward.


Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.


Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity. ~~

Thank you for reading!

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