To Be or To Do?

The reason you’re “here”
is not to be good, to be better, to be perfect,
to get “stuff” done, to saave the world, to save somebody, or to be
anything… other than yourself.
That’s all you have to work on. That’s all you
can do. But by doing it… all those other things
will happen anyway.
The Universe

I found this quote this morning on a blog I follow, the Radical Turtle, and I thought that the quote could have been written just for me.  I have spent most of my life feeling that I needed to justify my existence, that I needed to achieve something, and certainly I was raised with and assimilated a major chunk of perfectionism, which I’m learning now is nothing more than a recipe for failure.  And I’m learning from my Daoist readings that the push to change the world, continually to be forcing changes to happen outside of ourselves more often than not makes the problem worse.  I’m not saying that I stand idly by and watch all the raping, pillaging, and plundering, but that I think this quote is right.  If each of us works on ourselves, the universe will change.  The only thing we have control over (and some days it doesn’t even seem as if I have control over that!) is ourselves.  I can only know my own heart, or at least learn to listen to myself so I can find that.  I don’t have to be good or be fixed or save the world.  I only have to be (not do).  I need only be myself, which is a major challenge in itself.  I find this really hard to grasp much of the time.  I still have so much “doing” ingrained in me that when I spend a weekend, as I just did, “only” reading and not quilting or weaving, part of me says, look at all those names on your refrigerator, folks who really need your quilts, why aren’t you quilting!  But I’m learning that the value in my quilts is that they are made out of love and joy, so when I’m tired and when it suits my soul and body more just to be, then that’s what I need to be “doing,” so to speak.  I would like to explore this concept more and probably will in posts down the road, but for the moment, I shall just think about the quote at the top of this post, and probably have another “reading” day or two as a way to survive the holidays and the remodel chaos.

5 responses

  1. I needed to hear that quote. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  2. You are welcome! I need it frequently and I should really make a nice copy of it and post it where I can see it often.

  3. When I was in life coaching school a thousand years ago (lol), our instructors always used to love to say to us, "We're human beings, not human doings." I'm pretty sure it wasn't original to them, but it was cute and a nice thought. And then they'd give us a ghastly amount of homework assignments to do. Oh, well! 🙂

  4. That's great–human beings not human doings! Too bad they didn't follow through with a reasonable amount of homework! Are you a life coach? Just wondering.

  5. Yeah, too bad! LOLI was for a year or two, several years ago.

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