Recently I read the parable of a Chinese farmer, and I was enlightened in the way that parables enlighten—by giving you something concrete and visual to wrap a lesson around.
For most things that happen in my life, though I tend to spend a predictable three days in death’s hold (no eating, drinking or sleeping), I quickly resurrect and resume normalcy in a fairly well adjusted way. But sometimes… SOME times… in a bull doggish kind of way, I refuse to accept certain realities; acting as though mentally mulling them over could somehow manipulate the outcome of events.
The story of the Chinese farmer, though simple, helps me with this…
A Chinese farmer had a horse. One day this horse ran away. Seeing this, the town’s people said to him and amongst themselves that the farmer had bad luck—but in the farmers’ wisdom he wasn’t as ready to evaluate it good or bad. He answered only, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?” To everyone’s surprise, the horse came back a few days later with a herd of horses. The town’s people still looking only at the current evidence, said, “Wow! You have such good luck!!” Again he answered only, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”
Now that he had so many horses they had to be tamed. So his son began to break them in. While working, his son fell off of a horse and broke his leg. Again, the townspeople called the farmer unlucky. What do you think he said?….. (Youuuu got it!) “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”
A short time later the country was going into war. A draft had begun and the military began going from town to town gathering all the young and able bodied for war. His son, who was injured, couldn’t go because of his broken leg. Realizing that his son’s life was spared, the townspeople turned to him and said, “You are so lucky!!”
Of course you may glean your own lessons from this, but these are the most striking for me:
1. Don’t be so quick to evaluate events in your life (A break up, getting fired, getting a new job, being turned down for a job…or even accidentally getting behind a slow driver when you’re already late). While it may seem the worst thing that could have happened, you don’t know what’s just around the corner.
2. Be like the farmer and accept, “it is, what it is”. Be grounded in your current reality. Take a deep breath and when you’re ready to move on say, “ok,” and keep moving.
3. See all things as synchronicity in progress. Not only do you not know what’s just around the corner (more horses in the farmer’s first instance), but you never know what it’s all building up to (the saving of his son’s life). You have to trust that the divine spirit is all knowing and when you cease resisting and offer up positive energy that is consistent with what you want, you will have created an avenue for the bliss that you desire. In the end you will be able to connect the dots and to find meaning in each of your life’s happenings.
This is a story of acceptance. When we stop fighting our seemingly unwanted realities and accept things as they are, the quicker we find meaning in circumstances and new doors are opened.
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