Mentioning the Tao te Ching in yesterday’s blog led me to refresh my memory about it a bit—something I love about blogging!
I came across a concise writing of the four teachings of Taoism, which made me think back to my early days in 12 Step program when I was just learning about spirituality and essentially getting a guide book to life for the first time in my life—and I was almost 35 years old!
The Tao’s four teachings in the words of Allison Michelle Dienstman (who holds a degree in Chinese language and literature) are:
- Simplicity, patience, compassion
- Going with the flow
- Letting go
In attending 12 Step meetings and hearing folks’ stories of reaching bottom in their addiction and their life, I felt compassion, which also made me patient and more understanding and accepting of others. Myself too. And, when I was focused on recovery and helping others, life was a lot simpler; I got back to basics and what was most important in life.
Coming to believe in a higher power, I finally admitted I was not in control of my life. Spirit was in charge and I could rest easy. I could go with the flow, envisioning Spirit as a river and me floating downstream with ease and grace. Not to mention joy.
In 12 Step program we have the slogan “Let go and let God.” It’s about surrendering to that power greater than me.
Practicing the 12 Steps in all aspects of my life, including my eating disorder, brought me peace. And, when I’m at peace with myself, it is easier and natural to be in harmony with other beings. And, after all, we are in this together.
It’s fascinating to see the overlap in the philosophies of Taoism and the 12 Steps, to see the common threads. And, that actually brings me back full circle to the topic of yesterday’s writing, there is no competition in spirituality.