October 24 – The Way Things Are – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” Lao-Tzu
Beyond what we need to survive, to better ourselves has come to mean having as much as one can store, and as such has turned into an addiction in our modern world. Such a want to have things comes from a sense of scarcity, an anxiety that something is missing, which owning will somehow soothe.
But to better ourselves inwardly is another matter. The closer to heart we take this, the more we find ourselves trying to inhabit what we have carried since the beginning. This want comes from a sense of abundance, a yearning to unlock the mystery of what is already there.
This difference became stark for me while struggling with cancer. For while I prayed for things to be better, my prayers were answered when I awoke one morning content to be who I am, no matter what was happening. Though things were not as I wanted, there was truly nothing lacking, and I vowed, as the nurses started their morning rounds, that I would trade places with no one, spirits with all.