A tree that cannot bend
will crack in the wind.
The hard and stiff will be broken;
the soft and supple will prevail.
~Lao Tsu, Tao te Ching
When the world seems to put us in a untenable and impossible situation between a rock and a hard place, how can you bend instead of break?
We get it in our heads that things have to be a certain way, that there is a right and a wrong way. We believe that our choices are limited, or that our values will be violated by an unavoidable situation.
Is it true? What is the hard and stiff here?
Is it the rule? Or our interpretation?
Is it what is expected of us? Or our ability to imagine other possibilities?
Is it really that absolute?
How can you find an alternative that lets go of one thing and the degree and extreme to which you thought you needed.
How can you negotiate with expections, others OR your own? Sometimes we can look at expectations, especially our own, and see that they are the rock or the hard place. Expectations are the source of disappointment and pain.
We create expectations based on the beliefs and values that we develop over time. As we approach each boulder in the road, each fork of decision, is it really that black-and-white? What if we allow our thinking to bend, to become supple to the situation, the moment?
What if we are flexible with our own expectations? What if there is more than one answer to the question, more than one option in the mix?
Knowing that there are options allows us to bend and continue to grow. Without options, we are broken by our own thinking and lack of imagination.