When you’re tired of emotional whiplash and are ready for something new

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy for what they called his “misfortune.”

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

This story teaches us not to be too quick to label, but it also teaches us a deeper lesson. Beyond the judgment of good and bad is another way of interpreting change ~ one that actually can help you face it.

We can divide change into two groups based on WHY it’s happening: NECESSARY or UNNECESSARY.  We can also divide change into two groups based on how we FEEL about it happening: we either WANT it or we DON’T.

That means there are fundamentally four kinds of change:

  • Necessary and Wanted
  • Necessary and Unwanted
  • Unnecessary and Wanted
  • Unnecessary and Unwanted

“Necessary and Wanted Change” teaches us about passion. We are aligned with our growth and excited about it’s unfoldment. We’ve chosen it, and we feel good.

“Necessary and Unwanted Change” teaches us to align with our purpose. If we can get past our resistance to the unwanted change, we can often see the higher purpose of our soul at work. 

“Unnecessary and Wanted Change” teaches us about play. When fear and risk are low, we can rearrange the furniture because it’s time to freshen things up. It’s juicy. We learn to dance with possibility.

And finally, “Unnecessary and Unwanted Change” teaches us about peace. When there is no desire to face what is ahead and also no alternatives, we learn to surrender. There is no other way to move ahead; the alternative is to be stuck “stirring the ashes,” trying to understand. 

Change may take the form of either a “no” or a “yes”. Either way, it is here as the next step.You can trust that, or not.

The farmer in the parable above trusts that Universal intelligence presents opportunities that bring him closer to his highest good. From that position, either a “no” or a “yes” are equally OK with him. He has his preferences (I’m sure he didn’t want his son to be in pain, and if there had been elections he would have voted) but in trust, he is balanced in equanimity. 

When you can dance with change in all of its forms, struggle and resistance fall away and the fog lifts. And there you stand, wild and free, with the wind at your back. Ready to sail.

To your success,