Dealing with Low Self-Worth

Stop Forcing; Start Flowing

It’s okay to stop forcing and start flowing.

You may be having a really hard day today because you try so hard, and it feels like nothing is appening. For instance, you may be trying so hard to reach a goal. Or you may be working so hard to fight a bad habit that you just can’t seem to beat.

And you may be trying really hard to make a relationship work that just seems to be going nowhere. Or you may be trying so hard to succeed in your job. And it feels like you are stuck in the same, old place.

If life feels really hard, and I encourage you to let go and flow like water.

That may sound like odd advice, but it is actually very old advice. The DaoDeJing suggests to us that water is a perfect symbol of goodness.

For example, we read in chapter eight of book one,

The highest good is like water.

Water is good at benefiting the myriad creatures, while not contending with them.

It resides in the places that people find repellent, and so comes close to the Way.

In a residence, the good likes in location.

[And] in hearts, the good likes in depth.

In interactions with others, the good lies in benevolence.

[And] in words, the good lies in trustworthiness.

In government, the good lies in orderliness.

[And] in carrying out one’s business, the good lies in ability.

In actions, the good lies in timeliness.

Only by avoiding contention can one avoid blame.

Flow Like WaterThe Dao suggests to us that when we stop fighting against things and flow with what is, we act in the spirit of benevolence, trustworthiness, orderliness, etc. In doing so, we find the good we seek.

Why is this? When we flow with what is, we practice loving kindness, simplicity, and gentleness, and these characteristics are the path to wisdom, and wisdom helps us understand how to do what we need to do beautifully, creatively, and excellently.

So you don’t have to force. Instead, you can flow.

And you don’t have to understand that. You can just be it as much as you are able right now. For example, you can breathe, pause, and slow down. And you can be gentle, relax your shoulders, and show compassion.

(You might like to read more about Healing Our Hearts Through Kindness.)

You can let others be and let yourself be. And you can stop and look at the sky, listen to the birds, and express love.

Stop forcing, and start flowing.


If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing on social media.

Also, you can find the full text of the DaoDeJing here.

And I invite you to follow my blog. You can find a follow button at the bottom or right of this screen.


Works Cited

Laozi. DaoDeJing. Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy. Philip J. Ivanhoe and Bryan W. Van Norden, ed. Hackett Publishing Co. Indianapolis, IN: 2001.

2 thoughts on “Stop Forcing; Start Flowing”

  1. I just discovered your work, and it’s just what I need to hear and remember. See my post on your FB page.

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