December is usually loaded with shopping, cooking, gatherings, and lots of mindless running around.
During this time of year, we might feel exhausted, overwhelmed, or even burnt out. Especially during the first weeks of January, it might feel hard to connect back to ourselves and retrieve the energy we have lost somewhere along the way.
We might have experienced anger, disappointment, grief, sadness, or jealousy. Some places or people might have triggered us, while others might have filled us with irreplaceable joy.
Personally, the holidays have taken an emotional toll on me, and I feel I have forgotten about the purity and depth of my nature. The constant transition from feeling good to feeling down has left me feeling too attached to my emotions and the physical realm in general.
In times like these, I circle back to Lao Tzu’s words. They remind me of my essence—my real essence:
“Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.”
“Why separate your spiritual life and your practical life? To an integral being, there is no such distinction.”
“If you correct your mind the rest of your life will fall into place.”
“Loving, hating, having expectations: all these are attachments. Attachment prevents the growth of one’s true being.”
“If you attach yourself to gross energies—loving this person, hating that clan, rejecting one experience or habitually indulging in another—then you will lead a series of heavy, attached lives. This can go on for a very long and tedious time.”
“The sage seeks freedom from desire. He does not collect precious things. He learns not to hold on to ideas. He brings men back to what they have lost.”
“He who knows does not speak.
He who speaks does not know.”
“Deal with it before it happens. Set things in order before there is confusion.”
“Accept disgrace willingly…Accept being unimportant…Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things. Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.”
“One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.”
“I am good to people who are good. I am also good to people who are not good. Because Virtue is goodness.”
“To know that you do not know is the best.
To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.”
“The truly great man dwells on what is real and not what is on the surface.”
“Live simply and virtuously, true to your nature, drawing no line between what is spiritual and what is not.”
“Learn to value what is important today in the subtle realm rather than what appears desirable tomorrow in the worldly realm.”
“Can you let go of words and ideas, attitudes and expectations? If so, then the Tao will loom into view.”
“He who has achieved this state is unconcerned with friends and enemies, with good and harm, with honor and disgrace. This therefore is the highest state of man.”
“In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired. In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.”
“Conquering others takes force, conquering yourself is true strength.”
“The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering.”