The TAO in Everyday Life
The TAO is in every aspect of life: growing up; receiving education; seeking careers; getting married; raising children; connecting with others; staying healthy; growing old; and facing life challenges.
THE TAO IN MARRIAGE
Marriage is "two becoming one." It involves changes in personality and lifestyle.
First and foremost, you must be aware of your own personality, and then make some change to adapt your personality to that of your marriage partner, as well as to adjust it to all the changes in the new life of “two becoming one.”
If you do not like some of your own personality traits or those of your marriage partner, can you still change them? Yes, you can, but it may not be that easy.
The change also involves changing your emotions and feelings as well as those of your marriage partner
Emotions and feelings are two sides of the same coin. They are closely related to each other, but they are different in that emotions create biochemical reactions in the body, affecting the physical state, while feelings are more mental associations and reactions to emotions.
Money is one of the major factors in divorce. Why? Money is greed. There are many who want to get married, not because of love, but because of their greed. So, according to the TAO, living a simple lifestyle with no extra trimmings and no material attachments is a testament to the wisdom of humility, which plays a pivotal role in a good marriage.
Accepting and embracing: Peace and harmony is letting life live by itself, including marriage.
"So, follow the Way.
Stop striving to change ourselves: we are naturally changing.
Stop striving to be good: we are naturally good.
Stop striving to get rich: we are naturally abundant.
Stop striving to control destiny: life is naturally living itself.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 57)
You accept life as it is, including your marriage. You live not just for yourself, but also for your marriage partner as well. You see more of the desirable, and less of the undesirable in anything that happens to your marriage. You are more willing to change yourself, and less expecting your marriage partner to change.
Soft and yielding, not stiff and inflexible: Be acceptable, adaptable, and changeable to thrive and survive a marriage.
“At birth, we are soft and supple.
At death, we are stiff and hard.
Young plants are tender and pliant.
Dead plants are brittle and dry.
Stiff and inflexible, we are like death.
Soft and yielding, we are like life.
Following the Way,
we become soft and supple.
That is why we always prevail,
because tenderness and flexibility
give us strength and power from the Creator.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 76)
Are you stiff and inflexible, or are you soft and changeable? Life is forever changing, and every moment remains only with that moment. Being acceptable, adaptable, and changeable is the Way to a successful marriage.
The golden mean: Balance comes from spontaneity, which is following the laws of nature.
"According to the wisdom of the Way:
we reduce when there is excess;
we increase when there is deficiency.
Balance is thus created.
According to common knowledge:
we increase excess and deplete deficiency.
Imbalance is thus created.
Following the Way,
we follow our true nature:
giving without worrying;
receiving without attaching.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 77)
Life is paradoxical: How a marriage survives may be difficult to understand.
"We accept all that is simple and humble.
We embrace the good fortune and the misfortune.
Thus, we become masters of every situation.
We overcome the painful and the difficult in our lives.
That is why the Way seems paradoxical.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 78)
The Tao has no blueprint: there is no guideline on saving a marriage -- it is your marriage, and only you have the know-how..
“The Way to the Creator has no blueprint.
With faith and humility, we seek neither pride nor blame.
Our actions then become righteous and impeccable.
Our lives are illumined with the Creator’s light.
Everything that happens to us is beneficial.
Everything that we experience is instructional.
Everyone that we meet, good or bad, becomes our teacher or student.
We learn from both the good and the bad.
So stop picking and choosing.
Everything is a manifestation of the mysteries of creation.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 27)
The marriage journey may be rough and rugged, with many detours and obstacles. But they all point to the destination. With self-intuition, you will find it. So, begin your marriage journey. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, so take your first step, and get married.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
TAO in the following: