Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. (Oscar Wilde)
Have you ever allowed yourself to experience your deepest fear and insecurity? Have you ever observed how twisted your defense mechanism becomes to cover your insecurities? Have you ever followed the mental scare stories leading you into extreme scenarios of catastrophy. Say you have mental visions of ending up homeless even though you are in a secure marriage with a steady income. In order to compensate for these fears you work as hard as you can even though everyone else would tell you that you are doing just fine. And even if it is your fate to get laid off one day, all your hard work will not be able to prevent it anyhow.
Or say the bills for your children's education are piling up and you wonder whether you can't cut corners somewhere. Life is designed to confront us with our demons, so the sooner we admit our deepest fears and insecurities, the better the changes that we can deflate them before they become monsters. Life just responds to our fears and aspirations. When you truly observe what life has in store for you, there is always the opportunity to not only slay the dragons of the past, but instead using the rocks someone put in your way as stepping stones to develop the confidence to put all these fears behind you. Just as the college bills are piling up the housing market is doing well again and you find that a second mortgage covers them.
If you read this you are probably already aware how this deep fear sabotages you from living your life to the fullest. You probably also understand that no matter how much you are compensating, you never will have full security. Congratulations! If you see how your fear is driving you, you have made first contact with the demon who chased you all your life. We don't claim that we have Oscar Wilde's carefree attitude either, but we have discovered that along the WAY we are led step by step towards freedom from the conditioning of our past.
Although we cannot promise you that you will be free from this fear forever, what we can guarantee you is, from this moment, this fear cannot drive you as it used to do. You were all tied up before. But now you are free to walk around with this fear being made plainly obvious by all the choices you are taking. You sign your son up to the expensive treatment to better his health even though all charges are not covered by insurance. You send your daughter to college even though it does cost you a second mortgage on the house. You finally realize that this fear is not an enemy but a poor little guy who simply needs some love and attention. You realize how some negative childhood experiences scarred you psychologically but that this scar wears off over time. You have total compassion towards the little scared guy inside and find a compromise that works for everyone, yourself and your SELF included.
That's how the TAO works - no one has to sacrifice along the WAY. All you need is boldness and understanding and you will travel far.
By Christian and Su Zhen