Day 13 - Softening the urgency to fix

In today’s video, I talk about a line from a poem, Fruit Gathering. I want to share the full poem with you here:

Fruit Gathering by Rabindrath Tagore

No: It is not yours to open buds into blossoms.

Shake the bud, strike it; it is beyond your power to make it blossom.

Your touch soils it, you tear its petals to pieces and strew them in the dust.

But no colors appear, and no perfume.

Ah! it is not for you to open the bud into a blossom.

He who can open the bud does it so simply.

He gives it a glance, and the life-sap stirs through its veins.

At his breath the flower spreads its wings and flutters in the wind. Colors flush out like heart-longings, the perfume betrays a sweet secret.

He who can open the bud does it so simply.

When we start becoming aware of painful or compulsive ways of eating, it’s easy to become impatient and to feel a strong urgency about “fixing the self.”

This “desire to fix” can turn into a subtle form of violence against ourselves – where we want to “uproot” our compulsions, demand change, and force ourselves to grow. It’s almost as if we come at our healing with a knife, trying to hack away at the vulnerability of the heart. We want to turn the bud into a blossom, and on our timetable.

But much of the growth and healing process is out of our hands. Much of the timing for what and how we see is not up to us. Something else reveals what is revealed to us.

I’m going to encourage you to hand over the role of the “doer” to life itself. There’s vulnerability in this – for it means that we can’t force growth. And there’s also ease – humility, reverence for ourselves, and deep respect for the healing process itself. As we soften the demand to see, and soften the demand to grow, we rest in our unfolding.

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