This article is based on a prompt from a blog I enjoy called the Tao Te Ching Daily – which gives beautiful, peaceful, soothing, inviting, mindful advice about living. The Tao, as I understand it, is a philosophy of thought, read and enjoyed by C.S. Lewis among a multitude of others. On her blog, writer Amy Putkonen works through her interpretations of the writings within The Tao Te Ching. Today, she is encouraging her readers to do the same.

Chapter One of the Tao Te Ching

The Tao that can be told is not the Eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the Eternal Name.

Nothingness is the Origin of Heaven and Earth.
Beingness is the Mother of the Ten Thousand Things.

When you are free of desire, you will understand the Essence of your life.
When you identify with your desires, you will observe the manifestations of your life.

Both contain the deepest secrets arising from the dark unknown, the Doorway to the Mysteries of Life.

There are so many things we want to share with our kids, so many principles we want to convey. And this morning, I am reminded that it is not necessarily the things we say that stand out and are remembered forever, but who we are, how we treat ourselves and those around us, our very essence survives in our children, and is passed down to their children in turn, not through their words, but through their actions.

I think of my parents, who passed down to me and my sisters the essence of joy and laughter at the dinner table.

I think of my husband and I and all the things we want our boys to learn from us. My husband is better at this than I am – he is better at the hanging out and just being. I want to teach with words and worksheets. I also want to show my children art in any form possible, so we do lots of art excursions. But today, I am reminded again that what I want them to learn from me cannot come from my words so much as from my very core, and I want to make sure that unnamed  and unspoken thing about me is filled with love and joy, and not the scolding or directing that sometimes takes over.

And this reminds me that the time I take to get my heart in order before the start of the day, those few moments of reading, thinking, dwelling on something lovely – those moments that create a haven for my soul are ever so important. Out of that place will come the outpouring of everything I truly am, not just the dressed up version of myself I’m hoping I can put on display. The real me will always be the me that my children sense and know and learn from. Wow.

photo from here

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