Seeking Favor

Red Bug

"Seeking favor is degrading;
alarming when it is gotten,
alarming when it is lost."

-Tao Te Ching, the 13th Verse

I have a little problem with "seeking favor." When I say "little problem," I mostly mean "giant problem." It's a problem I've had since Mrs. Best's kindergarten classroom when I failed to appropriately color within the lines of the brown bear. There are weeks and months that pass when I think, "Wow, I've really gotten over that need to please." And then, usually the day after I have that thought, I find myself right back at square one.

Do you ever have this sort of struggle?
Why does affirmation from people feel so good?
Why do I search so incessantly for someone to tell me I'm good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or articulate enough?

I came across the aforementioned verse of the Tao Te Ching today. I like it.

In the end, seeking favor is degrading.
It leads to this perpetual cycle of yearning for favor, getting favor, and then needing the favor of others even more and more and more. Here's the full 13th verse. Read it a few times if you'd like. I think it's filled with a lot of truth.

Favor and disgrace seem alarming.
High status greatly afflicts your person.

Why are favor and disgrace alarming?
Seeking favor is degrading:
alarming when it is gotten,
alarming when it is lost.

Why does high status greatly afflict your person?
The reason we have a lot of trouble
is that we have selves.
If we had no selves, what trouble would we have?

Man's true self is eternal,
yet he thinks, I am this body and will soon die.
If we have no body, what calamities can we have?

One who sees himself as everything
is fit to be guardian of the world.
One who loves himself as everyone
is fit to be teacher of the world.

-as translated by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

No comments:

Post a Comment