My favourite verse at the moment is the 29th which I read many times. I've included it here:
Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it?
I do not believe it can be done.
Everything under heaven is a sacred vessel and cannot be controlled.
Trying to control leads to ruin.
Trying to grasp, we lose.
Allow your life to unfold naturally.
Know that it too is a vessel of perfection.
Just as you breathe in and breathe out,
there is a time for being ahead
and a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion
and a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous
and a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe
and a time for being in danger.
To the sage
all of life is a movement toward perfection,
so what need has he
for the excessive, the extravagant, or the extreme?
When I read this there are a few things that stand out for me. First of all, I have to let go of trying to control my life and grasping for pleasure, money, accomplishment, and approval from others. While I understand this in theory, applying it is difficult since it's the opposite of what our society teaches us.
Society teaches the only way to get what we want in life is to control people, situations and ourselves otherwise we'll never get what we want. This is in direct contrast to living peacefully and manifesting our desires through non-resistance to what it is we're experiencing. As the Tao says, "allow your life to unfold naturally" knowing it's perfect.
Dr Dyer talks about how there is perfection in what appears imperfect. We do not know how our lives will turn out. We don't know how what appears to be a huge disappointment or terrible circumstance is just what we need at that moment to teach us something.
The wise person lives his/her life knowing that everything is perfect. "There is a time for being behind and a time for being ahead." Meanwhile we think we should be "ahead" all the time and that something is wrong if we aren't.
When I think back on my life, it's the times I've been "behind" that I've grown and become better. I've become more compassionate through experiencing loss and disappointment. I've become more giving through being in a position where I receive. I've become more appreciative of the times my days are filled with laughter because of the tears I've cried. It's all in how you choose to look at it.
I challenge you today to see your circumstances differently. See them as being perfect. Be open to thinking that this is the experience you need. Be open to allowing those in your life to be who they are. Be open to seeing that "all of a life is a movement toward perfection."