"Inexhaustible Source" (excerpt) THE CAREGIVER'S TAO TE CHING by William Martin

Compassion2 copy
Striving, we become exhausted.
Ceasing to strive, we find astonishing energy.
Tranquility rests within us, "softening our edges and bringing us peace.
Where does it come from? ;
Someplace we can't name.
What is its source?
Something inexhaustible.
What does it do?
Everything that needs to be done.

We have been taught not to trust our true nature and to look outside ourselves for peace, tranquility, and wisdom. Yet at the core of who we are lies an ancient, innate wisdom. This is our natural connection with the Tao.
This connection is called by many names. We talk of returning to our "own hearts" or coming back to "center." We speak of our "true nature," which is compassion. In all these ways we point to something that cannot be named. It can only be rediscovered through direct experience.
We recognize it when we are doing well in the midst of the challenges of caregiving. We see it when we know deep within that all truly is well, even in the middle of the most distressing day. We sense it when we find tenderness welling up to soothe our frustration and despair when we feel we are failing at our task.
Watch for these experiences. They are available to all of us, to remind us of the trustworthiness of our own hearts.

“Inexhaustible Source”
by William Martin

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