Our perfectly structured society made us believe that there is a manual with instructions for everything, that if we do the right steps we’ll always get the desired results. This subliminal message turned us into control freaks. It transformed us into people who claim that things work according to their expectations, people who try to control every detail, because nothing goes out of the guidelines.
However, one of the hardest lessons that life teaches us is that there is chaos, that following a series of perfectly structured steps does not guarantee success and that things do not always happen when we’re prepared. Adversity can strike at any time, and if we cling to control going against the natural flow of life, we will only suffer more and sometimes we’ll even hurt those around us.
This short video gives us the valuable lesson that has learned Dechen, a child who is being formed in Tibetan Buddhism and has a passion for gardening. The boy meets a flower in the middle of a storm and, to protect it, takes it to the monastery, but, despite his care, the plant begins to wilt. This situation causes pain to the boy, who does not want to accept what is happening. But what happens when he decides to give up control is just magical.
What do we learn from this video?
We all have that flower in our lives and it is likely that at some point we act as the boy of the video. This flower can symbolize different things: it can be a relationship in which we pretend to control the other, because we confuse love with possession, or it may represent the child of us we do not allow to fly with his/her own wings.
It could also be a reflection of a very important project that we do not want to change, even if all the signs are that we are going in the wrong direction. In other cases we can identify it with some emotions or recurrent thoughts that we do not fully accept, and that make us feel bad.
In any case we can learn a lot from this video and try to apply its teachings in our lives, especially when we are hit by adversity:
– The greatest proof of love, and also the most difficult, is to let others be what they want. Each person must make his own decisions and mistakes, only then will learn and grow. Trying to control the lives of the others, even if “for their own good” is an intrusion that probably only cause damage.
– There are several ways to achieve a goal, sometimes we can get to destination by following a path that we had not foreseen at the beginning. But if we persist in following the path that we traced, ignoring the signs that we are swimming against the tide, we will close the other opportunities and the result may disappoint us. Therefore, it is important to follow the Wu-Wei principle, who teaches us that we should not strive to do anything, but not to leave anything to do, which means that we have to live without apprehension, learning to take advantage of circumstances.
– We have to rely more on the natural course of events, even when they can be painful. Resisting will not erase what happened, so the best way to move forward is to accept what has happened, that doesn’t mean deny the emotions, but assume them and give them a sense that allows us to learn from the experience. Have faith that what is to be it will be, when time comes, and always keep in mind the words of Seneca: “suffering prematurely means suffering more than it’s necessary.”