If you’re wondering which way to go in life…trying to strike a balance; if the energies swirling around you (in the form of people or experiences) are extremes or polar opposites; if nothing seems to be going your way.
I have one piece of advice:
Absorb what is useful; disregard that which is useless. -Bruce Lee
Though the amazing Mr. Lee was likely referring to the actions of Jeet Kune Do, the quote is brilliant because it can refer to all of life–the objects within a room, for example, if you’re wanting to do some space clearing. The opportunities facing you, if you’re looking to make a life decision. Thoughts that cross your mind…some of what we think is junk, and should be discarded, such as excessive self doubt or negativity, which serves no true purpose. Or simply the movements in your sparring: no extraneous movements or expenditure of energy.
This quote lends itself to life. For instance, if there’s someone in your life that you’d like to be more a part of your life, examine why. Do you truly want them by your side, or do you want something they provide for you, whether in material or emotional form? If it’s that you want them at your side, are they feeling it too, and how worthwhile is it to pursue them if they won’t give? How much energy do you expend on this person, and are they worth it?
If you have someone who wants to be a part of your life, what do you provide for them? Is it a true connection of constant learning from each other? Is the energy exchange healthy? Or do they suck your energy while you pour life into them? Is everything you do a validation of them, lending them security? What would they do if you weren’t their security blanket?
On a personal note, lately I’ve used this quote to remove usless thoughts from my mind and useless objects from my house; both very much ongoing processes. And in terms of people, I’ve experienced one of each of the aforementioned examples. The former, I realized I would like to have by my side. Not for any other reason than it feels right to me. But it might not to that person, so I am not giving more than feels comfortable. If they come around, they come around. The latter. I realized that with my actions I was validating this person’s existence and being their security blanket, to an extent. And that without me, perhaps this person would have to “man up,” which to me is a funny way of saying become stronger.
In any case: what’s left from doing what this bit of sage advice suggests, is a balance of life’s energies. It’s healthy thinking, and healthy living, and me, standing strong no matter what the wind blows my way. I walk on, absorbing what is useful, and disregarding that which is useless.
Much gratitude to Bruce Lee. He continues to provide wisdom though he no longer walks this earth. His time here was short, but so very mystical, magical and deep.