Though I’d always done it the same way, it was only a few years ago that I finally noticed how hard I pushed the toothbrush against my teeth when I brushed – I guess it was a habit – I’d done it for years. Two things happened as a result: over time, I’d brushed grooves in my teeth (not a good thing and a bigger problem than food between my teeth!), and I smashed the brush down so much, it made the brush virtually ineffectual – the sides of the bristles rubbed against my teeth, not cleaning the way the brush was designed to clean. The solution was easy. Let up a little. Let the toothbrush do the work! Don’t force it. Let it do what it’s designed to do. And what I found? The less force I used – the better the toothbrush cleaned. And as an additional bonus, my teeth were spared further grooving.
Here’s how it all translated for me: when I push, use ego, or force – things don’t go well and sometimes damage results. When I don’t push so hard to get things done or push ‘to be my best self – just let God shine through, just be who God made me to be – all the systems seem to work the way they’re supposed to work. When I yield and listen to God for the next step, instead of forcing my own plan – everything works in harmony, God is in control – I don’t have to be, don’t want to be. When I don’t take a rigid, forced approach, but remain flexible enough to yield to God – flexible enough, humble enough, to let ego get brushed aside – that flexibility of thought allows the little issues (challenges, temptations, false images) to naturally get swept away without digging grooves of habit in my life or thinking, or causing bigger problems. The result? Everything sparkles the way it’s supposed to – God shines – and instead of collateral damage, I get collateral blessings!
Thank you and added story:
There is an old tale about a king’s beautiful garden in which everything suddenly began to droop and die. The majestic oak tree was drooping and dying because it thought itself less fruitful than the beautiful rosebush. And the rosebush was wilting because it fancied itself less grand than the oak tree. The oak and the rosebush learned a lesson in humility, so the story goes, from a little daisy. The daisy was as bright as sunshine, so happy to be what it was meant to be. It just tried to be the very best daisy — that was enough. The Christian Science Journal, September, 1996