When I was younger and travelling, I sometimes carried a knife. I carried it for defence in case I met violence.
After a while I stopped carrying it though. I had gotten a sense that by pro-actively protecting myself against potential violence, I was also carrying violence with me.
While journaling just now, I was exploring how I might meet a recurring situation that creates tension for me and I was reminded of the knife.
With my inquiry I had been looking for a dependable solution; something I could do that handled the situation in an effective way. When I remembered the knife, two insights came.
First, my lack of an effective response in the moment is actually due to my state of being. Being tense was narrowing my focus. A relaxed and loving state of being is the only place I can truly respond creatively from.
Second, although the situation appears to be recurring, it is not because every familiar situation also has a uniqueness to it.
My experience has been that being unarmed (not having my knife with me) is very different from being disarmed (choosing to leave my knife at home).
With the former, I simply felt less able to protect myself. With the latter, I carried an awareness that much more is possible – ‘more’ that I could not access with a knife in my pocket or a ‘how’ in my mind.
To live life disarmed is to meet every moment with not knowing.
And surrender to the present is the path to the infinite.