Sheltering Walls: Trust

Thirty spokes
meet in the hub.
Where the wheel isn’t
is where it’s useful.

Hollowed out,
clay makes a pot.
Where the pot’s not
is where it’s useful.

Cut doors and windows
to make a room.
Where the room isn’t,
there’s room for you.

So the profit in what is
is in the use of what isn’t.

Tao te Ching 11, Translation by Ursula LeGuin

How do we profit from what is by using what isn’t?

Every time I swipe my credit card, I am profiting from what is (the plastic in my hand) by using what isn’t (the amount of money for which I am being trusted).  At first glance, that may seem rather shallow if we are looking for some spiritual guidance.  But, that is only true if trust is unimportant to us. If we value trust, if we honor trust, if trust is that energetic connection between us and others, then every swipe of the plastic is a profit in what is in the use of what isn’t.

Every time I tell a member of my family that I will do something for them, am I not profiting of what is (their relationship, love, trust, even their most basic willingness to show up in the same house with me again at the end of the day) in the use of what isn’t (that they believe that I will follow through on what I have promised).

Some of the most important, most powerful, most staying walls in my life are the relationships I have and enjoy through trust.  These relationships come with visible, tangible, audible human beings, animal beings, plant and mineral beings with whom I have trust.  I profit from them all in the use of what isn’t–the invisible, intangible, inaudible trust that stands between us.

I live in a room of trust, formed, guarded and shaped, held sacred by the walls of my relations who trust me.  Such a sacred thing, I hold.

Bob Patrick

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