Let it be/Doing Nothing Part A

此顺其自然非彼顺其自然 (Let it be is not just let it be)

Morita Therapy is one of the best way to treat anxiety-related diseases like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. But it can also used for normal people to deal with daily anxiety and stress. “Let it be, do what you have to do” is the key of this way of treatment. It was eight beautiful characters in Mandarin in case you want to remember it: 顺其自然,为所当为. It’s really elegant and is all you need to learn about the Morita Therapy. But just like with many other things from the east, you need to spend decades just to understand eight simple characters. The effectiveness of the treatment depends on your understanding, especially to what the first part “Let it be” means. In real life, many mental illnesses sufferers and patients claim that they have made no progress with Morita Therapy because they didn’t understand the first part or at least not well enough. They start to doubt, try to see what’s the magic behind these words but only find themselves lost in the endless cycles. One common mistake people make when understanding this is that they think “let it be” means just follow whatever your mind says and well, just let it be, just keep doing compulsions or other meaningless things without resisting at all.

To be honest, I was lazy when translating the first four Chinese characters to “Let it be”. It actually means “Follow the nature”. In order to get this, you need to understand what “nature” is. The natural order is things like morning and night. We have sunny days and we have rainy days. These are the orders of the nature. It’s not something we as human beings have control over. In order to be happy, you just have to follow them and accept these changes. If someone complains everyday about why we have nights or why it’s raining, then he/she is going against nature and doomed to suffering.

On the other hand, human body has its natural orders as well. Like emotions, it’s something we have no control over. It has a progress of appearing and disappearing. If you accept it, follow it, it will move on according to its natural progress and disappear. However, if you don’t, then you are doomed to suffering again. For example, let’s say you are taking a huge exam soon. It’s okay for you to feel anxious and nervous at the moment, this is really natural. If you don’t give them any attention, it will go away or even turn into motivation for you to prepare and study. But if you think the nervousness and anxiety aren’t suppose to be here, then you are going against the natural orders of your emotion and the these feelings will only get worse.

Let’s see another example. We have a patient with social anxiety. He is shy and feels very uncomfortable talking to strangers. But he thinks he shouldn’t be like this, so he tries to be “real comfortable” in front of strangers. What’s going to happen? He’s getting more and more nervous, so nervous that he can’t even talk to his friend with ease. The only reason he developed his symptoms this far is simply due to going against his own natural orders. He is shy, and shy people aren’t as open as others. So when they talk to strangers, they get nervous, which is totally normal and acceptable. But he doesn’t accept himself and continued to fight his own natural orders, thus ended up being worse and worse.