"Anyone who understands the proper order of things -
that everything happens at exactly the right time -
will be untouched by sorrow or joy.
In ancient times this was called 'original freedom'.
Have you noticed that everything always happens at exactly the right time? Summer flows into Fall and the morning sun always arrives at just the right time, without the least bit of anxiety or forcing. In our own life, no matter how much we worry or struggle with a situation or relationship, it always has a way of working out exactly the way it needs too, despite our attempts to force it to be the way we think it should be. It has often been said that 'timing is everything', yet as we go about our daily lives, making our plans and doing what we do, we can find ourselves spending a lot of energy trying to force things to happen that simply aren't ready to happen.
For instance, we might have a project at work that is almost finished, and with a dead-line approaching, we find ourselves hurrying and rushing to get it done, even though its far from being ready. Instead of honoring the need for more time, we hurry things along and lose our inspiration and direction, and watch as the project unravels in a sea of confusion and frustration. Because of our impatience we, as Lao Tau says; 'ruin what was almost ripe'. Of course this is as true of relationships, or anything else in our lives, as it is of work projects.
The truth is, the more we relax and flow with the direction that Life is moving us, the more things have a way of working out, almost as if by magic, for our highest benefit. We can notice that, when we resist and try to force situations and relationships to be the way the mind (the voice in your head) thinks they should be, the more we cut ourselves off from the intuitive wisdom that knows exactly what to do and when to do it. In this deep relaxing into the present moment (which can be cultivated through the practice of meditation), we align ourselves with the wisdom that is already within us - that always knows which way to go and what to do, even if it's doing nothing.
As we live with the wisdom to trust the movement of the Universal Intelligence (the Tao), that is directing and doing everything that happens, we begin to see for ourselves how it's perfectly orchestrating every detail of our lives, moment by moment. In this trust we move, as Chuang Tzu says in the above quote, 'untouched by sorrow or joy'. In other words, no matter what is happening 'out there' in the world, our inner state is one of equanimity and peace, and no longer dependent on things being one way or another. This is the state of 'original freedom' that is beyond preferences and polarities, and always in harmony with the way things are, no matter what they are.