If you want to become whole,
first let yourself become broken.
If you want to become straight,
first let yourself become twisted.
If you want to become full,
first let yourself become empty.
If you want to become new,
first let yourself become old.
Those whose desires are few gets them,
those whose desires are great go astray.

For this reason the Master embraces the Tao,
as an example for the world to follow.
Because she isn’t self centered,
people can see the light in her.
Because she does not boast of herself,
she becomes a shining example.
Because she does not glorify herself,
she becomes a person of merit.
Because she wants nothing from the world,
the world cannot overcome her.

When the ancient Masters said,
“If you want to become whole,
then first let yourself be broken,”
they weren’t using empty words.
All who do this will be made complete.

– Lao Tzu, from J.M. MacDonald’s public domain translation of the Tao Te Ching