Surrender: to swim with the current of life and not against it.
We love when things go our way, don’t we? And hate when they don’t. We love when we have control over what will happen to us, and when we can predict, plan, and anticipate. We like to think that we know what is best for us. But do we really?
Surrender would always come to me in moments when I got stuck. I wanted to get, be, or experience something or someone. I didn’t. Which was frustrating at least, and deeply disappointing at most. Often not having things go according to my preferences would make me feel incapable, and simply not good enough. It made me feel like a failure. Until I stopped holding onto the desired outcome, loosened my grip and let happen whatever was going to happen. Looking back, all my ‘failures’ to attain what I wanted turned out to be blessings in disguise. This made me ask myself the following questions: Is it possible that I didn’t know what was best for me? Can it be that the plan that life had for me was better than the plans I made?
“If the natural unfolding of the process of life can create and take care of the entire universe, is it reasonable for us to assume that nothing good will happen unless we force it to?” -Michael A. Singer
The symphony of life is quite perfect.
We live on a piece of dirt that keeps spinning around a ball of fire that is just close enough to keep us warm but not too close, so we don’t burn. There’s a rock spinning around our planet with the ability to move the oceans. The oceans transport heat that comes from the fireball from the equator to the poles, regulating our climate and weather patterns. The weather patterns have kept the forests watered for millions of years. The forests that started as tiny seeds have grown big, providing shelter, air, and food to people and animals for millennia. What I’m trying to say here is that life seems to know what it’s doing. It appears to be doing quite well. Yet there’s no pushing or fighting for this to happen. It simply does, and it’s wonderful.
I let come. I let go.
I started practicing a simple breath meditation early this year as the lockdown began. Like many, I was shaken by how quickly everything changed. I had no idea what would happen if I would be able to work soon enough, or when I’d see my family again. Every morning, I’d sit on the balcony, trying to breathe through the tightness in my chest, reminding myself to embrace the uncertainty. There was no point in trying to control what was happening because I couldn’t. What I could do though, was to accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. I sat down cross-legged and placed my hands on my knees with my palms open and facing up. I made this hand gesture to symbolize that I was not grasping onto anything. My hands were open to receive but also to give. Then my attention shifted to my breath, and I observed it for a while. Breath teaches us a lot about letting go. To breathe, we have to let go. You can’t only inhale, and to take another breath, you first have to release the one that came before. On the inhale, I repeated in my mind silently, “I let come.”. On the exhale I’d say “I let go”. I let come. I let go. A beautiful reminder to take in what you’re given but don’t hold onto it. Allow the natural flow of life and move with it, not against it.
1. Write about a moment when life gave you something else than what you wanted, and it turned out to be just what you needed.
2. Where in your life can you surrender right now?