The holistic nature of our being may well be comprised of body, mind, and spirit, but there is also an entire world around us, and our relationship to that world can be either very complicated or very simple. If our view of life is that the world around us is there to satisfy our personal needs, life is a constant struggle and becomes very complicated.
If, however, we respect that the life unfolding around us has billions of years of forces behind it causing it to be exactly as it is, life becomes very simple. It becomes a case of first honoring the reality of the current moment and then asking if there is anything we can do to serve the moment as it passes before us.
It’s really that simple — not what can the moment manifesting before me do for me, but what can I do for it.
This life of acceptance and service is often called the path of surrender. But the way of surrender is very misunderstood. People think it entails stepping aside from life, but nothing could be further from the truth. True surrender means letting go of yourself, not letting go of life.
In fact, to walk the path of surrender, you must be willing to fully embrace life, instead of embracing your fears and desires about it. Still, surrender is frightening to most people because they think it means becoming totally passive. They think, “If I don’t go out and fight for what I want, nothing good will happen. I might as well go live in a cave.”
It’s not true, and to think that way is to completely misunderstand the universe in which we live. Billions of amazing things happen every moment, and you’re not doing any of them. Planets stay in orbit, galaxies spiral through space, and our physicists tell us that quantum fields are emanating subatomic particles that combine together to create everything we see. How much of that are you doing?
Even within your own body, cells are dividing, digestion is taking place, your heart is beating, and your lungs are breathing. You are not doing any of these things; they are all being done by the incomprehensible perfection of life itself. And if any one of them stopped, it would all be over.
Clearly, you have no choice but to trust the perfection of life going on all around you. That being the case, what makes you think that if you stopped trying to control the moment unfolding in front of you, nothing great would take place? Do you really believe that the whole universe can take care of itself, except for the part that passes in front of you? As silly as it sounds, that is how we live.
Every moment, we’re willing to allow trillions of things to unfold on their own, but not the things we interact with—those things have to be exactly how we decided they should be. Therein lies the entire problem. Because the truth is: what unfolds in front of you is really no different than any other part of the universe. The moment in front of you is not special or different just because you’re seeing it.
It’s all the same universe, and you’re just seeing the tiniest speck of it. Surrender means dropping the false notion that just because something is passing in front of you, it is supposed to be the way you want. A wise being understands that what is passing before them took 13.8 billion years to get there. Is it really something they should be judging, instead of appreciating?
When you are willing to surrender your made-up personal preferences and learn to honor and respect the reality of what is unfolding before you, your entire life will change. The burden you carry of having to control everyone and everything around you will fall away.
You will still have a reason to wake up in the morning, but it will not be to struggle with life; it will be to experience the excitement of getting to interact with life. Your entire relationship with the people around you will change. It took billions of years for each of them to manifest exactly as they are, and you will feel honored to interact with them. This is true surrender—you let go of yourself and begin to respect the grandeur of life.
If you wish to explore the deepest states of your being, you have to let go of your likes and dislikes and begin to embrace the reality of life. Learn to sit deep inside yourself, in the seat of mindful clarity, and simply let go of your personal preferences. Over time, you will come to see that there is a perfection that exists without you struggling.
You are not the creator of life; that job was filled a long time ago. You are a participant in the unfolding of the universe. You only get to interact with a very small part of it, so please, do it well.
Honor and respect what the flow of life brings to you, and be sure that everything that passes before you is better off because it did. This is how to live a life of surrender, and this is how to become a blessing to everyone and everything around you.
©2015 Michael A. Singer. For further study of the life of surrender — take the journey. www.surrenderexperiment.com.
The Surrender Experiment, by Michael A. Singer, (Harmony Books, June 2015) #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Untethered Soul.Photo Credit: Shutterstock