to the flow of life. For each event, there is an acceptable time. Try as one might, you cannot alter the seasons. There is nothing you can do to harvest your rhutabaga if you have only just planted it- the fact that you are not eating pie yet is not a reflection of poor cultivation. We hear so much about pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps, never taking no for an answer, all things can come under our mastery, we who are little less than gods.
No, there are many things outside your control. You will fail, despite your best efforts. You do not have unlimited power and potential to bring all things under your dominion. In fact, you don’t really have control over the result of just your own small life, no matter how you engineer your inputs.
You are not God.
And this is okay, really. We are called to embrace all our human potential, but in order to fully appreciate it, we must also accept our limitations. Some things are just not under our control. I’m sure you have your own cross to carry you are thinking of right now, that you know is something you would really like to change but just can’t seem to wrest from life at the moment. Only you know whether you can or should be doing more to get that thing you want; but know that it might not be yours to attain at the moment. Yup, I said it. You can’t have everything you want, always, no matter how much hard work and elbow grease you put in. The universe doesn’t work that way.
I haven’t figured out quite how the universe works yet
to make it rain gumdrops and gorgeous men, and give me everything else I want (speaking tour, please!). For a long time, I thought the whole personal development thing and the quest for self perfection was just a way of turning the universe into a giant vending machine. As long as I had enough potential, or worked hard enough, or knew the right buttons to press, I would have everything I wanted, and it was only because I hadn’t figured out the hidden code like in a video game to have it all rain down upon me at my command. No, the universe doesn’t work that way. Nor should it.
When we stop trying so hard, when we realize there’s only so much we can do (yes, this is true sometimes, though it is NEVER an excuse for putting in less than your best), and let go, we become a part of something greater through that surrender. The force that causes wars and tidal waves, but also makes the flowers grow in spring; what makes a baby develop so perfectly and effortlessly; what makes fall turn to winter, and winter to spring, and summer to fall.
Whether you perceive that force as good, bad, amoral, or indifferent is another matter. The truth is that it exists. Whether as a unified intelligent cosmic, as rolls of the dice, as plain old fashioned fate. We don’t really know, but I personally would call it God’s will which is the mystery of life. We do know that it is out there, and fail to acknowledge it at our peril. When you push life, it pushes you back; when you swim against the current, you end up going nowhere. So flow with life. Surrender.
Yes, there is honor in surrender. In surrendering, you acknowledge the fact that there is more out there than you alone can perceive, control, or understand. That there is in fact, no such thing as alone, or me, or you except as we delineate it in our paltry minds. It all just kind of is, and we are all just it, or rather, is, pure being. And that is the source of all things, and it is good.
When you accept this force into your life, the Bible and other sources of wisdom (check out some poetry by the Muslim mystic Rumi, or the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho), it is said to work with you. Right now, I would say I am much better at lassoing life and bending it to my will than flowing with it (don’t you love the cowgirl imagery), but I am learning to just let go and let God. It takes tons and tons of practice. Every day. Because it is the HARDEST thing in the world. To not try. To let go. To just be, in the absence of exerting effort or thought or even feeling.
It is hard to know whether God is good or the universe is just. Honestly, we will never really know, though we can see through eyes of faith if we so choose. But whatever you believe or not, you can’t stop the motion of the ocean. Waves will knock you down, so don’t lock your knees. Don’t hold your ground when you are just standing on shifting sands. Let go. Float. It is not always sink or swim, sometimes the water itself just holds you up.
Peace and amities,
Special thanks to AC, DC, and mrprose at http://deepthinkings.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/the-art-of-letting-go/