After writing my last blog about “Navigating Through Spiritual Awakening,” I received an overwhelming response from you all. Many of you said you could relate to my pain, journey, or the situation. Your responses made me smile and feel one with you all. Well…now that we can identify with each other’s pain, its time to move further in the process of our spiritual evolution. It is time to surrender and go beyond! After all, how long are we going to be stuck in this phase? As spiritual seekers, there has to come a stage in our lives when we have to go beyond our pain, no matter how deep and unbearable it gets. Life is all about touching others’ lives and empowering them but how can you do it without yourself being spiritually tough.
Spiritual struggles are invisible and intangible and so are the victories. In my previous blog I said that as we evolve spiritually so do our problems. Let me elaborate a little more. In my experience, we face more challenges and our struggles become greater as we evolve spiritually. As we proceed on our spiritual path, our practice gives us more strength to face more and more. But why should we face more challenges? Shouldn’t spiritual evolution reduce our problems and make us happy? Ideally, yes! But what really is happening is Nature is constantly empowering us to overcome more. More struggles appear in our life because more strength is given to us to face them. Struggles are nothing but impressions or Samskaras waiting to be released from within you. Faster the spiritual progress, faster your impressions will leave their home and make you lighter.
So how can we hasten this process of overcoming our pain and releasing our impressions? Surrender! What exactly is surrendering and how do we surrender? I believe surrendering means loving acceptance of our current situation, pain, and suffering as we call it. How can one accept their pain and not simply accept it but accept it with love? “Accepting pain” and “love” does not even go in one sentence for most of us but it can be done and done gracefully. I am going to tell you a few things that worked for me when I went through some painful experiences.
1. Trust Nature’s Plan and Timing: Nature is your biggest healer. Learn to read the signs it sends your way. As new challenges arise, Nature constantly sends you tools to help you overcome them. If you miss some signs, don’t panic. Nature is kind; it will open more doors again and again till you have learned to peacefully accept your situation. Help always arrives in forms of spiritual teachers, mentors, speeches, articles, animals, etc. The door that is meant for you always opens exactly at the right time.
When I was going through some of the most painful situations in my life, several people came in my life to help and their timing was perfect. These people brought with themselves suggestions, advice, solutions, and answers even without me asking them. And sometimes, I asked for help. It is okay to be vulnerable and ask for help. It is okay to say you are in pain. I found my answers through these sources because I was listening and my heart was open. Your heart will always know the right source of help for you.
2. Tools Evolve And So Do You: This is a very important lesson to learn while learning to surrender. It is very easy to forget this truth. Understand that as you evolve, the tools in your life could evolve too and leave you. Spiritual evolution goes both ways. For example, if your close friend is helping you get over a problem in your life, this person may not be able to help you continuously throughout your life. When you overcome a problem, you become stronger and may not need your friend’s help anymore so they will cease to play a supportive role in your life after the situation has passed.
Secondly, the person helping you may also be evolving in his or her own life while helping you. Once they have assisted you in your situation, they may not feel the need to stick around you for long. They appeared in your life at the exact moment when you needed them and for the exact situation of which they were capable of helping you. They may or may not be able to help you at other times or in other situations.
Don’t be surprised if people who have been with you in the past are no longer in your life to help you face other situations in the future. It only means, its time to move forward. Do not hold it against them. At the end of the day, know that you are your biggest tool and the greatest help. As you evolve, your situation will no longer bother you and your version of a person in pain will leave you. You will then start being a tool for others.
3. Face Your Fear: All of our pain and suffering comes from a place of fear. Attachment, insecurity, and uncertainty are all root causes of pain leading to fear. I used to experience deep fear of certain kind of people in my life. I began noticing a certain pattern that kept repeating in my life for several years until very recently. The more I feared these people; more and more similar people started appearing in my life causing even more fear. Finally, a couple of months ago I stood up for myself and faced my fear. Similar situations will keep repeating in our lives until we learn the lessons they bring with them.
Recently, one morning I woke up and felt extremely light. My fears had left me and I felt no worries inside me about the future. It felt great to be alive and my attitude towards life had completely shifted. Fear leaving you doesn’t mean that the situation has left you. It means you have finally become capable of facing your fear and changing your situation because you are now working from a place of love.
4. Here and Now: All my life I have wanted to be “somewhere else.” Somewhere better, somewhere nicer, at some other job, in some other city, or in some other country; thinking that I would be happier somewhere else. When I began accepting my problems and challenges as they were, I began living in the moment. Now everything is “here and now” for me. I started living life to the fullest. I am spending each moment mindfully giving my attention and energy only to things and people who really matter. This present moment is my somewhere else. I am already home here and now. Does it mean you have to go on living in your currently unfavorable situation? Not at all! However, you can accept your current situation with love until it changes or until you are able to change it on your own. Nature will change your scenery when you respect its plans for you. Nature trusts you when you trust Nature.
5. Accept Others as Carriers of Their Samskaras: Surrendering becomes a lot easier when we start looking at every person as a soul who is burdened by his or her own samskaras or impressions. The soul is always pure; what we see externally is just an egoistic manifestation of that person. When we accept people as they are, we start seeing the good hidden inside them. My Master says that even our successes and failures in life are also a part of our past samskaras so it is foolish to proudly claim any success or point out to someone as a failure. Everything that happens to us and everything that we do to others is based on our impressions. Every person is fighting his or her own battles based on their samskaras or karmas. You are also behaving in certain ways with others based on your samskaras. The way you want others to accept you with your flaws, train yourself to accept others with their shortcomings.
6. Forgive, forgive, and forgive: Once you have accepted the people in your life as the carriers of their samskaras, forgiveness should come to you easily. Once we understand the person treating us wrongfully is doing this only based on their samskaras, forgive them quickly. You should also understand that their treatment towards you is also based on your past samskaras. When you forgive them, make sure you ask for forgiveness from them too at a soul level. Forgive and let go for your own spiritual evolution, if not for others. When you pray at night, ask for forgiveness from all the souls you may have wronged knowingly or unknowingly from the very beginning of your creation. It actually works!
7. Practice Thought Replacing: Thought replacing means every time you experience an angry feeling towards someone, immediately replace that thought with your purest and most loving thought. It may not be a loving thought for that particular person at the beginning but just a thought that makes you immensely happy for your own sake. I always like to think about my spiritual Master at such times. When we find ourselves judging, criticizing, or ridiculing others, practice thought replacement.
8. Power of Positive Thinking: I used to underestimate the power of positive thinking for a very long time. With time, I have come to realize that the thoughts that we put out into the universe actually have vibratory power. Our actions, words, and thoughts are all forming impressions on us every single second. We have to be extremely careful of the thoughts we send out for ourselves and for others. Not only keeping our hearts pure is our responsibility but keeping Nature pure is also a bigger responsibility. We should not pollute the universe by sending out negative thoughts and feelings; they have a boomerang effect!
9. Silence is Golden: Surrendering teaches us how to be silent and silence teaches us how to surrender. Acceptance of a person, situation, or a challenge by being silent saves a lot of our spiritual energy that can be used to handle the situation at hand. Unnecessary talking, reacting, and complaining about your situation will deplete your energy and make you weak. Practice silence whenever you can.
10. Feel more, know less: Experience is everything! On a spiritual path, feeling is more important than knowing. You can’t go on feeding on the experiences and wisdom of other people in spirituality. You have to experience it yourself. When we talk about receiving transmission (Life Force) in Heartfulness meditation, it all sounds so glamorous and creates an excitement in us but it means something only when you feel it in your heart. Words can be pretty empty if you don’t experience it yourself.
I have always been a spiritual rebel even before I started with Heartfulness 10 years ago. I surrendered to my spiritual Masters only when I felt the transmission in my own heart. Until then, even their words didn’t mean anything to me. Once I felt the vibration, obedience and acceptance with love came to me naturally. I gave up on my accumulated superficial wisdom and pride and I had a lot it! I realized being is more important than knowing. So “be love” than only talk about love!
11. Heal Your Food and Water: Consuming food and water in the right state of mind is extremely important. Always eat with an attitude of gratitude. It has taken a lot of people and resources to bring you the food and water you consume. Be grateful to Nature before eating and drinking. Pray for your brothers and sisters in the world who have nothing to eat. Do what you can for such people. Be mindful of the quantity you eat. Eat only what is necessary for your body.
12. Be Grateful for the Animals in Your Life: You may ask what has the animal kingdom got to do with surrendering. My extremely painful and eye-opening journey towards surrender began with my dog Maahi. Most of you have read that blog and will know what I had to go through to surrender to Nature. You never know which being is going to bring you the biggest lesson of love in your life and change you forever. Be grateful for all the animals sent your way for they have a purpose to fulfill in your life. You will never be fully accomplished as a spiritual seeker until you embrace all beings of Nature. We cannot love only people or children and not develop equal compassion for animal and plant life. Celebrate Nature with an open heart!
13. Health is Wealth: At the end, everything I mention above ultimately affects your health. Fear affects us the most. Not forgiving someone and holding on to that pain will steal the peace of your mind. Not thinking positively and constantly brooding over negativities in life will hurt you in the long run. Not eating and drinking food and water mindfully will also affect your health. All this will definitely affect your sleep pattern and eventually your meditation practice. We will experience body ailments and lack of energy. So surrendering is also good for our overall health! 🙂
14. Empower Others: My Master says, “When in pain, find another soul in inextricable pain and help them.” This has helped me a lot in my personal life. Always find opportunities to touch somebody’s life. Transmit love to them through your words, deeds, or even by your presence in the room. Make yourself so pure that your presence in the room uplifts everyone’s spirit. Inspire others to live the highest and purest version of themselves. Walk away by leaving love in the hearts of others.
15. Surrender Daily: Everyday is a new beginning; everyday is an opportunity to surrender better than the previous day. Accept, forgive, let go, and live in the moment whenever faced by a challenging situation. Choose to feel the purity of another’s soul rather than seeing the external ego of that person. Surrendering does not make you weak; it makes you stronger like never before.
Finally, I would like to sign off by saying that surrender doesn’t happen overnight. Surrendering needs practice and constant hard work. As we evolve, surrendering will also evolve at each step. Bigger the challenge, higher the level of surrender needed! Eventually, the process becomes beautiful and you will find joy in it. You will find the purest and lightest version of yourself on the other side of surrender. You will experience innocence in your spirit; the same innocence that existed at the time of creation. You will become love for love is the other name for surrender. So what are you waiting for? See you on the other side! 🙂
~ be love