We are here to learn. Every experience, good or bad to our relative perception, is in some form a lesson. Throughout the past three months, I kept on asking myself what exactly I have learned from the experience of losing Leif? I am a different person than I was then, there is no doubt about it. My capacity for love has broadened, I have discovered new depths of my being, worked through my own childhood trauma and conditionings, found a new sense of compassion for the suffering of others, and have been shown the magic of surrender. I always knew that we had little control over our lives, but this concept became much clearer this time around. It has lost its conceptual value and became pure experience. We don’t learn from concepts, we learn from experience. I thought I was in control of my pregnancy. I ate the right food, did all the rights things to care for this growing being inside of me, and just like that, it was taken away. Unknown acute infection, they said. A mystery in a life where all seemed solid and in control.
The fact is that we never know what is going to happen. My reality today is so different than it was three months ago, or even ten months ago. It’s constantly changing. The change does not always come about because we plan it so. Most times, it occurs without our consent, or even knowing. I can have plans to go to Hawaii with my partner in two months, but who knows what could and will happen between now and then? The possibilities are endless, so then what are the odds that I will actually end up going? Make a plan but do not attach yourself to its outcome – this is one of my most important ongoing lessons. The only experience that is solid is the one that happens now. Too often have I been disappointed by the lack of realization of future plans. I am learning to surrender to the moment-to-moment experience and the unseen forces that control it.
Surrender to higher forces is a hard one to swallow and accept as part of life. We have been taught from early on that our lives are in our hands. When we run late for an appointment because we hit every damn red light on the way, it is still somehow our fault. Most of us do not reach beyond the ordinary to see that every one of our actions creates a ripple effect in the world around us. We don’t always mean to create these ripples, but they are necessary for existence to continue. If we are late, it is because we were supposed to be late. It is because we were supposed to be at this or that intersection in this or that moment. We are always exactly where we’re supposed to be at all times, to fulfill our destiny. With that hard understanding, surrender slowly seeps in. I do not exclude the power of prayer, intention, or free will. I strongly believe that they are all part of our path and manipulate the higher forces at hand. However, the lesson is to make the prayer or intention and let it go, or to make the choice and surrender to its outcome. It’s a constant practice, but one so worth investing our souls into. We are always ok, no matter what. We are always learning.
Somehow with the process of surrender, life becomes more organic and trustworthy. Expectations are gone, standards are lowered, and disappointments disappear. We open the door for pure contentment. Then why is it so hard to let go of this need for control? Through my experience, I have come to understand that part of the reason is because of how we have been shaped and conditioned by our parents and society. As a child, I learned that if I don’t get something that I want, I should be sad and cry. Nobody ever told me that it’s beyond my control. I was told that when I grow up, and work hard, I can make anything happen. I can have anything that I dream of. I will gain control over my life. The lesson of surrender comes with disassembling these hard beliefs. I have yet to see the end of the process in my own life, but with each trial, the conditioning weakens.
Even when I drop my own expectations of myself, there are those of others. Those around me expect me to be a certain way, needing to control that which is even further beyond their control than even their own lives. How can we set expectations of others, if we can’t even control what happens in our lives?
I am making a vow to accept reality around me as it is, with the understanding that I am EXACTLY where I need to be at all times and that everything that happens in my life is for a higher purpose. I am here to learn.