I laughingly told a friend today that I stopped making plans a long while back. I found life had other plans. And it was much easier to go along with life’s plans. But it has taken me a while to be able to say this so lightly.
The truth is that there are moments when the burden of responsibility seems agonizingly ours alone. To trust that you will be where you are supposed to be, doing what you need to do, being who you need to be… seems like a good plan, but one unlikely to materialize.
It is difficult to remember that when you are driving someone to the hospital. Or holding a newborn in your hand. Or cradling someone precious in your arms as they worry about what awaits them beyond the veil. How do you trust that you will be there when your aging parent calls out to you for the last time? Or you will call back the friend the very night they need to hear someone say that they matter, to choose life?
We take credit for the heroics and the blame for the pitfalls. We make it all personal. If we allow ourselves to believe that it is our job to figure all this out, anticipate and prepare for all possibilities and consequently go around feeling guilt, shame and regret for the times that things went different from how we would have liked – how much of this burden could we bear?
For many of us, surrender starts with resignation. When sheer exhaustion convinces that one cannot possibly continue in this way. But this need not be the case. If one single assumption can be erased, surrender would be easier.
If we can let go of the arrogant belief that we, with our limited senses and awareness, have actually figured out all the answers and can confidently dictate how things should be – we could all relax a little.
We could then devote ourselves to doing our best. Sincerely; to the utmost possible. Leaving no stone unturned.
And then accept whatever happens.
Finally discovering the peace that comes from such concurrent action and surrender.
When the outcome become neither cause for crippling self blame, nor excessive pride.
Only by doing our best, do we learn to trust ourselves.
When we trust ourselves, we are not busy proving or defending ourselves.
Then we can finally begin to allow ourselves the room to acknowledge the presence of something larger than our limited self.
Life itself. Lightly carrying us all along.
Photo Credit: Badal Suchak