I recently read this quote by *Eckhart Tolle:
“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.”
It struck me right to the heart; why are we so often fighting with the life we’ve been given? Why do we complain about those things that are uniquely ours; body, mind, appearance, background, family, home, etc.?
Take for instance the death of a loved one and how it affects us. We may view it as a personal assault against our senses, even though we know that we all will die some day. The realization that this precious person in our lives is now unavailable to us is a tsunami from which we can’t rise; or so it seems.
We are suddenly adrift, and every carpet we have walked on is yanked out from under us. The world is different because the one we so loved and lost is no longer in it. How will we survive such a crushing loss?
As with any great life event, some of us will seek the company and warmth of friends and family. Others of us will wall ourselves off and suffer in silence like a wounded animal. We feel we can’t trust ourselves to be around people for fear that we will fall apart and never regain all the pieces again.
Some of us will lean on humor to get through. The more laughter, we think, the better. But when the laughter is over, the pain is still there; stubbornly and painfully there.
So after reading this quote, I feel a great relief in simply surrendering to all that is part of my life. My too-busy mind wants to say, ‘wait, wait! There’s too much to do here! I have plans! There are all these things that need to be done! Who is going to do them if not me?’
But here’s the thing: those things that need to be done will get done, one way or another. There are so many things that we can simply put down and say, ‘I’ll deal with this another day. Not now.’ And we can also stop running and just breathe.
We can simply let the issues in our world flow over us and past us and accept where we are. There is a great and soft power in simply surrendering to what is, and letting our worries go. In the peace and calm of surrender we will find the right answers.
We will also find that even the death of a loved one is part of who we are now. We can stop running from this pain by surrendering to what is. If we need to cry, we can. If we need to laugh, we can. If we need to be with people, we can. If we need to be alone, we can.
Saying ‘yes’ to life with all its good and bad, ups and downs, life and death—is allowing life to work for us and not against us. It can be as easy as just taking a breath.
*Eckhart Tolle is a German-born resident of Canada, best known as the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose. In 2011, he was listed by Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world.