By Suma Varughese
Suffering disappears when you actively choose God’s will over your own
Growth happens in spirals, working its way gradually into the deepest core of your being until it finally becomes a part of who you are. I am experiencing this with surrender. Of late, the one thought that seems to be dominant in my mind is, “If this is what God wants, then this is what I want.” This is helping me to accept the tiniest of problems, such as the lift not coming up immediately or stepping into a puddle. It also helps me let go of the major stuff – relationships that do not work out, a project that falls through, and ailments waylaying me. I am realising more and more powerfully that whatever God sends my way is in my ultimate welfare and that He has my interests at heart much more profoundly than I ever can. Therefore, why not let go and drop one’s narrow self-will?
When I look back, I can see that all the suffering I have faced is because I pit my will against God’s will. I wanted people to be other than they were, I wanted myself to be other than who I was, I wanted my life to be other than what it was. I railed, raved and ranted because X hurt my feelings by taking me for granted, and Y was controlling and dominating. Or because I lacked the will to execute my duties speedily. Or because the environment was being destroyed and India was becoming a playground of the consumerist elite. I was in violent disagreement with the way God ran my life and the world, and the result has always and only been suffering and pain.
It’s been a very long and tortuous journey to learn to let go these resistances and put my trust in the Higher Power. What helps is that over and over again, even the most negative of situations and circumstances have only ended in showering me with gifts and blessings. A couple of years ago I contracted asthma. I launched on a journey to locate the source of my ailment and heal it. Today, I can confidently say that the journey was a blessing, for it has afforded me tremendous insights into the nature of disease and what causes it. Not only do I feel much improved in health, it has also given me a much better relationship with my body.
If everything, even what I label as bad, is for the good, why protest? Why not accept it? There is a prayer I chant these days: “I joyously accept everything that you send my way, for all of it is an instrument of your grace to help me void my karma, and move me into eternal health and happiness.”
Each time I manage to let go and let God, I enjoy a huge sense of expansion and relief. The issue or problem simply disappears. When someone is angry with me, for instance, I simply say, “If God wants her to be angry with me, then I want her to be angry with me.” My discomfort with the other’s anger disappears. This also applies to me. I tell myself that if God wants me to feel this or think that, then I want this too.
There is still a long way to go, but more and more I am letting go the reins of my life and trusting the Creator to hold it. After all, it is His life, not mine.
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