Recognizing that the game of life is founded on an unconditional acceptance of every single human experience is a transformative insight, says Suma Varughese.
2020 was all about releasing our collective karma. There were, perhaps, very few people on Planet Earth, including newborns, who were not affected by the cataclysmic pandemic that held us hostage virtually the whole year.
Making a thorough overhaul of it all, I also think the Universe decided to settle many people’s individual karmas too, of which mine was one! By the great grace of God, I was spared large-scale catastrophes, but, almost the moment I touched down in Mumbai on March 9, after an extended trip to Delhi and Rishikesh, all my physical issues—IBS, respiratory allergies, arthritis, and UTI—surged to the forefront.
Of these, the stomach proved the most recalcitrant. For months on end, I was unable to digest virtually anything and lost weight precipitately. As usual, my fears, worries, and anxieties, when confronted with physical ailments, overwhelmed me, but, marvellous to report, the intensity of the stomach discomfort forced me to rise to a higher consciousness, for there was no other way to solve the problem. Although far better now, the healing is far from complete, perhaps because I still have lessons to learn.
A few weeks back, the stomach once again skydived, and this time the learning was simply beautiful. As I contended once again with acute discomfort and struggled to rise above it, I felt myself asserting with a forcefulness that I seldom feel, that I unconditionally accept every single morsel and nuance of human experience. It hit me powerfully that one cannot pick and choose from the smorgasbord of life. Life was a whole, a gestalt, and it is when we fastidiously select a few of the strands and reject a lot more, that we tear it apart. And when we do that, life ceases to work for us.
I realised that I had signed up for all of life when I chose to take birth and that life on Planet Earth warranted nothing less than an Unconditional Yes to every last tendril of thought, feeling, and physical sensation. There is no other way to make the game of life work for us.
The moment I realised this, I came to terms with a central law of life—the law of uncertainty. The thought that almost anything could happen to us and that there were no guarantees was a truth that had hitherto filled me with fear. But the realisation that I was born to experience everything, simply everything, is the antidote I had been waiting for. If I choose to experience every bit of life, then what is there left for me to be afraid of?
I will accept whatever comes my way, because that, so to speak, is the basis of existence. I am to suck the marrow of life fully, not tentatively. I am to plunge in, and when I live from such a wholehearted space, all resistance and fear dissolve.
I never need to worry about the future, because I accept it already. I never need to worry about old age which is curling around my feet, because I accept it already. Free of fear of the future, I can naturally settle into the present moment.
In the weeks that followed this realisation, fears and resistance have come, but they have been combated each time by my robust assertion that not only was it what it was, but accepting it was the very purpose of my existence.
It is helping me to validate every thought, feeling, or experience: memories of wrongs done to me or that I have done to others, aches or pains, leg cramps, an inability to burp, and so much more. As I become more and more comfortable with everything in my mind and body space, I can feel a greater wholeness and completion pervading me.
Accepting the wholeness of life is restoring my own!
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