The power of surrender
After years of surrendering to other people’s authority and power, Ajay Kalra wakes up to surrendering to the Moment
Ever since I was a child, I had to deal with power; essentially, my powerlessness and others’ power. I mostly did what I was told, out of fear of punishment and the greed for others approval. I wanted to be in the good books of people with power. In school, it happened to be teachers and senior students. For the longest time, I was unaware that I was driven by the need to please others. I rarely did anything to displease authority. And even if I did, I would soon apologise.
The first time I stood up to authority was when a co-student had complained to the school principal that I had abused him, which I had not. I remember the principal asking me if there was truth in the complaint against me. “No,” I said. He did not believe me and said that I would be punished. “You can punish me if you wish, but I have not said it.” As I was being hit on my small, outstretched palm with a stick, I bore the pain stoically. In that moment, in spite of my humiliation, I felt powerful. I had stood up for my truth.
Apart from that slight glimpse of personal power, I mostly relinquished myself to the demands of the system. Apart from family, the two systems that I had to contend with were education and economics. I depended on the first system to prepare me for the second system that provided me with a livelihood and social identity. Personal power was easily given up in favour of social approval.
For the longest time, I had no idea of the concept of personal power. I sought borrowed power from qualifications, designations, and money. Not that it didn’t have its usefulness, but no matter how much of it I had, I always felt powerless. There was always the craving to climb further up the corporate ladder and get a bigger package than the person next to me. It was a futile attempt at self-fulfilment.
Then entered another dimension in my life. Spirituality. The world of meditation, love, and service. This felt beautiful. More authentic. More ‘me.’ But here again, I had relinquished my power to a guru, to an organisation, and to an ideal of enlightenment. In the realm of spirituality, this was encouraged. It was called ‘surrendering the ego.’ The more I let go of my personal likes and dislikes in the service of the organisation, the greater my elevation in its hierarchy.
When my surrendering in the name of being spiritual led to a sudden eruption of volatile emotions, I realised how much I had suppressed in the name of surrender. This led me into the world of counsellors, healers and facilitators. Healing spaces that allowed for non-judgmental self-expression and exploration. I saw this as a license to indulge my emotions and impulses in the name of authenticity. This self-exploration was never-ending. There was always some inner issue to deal with, some unresolved emotion to process, and some new therapy to experience.
Where did all of this lead me to?
To this Moment. The most powerful dimension there is. But to be in this Moment I have to die to everything in my past. And relinquish all hopes of the future. Which means to be absolutely vulnerable. To live in a state of uncertainty. When I do that, I feel my oneness with Existence. In the experience of vulnerability lies deep strength. Not of the known, but of the Unknown.
“But how does one do this practically?” you may ask.
By surrendering whatever arises in each moment. By acknowledging every thought, sensation, and feeling. Surrendering it to the Divine. Doing our duty. And allowing life to unfold organically. When I live without a strategy, plan, or agenda, my ‘I’ dissolves into the ‘I.’ The ‘I’ that is ever-present, ever-knowing, and ever-living.
“Does this really work?” you ask.
Surrender, and let me know if it does.
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