By Mithu Basu December 2005 When you live in surrender, life becomes a celebration. What is life but a short journey, with a predetermined beginning and end, with just the middle to be lived? Life can go on without you but you are nothing without life. These realizations startled and awakened me into understanding the paradox of our insignificance in our significant lives. Who are we? What are we here for? What is expected of us? Setbacks were coming my way, as if life was applying its brakes for me to stop and introspect. It seems like only yesterday, but it is close to four years now. The darkest night had descended on me. My parents, who were my world, were no more. I felt desolate. In spite of a large and supportive family, fear and insecurity engulfed me. Wrenching memories rushed in of the day when, as a new bride, I hadn’t even exhausted my trousseau and had to return home for good. Unconditionally, my parents had cocooned me, like an oyster would a pearl. Being a divorcee is sad enough, but being one amidst a family of nine siblings, all happily married, is cruel. Juxtaposed, your incompleteness hits you on the face any which way you turn. My life had hit rock bottom. The hidden blessing was that it couldn’t get worse. Like balm, I took succor in the memories of my childhood. I vividly remembered and could even feel the abundance of love and pampering I grew up with. I was always made to feel very special. What had happened along the way? What went wrong? Why me? Persistent questions whirled within my mind. The inward thinking went on relentlessly, dissecting, analysing and evaluating every incident of my life. It was as if I was living in the past, with a present I didn’t want to face and a future I didn’t want to see. Unanswered questions heaped up. The chaos was getting unbearable. Just when the mind was about to snap, on hindsight, I saw a pattern in the events of my life. A simple pattern, yet so radically profound that it revolutionized my thinking and gifted me my second lease of life. I realized on reflection that all the positive milestones of my life were triggered by unplanned occurrences. I hadn’t planned my education beyond graduation. I never dreamt I would be an artist or a writer and public relations was nowhere in my scheme of things. On a friend’s insistence I did my post graduation. A brother initiated my vocation as an artist. A chance meeting opened for me the doors to writing. My foray into public relations added to the string of unplanned occurrences. In the negative instances, my effort in planning was evident. With enthusiasm, I checked with family and friends to see if the findings of my hindsight introspection applied to them as well. Surprisingly it did. Try it with yourself and see whether you too agree. It set me thinking. If the best things in our lives happen unplanned, is there a master plan charted out for each one of us that we are unaware of? Are we spending our energies in planning, when all we were meant to do is to live the plan, already drawn to its fullest? When we plan, are we swimming against the tide? Then again, if we just choose to ‘flow’, are we negating our individualistic existence? As if to quell the volley of questions, a visual rolled out before my eyes. It was a busy road. Fast cars were whizzing past. I was back in time, a little schoolgirl. Hopping and skipping, holding on to my father’s little finger, I was crossing the road. The fast cars didn’t frighten me. In fact I hadn’t even noticed them. I didn’t even bother to look to my left and then to my right before crossing, as I had been taught to. I was safe, because I was holding dad’s little finger. That issurrender.That isflow.I couldn’t have understood it better. I now live life in the serenity of surrender. With my parents no more, I imagine myself sometimes holding their little finger, sometimes the Creator’s or sometimes that of a high power. Whosoever it may be, it surely isn’t mine. The ‘me’ ego has been washed away. I am again the child I once was. Life can now throw at me the highs and lows that are my due. My implicit clarity of understanding is that ‘it is for my good’. If it is evidently good, I rejoice with gratitude. If it is evidently negative, I dig deep to extract the learning embedded within and on finding it, I rejoice with gratitude. When the mind surrenders, you let go and flow naturally. Inhibitions, constraints and other knots of the mind loosen up and usher in a season of abundance. The giving mind eschews skepticism, apprehension, fear and judgmental thinking. Thus unburdened, the mind is playful and cheerful. Just as nature only asks a rose to exude its fragrance, so also does nature ask us humans only to spread the smile of gratitude. Surrender isn’t escapism as many misconstrue it to be. It isn’t absolving oneself of one’s responsibilities. It isn’t about leading one’s life to another’s wishes. It is about reposing implicit faith, trust and belief in a benevolent caretaker and taking full responsibility for your thoughts, actions and deeds. Surrender gives much but makes demands too. Integrity and honesty coupled with values and principles must be in place for you to be in harmony with the flow. When I experienced surrender, life turned beautiful, light and joyful, as it was meant to be. With surrender comes trust. Trust begets trust. Life in turn, trusts you and chooses to live through you. Doors open, opportunities come by, good people come your way, even your wishful whispers get heard and answered and life becomes a celebration.
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