We live in a world where change is the one constant, where nothing remains static for any given moment of time. Situations change, dreams change, beliefs change, and thoughts change every second. According to physicists, even matter is nothing more than energy and  therefore always moving and thus changing.

Knowing this can provide reassurance. It may be a comforting thought, that every day is a fresh start, full of new possibilities. That every moment can be surprisingly different. In practice the opposite seems to be the case. We are continuously resisting change. We don’t want romances to end, our achieved status should remain unimpaired, those close to us mustn’t leave, newly acquired fame must be maintained, happiness must be eternal, convictions mustn’t change, and please let our bodies stay forever young.

Forcefully we protect what is pleasant
and just as protectively we keep the unpleasant out

Forcefully we protect what is pleasant and just as protectively we keep the unpleasant out. A tiring and also painful quest. Because in fact we are resisting the fullness of life in which it presents itself to us. In fact we are only fixated on a small aspect, while we remain in the illusion that we are striving for abundance and wealth. Material or intangible wealth, it doesn’t matter. The pattern of wanting to possess and be in control is the same. And equally exhausting.

Following a spiritual path can also be an attempt to escape the unpredictability of life. A search for a place where all is well. The promise of paradise on earth. Taking part in retreats, workshops or spiritual training can lead to fruitful breakthroughs and enlightenment, but its effect often diminishes over time. This causes a certain unease and before you know it, you are off to yet another workshop.

The last few years I came to realise that I learned a lot along the way, but I was still directing my life on a subtle level. Anything that wasn’t yet ‘whole’ needed to be turned into something complete. When I experienced isolation I needed to work on ‘being connected’. Although I appeared to accept both the pleasant and less pleasant situations, I was still aiming to go somewhere. Somewhere other than the present moment.

The deep value of surrender

This realisation taught me a lot about the deeper value of surrender and humility. I learned to bow my head to the divine that manifests itself in myself and every other living creature. I learned to respect every situation, pleasant or unpleasant, as an expression of the divine. And every relation between me and the people around me. I learned to deeply relax into the reality as it unfolded, without wanting to change any second of it. This brought about a deeper level of happiness and light I hadn’t yet experienced before.

Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t regularly slip back into a tense state in which the world appears to be a scary and dark place that I do my best to escape from. It happened just last week. However, I now find the patience to sit it out, to lovingly observe myself going through the struggle, knowing and trusting that the darkness is never permanent, there is always space for something light and new.

Nonetheless, surrendering to the divine intelligence of nature is by no means the same as submitting or passively waiting for a God to take charge of our life. True surrender means you are present and alert, you intuitively know how to move and when to act. This is something completely different than forcefully wanting to alter the natural flow, but also different from passively watching life unfold itself. It is all about finding a balance, in which your awareness in the present moment is the key to happiness.