Last week, we spent some time talking about stress and the standard equation Stress x Resistance = Suffering. This week, I am taking a deeper look at resistance and surrender.
It makes sense that when life throws us a curve ball and something isn’t as we want it to be we resist. Our expectations prepared us for one thing and BAM; life hands us something different. You don’t want your boss to come down on you or to be stuck in traffic or to figh
t with your partner, but it happens. And, when these things do happen, we cross our arms, dig in our heels and RESIST. I get it. I mean who wants to sit and be present for an uncomfortable moment?!Doesn’t it feel better to say “no” that discomfort? To say, “I don’t deserve this XYZ…”
Sure it makes sense, but does it make life any easier? Does resisting and fighting against hurt and disappointment make it happen less often? Unfortunately, no. We encounter just as much disappointment, frustration and hurt whether we fight it tooth and nail or embrace each moment as it comes. If we can find a way to embrace each present moment exactly as it is, wouldn’t life be just a little easier? Not that we have to LOVE every moment, but could we accept each moment? Yes, I think so.
Swaha can be translated as “into the sacred fire”. I love this thought when it comes to tough moments in life. Instead of stopping ourselves, we can move full force ahead into the sacred fire. We can feel the flames of tough times and move through to the next moment, and the next, and the next. Another way to think of Swaha is “so be it” – I’m stuck in traffic for two hours? So be it. There are only 4 Saturdays in a month and I have 47 things to plan for Saturday? So be it.
“This too” is another phrase I love to use in tough times. I wanted to have a pleasant dinner at home with my partner but life threw us an argument instead? “This too” is part of our present. “This too” needs to accepted – not just the argument, but the feelings around it. Anger can be accepted. So can frustration and pain. This too.
As I write this blog post, I am sitting at the car dealership waiting on an oil change, and I know that every single time I bring my car for an oil change I get hit with a surprise something that needs to be done to my car – new tires, a $500 service, etc. etc. It is so expected that I could feel myself tense up as I pulled in this morning. Just knowing that I was going to walk out with a bigger bill than I planned for caused me to cross my arms and resist the moment. So be it, I said. I chose to own the car I own. I chose to take it to the dealership for its maintenance. This is part of the lifestyle I chose. This too. Do I want to spend money on a car service? No. Am I suddenly happy to spend money on a car service? No. But can I accept the fruits of my actions and choices without letting it sour my mood or ruin my day by fearing a future moment? Yes, I can accept and surrender. So be it.