“Surrender is the path to freedom through our unique authenticity, where we experience the flow of life not through the narrow lens of the mind, but through the vast refuge of the heart.”
-Bryant H. McGill
Everything in life can be seen as a path to more freedom or more bondage, depending on the perspective we choose to take. When we feel trapped by extraneous circumstances, we often forget that the true prison is that of the mind. The emancipation we are ultimately seeking is simply liberation from ourselves.
A while ago, I was embroiled in a convoluted situation and seemed to have no way of escape. I found myself entangled in a complex web of people, circumstances and bureaucratic regulations. No matter how much I tried to disentangle myself from the situation, I simply could not break free. The protracted pain and suffering I experienced over the months took a toll on my mental health. I was trapped in a quagmire, lamenting that my freedom had been taken away.
Later on, in a flash of insight, I realised that I had viewed the situation from a distorted perspective. Reality is a mirror that reflects our inner state onto the external circumstances. By interpreting the situation as a form of bondage, I had in fact given my personal power to the situation, feeding it with my energy and allowing it to escalate. With great resolve, I decided I would view the situation as a path to freedom instead, no matter how counter-intuitive it seemed.
Upon deeper contemplation, I realised that the lessons that I learnt in standing up for myself in the situation were indeed paths to freedom. The courage, wisdom and fortitude that I found within myself in learning to handle the situation gave me a profound revelation about my true identity and values. I realised that I was infinitely wiser, more loving and more compassionate than I had ever known. Once I was able to embrace the situation and treat it as a gift instead of resisting it, things began to fall in place according to a divine order. I surrendered to the flow of life and allowed myself to be still as I watched the situation resolve on its own, gradually losing its power over my life.
From a broader perspective, physical life may seem like a form of bondage at times and we often find ourselves lost in the pain that exists in this realm of duality. Yet, our temporary physical suffering is only a catalyst for greater spiritual liberation. As the poet David Whyte said, “The world was made to be free in. Give up all the other worlds except the one to which you belong.” This world is here to teach us about the true meaning of freedom, which is the liberation from our limited egoic identities. No matter what trials and tribulations may face, we can be assured that everything is ultimately a path to our eternal spiritual freedom.
p.s. Leave a comment if this resonated with you. I love to hear your stories!
Wow . I wrote down in my journal that I want to be free . ( people may think I…
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I love this post! I also grew up in a culture that praises the outcome of suffering. Agree with your…
What an excellent article–insightful and rich! Thank you for sharing with us! Namaste