Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future. The past is closed and limited, the future is open and free.
– Dr. Deepak Chopra
Mark with Dr. Deepak Chopra in China.
In practical terms surrender means letting go. Although you don’t realize it, reality isn’t a given. Each of us inhabits a separate reality. Your mind maintains your personal version of reality by buttressing it with beliefs, expectations, and interpretations. Your mind blocks the free flow of the life force by saying, “This is how things must and should be.” Letting go releases you from the insistent grip, and when you let go, new forms of reality can enter.
You only have to take a ride on a roller coaster to see who gets more enjoyment out of the experience, those who clutch tight with white knuckles and clenched jaws or those who let go and allow themselves to be carried up and down without resistance.
Letting go is a process. You have to know when to apply it, what to let go of, and how to let go. Your mind is not going to show you any of these things; worst still, your ego is going to try to prevent you from making progress since it believes that you have to hold on in order to survive. Your only ally in letting go is spirit, which sees reality as a whole and therefore has no need to create partial realities based on limitation.
The whole path to love could be described as learning to let go, but letting go all at once isn’t possible. This is a path of many small steps. At any given moment the steps are basically the same: awareness begins to substitute for reactions. A reaction is automatic; it draws upon fixed beliefs and expectations, images of past pain and pleasure residing in memory, waiting to guide you in future situations.
Overcoming any reaction requires an act of awareness. Awareness doesn’t resist the imprint of memory. It goes into it and questions whether you need it now. In the face of a big dog, awareness tells you that you aren’t a small child anymore and that not all big dogs bite. Being aware of this you can ask if you need to hold on to fear. Whether you wind up petting the dog, ignoring it, or withdrawing is now a matter of choice. Reactions result in a closed set of options: awareness results in an open set of options.
When to let go
The critical times to let go are when you feel the strongest urge not to. We all hold on tightest when our fear, anger, pride, and distrust take over. Yet these forces have no spiritual validity. At those moments when you are afraid, angry, stubborn, or mistrustful, you are in the grip of unreality. Your ego is forcing you to react from the past, blinding you to new possibilities here and now. Spirit has a good outcome for any situation, if you can open yourself to it.
What to let go of
If the right time to let go is when you don’t want to, the thing to let go of is the thing you feel you must hold on to. Fear. Anger, stubbornness, and distrust portray themselves as your rescuers. Actually those energies only make you more closed off. For example, panicky people tend to act that way because it is familiar; the same is true for angry and stubborn people. It is helpful to challenge familiar reactions by stating that you no longer believe in them. Here are a few examples: Instead of saying “I have to have my way,” say to yourself, “I don’t know everything. I can accept an outcome I can’t see right now.” Instead of saying” I’m incredibly afraid,” say to yourself “fear isn’t me” Being more afraid doesn’t make it any more real.” (This technique is also applicable to feelings of overwhelming anger, distrust, rejection, anxiety, and so forth).
How to let go
Since letting go is a deeply personal choice you are going to have to be your own teacher. The process takes place on every level—physical, mental, emotional—where energy can be stuck or held and no two people have exactly the same issues. You may feel comfortable with a lot more physical release than I do; I may feel comfortable with a lot more emotional release than you do. It is important to find the balance between physical, mental, and emotional release that works for you.
I also suggest that you embrace the following ideas as appropriate:
-This is just an experience. I’m here on earth to have experiences. Nothing is wrong. -My higher Self knows what is going on. This situation is for my benefit, even if I can’t see that now. -My fears may come true, but the outcome will not destroy me. It may even be good. I’ll wait and see. -I’m having a strong reaction now, but it isn’t the real me. It will pass. -Whatever I am afraid of losing is meant to go. I will be better off when new energies come in. Whatever fear says, nothing can destroy me. -When people fall they don’t break, they bounce. -Change is inevitable. Resisting change doesn’t work. -There is something here for me, if I have the awareness to find it. -The things I fear the most have already happened. I don’t want to hold on anymore. My purpose is to let go and welcome what is to come. -Life is on my side. -I am loved, therefore I am safe.
I encourage you to embrace the coming season with a sense of openness, vitality, and a renewed sense of pure potentiality.
Namaste with Love
heard of bede griffiths?
Yes a British born Monk, who do you ask?
oh well, i lived at shantivanam where he lived. i was involved in same community until recent……a wonderful man…spent a sort of paul brunton search there.
Great, it must have been a wonderful experience 🙂
Mark, you’re so lucky to meet the man himself… 🙂
I have many of Depack’s books upon my bookshelves, and you are so right with what you say.. letting go in small steps,, Often I had thought I’d let go of something only to discover that it returned to haunt me, and I realised I hadn’t let go at all..
Life teachers us those lessons one by one.. One step at a time… .. We have to at times Dig Deep within ourselves to pull out the remnants of those emotions which have laid deeply buried.. But which can still hold us back..
Letting go is like a onion… We peel back the many layers and each one can have its sting.. But once we have LET GO…. the feeling it brings brings tears of joy..
Many thanks for sharing Mark, and yes you have my permission to reblog any of my posts you see worthy.. Thank you 🙂 Sue
Thank You my friend, I feel truly humbled by your lovely comments and I thank you for the authority to reblog your posts 🙂
Deepak and my connection to him is a long story, one for another day 🙂
For some reason your post has me all choked up. I have recently let go of some relatives whose unkindness to us has gone on for 20 years. In order to let them go, however, I have had to actually banish them from coming onto this property – not quite a restraining order, but almost. Since then, the relief for me has been enormous because they are gone from my already-difficult life, How do you view this kind of letting go?
Thanks for this post, Mark
You know, as the old saying goes ‘You can choose your friends but you cannot choose your relations’ and how true this is!
My friend, one of the most difficult things to let go of is family/relations because deep down we want everything to be right because they are family / relations but you know, you have made the RIGHT decision, now you can get on with YOUR LIFE, don’t look back now with any regrets, you have placed a stake in the ground (saying, enough is enough) and now you can move on to better, happier times.
I don’t know you but I’m so proud of you because you have decided to make a change a change for the better. Now go treat yourself to something small in a way of celebration to this victory.
You know, if they want to be back in your life in the future then it’s their job to make things right, on your terms, don’t buckle or look back or make contact, Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as the saying goes.
You can now move on my friend 🙂
Namaste with Love
This is fantastic Mark!
Thank You 🙂