“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu
Monday reminded me that just like humans, life is imperfect. It was one of those days where almost everything that means so much to me, suddenly spiraled out of my control….and we all know how frightening that feels! It brought on that intense feeling of helplessness that made life feel extremely painful and as I got on with my normal routine, that feeling just kept on intensifying! I couldn’t for the life of me find any relief, and I was emotionally drained, but I was absolutely determined not to let it get in the way of my full normal day regardless of how emotionally drained I was feeling. Whenever I feel helpless, my first call is to God to help me. But when it’s such a deep helplessness as this was, it takes a while to find the peace I need to pray comfortably, all I could pray was, “God, help me!” When I got home from work, I decided to take a nap, my mind desperately needed a break. But when I woke up, the pain was back! Then I remembered a quote I had seen that said that, “Always pray, especially when it’s so hard to pray.” I realized that I needed it so desperately!
Even though my spirit wasn’t feeling it, I started my normal prayer routine before going to bed and I was amazed and pleasantly surprised as finally, my spirit started feeling peace. It was excellent to see these Bible verses come alive in my time of need and reminded me that the only way to experience peace is to surrender our anxiety to God in exchange for His peace.
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” – (Philippians 4:6-7)
As the pain started to fade and I started feeling peace, I realized why I had carried that intense pain all day. It wasn’t so much about what was happening, which I clearly had no control over; it was really because I wasn’t accepting what was happening. We totally underestimate the power of acceptance and yet it’s the key that leads to peace in any given situation! Acceptance helps us surrender. It’s what unlocks the mind from looking at what’s happening in a negative light and helps us see the possibilities that can come out of what originally looks like a very bad situation. It helps turn our thoughts from negative to positive and gives us a different way of looking and dealing with what looks impossible. As acceptance finally settled into my mind, I was reminded that life isn’t a straight line; it’s perfectly imperfect just like humans, with a balance of both the good and the bad. And if we want to live and enjoy it peacefully and happily, it’s so important for us to accept, embrace and deal with it’s changes as they come and go. Like Lao Tzu says in the above quote, “Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven—
A time to be born and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to keep silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace. – (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)