Living with and loving what is, is happiness

Don’t try to control your Life. You can’t. Instead, simply go with the flow!
Someone we know is going through a tough phase in Life. None of what he’s doing or is trying to do is yielding him the results that he is looking for. In fact, for most part, his efforts are not fetching him any results. He’s trying harder each day, fighting frustration and depression, but he’s just not getting what he wants. He asked me what he should be doing.
I said: “Simply, go with the flow!”
But what do you do when you don’t like the direction of the flow? The truth is, you don’t have a choice. Well, when you are unable to proceed in the direction you want to move in, you can either resist Life and suffer. Or you can simply accept – and want – what you get. Wanting what you get is the key to happiness. Truly.
Here’s what I have learnt from Life. Don’t control, don’t resist, don’t grieve when it doesn’t go as per your wishes, your plans. Stay anticipating and welcoming the possibility of an exciting adventure and you will never be unhappy. On the other hand, you will be able to feel and be the bliss in each moment. What is a sudden health diagnosis: a cancer or any other debilitating disease? It is an adventure. What is a job loss? An adventure. What is a broken relationship? It’s an adventure. You call something an adventure when it is an experience that you have not been through before. Almost all the time since you__and I__were born we have been encountering Life at its own terms. One surprise after another. But we see it in a linear fashion. We see our Life go through onlythese stages: birth to starting school, starting school to finishing school (pre-school to high-school), starting a course to qualifying for that degree, starting a job to starting a family, finishing actively caring for children to retiring from your job, starting retirement to reaching death. So, while are essentially flowing with Life, we think we are in control. Surely, a lot of these stages apply to almost anyone who is capable of reading this post now. But if we look deeper, peeling off layer after layer in each stage, we will notice that there have been so many unforeseen events at each stage of our lives, events that we have been able to overcome them and get to today. So, why this anxiety about Life’s next surprise or adventure? Why the fear of an ‘unknown’ future? Why do you want to control Life and steer it away from adventure to predictability?
Going with the flow does not mean giving up. It only means that you must not think anything’s wrong with you just because your efforts are not fetching any results. When you think you are the problem, you will feel frustrated and depressed. Instead look at the problem – and address it. Do whatever you can and you must in a given situation. If you don’t get the results you wanted, try again. And again. And while you keep trying, go with the flow of Life too. Going with the flow means living with what is. Living with and loving what is, is happiness!

Lessons from water

We have a lot to learn from water.

When water is stirred, it causes a few ripples. When it is stirred a lot it causes a tsunami! Either way, water returns to its original, placid state. Similarly, our lives are bound to be stirred. By events, circumstances, people, emotions. The problem with us is that we remain stirred, agitated. We don’t make an effort to return to our native state__the infant stage of our Life__to being calm, carefree, trusting and in joy!

Some of us, when we are faced with challenges, turn angry, cold; others turn resentful; some even turn depressive and introverted. None of these states will make our lives memorable and deliver what we seek__happiness__unto us. Masaru Emoto (1943~2014), a Japanese author and entrepreneur has conducted experiments on water and argued the deep connection between human thought, the water content in our bodies and the afflictions that humankind is faced with. He says that since over 60 % of the planet and over 60 % human body is made up of water, the more negative thoughts we think, the more stress we subject ourselves to__self-induced or reactive__, we end up letting them affect not just our bodies, our planet too.

There is a beautiful song, I actually call it my personal anthem, in the Tamizh movie, Azhagiya Thamizh Magan, which has the following opening lines: “Ella Puzgahyum Oruvan Oruvannuke, Nee Nadhi Bole Odikkondirru…” Translated, it means, “All glory is only to One Source, you must keep flowing like a river…” What the lyricist is inviting us to do is to acquire the temperament of water, which does not worry about its origins, it path, its fall, its destination. It merely keeps flowing, perhaps, following its destiny. Perhaps, following its bliss. Without remorse, guilt, anger or expectations. It accepts to be a drop, a puddle, a lake, a river, a mighty ocean without pride or prejudice. It succumbs occasionally to Life’s vicissitudes when it is stirred, but it soon returns to its native state. Big learning there for us.

Surrender to the Cosmic Design

It is important to let Life’s design take care of you instead of you trying to control that design.
This does not mean inaction. This means insightful action. This means acting with a deep awareness of the nature of Life. That everything is transient. That you must live flowing with Life. This is what living intelligently really means. It means to be live spiritually. To be spiritual does not mean you must not live well. Spirituality, in fact, makes no demands on you. There is no need to abstain from anything, no need to propitiate any Gods, no need to observe any rituals and no need to give up anything compulsorily. Spirituality is the flowering of inner awareness. An awakening that teaches you how to live in this world and yet be above it.
When we are merely acting on Life, we are actually reacting. When we are acting with insight, we are actually meaningfully, purposefully responding to Life’s every move, every hue. That’s the only way to live in this world, face all its challenges, and still be above the world, and unmoved by those very same challenges. Only if you can prevent death, can you control Life, can you attempt to change its design for you. Without the ability to control death, controlling Life is like trying to grab and hold water in your fist__it is, well, improbable, impractical and impossible! The truth also is that, when you look back at your Life so far, you can’t but agree with the way your design has evolved. Every success, every tragedy, every opportunity, every loss, while it didn’t make sense as it unfolded or happened, appears to have so perfectly fallen in place, so sweetly timed.
So, surrender yourself to the cosmic design and flow with Life! Only then can you wear the Life it weaves for you on your sleeve!