Life is always in the driver’s seat and we are mere passengers on this journey of our lifetimes.
I saw an interesting promotion for safe and responsible driving at The Park, Kolkata, recently. It read: “Sometimes it’s good to take a back seat.” The idea by the hotel was part of their effort to discourage drunken driving.
But I found a deeply spiritual perspective in that signage’s message.
For the longest time, I believed that I was in the driver’s seat in, and of, my Life. Until the bankruptcy felled us in end-2007. (Read more here: Fall Like A Rose Petal) In the past decade we have left no stone unturned to fix our business and put it back on track. And each time our efforts have come unstuck. And, at several times between 2007 and 2017, the threads of our Life have been snatched from our hands and thrown away in a mangled heap. It is through experiencing Life’s upheavals and learning to accept what is, surrendering to a Higher Energy and choosing to go with the flow that I have understood that Life is always in the driver’s seat – and we are mere passengers on this journey of our lifetimes.
I have realized that our Life does not happen because of us. It happens through us and, often, inspite of us! It is our desire to control our Life that causes all our suffering. When we awaken to the reality that Life cannot be controlled and that we must only flow with it, that moment, that Eureka moment, is enlightenment.
This does not mean that we must be resigned to our Life. It does not mean that free will is irrelevant in Life’s context. Free will works handsomely but with limitations. In any situation, you have to do what you have to do. Or do what you feel like doing. That act of doing, now, that’s free will. But in almost every context, it is Life that manifests outcomes. When these outcomes match your efforts and expectations, you conclude that you are in control. Yet there are times when despite your best efforts the results don’t add up. That’s when you become frustrated and depressed. So, the best way to avoid all suffering in Life is to do your best in a given situation and leave the rest, the results, to Life.
That’s what taking the back seat in Life means. Life always was and is in control. You just allow yourself to be led by Life. Only then can you be truly anchored and happy.