A couple of years ago, I started on this journey that I will share with you. Things were happening in my life that I was not able to control. There were issues at work and issues with some friends, issues in the family and then finally it started to show on my health. I was to be hospitalized and operated upon and I was wondering why all this was happening to me. Why was I not able to control my own life. There was constant chatter in my head about the would have and the should have on all fronts – business, family and personal. The more I held onto these negative thoughts, the more misery I created for myself. I had collected a lot of negative garbage from the past in my head but I had absolutely no idea how I was possibly going to just forget and let go everything negative that had happened in my life and I started to look for answers. I was choking and literally unable to breathe till I came to the revelation that: “We cannot even take the next breath until we let go of the existing one”.
The carbon-di-oxide has to be able to go out before the space is emptied and then it gets very quickly filled with oxygen. It has been a tough and painful process for me but the learnings are worth every single bit of pain that I have gone thru. I had to take all of the negative garbage from the past in my head and let it go to make some space for gratitude and for all the positive things in my life. I had to start living in the present moment and not in the past. Gratitude, Compassion and Kindness became the keys to letting go of all the negativity and the habit of sitting down everyday and writing down the three things I was grateful for in my life and doing a random act of kindness every day helped me a lot.
“We cannot even take the next breath until we let go of the existing one”
If anyone asked me 24 years ago if I would spend the next half of my life in Prague, I would have laughed at them and to hide my ignorance, quickly looked for a map to see where Prague was. Nor was I to know 24 years ago that I would move from being a hotel General Manager to the restaurant and catering business. Nor did I know that I would twice get involved in relationships and have four of the mostadorable and most lovable children in the whole wide world. The people that came into my life and the timing of their coming and staying or going was everything I was never in control of but somehow I had always wanted to be able to control the future, where in reality I have realized that I have no control whatsoever. I was always embarrassed about being vulnerable and always tried to hide my weaknesses from everyone and always tried to put my best foot forward but then I realized that none of us is perfect and VULNERABILITY IS A STRENGTH because when we are sincere and open about our weaknesses, we connect with people at a much deeperlevel and create TRUST. I realized that it is about letting go of the EGO and simply being Compassionate and forgiving – because who am I to judge anyway.
I realized that to wake up to who I am I have to let go of who I have been imagining myself to be or who I have been pretending to be. Once I understood that CHANGE IS INEVITABLE and I am not in control, the only way is to anticipate and embrace change was to recognize that I AM VULNERABLE and use the vulnerability and sincerity as a strength to drive things forward by letting go of all the negative chatter in my head and make space for Compassion, Kindness, Gratitude and Humour. It is not easy to untrain and retrain a 54 year old monkey but every step in this direction opens my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities and Magic. It is work in progress as I share this with you but the magic gets more and more awe-some with every passing day.
“Change is inevitable”
Whenever I got hurt, it came from a gap between my expectations created in my own head and the reality. I obviously could never see things except through my own lens and based on my past experiences. I used to pass judgements on people. But as I grow older and hopefully a little wiser, I am realizing that what I see when watching others depends on the purity of the window though which I am looking. I try to clean this window as often as possible and the view very often changes completely. As the Dalai Lama says “If I am able to let go and be more Compassionate, I am the one who benefits with Inner peace“. If we love people not because of our selfish interest but because of them, please consider “The toughest people to love are the ones that need it the most”. As I realized this, my perspective changed completely and life started to take a new turn.
“The toughest people to love are the ones that need it the most ”
When I understood that life is a paradox and change is inevitable, I stopped to take myself too seriously and started to have fun laughing at myself and the fool I had been all these years. I realized that the true me has power, Love, Serenity and Gratitude within. I just need to ensure that I stay aware of it at most moments. For me the journey is like a pendulum between my ego and the things that I associated with as me or mine and the tranquility of staying in the presence of my true self – the “I am“. The more I can stay away from my ego recognizing who I really am, the more peaceful, loving and happy I am, the more total joy becomes my nature and not my goal, the more I feel blessed and start to really en-joy life.
Wishing you en-joy this beautiful autumn too with your near and dear ones.
Author: Sanjiv Suri