How Do I Surrender To The Universe?

Q.: Hi jagjot, I am so much confused these days. I understand everyone has their own story and destiny. I am not married yet and I am not clicking or matching with the ones I am talking to (prospects). People around me say, you should keep trying, your biological clock is running out, and things of that nature.

However, I want to surrender to the universe’s choice. I feel frustrated with what’s happening around me. Should I surrender or go through the endless process of looking for prospects of marriage and talking to them? Also, the peer pressure to do things at a certain age or follow the career path is crippling.

J.: Even if “you” surrender to the universe, you still have to live your life in the world. Make your life decisions yourself because if you don’t, then other people will make them for you. You have the complete free will to make your own decisions. If talking to people helps, do that, but follow what your heart desires. The worldly path and spiritual path are not two. The peace of the universal spirit has to reflect in the flow of life as peace.

Remember that while “you” may decide to surrender using your free will, after that, it’s only God’s Will whether the surrender will happen or not. Therefore, make your decisions without worrying about right and wrong and future implications. Open your mind to all possibilities.

Q.: Yes I understand I do not want to surrender my free will, but in things like marriage or finding a partner requires two people …the prospects I am talking to our mentality or something or the other doesn’t match mostly. It’s like the universe doesn’t want me to settle down right now.

J.: I am still not clear as to where the problem is. If you don’t want to settle down right now or wait for the right person, let that be. In such cases, it’s usually family pressure to settle down that creates conflict. The child does not want to hurt the parent’s sentiment and, at the same time, can’t even say yes to things they are uncomfortable with. Is that the case with you?

Q.: Yes somewhat it’s the case. I am questioning myself if I am being quite selective but the few prospects I have spoken they don’t feel right for me at the soul level, what you are saying is true. I want to settle down but unable to find the right person. I have tried talking to a few people via matrimonial apps but I start questioning my self-worth. Do I deserve this? Do I have to compromise and continue with one of the prospects or do I surrender to the universe to wait for the person to feel right and confident?

J.: I would say that you think it over and then make a decision. Yes, people will say a lot of things, but nobody is going to live your troubles when the time is tough. Not even the close ones. I don’t see any harm in waiting for the right person rather than rushing into things to appease others. That said, according to my life experience, the right person is not the one who thinks alike. They may not follow your path but will respect your feelings and will be willing to support you unconditionally. It requires time and building trust.

That’s what my wife did when I left the corporate world. She never even once complained as to why I was throwing away a promising career. She’s not into any teaching or has any spiritual inclinations, but she respects my decisions, and I respect her. Therefore, I never force an expectation on her to listen to spiritual masters or my talks. That way, we become each other’s support without interfering in our respective work.

Q.: Thank you, Jagjot. What you and your wife share is beautiful and I see the same with my parents. My father is non-religious, whereas, my mother is religious, they both respect each other’s beliefs. That leads me to two Interesting questions here:

  1. How do I develop that level of acceptance within me? I see sometimes that I am not that accepting.
  2. What do I accept and what do I reject (Probably, what I can accept only I can answer so I have to sit with myself to know about this)?

J.: Total acceptance includes not being able to accept some things. Take whatever action you think is necessary in a given situation, but know that the outcome will never be in your control. Acceptance can never be partial. It has to be complete.

There is nothing “you” can “do” to bring this acceptance as it is not in your control. When you ask what should I accept and what I should not, isn’t it the conditioned mind with a sense of separate existence asking this? The mind polarizes between good and bad based on its limited understanding. How can such a mind know what acceptance is? You are not this limited mind.

Let the same power that brought you to this path bring acceptance when it is destined for you. Leave it to the Source. To think “you” can bring acceptance through your efforts by “doing” something is like saying I know better than the Source.

Once you’ve heard that no one is the doer, the message is already in your conscious awareness. This message is like a slow poison for the thinking mind that wants to divide and control. Let the message do its job. All you can do from your end is investigate if any of your recent actions were truly yours or were brought about by some factors that were beyond your control. The universe will guide you, and life situations themselves will bring understanding. 

As the wise say, “You cannot hasten the seasons.”

Q.: Beautifully written. I have been reading the last email multiple times, there are some many things to grab from the last two paragraphs. If I see actually at one incidence I chose to get angry and in another, I was okay. Who made that choice for me if I want to get angry or not in a certain circumstance?…. really interesting …The reason why I am taking the example of anger is because we tend to get irritated or angry at things or circumstances that we cannot control.

J.: Yes, it all comes down to the sense of personal identification or ego that takes ownership of every feeling and emotion (including anger). Sometimes, anger may arise from the subconscious, and we may think I’m angry for no reason, but the cause was some past conditioning that we had no control over. The anger experienced as a bare feeling is not the problem.

It is the ownership in the form of … I should have … I should not have … I could/could not have … that becomes our suffering. Sometimes, a reaction in the moment is warranted, but in the light of understanding that no one is the doer … the ego never expands in the form of shame, blame, guilt, malice, spite, hate, and resentment. Also, the anger expressed in the moment does not transform into a destructive rage. 

Like Nisargadatta Maharaj had a short fuse, but his anger was momentary and he fully accepted it, the very next moment he would be laughing and enjoying. We have these false notions that a perfect sage should never react. Maharaj reacted because that’s how God made him. Ramana Maharshi had always been of a calm nature, but even he had his triggers. We all have our triggers. What is meant to dissolve will be done by the light of understanding and the Guru’s grace (your inner guru), the individual is not in control.

Q.: Can you explain the following lines a bit more I am unable to understand. “Sometimes, a reaction in the moment is warranted, but in the light of understanding that no one is the doer … the ego never expands in the form of shame, blame, guilt, malice, spite, hate, and resentment. Also, the anger expressed in the moment does not transform into a destructive rage.”

J.: Say, for example, a colleague at work messes up something you had been working on for years, in such a case, a reaction (anger) may happen, which may end in you saying something nasty to that person. This was a natural reaction by the biological organism in the heat of the moment. But once you understand that no one is the doer, the anger in the moment does not transform into a destructive rage in horizontal time. The belief that that person deliberately chose to act in a way that they did is of the “doer” mind. “He deliberately did this or that to hurt ‘me.’ Therefore, I’m going to teach him a lesson.”

That said, it would be okay to file a complaint report of what happened, but holding grudges, resentment, and hatred towards him would be strengthening your own sense of separate existence. Therefore, the understanding of non-doership frees one from the load of shame, blame, guilt, spite, hate, and resentment. Neither will you blame him for “his” apparent actions, nor will you blame yourself for apparently reacting the way you did. 

The uncomfortable truth is that people who give us a hard time teach us the most. We rarely learn anything from “nice” people. However, it does not imply that we should deliberately put ourselves in difficult situations.

Q.: There is a line in one of the previous answers you had said that try to see if any of the choices you made were really yours. I’m really thinking if any choice is my own. Every choice we make is due to a narrow perspective and conditioning. Some choices we make are at God’s will. It leads me to think should we let the choices flow rather than critically thinking over them as the outcome depends on God’s will.

J.: There are two types of thinking: one is ego-centric thinking which wants a particular outcome at any cost, and then, there is another thinking that happens when a situation requires critical assessment and practical action. Therefore, even to assume that you are not to plan or think about a situation is going against God’s Will. How do you know that God does not want you to think and act based on that thinking? This is where the majority of people are confused. Therefore, do what you feel is required in the moment without worrying about the outcome.

Surrendering does not mean abandoning critical thinking or reasoning. There is no way to surrender. The surrender simply means “you” the finite mind can only act according to conditioning (whatever knowledge you have acquired so far), and thereafter, the outcome is not in your control. All doubts arise from the conscious or unconscious inclination to avoid the wrong outcome and pursue the right outcome. Identification with right and wrong is the ego mind. There is no right or wrong, but What-Is.

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Jagjot Singh
Jagjot Singh

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