Tag Archives: surrender

How Resilient Can One Be?

How many times in one lifetime can one completely start over? Can one just pick up and move forward with minimal support after each dramatic change – with little money, no caretakers, and no elder family? Can one start over – and over again – while still honing empathy, compassion, and care for all Life?

I’ve come to understand that I am such an experiment. After my transformation, I’ve noticed a gradual surrender of my life to the overall Life process – the invisible web of interconnections that is all of us. It became impossible to hold on to my life as someone who needed to get something to feel whole. I am already whole. Each time I am in a situation of significant change, I am forced to give up more comfort and more outside support. I am alive to show that complete resilience through surrender to Life is possible while still participating in everyday life.

I came to this country from the poverty of another – only to land in poverty again. I have survived rape as a child. I graduated high school two years earlier than my peers. I chose an extremely challenging technical major in college and went on to get a graduate degree in this field as a woman – when few women ventured into such fields. I’ve played classical piano competively. I’ve lived through 3 marriages, and lost almost everything in the first two. I know what it feels like to lose a child and to get him back – the instincts and love of a mother. I’ve had emotionally distant parents, with whom I’ve lost touch. I’ve had intense jobs, where I worked 60-80 hour weeks for sustained periods of time. I made and lost large sums of money. I’ve had challenges feeling like any place was home, that any group could be family, and that anything can feel “secure.” The few people with whom I shared my life think that I’ve lived many lives, did too many things – they get tired just imagining what I’ve pushed through.

When the transformation occurred about a decade ago, after a brief few months of bliss, there were still dramatic changes to my being. And then – relocation, change of career, challenges finding work, illness, challenges of putting my family on a stable financial track, and more transformation. I have often found myself feeling like living was unbearable.

Each time the rug was pulled from under my feet, I had a choice to give up or to get up again. And that became my life.

To say that I am an experiment sounds sterile and clinical, but it is not. I can feel and understand what Life is trying to discover through my existence. It wants to know if enlightenment can coexist with the nonenlightened beings so that more and more enlightened people can walk the world and spark transformation. We are entering an era when enlightened beings can no longer afford to hide in the mountains.

The only way for me to fail is to stop, but I cannot do that. It is no longer possible for me to even make that choice. I must complete this life to carve a path for others. Each of us does that – carves a path – when we embrace our unique experiment fully and surrender to living it completely.

When life situations are constantly unstable in basic human terms, it is a kind of trauma on the psyche. The challenge then becomes to adjust to being constant change without balking or breaking, without shutting down the ability to feel everything, and still continuing to love life.

The enlightened state turns up the volume on everything going on in the world. The stream of input of people’s experiences pouring in and through is neverending. However, the gift is that nothing “sticks” to drag one down to a place of no return. Laughter, humor, and joy are not only possible – they are prevalent. There is no cynicism or sarcasm. There is no making light of challenging situations. All of this is a flow that is endlessly surrendered to the Life Stream.

Am I perfect and flawless in my execution? Not at all. I stumble a lot, and fall even more. I learn from every interaction and untangle from life’s dysfunctional and impacted blueprints that have been established by countless generations. I suppose it helps that I am no longer capable of hating myself as I face obstacles.

Perhaps self-love and transformation are two sides of the same coin – one is not possible without the other. I am not talking about adoring oneself or artificially propping one’s self up to feel good. Instead, I am describing a fundamental care and the valuing of oneself that can only come from giving up a sense of investment in life to get something from it. Paradoxically, self-love comes by erasing the need to fulfill and fortify an identity, and instead reorienting the being to embrace the messy and dynamic life process as it is. Learning without judgement. Loving without neediness. Letting go without giving up.

What does it mean to be a mystic?

The world has so many spiritual movements and teachers. Although I have had teachers, I do not have a lineage. My path has led me through a transformation, and I was then on my own to integrate what had happened. Often I would receive insights, but the primary insight was to trust the wisdom of the Heart and to rely fully on the Light. And this keeps me continuously accountable. I cannot plan or know, but only listen with the Heart and respond.

It was very challenging for me to accept that I have no formal lineage. However, I’ve since learned that strong yearning and love for the Divine opens other avenues for us to continue learning and surrendering to the process of life.

At this time, my love for the Divine is All-consuming. There is not a moment when I am not in the Light’s embrace. I feel my Heart flood with love, and there is spontaneous expression of that love – as called by the moment.

I am literally drunk on this love, intoxicated by the delight of knowing who I am. The union of the body and the infinite is a play of life and fire, and everything else is kindling.

Flashes of debris in the body are quickly thrown into the everburning Spiritual Fire, and consumed as quickly as they arise. I know that I am this Fire, and thus I am nothing to speak of.

I suppose one would call me a mystic because the Union of the Divine is ever unfolding and I know that is all there is. Interestingly, my bithplace РAzerbaidjan Р was a place of the Sufi mystics.

There is also a practical side to this way of being – I attend to daily responsibilities with a wildly burning heart. What I notice is that it is very clear which are my responsibilities, and which are my choices. The Fire of Love in my heart is ever there to ignite my relationship with any task.

I find it interesting that some people find this Love, which requires nothing less than complete surrender to the Divine, frightening… If they felt it even once, they would know that all other love falls short….They would taste this love and never stop longing for it. However, the initial turmoil that comes with the longing is not a joke. And, for those who do not want this, perhaps it is better to never take that first drink from the cup of Love…

I’ve also learned that the craving for Divine Union must come from an individual after their awakening is ignited. While a teacher can stoke the Fire, the individual must choose via his or her free will to surrender to the flame – to the dissolution of separation. This process can be frightening until one crosses the point of no return. Then, the fear is simply drowned by the yearning.

Ultimately, the only thing that matters is – do you know who you are. I know that I am no longer anything to speak of…