Recently, I was practicing yoga at a friend’s house and after class, I got into a conversation with a person whose father recently passed away.
She and her brother inherited his house and after some quick renovations, they started renting it out to a young couple.
Almost immediately, they were faced with the tragedy of a fire.
Fortunately, everyone was OK but most of the house was destroyed and suddenly they were consumed with repairs, insurance claims and how to move forward.
The stacking up of misfortunes could easily challenge any of our resolve.
To my surprise, this person spoke more to surrendering to the madness of life than the misfortunes of what had just unfolded.
Yes, her and her brother were shaken to their core and feeling tremendous pain but she also was using the situation to reflect on the fact that none of us are in control.
We can plan, save, take care of ourselves, and do all of “the work” but as we travel through life the reality is that we are not the driver, not the car and probably not even the passenger.
Everything we have can be taken away in a moment.
You can lose your job or financial security.
Your business can face an insurmountable roadblock that fundamentally changes your ability to operate.
A parent, spouse, or child can get sick or pass away.
A pessimist will be quick to condemn “the universe” as being cruel and relentless while an optimist might try to frame the same set of circumstances as an “opportunity to grow”.
I suspect that neither perspective is correct and that the truth, as it typically does, lies somewhere in the middle.
The universe can be cruel and relentless and simultaneously, it can be a place of infinite love and beauty - it really comes down to our perspective on it all.
I also suspect, that “it” doesn’t really give a shit about any of our perspectives and there isn’t much you can do about it.
Once we realize this we are able to find some semblance of peace and freedom.
We are observers of it all, completely out of control but in total possession of the free will to choose how to engage with the madness.
When we learn to surrender to this we are able to find peace and begin to move in alignment with the opportunities and challenges ever present in front of us.