Five Ways to Ride the Wave and Avoid Wiping Out

“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.” ~Eckhart Tolle

“Nothing brings down walls as surely as acceptance.” ~Deepak Chopra

“I let it go. It’s like swimming against the current. It exhausts you. After a while, whoever you are, you just have to let go, and the river brings you home.” ~ Joanne Harris, Five Quarters of the Orange

“As someone who has faced as much disappointment as most people, I have come to trust not that events will always unfold exactly as I want, but that I will be fine either way.“ ~Marianne Williamson

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ~ Lao Tzu

This week has been a real practice in letting go of trying to control things in my life such as people, outcomes, events or circumstances. Yes, while we always have choice, this choice is about knowing what we can and cannot control, as so eloquently stated in the very famous (but under-practiced) Serenity Prayer.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

ride the wave
There are five ways in which we can learn to ride the waves of our lives without creating unnecessary drama and pain for ourselves and others.

1.  Surrender. To surrender on a spiritual level means to let go of attachment to beliefs and desired outcomes. It does not mean giving up. On the contrary, it means letting go of trying to control that which is not ours to control.

When beliefs are not serving our greater good, the greater good of those we love, or the greater good of the world at large, it may be time to surrender and let them go. It also means being okay with whatever happens, knowing we will be fine no matter what.

2.  Acceptance. This is about truly being okay with what is and not resisting it. Our suffering comes from wanting things to be different than they are, even though reality is showing us the truth of how things are right now.

While we may not like the ways things are, we can still accept them and then decide what we can or cannot do to change them. Acceptance of what is brings peace. With peace comes clarity, and with clarity comes right action.

3.  Go with the flow. Life is not always fair, life is not always as we would like it to be, life is not always fun, and life is not always perfect. However, if we are to get through life without becoming victims, we need to enjoy the journey in all of its many colors, including the ups and the downs. This does not mean we relish being sad, angry, hurt or upset. It means we realize it is all a part of a bigger picture and part of the journey of life.

We can then accept our feelings, allow our feelings to move through us and instead of them taking over and creating havoc in our lives we can be present enough to find something good no matter how small and trivial it may be.

Waves come and waves go; we have to learn to ride them all and not let them drown us. Instead, we can choose to learn, grow and become better, stronger, more loving and compassionate people.

4.  Trust. When life has been difficult with hurts, betrayals and assaults, it can be difficult to trust others. This is normal. What we need to do, however, is learn to trust ourselves and our ability to get through life’s challenges. We have to trust in our own strength and resolve to learn from our past; we need to heal our past and set appropriate boundaries.

Trusting in ourselves is one of our greatest strengths. Trusting in ourselves to be able to handle whatever comes our way is the way of the warrior. When we have trust in ourselves, we can face life’s challenges head on without these challenges wiping us out and leaving behind a shattered and weaker version of ourselves.

5.  The shore will come. Or “this too shall pass”. Knowing there is always an end to suffering can help us be fully present with our suffering. Many people try to avoid any form of suffering and discomfort with distractions, and many of these distractions can become destructive. In the midst of our suffering it is hard to see an end. However knowing there truly will be an end can become a lighthouse flashing in the dark showing us the shore is not far off.

If we practice the other four ways stated above, the shore will appear much, much sooner.

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