Title: The Power of Surrender: Finding Freedom and Peace in Life's Challenges
Mr. X, a middle-aged small business owner, has been grappling with anxiety and depression stemming from a prolonged legal battle with his business partner. He has been experiencing repeated nightmares in which he feels trapped or unprepared for disasters. Additionally, he has been plagued by a constant ringing in his ears. Despite his efforts to find relief by playing music, using noise-canceling earphones, or seeking solace outdoors, he has felt helpless and powerless in the face of the persistent ringing. Seeking guidance for alternative approaches, he yearned for a way to cope with the incessant noise.
In response, I suggested that he embrace the practice of surrendering. I advised him to let go and allow himself to be absorbed into a larger force instead of resisting it. "Become small and humble when faced with the overwhelming power of the ringing sound. Surrender yourself to it without resistance or judgment. There is no need to change anything, make an effort, or achieve any result. Simply rest in the present moment, allowing the waves to carry you."
To aid his understanding, he drew upon the image of a cicada singing in the summer, part of a large group creating a chorus of loud songs. He also envisioned himself as a soldier in the military, energetically waving his arms and shouting patriotic slogans. "As a tiny insect, I sang with great fervor. I don't know why I did it, but I simply did." Through these reflections, he began to explore his emotions and experiences. He expressed that previously, he listened to the external sounds from within his house, but now he listens from within the sounds themselves. This newfound perspective provided some relief from his suffering.
He then questioned, "If I stop singing as part of the cicada group, will the entire group cease singing altogether?" He conjured up an image of one cicada perched on a tree branch, singing its heart out, only to be approached by another cicada invading its territory and devouring all the leaves on that branch. He further envisioned two groups of cicadas—one being the victim and the other the perpetrator. In order to avoid suffering, he pictured himself aligning with the perpetrators, forsaking the victim role.
Recognizing the intrusion of his ego-driven mind, I advised him to cease thinking and rest in the present moment. I explained that the function of the ego mind is to think, judge, divide, separate, manipulate, and control. Surrendering necessitates turning off the thinking mind to become one with the greater whole. To illustrate this, I offered the analogy of a small water drop merging into the vast ocean, dissolving into its essence until the drop itself becomes the ocean. Thus, it is not the will of the water drop but the power of the ocean that carries the water drop ashore.
Through the practice of surrendering, we can transcend our ego-driven minds and awaken to the tremendous force of life in the present moment. Guided by the universal intelligence that underlies all creations, we can allow the universe to care for us, thereby reducing stress and liberating ourselves from suffering. Surrender becomes the gateway to finding freedom and peace amidst life's challenges.
Keywords: surrender, letting go, embracing, anxiety, depression, legal battle, nightmares, ringing in ears, practice, alternative ways, guidance, larger force, resistance, judgment, present moment, relief, cicadas, group dynamics, ego mind, transcendence, universal intelligence, liberation, growth, freedom, peace, life's challenges
Paul Yang, MD., Ph.D.