When we lose something or someone, we feel a hole in the fabric of our existence. We attach our sense of self to people and things so that when these forms leave us (and they will), we lose our identity. We don’t feel enough. We feel abandoned, betrayed, angry, confused, hurt, depressed, anxious. We struggle to cover up the hole by finding another person or thing to replace the person or object that we lost. But when the new person’s flaws come out or the thing no longer satisfies us, we feel the same kind of frustration that we felt before. And what’s more, we blame them for failing to make us happy. We are on a perpetual treadmill of chasing after happiness.
How can we free ourselves from this vicious cycle ? The key is to surrender–to accept the things that happen to us without creating a story. We don’t resist what happens; we let it happen. We allow the pain and suffering to move through our body without the painful story associated with it. We break the link between our thoughts and emotions. We reduce the situation to nothingness so we are no longer bound to it. We are then able to let go of the story and the person or thing, and feel the deep sense of peace and inner joy inside us. We become spacious inside.
We realize that when something bad happens to us, the universe is creating a hole so it can thread through it the strands that bind us all and make us one with the totality. It strips us of our illusions and our ego, so we have nothing, like the rest of creation. It is during these moments of spaciousness that God comes in with His all-embracing love, takes care of us and connects us with every being so we experience the fullness of life.
When we reach this stage, all things come to us with no effort or struggle. Henry David Thoreau said it best when he stated, “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”