As I sit in front of my alter I pray "Divine Mother, make me an instrument of your peace. I offer my life in service to you. Let my words be your words, my hands be your hands. Use my life in whatever way you see fit. Not my will but your will be done". As I sit in the stillness in the early morning I wholeheartedly, sincerely mean the words I pray.
But it isn't long before the challenges begin. Suddenly the old anger and resentments rise up. At a closer look I realize it's an opportunity to practice forgiveness. Some days its earier than other days. As I move through the day I may find myself losing my patience with someone. I get frustrated until I shift my perspective and see it as an opportunity to practice patience. Some days its earier than others. At times my inner child is throwing the mother of all temper tantrums when things don't go my way or I'm not getting the attention I want. It's at those times that it's most important that I remember to be still and go within so that I can hear the whispers of the Divine reminding me to surrender my self will.
Setting aside my self will to make room for the will of the Divine is the practice of surrender. Some days are easier than others. Some days my self will is like a two year old in the middle of a full blown temper tantrum complete with kicking and screaming and maybe even holding my breath.
At times I think to myself that doing the work of the Divine Mother should be more glamorous. When I offer my life in service shouldn't that mean doing great works of charity? Shouldn't I go to some exotic foreign country and feed the poor or something??? Doesn't that mean I should organize some huge fund raiser to help cure cancer or something? You guessed it, that's my ego talking. Some people's dharma is to do these great works of charity. My dharma is to live by the light of Ma's grace in ordinary, every day situations.
Every ordinary interaction with others becomes an opportunity to serve. Yes, it's commendable to do great works of charity. But equally important are the little things you do in your day to day life. Holding the door for someone else. Helping someone who's struggling with their groceries. Offering a word of encouragement to someone who struggling. If you make a donation or do some work of charity doing it anonymously. Make dinner for someone for no reason. Forgive someone who hurt you deeply. Have compassion for those who hurt you because clearly they are dealing with their own inner demons.
Every ordinary interaction with your loved ones or strangers alike is an opportunity to practice forgiveness, patience, love, and surrender. When we choose to do what's best for others even when it means that it's not what our ego or self will would like.... That's the practice of surrender.
When we surrender our individual, self will for the greater good.....that's surrender. It's easy to talk about surrender while sitting on the meditation cushion but the real practice happens in the ordinary, every day moments. When I look at the challenges and struggles in my life through the light of spiritual practice I can see the Divine will at work. I am finding it easier to surrender when I remember my morning prayer:
"Divine Mother, make me an instrument of your peace. I offer my life in service to you. Let my words be your words, my hands be your hands. Use my life in whatever way you see fit. Not my will but your will be done"