“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” — Eckhart Tolle
The act of surrendering to the present moment requires letting go of resisting what is taking place in our life. As we do, the layers of judgement disappear and we discover the perfection of the present moment. Our judgements have a way of obscuring the gift offered to us in our moment-to-moment experience. Suffering takes place if we allow our judgement to get in the way of surrendering to the moment. Can you identify with this? Have you wanted to escape the present moment because it did not live up to your expectations? How did you overcome your resistance?
If we judge the present because it does not meet our expectations, we will suffer. The ego will try to convince us this moment is not what we wanted, and so we try to resist it. But we put our happiness on hold when we adopt this way of thinking because life is trying to unfold through us. We have little understanding of why things happen and our limited perception only sees what is taking place before us. We can’t possibly know whether an unwanted experience is likely to benefit us in the future.
Therefore, to surrender to the present moment without judgement requires dropping our resistance to how things should be. The ego likes to dominate our thoughts, and in doing so, we experience fear, anxiety, anger, and resistance to something we don’t want. But if we recognize the ego for what it is—a saboteur trying to undermine us—we can distance ourselves from becoming entangled in its web. The way out of the ego trap is to shift our attention back to the present moment and notice our surroundings. For example, when you are caught up in thoughts of despair and judgement, thank your mind for trying to distract you and reconnect back to the present moment.
To achieve this, focus on your breath and the sensations it creates within your body. Notice objects around the room you are in. For example, a practice I often undertake when caught up in negative thinking is to walk around the room and touch different objects, noting their texture and the sensations they evoke within me. I try to be mindful of my breathing and anchor myself to the present moment instead of allowing my mind to pull me into the future or the past. Your present moment experience needn’t be perfect, but by surrendering to it, you loosen its grip and allow life to reveal itself through you. Life has a good handle on its role because it has a resume spanning 14 billion years of experience. You and I only have decades of experience, so we must trust life knows what it is doing despite our resistance.
Judgment Is Ego Based
“When one is without ego, one becomes infinitely free of all personal judgements, and perceives life and the world with divine eyes and mind. Nothing is offensive to them and they remain in perfect serenity and peace always.” — Mooji
Are you comfortable with these ideas so far? Can you see that trying to manipulate the present moment delays your happiness and prolongs your suffering? I’m not asking you to be apathetic about what is taking place in your life. I’m calling you to surrender your thoughts about what shouldn’t be taking place and trust in a greater intelligence to function as it should. Judgement is ego based, which thrives on controlling a situation it has no power over. In contrast, spirit (heart-based awareness) observes what is taking place and demands nothing of you. We experience suffering when the egoic voice dominates our inner talk without us being mindful of it. We might perceive the egoic voice as our own because we haven’t learned to distinguish it from the voice of spirit.
To illustrate with an example, when you were young, you might have had a more dominant parent compared to the other. Naturally, you learned to distinguish each parent’s role in your life i.e., strict vs. easy-going parent. In my case, my father had a strong disciplining role in my life, whereas my mother offered encouragement and support. Each parent had a unique role to play in my life. Therefore, I likened my father’s parenting to the voice of the ego and my mother’s role to the voice of spirit. You might have your own way of discerning the difference between ego and spirit. When you understand how each communicates to you, it will help you distinguish truth from falsehood.
Surrender Is An Act Of Love
“The moment you surrender to love and allow it to lead you to exactly where your soul wants to go, you will have no difficulty.” — Neale Donald Walsch
Surrendering to the present moment without judgement requires anchoring ourselves to what is taking place here and now. Surrender is an act of love because we trust life to give us what we need instead of believing we know what is best for us. Undoubtedly, we know what is best for us to feed and nurture ourselves. But on the level of personal growth and soul expansion, we are limited in our knowledge and hence why life intercedes to give us experiences outside our comfort zone.
To put this into perspective, I never imagined my father would pass away when I was 26 years old. I never envisaged that at 29, I would be diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. These experiences and others pushed me to grow and evolve well beyond my comfort zone and taught me the power of trusting life. They taught me the art of surrender because what I believed was good for me was not necessarily valuable to my soul’s evolution. So now, I’m inviting you to surrender your heart to the present moment without judgement. Trust that every experience from this moment forward will be perfectly orchestrated for your highest good. You may not see the lessons immediately, but if you trust in that knowing, you will look back, knowing everything happened for your greatest good.
Considering this, I invite you to focus on how you can surrender to the present moment in your daily life. What can you do to be more grounded in the here and now? Earlier, I gave you an example of an exercise that involved noticing your breath and touching objects in the room. Use this practice to connect to your current experience. Other useful ways involve journaling and meditation. Whatever you decide, reclaim your power instead of letting your mind carry you into judgement and despair when things don’t go your way. After all, when we surrender our heart to the present moment, we discover the essence of life coalescing to bring into existence life’s beauty and majesty. If we resist these moments, we miss out on the miracles unfolding before our eyes.