Learning to Let Go.

This is a theme that I have touched upon in the Sunday Reflections before. Perhaps, I wrote from a more intellectual level than an emotional one. What I am currently going through, is exactly what needs to happen for a letting go on a deeper, emotional, heart level. I hesistated to write about this last week as it is something that makes me feel very vulnerable. Well, then I thought, this blog has always carried something very personal and in sharing my vulnerability, I have felt stronger in my heart. So here it is:

Many of you may know about a cat called Orlando who came to live with us last December. I have often remarked that he chose us, not the other way around. (Here is the video blog I made about his coming into our life last December). So, he became a member of our family and for the last seven months we were connecting and getting to know each other.

I believe that Life gives you exactly what you need to experience at the right time in order for you to grow and evolve. Right now, the lesson for me is to be in the present moment and let go. One of my teachers on this path is Eckhart Tolle and he describes in his book, A New Earth, how our ego-mind looks at the external world for its sense of self. Personal identity, career, physical possessions, relationships and our own physical body all play into the image from where the ego derives its identification. And unknowingly, we all fall into that trap. We mis-judge ourselves by equating our profession or our status and personal history as who we are are. Tolle reminds me that who we are is deeper than all the externals. It is the space within us, the unbounded consciousness that is always still and profound.

Recently, I experienced something that deeply challenged my sense of self and identification. I was becoming very much enchanted by my cat who is independent and wild, exploring the jungles nearby at the same time, spending time in the park with me as I lay on the grass to read a book. He would just sit next to me and relax while I enjoyed the sun. Well, recently, the cat who had chosen us as his care-givers, decided to move on into the wild. It has been two weeks now since he walked into the forests and we have not seen him since. When I realized that he was not here anymore, I fell into deep sadness. When I realized that crying my eyes out was not helping the situation, I printed up posters and called up vets and searched online lost and found websites for missing pets. I rallied the neighbors, knocking on their doors asking if they had seen Orlando and when some said yes, it boosted up my hope and joy and anticipation about seeing Orlando again.

During all this time, I also shifted deeply into the present moment. I would focus on whatever I was doing and became one with it. It was during these moments that I felt serene and at peace. Almost a dramatic change from the deep sorrow I felt over Orlando's disappearance. I remembered the good moments that we shared and remembered how we communicated with each other. When I was sad about him not being here, it was my ego-mind clinging to the external world. I had identified so much with having a cat and taking care of cat. It had become part of my life. And when he was gone, my sense of self seemed to have eroded. I wanted to have that fluffy, furry cuteness living with me, a gorgeous cat who had made his home in my heart. And now, he was not here any more. This just became a source of pain and sorrow, something many of you can relate with, perhaps when you too lost something or someone or felt empty and wanted a certain outcome.

This has been a real lesson for me in letting go. I have to let go of the need of having Orlando here physically. I must come to terms with the situation and accept it first. There have been moments for me where I have felt a sense of peace and then I have fluctuated back in wanting the lovely being back with me. And this back and forth is getting less turbulent as I find myself shifting in greater acceptance and even celebration. Celebration of the fact that Orlando has alive in him a wild nature, an adventurous spirit, and an unlimited amount of cuteness that can melt anyone's heart. I am so confident that he can survive and even thrive on his own, that it is another source of relief. And above all, I greatly appreciate the gifts he has give us and continues to give us, in his physical absence. He has been a great teacher and thus a guru in his own right. I have learnt to have faith, to take conscious actions, be in the present moment, act from a place of love, shift into gratitude mode and also to embrace the pain I feel by letting it be. Most of all, he has taught me to let go of the egoic clinging to the past, to external sources of identification and open up to the truth, beauty and wisdom that lies in the stillness within me.

Thank you, Orlando.