Even if you’re not a fan of Oprah, it’s a gripping personal account. Watch it, whether you agree with it or not, it’ll give you pause to think…
It struck a personal chord. I think anyone who’s ever had dreams and watch them remain unrealized, can relate to Oprah’s story. How many times did we want something so bad, and not get it…not even by a mile? The whole law of attraction theory does have its merits, but also its accompanying loopholes. But I guess just the general concept of attracting specific energy makes sense. Maybe not in a literal sense, wherein you ask for a car, you do nothing, and you get a car, but maybe more in a way that, if you put your energies in working for and earning enough to buy a car, then I guess you up the chances of your getting one. But I’m not talking about those material goals, but more of the bigger life-changing ones. Things that you pray for, yearn for, and weep for. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to make sense, when you work so hard, you try so hard to get something, and you still come up empty-handed. That’s why I love that part where she says: “When you’ve worked as hard and done as much and strived and tried and given and pled and bargained and hoped…surrender. When you have done all that you can do, and there is nothing left for you to do…give it up. Give it up to that thing that is greater than yourself.” The lesson that there are many things in life that we are powerless against, no matter how great our bravado, is a difficult one to learn. And I guess learning to surrender to something greater than ourselves relieves us of some of the burden of piloting our own destinies. I guess it’s no different from the Tagalog adage: “Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.” Do what you must and do what you can, then see where the dice will fall.
Funny though, I had a similar experience. When Oprah told the story of how she got the part right after she let go of it, it reminded me of a similar time in my life. It was in 2003, and I was in a health retreat, and for some reason, found myself staring at the full moon, and started thinking about my tortuous journey in my futile pursuit of love. All my adult life, I just wanted to find love. I was a mess at it, it was a chain of fail after fail, and I seemed to be either spectacularly unattractive or phenomenally unlucky. I was emotionally aged way before my physical body ever was. By my late 20’s I was already jaded and bitter and despondent about any prospects on love. Then on that night, I just gave it up. Not in a drama llama kind of way, but more in the vein of: “Okay fine…so I’m meant to live life alone. FINE.” I changed my prayer from, “Please let me find love” to “Please let me find happiness”, even if that happiness doesn’t include love in the equation. No drama, no tears, just surrender. Then the strangest thing happened. The next morning, when I woke up, I met someone that I’ve been with ever since.
Maybe in retrospect I have romanticized what would otherwise be a random coincidence, but I’d like to think it was more than that. I think it was a lesson. To be frank, I don’t think I’ve fully learned this lesson yet, but hopefully I’ll get there. Surrender is hard for people who like to take control of their destinies. It’s hard not to captain your own ship. So when you fail to achieve a goal, you beat up the one person responsible for the defeat: yourself. But I like that thought: that you give it all you got, since that’s all you can really do, then leave the results to a higher power. I’ve heard someone once say, “You don’t fail until you stop trying.” But sometimes, to stop trying is the best thing you’ve ever done.