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Just the way it is

By Andrea Kartika Deierlein

· Selfcare

We are experiencing unprecedented times. Right now, we are in this weird space where all answers and explanations lost their anchor. When the only consistent thing is uncertainty and we don’t know how long this situation is going to last.

It’s been two weeks since our lives, and for some, their livelihoods, have come to a screeching halt. For some, the adjustment to this new way of being is more challenging and painful than others. Some days are easier. Some days are just plain hard. That’s just the way it is.

On the good days it is tempting to follow the sirens of doing and fall back into the old and familiar trap of busyness. This can show up by filling the time with online classes, webinars, and self-improvement. But as one of my go-to resources, Lorna Bevan from Hare in the Moon Astrology, wrote in her Facebook post today: “This is self-brutality disguised as self-empowerment.”

Today’s morning serves as an example: I woke up at 3:00 a.m. to attend an intensive with one of my coaches, who happens to be in Europe. While the workshop was inspiring and motivating, it was also three intense hours in front of my laptop. Then I FaceTimed with my best friend in Germany while I drank my third cup of coffee. After that I connected with one of my uncles in Indonesia via video chat. By the time I wanted to tackle my to-do-list at 10:00 a.m., I was wired - and exhausted. So, I put on my sneakers and hit the trails for two hours.

While I listened to the birds and my steps on the soft soil, I realized that Lorna was right. In my quest to use my time “wisely”, I crammed a lot into one morning… something I wouldn’t have done on a “normal” pre-COVID-19 day…

Last week I wrote that this whole COVID-19 crisis is a big lesson in acceptance, surrender and love. Yet how I treated myself this morning was definitely not loving towards myself nor compassionate. But what does it really mean… to accept? To surrender?

It’s about letting go. Letting go of all the illusions, all the expectations, all the shoulds, the futile attempt of fixing things, being more productive, efficient, perfect, whatever we feel we need to be.

It’s about meeting each moment as it is. Without any interpretation, labels and judgement – because as soon as we formulate the words in our minds, the moment is gone.

In Stillness Speaks, Eckhart Tolle wrote: “When you fully accept that you don’t know, you give up struggling to find answers with the limited thinking mind, and that is when a greater intelligence can operate through you. […] Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing.”

For now, I let go of the struggle to understand, of the illusion that I am in control. Just for this moment, I am silent, so I can listen… to what I really need, which is rest.

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