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Letting go.

"Relinquishing all ideas of righteousness, surrender unto Me alone; I will deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not despair." Bhagavad-Gita 18.66I'd like to tell you a story. It's one I've told a few times lately.When I received my first copy of the Gita, I just didn't get it. I was impressed, to be sure. I just wasn't sure why. I was seventeen at the time, and honestly, considering the mix of hormones and stupidity endemic to the adolescent condition, it's a wonder if I really understood anything. Still, something told me to keep my copy and I was at least smart enough to listen.I would revisit the Gita regularly, but it just didn't speak to me. Sure, I was entertained by some of the ideas, I could play philosopher with them, but I didn't find that it spoke to me as a revelation - as though God was actually speaking to me, like He really knew me, that He understood who I was and what I needed to do.That all changed just before I got married.I realized how amazing my life had turned out and just how profoundly I had misunderstood it. My whole life I had operated under the notion that I had done things of value which had earned me the things I had in my life. One day, though, I woke up and realized that I wasn't that special. Maybe I was hardworking, but it wasn't because I was particularly good or gentle or kind or any of those other virtuous things. I worked hard because I felt that it was what I ought to do in order to get the things that I wanted. And when I got those things, I had them for a moment, if at all.My relationships up to that point hadn't worked because I held onto what I loved too hard, and would lose it because I felt like it was under my control. But here I was about to marry this amazing person who actually loved me and saw this wealth of good in me. I hadn't earned anything. I had received love as a freely given gift and gave it back freely for the first time in my life. I trusted in it, in her, and in myself and just let myself abide in that love. And it worked out. Realizing that, I wanted to be better. I wanted to offer myself to something and Someone even more enduring, to the One whose grace had brought me to that moment and given me such abundance.That's when it clicked. I started taking the Gita seriously because it hit me hard. First I had to realize that the tighter I held onto things, the more they slipped through my fingers. I'm still learning that lesson. Every day, over and over again.
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