Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Power of Choice

I asked Gyani Ji some questions at the Gurdwara one afternoon last week. We sat down and started talking about life and Gurbani. He emphasized that although everything is in hukam in this world, we have to understand that God has given us the freedom of being able to choose and make decisions as humans. Gyani Ji said “why is everyone always blaming God when things go wrong? Then when things are right, we say I did so much.” Sometimes I think that we forget that we have that choice and we just kind of sit back and do nothing. I remember in one episode of Being Bliss, the guest give an example about breaking a computer. Would you sit in front of that computer and just pray for it to be fixed, or would you take steps to get it fixed? It’s more logical to actually take steps to solve the problem.

I think sometimes we get scared so we don’t try and then we think that we didn’t have the ability to choose at all. I remember this time many years ago when I was learning how to do gatka with a wooden sword, I was terrified each time someone came at me. I had to practice to learn to trust the sword would protect me and let go of my fear. I think this is similar in life- we have to overcome our fears and just go for it, no matter what the outcome. When I look back, I don’t regret ever having tried to go for something I wanted, even if things didn’t work out. It doesn’t matter how hard I worked and if I failed, because I always learned something. At the very least through that process we learn about flexibility, which is necessary as we grow in life. Recently I saw a new father crying as he held his baby for the first time. I was so touched seeing how happy the family was even though nothing had gone as planned. In these last couple of months I know it has been freeing for me to let go of arbitrary life rules I had set up a long time ago and just readjust things (For example two years ago I would have wanted to move to Ontario to do a specialty, and now I want to stay here and practice family medicine and I know that’s right for me).

I spoke to Gyani Ji again today he emphasized that we can create heaven or hell in this life depending on our choices. If we follow the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and listen to the teachings as a lifestyle then we will have a happy life. He used the example of a husband. If he follows the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib, he will treat his wife as his best friend and he will treat her with love and respect. There will be fighting like friends fight and then get along again, but nothing major like we see between husbands and wives. It doesn’t matter if the two people have completely different backgrounds, if they follow the teachings there will be love and friendship and that is the most important. No relationship- whether its mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, or parent and child will be in conflict if we see things the same way. If we see God in everyone and treat each other with love and friendship, we will be in heaven. If we simply sit at the Gurdwara and retain our stress, and don’t follow the teachings then we will remain in dukh (sadness). If we believe and have faith in Gurbani, we can trust God and let go of that stress. This is the power of the mind, and the power of choice.

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