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  • Sarah Nguyen

Compassionately Surrendering to my Privilege: A Path towards Well-Being

Updated: Apr 7

In my early years, I was born into privilege, a world I couldn't fully comprehend. I witnessed suffering on the news, on the streets, across the globe, and struggled with how to handle my empathetic feelings. Instead of addressing them, I buried them deep, overshadowed by guilt and shame for the unearned advantages life had granted me.

One regular day in my twenties, while walking on the beach with my baba (Dad), I confided in him, seeking answers to my perpetual question. His response was simple yet profound: "Well, what are you going to do with it?" That moment set the course for my future, propelling me toward purpose-driven work.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who shared a similar sentiment. She wasn't born with privilege, but her shame about suffering was the same. Like me, she had buried her feelings to navigate a world laden with unrealistic expectations and challenges. Like me, she needed to surrender for well-being. Our stories intertwined as we discussed our journeys towards thriving in today's world.

Our paths toward transformation followed a similar trajectory:

1. Honesty with Ourselves:

Admitting to our suffering was a challenging first step. The word "suffering" felt weighty, but by authentically acknowledging it, we began to untangle our lives.

2. Seeking Help:

We all have different coping mechanisms; some turn to alcohol, others to therapy, exercise, or creative outlets. The key was recognizing that our old methods were no longer effective and being open to trying something new. I embraced Western medicine for the first time, while my friend explored holistic practices.

3. Finding Community:

As our minds cleared, we rediscovered ourselves and our passions, realigning with our values and dreams. Our open hearts welcomed new people, experiences, and challenges. We approached each day with renewed energy and a sense of empowerment with other nonjudgmental joy seekers.

4. Letting Go:

Throughout our lives, we often identify with labels and beliefs. Yet, what happens when we shed those labels and connect as humans, irrespective of differences like skin color or job titles? This shift in perspective can transform workplaces, communities, and schools.

My friend and I experienced remarkably similar transformations, we needed to surrender for well-being. The pain that once burdened us melted away day by day as we embraced acceptance and humility. Once we let go of our ego and became more aware of our limiting beliefs and conditioning.

In my view, the world can change, one person at a time. By lifting each other up and connecting on a fundamental human level, we can reshape workplaces, schools, politics, and beyond. The power of acceptance, humility, and shared humanity has the potential to create a more inclusive and compassionate world.

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