There’s a hauntingly beautiful song by Gurunam Singh that follows me everywhere. It’s called “Unto Thee” on the album Change. The track is less than four minutes, and the words are in English. They are simple and yet so profound and so multi-layered that I can’t get them out of my head and heart.
In fact, whenever I start feeling sorry for myself because something I envisioned in my life isn’t working out, I repeat the words. “Unto Thee” has become my personal mantra, and if you listen to the track, the piece may resonate with you as well.
The verse is: “Give up all your hopes and your dreams. Give up all your plans and your schemes. Give up the fear of darkness surrounded in the light. Give up fear of being wrong, and the need to be right… I give everything I am unto Thee.”
When I first heard the track, I thought, “That can’t be right! Why would I want to give up all my hopes and dreams?”
But then I listened to the second part of the verse, and the third. It’s not really about giving up your dreams and aspirations; what it’s about is trusting in the Divine, and knowing that what will be, will be because of the Divine hand that guides the universe.
When I was at Sat Nam Fest I heard Gurunam Singh perform this piece live and I was struck once again by its honesty and beauty. Strangely, as I was listening to the words, I thought of my three sons, and remembered that I had a plan as a young woman to give birth to a boy and a girl. But that vision and hope for a daughter did not come to fruition. Instead I have three sons (now young men) whom I love deeply with all my heart. I was given the children to raise that I needed to raise; the children who needed me to raise them were given me as their mother. I’ve never for a moment wished that they were anything other than who they are, even though they didn’t fit my “plan.”
There are other things I have wished for—and still wish for—that don’t seem to be happening. Perhaps it’s because they aren’t meant to happen. Perhaps it’s because something else is in store for me. I’m sure you know what I mean–that there are things in your life that you planned and wished for that didn’t work out, only to find years later that it was just as well!
At Sat Nam Fest, the message resounded even more strongly when I heard something that GuruGanesha said: “Thy will, not mine, be done.” It’s a difficult concept to accept in our world of competition, striving, and yearning for success and validation. It’s hard to remember, sometimes, that we can’t maneuver and muscle our way through life. It’s our job to fill our hearts with love and light; the Divine takes it from there.
Gurunam Singh is an extraordinary artist and the album Change is filled with many musical gifts, but “Unto Thee,” though the shortest selection, is my favorite even though it brings tears to my eyes. It’s a gentle reminder that all is as it should be (even though it may not seem so at time). And it’s a gentle reminder that we may hope and dream for things that may not really serve us, and that if we let go of our egos, we will find that what we do have in our lives is what we should have. It reminds us to be grateful, and to feel with certainty the embrace that guides us through our lives, even when we struggle to go another way, or to fight against the tide.
I’m not suggesting you give up your dreams and neither is Gurunam. But listen to this music…it will remind you of the grace that surrounds us, and it will explain to you why some of your plans and schemes don’t always work out! It’s a challenge to let go, but can you give everything you are…unto Thee?