Necessary Surrender or What Losing a Year’s Worth of Work Has Taught Me About Acceptance

surrender

Is if just me or is surrender often portrayed as a beautiful, almost poetic process? There’s images of still water and fluffy clouds and serene, smiling faces.

I call bullshit.

While surrender, and its counterpart, acceptance, is certainly necessary for this peaceful portrait, what you don’t see is everything that led up to it— the unshakeable pain that set the whole process into motion.

The illness. Addiction. Job loss. Break-up. Or, in this case, the eradication of 63 blog posts.

See, I’m not exactly what you call tech savvy, or even someone who practices common sense, it seems. I saved a mere two blog posts and zero recipes I wrote and published on my blog between Feb 2015 and Feb 2016. Thus, when my domain expired last month, all my files went buh-bye too.

So, please, precious readers and fellow creatives, always back up your work!

Oddly enough, I haven’t been too fazed by the whole thing. I guess I know on some level it needed to happen, and I’ve  just busied myself building anew {and better than before}!

But I’m also reminded how much better I am at accepting the big stuff and how pitifully I deal with what I call the daily gnats— constant traffic and excessive noise at my condo and my boyfriend not loading the dishwasher right.

Sounds silly, but this is the stuff that really gets under my skin. I guess it’s easier to let go of the stuff I know I can’t change. You know, death and taxes, or necessary surrender stuff.

And the rest of it? Well, in voicing my frustration, I’m actually moving toward solution.

Here’s a little secret: reclaiming our power is often seen as bitching. 

When I bemoan the traffic, I’m also reminding myself: you don’t have to live like thisYou can move to a smaller town instead of living a mere mile away from the most heavily travelled highway in the country!

Same goes with the noise factor. It’s a reminder that condo living no longer works for me. And it helps me determine the kind of home I do want— a cozy cottage in the woods or near the water with no neighbors, please!

As for the dishes, well, that’s probably something I should let go.

Which brings me to my next point: it’s crucial to understand what we can change and what we can’t. Or we may just drive ourselves bonkers.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
The Serenity Prayer

I find that last part— the wisdom to know the difference— gets easier the more we practice deep listening.

Our job is to never ignore or discount the signs.

Those of us on the spiritual path understand: when the student is ready, the teacher appears. And the more we seek, the more we see, the teacher is everywhere.

Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment. This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), every illness, every loss, every moment of joy or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath.

Every moment is the guru.

Charlotte Joko Beck

It can be annoying truth to swallow, but absolutely nothing on this earth happens by accident. It’s all deliberate and it’s all for our greater good.

So yes, even as I gripe about my living situation, I know, it’s also teaching me about patience, sacrifice and delayed gratification.

In other words, it’s not happening to torture me but to stretch the bounds of who I am. 

Same goes for all the annoying shit in your life.

Anything you can’t control is teaching you how to let go.

Jackson Kiddard

Life is a dance between acceptance and empowered action,asking that we change what we can and relinquish the rest, so we may step into our greatest selves.

And that’s really what it’s about. We’re not being dealt a mean blow by the guy upstairs {punishing gods are so yesterday} and it’s not bad karma. Okay, sometime it is.

But mostly it’s just life, doing what life does. We’re not supposed to understand why five years olds get cancer or like the fact that Donald Trump may be our next president. Shit happens. And, ultimately, we only have control over our own attitude and actions.

But you know what? That’s a whole heck of a lot. I’ find, however crappy I feel, a smile goes a long way. Whether given or received, a kind gesture can completely change your day.

Of course, other times, it will be harder.

We will find ourselves fighting with the idea of change—resisting the present and not yet ready for the future.

This is where the clenched fists and the claw marks arise.

It’s how I felt right before I quit drinking and ending a toxic relationship and in the precipice of every important decision I’ve ever made to better myself. 

I was on that proverbial edge, acutely aware that one way of life had to die before another could be born.

And that’s how it works, every damn time.

Unfortunately, the greater our need to surrender something, the trickier it tends to be.

Our ego will fight to hold on even as our spirit knows we must let go. We may find ourselves lying and rationalizing and explaining away our agony, even as we choose it again.

Yes, the mind can be dangerous place, but our bodies can be our greatest allies here.

The signs that we need to surrender something {or someone} become increasingly obvious with time. And the more we try to ignore or suppress them, the more flagrant they become, until we reach a point where the denial is just too painful to stomach.

Our solar plexus literally cries out to us in hunger pangs and waves of nausea.

Or we may develop chronic pain. A new addiction. Whatever it is, it’s ultimately a cry for our own loving attention.

Remember babes: the body always knows.

We can heed the message early or we can suffer needlessly, the choice is ours.

I’ve done both.

These days, I try to surrender, or relinquish control, bit by bit, when it becomes clear I’ve outgrown whatever it is.

And have no doubt— this is an absolutely necessary and natural process.

All of life is change. Progress. Evolution. The expansion of our souls.

Surrender is the force that makes it all possible. The beast that keeps the wheels churning.

We might as well get cozy with it. Even if it means starting from scratch, again.

I’m curious, how do you handle acceptance/surrender? What have you learned?

Let me know in the comments below! 

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