we interrupt your regularly scheduled ~this moment~ because i can’t narrow it down to one picture and today, i’ve got words.
one of the things that has come home to me from various angles lately is a need in myself for surrender. it was a topic that stuck out to me in caroline myss’s book anatomy of the spirit where she discussed how the healing work of certain chakras is about surrendering to a higher power. letting go and trusting in a higher power was always a big topic in 12 step circles, and my days spent in al-anon are always going to be powerful influences for me, even though i am not currently engaged in the program. it was one gateway that led me back to focusing on healing myself, rather than continuing to deplete my energy railing against a situation i had no control over. in yoga classes i have absorbed the idea of finding the balance point between strength and surrender in each pose, and as with everything, learning this in my body has really helped me apply the concept in other areas of my life, moreso than learning the concept, you know, conceptually.
i think i somehow confused this form of surrender with the other version: the one with the waving white flag. the one that is more like succumb than surrender. subsiding, slumping, succumbing to an inevitable fate, total loss of control, being taken over by the surrounding chaos. to me, surrender is more of a realization of where myself ends and the rest of the universe begins. a realization of what i can do, a full embracing of doing those things, and a step back from the illusion of control over those other things.
right now, in this moment, i feel as though i am approaching that balance point and starting to understand surrender. i have done a lot of struggling with control, and my relationship with trying to obtain or maintain control. i never understood “letting go” and letting a higher power do things for me, i sort of had a fuzzy understanding that letting go doesn’t mean “do no more leg work”, but that didn’t get me to the point of grasping what it does mean. i still do the leg work. and i still make choices and discern which way to go, based on all the available information. then…
it’s the “then” part i am only just beginning to get. my “equilibrium” state used to be to do leg work, then continue to clench and feel stress and try to hold up the world with the tendons in my neck straining for all they’re worth, on high alert anticipating there being more i need to do, feeling twisted and wrung out by every piece of unsolicited advice and “should” and “have to” that comes my way… but now i do all the leg work and then… i rest. i have done what i could, and now i can be with what is. this is what is. it’s not perfect, it’s not a finished product, it’s just the here and now and the flow. it’s where i’ve arrived, based on where i’ve been and how far i’ve come. there’s no more to do, there is just “be”.
even as i feel i am grasping this concept, it is like water slipping through my fingers to try to articulate. in my tangible world right now, things are changing moment to moment, and each moment has high stress potential. coparent has been irrational and verbally caustic towards me, while remaining a devoted dada to quinn, and the reality of sharing parenting can feel like a cage. a sentence. a collar around my neck that i want to bite and scratch at, in order to get free of it. very difficult decisions are in front of me, some situations that are seemingly impossible to resolve, and the decisions evolve or evaporate or pop up suddenly, with contradicting input coming from every side. well-meaning advice and input can have the effect of adding to the tumult rather than comforting, if i am not centered to begin with, and able to deflect what i don’t need, match up what feels consistent with my beliefs, and keep walking with the knowledge that i’ve got this. if i didn’t know myself very well, i could easily have been swept away or engulfed by all this. and i’ve been, at other times, not very acquainted with myself at all. i’m so grateful that is no longer the case!
it would be easy for someone to succumb in the face of this stuff, rather than surrender. at the end of the day, i cannot get away from what is. i’ll be sharing parenting, and there’s no way around that. i do have all kinds of freedom though. lots and lots and lots of choice, an infinite amount really. it doesn’t mean things will go “my way” and it doesn’t free me of having to deal with a person i find to be very trying. but i can walk through it with integrity, then look back and see myself for who i am, and drink in the truth that everything i need, i have.
surrender is not giving in, and losing oneself. it’s the opposite. it’s being filled right up to the brim.
what’s your take on what it means to surrender?