Blogger’s note: Today is the beginning of a two-part series. It’s summer and Friday so who has time for a long story? Here’s half of a long story. Stay tuned on Monday for part 2.
Trust, Faith and Surrender. Up till now, these have not been my strongest skill set. I say, up till now, because I am and have been working on it.
The biggest challenge for me has really been surrender. It’s a word that’s a little tricky. It’s a lot like forgiveness in that it often gets twisted up in our heads to mean something that it actually doesn’t.
We’ve all been known to confuse forgiveness for approval.
We’ve also been known to confuse surrender with giving up.
And I think we are all in agreement that giving up and condoning bad behavior are low on our list of desires in this life.
But we get confused when our emotions hit the spin cycle of life.
I have been called in the last year to learn how to embrace trust, faith and surrender in a way I never have before. And, folks, it’s been a bumpy ride. At first it was a lot like taking your car out into a cornfield in late July. You can’t see anything. Your suspension is busted and you have no idea where you’ll end up. And if you are you like me and have seen Children of the Corn, you are sure it’s someplace bad.
So what I did was attempt to control — everything. It went badly. I controlled my food, or lack there of. I controlled my exercise, or lack thereof. I controlled my emotions. I controlled my environment. I tried to control my body. And most of all, control the outcome.
I have arrived at this place recently where I truly see that I have been one of my biggest obstacles. Control is like putting a dam in the middle of flowing water. Nothing moves. Everything builds up. And the natural order of things is interrupted.
People, believe me when I tell you that I don’t say any of this easily. But I have spit in the wind, twisted in the wind, shadow boxed, shut down, shut out, and basically held my breath in defiance. It didn’t work. Because if it could, trust that I would have solved it by now.
Speaking of trust. That was another hurdle. I thought that I had trust in my life and I do. But then there is T-R-U-S-T, that knowing that everything will work out, no matter what. That I did not have. And I cannot say I firmly possess it now but it’s better. I am learning about myself and the life experience more each day and as I do, I am building trust. Trust in the process. Trust in my friends and family. Trust in my husband. Even trust in my feline friends that they are always showing me the way.
And then there’s faith — blind faith. But, honestly, isn’t all faith blind? It’s believing it to see it, instead of seeing it in order to believe it. My faith muscle wasn’t very strong but not because it had atrophied but because I had never really worked it before. I had faith in hard-work, perseverance, focus, determination, unrelenting effort. I had never been forced to take my hands off the wheel and give up control. And I fought that hard for months. I didn’t know how to do life, be me any other way than through sheer will of effort and desire. And now life was asking me, actually demanding me, to stop and take a fearless self inventory and, frankly, it sucked. And sometimes still does.
I was being shoved off a cliff into a change because staying where I was standing was unacceptable.
And so that’s how I ended up jumping with my eyes closed, holding my breath and shedding more than a few tears into a world mostly unknown to me — the world of Trust, Faith, and Surrender. We’re still getting acquainted so don’t go getting all impressed with my progress just yet.
As I once heard Oprah say “Difficulties come when you don’t pay attention to life’s whisper. Life always whispers to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you’ll get a scream.”
I got the whisper but my ears were deaf, I probably got a yell or two as well. And then I finally heard the scream and was shocked to recognize it escaping from my own throat. How’s that for a wake up call?
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G