Surrender is one of those words that I want to do battle with nearly every day. I embrace it, then I push it away. I find meaning in it, then I am confused again. I make peace with it, then I pick up my weapon to defend against it.
Surrender and I go way back. We’ve been engaged in this familiar dance for as long as I can remember. I didn’t always have the words for it. I didn’t always have the awareness to name it but it’s as familiar as the back of my hand or being called by my name.
There is a wise part of me that fully grasps and understands that surrender is the fertile soil of growth. That understands the only way to fully change anything is to be able to sit in and assess what is. But then there is this part of me, the rebel, the resistant, the obstinate who is sure her way is THE WAY.
And she is so sure of herself. She is so convincing. She is so loud, it’s hard to hear anything else. She tells me to never give up, because that part of me believes that surrender is giving up. She tells me to fight against in order to win, because that part of me believes we are at war. She tells me to dig in our heels because what else were heels made for other than to hold our ground?
I don’t know if you have your own rowdy, raucous group in your head but I sure do. And it’s crazy making. Anyone who has only one voice in their head and feels all one way about all the things I envy and also find slightly annoying.
But that’s the way it goes. Me and my gaggle of inner influences go with me everywhere. They are almost always chattering. I think that’s why I am so drawn to seemingly solo practice like meditation, yoga and long-distance running. While I may be physically alone, it’s time for me to let all my parts sort themselves out. It’s the time that allows me to understand all the ways I feel about even just one thing.
I am at my most serene, peaceful and clear after a long run, after meditation, after yoga. I am at my most agitated just before all of these activities.
I was talking with a friend yesterday and she was sharing with me her gifts from Covid. The ways she has been able to have time to unravel old beliefs, grasp firmly onto her most affirming truths and begin to let the rest fall away.
That, in my opinion, is surrender at its best. She was able to get past that resistance that nobody wants or invited Covid but since it’s here, and this is what we have, let’s make the most of it.
It reminded me that we are getting close to October and this time last year we were gearing up to partake in our last 90 days challenge. We decided we were going to finish the year strong. We weren’t just going to throw in the towel until 2020. And if we have learned anything from this year is that the next fresh set of 12 months is not guaranteed to be better, easier or more enjoyable unless we choose it.
It’s helped me to get to the place of surrender, also known as truth, to look at what in my life am I ready to let go of? What in my life do I need more of? What rules am I living by, that are so ingrained it’s hard for me to witness, but are getting in my way?
Instead of making the best of this weird time we are in, what if we lived fully in it? What if we felt mad, when we were mad about it and then threw a socially distant party anyway?
What I am learning in this time of surrender is to stop waiting. My life hasn’t stopped just because the external world is upside down and twisted all around. I am still aging, I am still learning, I am still growing. None of the most important things in my life have stopped, not really.
I am still married. I am still alive. I am still trying to understand life. I still belong to families of all sorts. I am still a sister, daughter, wife, aunt, niece, friend… None of that has stopped being true.
My life is still now and so is yours. The people who lived through the pandemic of 1918, that was still their life. They didn’t get a do-over. A magical being didn’t descend in 1920 and say, “hey y’all since you had a hard time the last couple of years we’ll give you a credit on your life card and give you some extra time to spend.” Nope this was simply a chapter of their life.
So while I am still rebellious, obstinate, and a fighter (in the most pacifist of ways) this is my life at this point of time. This is your life too. What can I do to live it? What can I do to enjoy its true value? There is zero guarantee that January 1, 2021 is going to bring with it a “Get Out of Covid Jail Free card” so what am I going to do? How can I get the rebel, the obstinate and the fighter moving in the direction of joy?
Each day, sometimes moment to moment, I have to surrender again to the truth that this is life at this particular point in my life and ask, how do I want to live into it? Billy Idol, Rocky and the Bull have thoughts but at least now they are moving in the same direction with the same goal: How do I want to live?
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G