Last week I had a lunch date with my sister. We don’t get together all that often, but we always do a lot of laughing when we do. She asked me a question that had to do with being at peace versus striving. I noticed that I felt some resistance to the question, a bit of defensiveness bubbling up. It took me a couple of days of thinking about it and then I decided if I was resistant, I probably needed to feel around in the question a bit because there’s usually wisdom in our resistance, but cha gotta dig a little for it. Most often we will use resistance as a reason to blame, stop, criticize, judge, etc... Hard to find your wisdom in that mess!
This question from my sister seemed to be a perfect fit to a theme I was noticing in messages I'm getting lately. My counselor Joy had made a statement in a session that I had BIG resistance to and that statement was also about the idea of peace and allowing, but the wording was different. Acceptance, SURRENDER, let it go, get okay with… why do these ideas make me wince? Probably because I see surrender as being passive – something I have no idea how to invoke! This theme lately got me to wondering; “could I use my striving for knowledge, to better understand what it means to surrender?” Sounds kind of odd to strive to surrender, but here’s what I’ve learned…
I seem to have a lot of “shoulds” about how people I care about should behave, how they should think, what they should feel. This shoulding all over myself and others is about OUTCOMES. I am quite often, trying to push my own agenda. Sometimes this works and those times are usually when I the agenda is about making a difference, contribution, helping, learning, growing, loving, and basically when I’m shining my Divine light into the world from my sweet spot.
This is a great gift and like ANY great gift, when we turn the volume up too loud on our gifts or strengths, it starts to get distorted in our lives. What we are great at becomes our stumbling block when we push and shove it and especially when we focus on perceived limits. When we focus on what’s missing and try to force an outcome that WE have in our heads as the ONLY way we want it to be – we suffer. Period. We become a victim of our own resistance and even if we get what it is we think we want, we won’t be able to sustain it if we got it by grabbing and forcing. Most likely we’ll just bring to us another situation that will give us another opportunity to SURRENDER.
Here’s the thing – I have no idea how to surrender. How to just let things be as they are. I love that I make stuff happen! It lights me up! What I’ve learned in this digging into what surrender really is, I now see that it’s not about passivity. It’s about being OPEN, making space. There is the story of the Buddha under the Bodhi tree. He wanted desperately to become awakened. He tried and tried and then under the tree, in exhaustion, he surrendered to the idea of ever being awakened… and that’s when he became awakened. It reminds me of stories I've heard of women who so desperately what to get pregnant and as soon as they adopt or "give up" the quest, they get pregnant. But we don’t have to wait until we are exhausted or hopeless to open and allow. What I’m finding out is that we can ASK to be shown how the heck to surrender.
Tosha Silver has a couple of great books on this very subject of opening and surrendering: Outrageous Openness and Change Me Prayers. She suggests a prayer to let go of our agenda can be as simple as “I want to be whole with or without this.” Whatever your “this” is; a relationship, a job, a situation, we all want to be whole no matter what the conditions are around us and she suggests that we be specific in our asking for what you want release from.
Tony Robbins talks about the six human needs we all have. We will all do whatever we must to get those needs met and knowing what your top two needs are will help you understand your motivations and actions. He says these needs are why we do what we do. In a recent podcast on this subject, he reminded me of something I’ve heard him say before; the biggest addition we all have today is not drugs, alcohol, shopping, or things of that sort, what we are most addicted to are problems. Having a problem can help us meet many of our human needs! It can connect us with others through our own victimization, it can create certainty for us because we know that problem intimately, it can create adventure because we the problem can change and be exciting in some ways.
So how about if the prayer for surrender was simply “Please make me whole with or without this problem.” Making room for our wholeness no matter what happens.
“What we resist persists” and our negative emotion leashes us to the very people or situations or problems we long to escape. It creates a loop where you draw more people, situations or problems like them TO you. I suppose this is why when we surrender, transformation takes place – just like in the story of the Buddha. When we surrender our resistance, we can get in alignment with our highest route.
I have been listening to Abraham-Hicks recordings for many years now. I hear Esther’s voice talk over and over about allowing and resisting and still, I feel like I’ve missed the point all these years in what she was saying! Dropping our resistance and opening to be in alignment with Divine will doesn’t mean we sit back and just wait to react. It means we must actively love ourselves, no matter WHAT the outcome is in a given situation. It’s about choosing to be open to the outcome and KNOWING, trusting that we are going to be even more fabulous no matter which way things go! Allowing the love of ourselves to shine through, surrendering to the love that we ARE and realizing that the conditions, the people involved are not the point. Surrender to being the love that you are, no matter what and having fun, THAT is the point.
It turns out that when we surrender to the idea of allowing things to happen as they are meant to, in the highest way for all involved, we get out of our own way and it feels a hell of a lot better than trying to force our own agenda.
We must BE what it is we think we need. Get on the frequency of BEING what we seek and one way or another it will come. “It’s a shift in focus from getting & doing to being a vessel.” I suppose you could call BEING what it is you seek striving in some ways, yet it is also surrendering to BEING your true self because what we seek is always within. As long as we think what we need is outside us, we will strive, push, force, blame, and make ourselves suffer.
Being whole, standing on your own two emotional feet, knowing your wholeness. Amazing. Now if that sounds attractive to you, consider the force of love that can happen when TWO people together each do this. Beautiful. It starts and ends with YOU, surrendering to the love that you already are and being open to the route that is in store for you. YOU MUST GO FIRST, in spite of conditions. i.e... surrender.
Obviously, trust is part of this equation. You can ask for that too. Ask for help to trust that you will be safe if you surrender your agenda. As Father Richard Rohr says... "The opposite of faith is not doubt; the opposite of faith is control." Here's to letting go of control! Staying open! Let's try something new and see what that feels like!!! Clearly this will be a whole new approach for me! ;-)
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Sandy Edie Hansen
I use this space to "Chat" about things I am working through and learning in my life currently. Join me!