It seems like I am having more conversations with people who are making some type of transition in their life. I myself am shifting, moving from a home I have lived in for over a decade and into a new exciting chapter. Another leap of faith in an ongoing life adventure. I see the waves of attachment versus surrender to a larger vision flowing through me.
Right now there is this sense, for many, of so much coming at us at once. Climate disasters, pandemics and distancing from those we love, cultural shutdown, economic breakdown, racist division, violence, educational confusion, political upheaval and uncertainty about the future. All of this can either be overwhelmingly painful or we can numb ourselves in order to cope with the scope of it. Hopefully for many of you reading this, you also see this time as the natural law of chaos before order playing out, and a breaking down of old unhealthy paradigms in order to build better ones. Still, it feels uncomfortable in its unprecedented nature.
One of my favorite things to do deep down when I feel overwhelmed, is to practice surrender. Well, more accurately, I would say that I choose to inhabit the space of surrender, which has it’s own tone of feel and sensibility, it’s own dynamic spiritual weight. The practice part of it comes with the repetition of anchoring what we are surrendering to, going there over and over again, and tracking what happens when we don’t go there. It is a humbling and deeply soulful journey.
And so the dialogues I am having around this with others are enlightening, because I experience surrender as a very particular habitat, a very different dwelling than the shut-down place of “It’s too much, I give up!” Surrender is a finely nuanced quietude in the center of our being, in the stillness of our core, that trusts completely, listens deeply, and gives up the egoic pressure of trying to make something happen. And yet, in this space, in this vast space, a lot happens. It is a place of “Yes.” It draws our attention. It surrenders the need to indulge negative future fantasies and scenarios and instead demands presence. It is a place of all things possible, of curiosity, and a place, as my mother always used to say, “to gather our powers.” There is an infinite freedom and creativity in the spaciousness of surrender. It is also a place of deep communion with oneself and with whatever it is you call your higher experience and power. No noise exists here, only the deep ocean of quiet and the heightened sense of awareness to things otherwise missed completely.
So many things come from surrender that have nothing to do with giving up. Giving up is a turning away from something and shutting down one’s attention completely. Surrender empowers us and avails us to insight and wisdom. It feeds us with energy and unifying thoughts. Just saying the words “giving up” feels different, doesn’t it? What does it mean to you? Giving up comes from a place of exhaustion, on every level. Surrendering to something is that leap of faith, that empty space whence all things come, trusting that we are the target and the arrow of creation will reach our bullseye and trigger new life. We are not surrendering in defeat, but surrendering into a vast power that guides and cares for us.
So if moments are arising for you when you feel overwhelmed and you just want to give up, consider reframing your experience and choose to instead surrender into the vast space where all things are possible.
All my best, Melanie