Re-Writing My Thoughts on Surrender and Acceptance...
I was writing to the kids this morning and half of what I said to my daughter got deleted. I was initially pissed then I remembered that was suppose to happen because it just did. No need to be pissed. I had two choices, re-write it or not. No need for anger or pissed.
I redid it and realized that what I re-wrote was better than what I said the first time. So that is interesting. What I put down then lost, it was better that way even though it took more time and effort.
Maybe that is what pisses me off - the added time and effort.
Am I really so pressed for time that I can actually resent having to put more time and effort into my writing?
How can I be upset that life requires a little more from me?
Where do I think that is going to get me?
If I just have this one life (I mean I could be on my 51st life but I don’t know so right now this one is the only one I am concerned with) shouldn’t I want to put every ounce of effort and time into my life? It is my life after all. Do I think that I am going to end up on my death bed happy that I cut corners and time and effort? I am pretty sure my answer to that question will forever be no.
So what gives?
Upon deeper examination, it isn’t about the time and effort. That is surface. What really chaps my ass is the surrender that is exacted from me when I really don’t want to surrender. Ok, surrender might seem like a really big word for what happened this morning but is it?
Here is how I see it:
I was writing in my kids’ journals as I do every morning. Every morning it is the same. I write 12 things I am grateful for, share those with a couple of select amazing people (they also share theirs with me), write in my daughter’s journal, then son’s journal, then I do an inventory of self to see where I did well the day before and where I was stuck in habitual patterns that do not serve me well, then I write shit like this. Then I meditate and do yoga. See I do a lot before most people are even awake!
So you see I was only on my second thing in my morning list. I had much more to do so when the computer glitched and I lost what I wrote, having to start over again pissed me off. It was delaying me being able to move on with my routine. I had more stuff to do and now I had to either be content with what I had written the first time or I had to be willing to go back and re-write it. I cannot express how much I did not want to re-write! It was like five sentences...but to me it felt like I was being asked to climb Everest (ok, maybe not Everest but a really big hill). My mind was focused on the unfairness of the fact that I had written something and now was being asked to either surrender to the idea that I had to do it over or surrender to the idea that what I had written was gone. I don’t know about you, but I did not like either choice. I wanted to have what I wrote back! Like a two year old in the target checkout line...I wanted that fucking lollypop and no amount of distraction, cajoling or stern parental words can move me off what I want.
Unlike the two year old who could actually receive the lollypop, my writing was gone and no person in authority could bring it back. Just writing this makes me have a little aneurysm.
I am not a good surrenderer. I do not like it. I find it challenging and a pain in the ass. I just want things to go my way. I think my way is pretty fucking organized, efficient and has proven to be a pretty good course over my life time. So when my plan is interrupted, I don’t like it. In fact, I am irritated and frequently super pissed. Irrationally so, way more often than I would like to cop to.
What I am learning is that if I can be present for this life, there are a million moments in a day that are just like what happened this morning. Reality presents me with a couple of options, usually two. Often times, both seem unfair and not at all ok which results in me being pissed off because I am not getting my way. If I can stop to look at what just happened, take a step back from the emotional ledge that I seem to live on, I can see that whatever I am all upset about isn’t really that bad. I mean come on, I had to go back and rewrite like five sentences. Did that really derail my morning? Am I now late for work because of it? Is my life ruined because writing took an extra five minutes? Of course not, but why did it feel that way?
I think because I was born with a way. My way. And I was also born with some deep seated knowledge that my way was THE WAY. This extremely grandiose idea that my way is the best way. (I am laughing now because I am remembering all the very many ways that my way has proven to be so not the best way...repeatedly). So why, despite decades of evidence to the contrary, do I still believe that my way is the best and become irrationally pissed off when I am forced to make even the slightest detour from my course?
The simple, honest truth...I do not want to surrender. I do not want to accept. I hate them. I do not want to have to do either. It doesn’t really matter whether it is a big deal (surrender and accept that I had a drinking problem) or a small deal (surrender and accept this morning's five sentence re-write).
Part of what drives this is that I do not like to slow down. I think the drive shaft of my life is stuck on full throttle and I have only one other speed accessible - idle. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t idle well.
What I seem to be getting in my life these days is a renewed and constant ability to see all the ways that life is trying to get me to slow down - to find some other speed between the extremes. Surrender and acceptance are two really good ushers. Both of these assist me to be able to see what I miss at full throttle. That life, mine and everyone else’s, has a rhythm and a pace that is generally and historically affected by the environment, the people around me, my thoughts and my feelings. My ability to enjoy all of the above is directly proportional to my ability to surrender and accept my environment, other beings, my thoughts and my feelings. The less surrender and acceptance, the harder all of those things appear in my life. The more surrender and acceptance I have, the more life just kind of meanders along at a pace that makes life seem more real, more enjoyable and more mine.
This morning I was operating at my usual warp speed so the technological glitch that caused me to slow down was seen as an interruption, a derailment of my course. I could have allowed my initial reaction of irritation and frustration to be what guided me onward. However, this morning I saw that I was really being given a choice. Push forward or redo what was lost. Me being all upset and pissed about it didn’t change either of those facts. In fact, my feelings and thoughts about this momentary detour were actually the problem. The universe provided me with an opportunity to do something different. As always, it was up to me what I did with that opportunity.
This morning, for some unknown reason, I was able to sidestep my habitual response and see that if I just surrendered and accepted what had just happened I could move through this momentary set back and everything would be just fine. So my choice was really to move on or stay stuck. This thought quickly grew into me seeing that all day long every day I have this same choice. I was able to think about how I feel when I refuse to surrender and accept what is happening...I feel panicky, scared, lost and adrift. Then I thought about how I feel when I just let go and let life just happen without all the drama of my head’s commentary: I am free. I feel light, clear and peaceful. I began to wonder why would I ever chose the former? I realized in that moment it is because that is what I have always done. Listen to my head, my agenda and while both of those have gotten me pretty far in this life, look at where I get to go if I just let go and get out of the way.
So I went back and rewrote it. I only rewrote three sentences because I saw that the other two sentences were crap and unneccessary. I realized that what I ended up with was a better version than what I originally came up with and I felt overjoyed at the prospect that just maybe I could take what I learned this morning and use that moving forward:
All those moments of my life where I am feeling like it is all going wrong, I could use those to open me up. I could laugh at my habitual response. I could surrender to the moment unfolding exactly like it is and I could accept that though my initial reaction is one of defiance, that I like the results of my second options much better...surrender and acceptance as the keys to freedom. If I deploy them, I get free. I have to say, I am a big fan of freedom.