Feels like I have written about this a lot. Life, for me, is just an ongoing series of surrenders...mostly of my will. An endless stream of me getting out of my own way. And yet, here I am again, in the way.
I guess after 25 years, it has gotten easier. It isn’t so hard anymore. Whenever I find myself in pain, it is almost always because I am refusing to let go of something that I have decided I want, is good for me or that I think is going to make me happy.
Whatever it is I think I want, never really gets me where I want to go...so it is somewhat nuts that I continue to believe that this time it will be different.
Funny how wrong I am so often, yet I still stubbornly refuse to not believe whatever it is that I am thinking...if I had a friend that was as wrong as much as I am, I wouldn’t believe a thing they said. But me, oh me, I believe whole heartedly! Nucking futs!
For me surrender means relinquishing my delusion of control. As someone I love dearly says frequently, “It is giving to God what was God’s all along.” I believe this to be true! So why do I continually and habitually forget?
Because to my core, I want it to be otherwise. I want to have a say so. I want to be in charge. Except I don’t. I really just want my way...the rest of you be damned. Not very pretty but true.
This goes back to my way. I feel like this way that I was born with is like a cancerous growth that takes over my brain every day. I wake up in remission and by day’s end, without the application of spiritual principles, I have almost no brain left and it is all cancer, telling me over and over again that whatever it is that I think and want are the only things that matters...
So I have to surrender every day, at the beginning of each day. For me, I access the spiritual law of surrender by praying and meditating. Let me be clear, I do not want to do this, ever. I NEVER want to sit down on my cushion and sit still with myself and talk to the universe, God or whatever benevolence there exists in this world. I want to go! NOW! And accomplish things and be productive. I would much rather talk to one of you than God. I do not want to sit down, with myself and watch my mind spin. Never. Ever.
But that is what I do most days. It is my daily surrender practice. I sit down and show the world that I am not in charge and that is evinced by the fact that I am now sitting outside, on a cushion in the cold for minutes in a row and there is not one part of me that wants to do this! Like ever.
I know some people run to their cushions...my mom being one of those people. Happy to sit there for minutes in a row and watch her mind somersault through time and space...not me, no way, no how. Yet, I do it. And I am committed to keep doing it despite the fact that I don’t like it. I like the effect produced...and I am that kind of woman...I like the effect produced by sitting there with the universe and my untethered mind. I like the insight that I get into historic and long standing problems. I like the joy that I sometimes feel. I even like the days where tears stream down my face for no apparent reason whatsoever.
I have an image of myself that helps on days where surrender seems far away and unattainable...
I picture myself as a little girl...all blond and curls, in my nightgown with a cat draped over my arm. I see this child wandering the neighborhood at 6 am because she is up early and searching for companionship knowing that everyone is still sleeping and won’t be available for hours. I picture myself putting the cat down and walking to the swing set in my front yard, and watch her climb onto a swing and begin to pump her legs, back and forth, back and forth until she is alit into the air and quietly swinging to and fro...and then I just stay there with her. I watch her swing and sing in her little tiny voice. I watch her quietly give herself over to the air, pumping higher and higher into space. This tiny child who wanted only companionship in the early dawn, gives herself over to the power of motion while sitting still. Who finds it within herself to make do anyway, by surrendering to the early hour and finding peace and contentment alone instead.
This is my image of surrender...and I love it. Makes it so much easier for me to take my cushion, just like I took that swing back in the day. Watching the morning light filter in and bring edges into view. This is what mediation and prayer do for me, bring clarity to me, my life and my thoughts while the rest of the world swirls around me like a vortex...always reminding me to surrender again, and again, and again.
Because it is on the other side of surrender that I find peace, equanimity and serenity. And those are really the things that I want despite what my head tells me...