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Meeting Yourself Where You Are aka Surrender
You’ve done it. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it…
Kicked + screamed + flatout ignored that change was underway or that desperation was creeping in or that love was being ignited. You weren’t ready or able or in the mood for something you couldn’t control.
Yet, denying change pretty much guarantees it’s going to steamroll you and your well-intentioned life plans.
And surrender just happened to be the common theme in two beautiful pieces of writing I’ve read this week.
Brené Brown on Midlife Unraveling: “The truth is that the midlife unraveling is a series of painful nudges strung together by low-grade anxiety and depression, quiet desperation, and an insidious loss of control. By low-grade, quiet, and insidious, I mean it’s enough to make you crazy, but seldom enough for people on the outside to validate the struggle or offer you help and respite. It’s the dangerous kind of suffering – the kind that allows you to pretend that everything is OK.”
Elizabeth Gilbert on Grief: “I have learned that Grief is a force of energy that cannot be controlled or predicted. It comes and goes on its own schedule. Grief does not obey your plans, or your wishes. Grief will do whatever it wants to you, whenever it wants to. In that regard, Grief has a lot in common with Love. The only way that I can “handle” Grief, then, is the same way that I “handle” Love — by not “handling” it. By bowing down before its power, in complete humility.”
Surrender is letting go of trying to control your experience and letting go of the assumptions you hold for the accolades you deserve + the happiness you are due + the break that must be coming.
Surrender is showing up, raw and tender. It’s letting your heart get broken. It’s allowing joy to crack through. It’s trusting the timing. It’s holding strong intentions, while releasing expectations of the way it’s all gonna go down.
As Liz says in her post, it’s answering, “I am willing” to everything life asks of you.
It’s not fucking easy.
For me, right now — not being in the midst of acute grief and feeling like I’m doing my best to allow my 37-year-old awakening to unfurl (see last weeks 3 state of the union emails for proof!) — surrender means presence. Showing up day in and day out with my eyes wide open to the world and my connection to my inner self nurtured.
In surrender, I’m paying attention. My highs are higher and my lows are lower and my doubts are doubtier, my gifts are giftier.
In surrender, I’m not forcing things to happen on any certain timeline. I’m doing the work I have chosen to do in the world with grit and curiosity and tenderness.
In surrender, I’m asking myself to tell the truth about my desires. I’m releasing the stories I’ve outgrown about my limitations. I’m allowing my capacity for uncertainty to broaden. I’m expanding my realm of possibility.
In surrender, I’m asking myself to risk getting hurt, to risk being seen, to risk failing in devotion to being fully expressed and unfiltered.
Your surrender is probably different than mine.
You may be in the midst of soul-wrenching heartbreak or the confusion of unravelling or the bliss of self-discovery. You may be in a fog of doubt or wave of gratitude or crisis of faith…
Wherever you are, honey, let this message of surrender be a reminder to simply be there.
Keep showing up, keep trusting, keep being willing.
There is beauty + strength in meeting life as it is in this moment.