Monday, May 4, 2015

To All Fellow Control-Freaks ... The Key to Peace is Surrender

The notion of surrender.

This is quite possibly one of the hardest challenges for me thus far on this self discovery journey I'm on.

I've admittedly been hibernating. I have pulled back from writing. I've done a lot of reading, reflection and meditation in the last six months. And I will continue to do it.

But I felt the need to come out of my hermit crab shell for a minute to talk about surrender. My ego has a real problem with this one. While I've been able to stay more present, to open up my channels of intuition, to be kinder to myself, to others, to love myself, others ... I have yet to really, truly surrender to what is.

It's the "controller" in me. I want to have control over every situation that presents itself in my life because control means "safety" to my ego. We somehow won't get hurt or won't be disappointed if we can control things. Right?

Yeah ... not so much.

The reality is, control is an illusion. Yes, you can control yourself, but that's pretty much ALL you can control in any given situation in your life. Everything else is out of your hands.

Now, that doesn't mean you don't hold a TON of power inside yourself. You are, in fact, made up of vibrating atoms. You vibrate. We all vibrate. And that vibration happens with energy. And your energy ... it can be pretty freaking powerful.

Think about it. When someone walks into a room enraged, how does that impact the entire room? When someone walks in full of smiles, gentle, kind, warm energy and a bubbly disposition ... how does that impact the room?

And what vibration we put out there, our environment responds to. So, if you can control your vibration, you can have control over what you attract. And there in lies your true power.

But the rest ... the rest is about surrender.

Surrender, by the way, does not mean defeat, does not mean subservience, nor is it giving up or being a doormat or punching bag.

Surrender is about no longer resisting "what is." It's about pulling your head out of the sand, looking past the mirage your ego wants to see, and seeing your reality for what it is. And accepting what you see. Because once you accept, you can choose to make whatever changes you deem necessary.

But first, you must see.

If you are resisting "what is," you are going to continue to draw the exact same situations you've been resisting over and over again. Because that's what your vibrating. And you're blocking the very energy that will bring you what you desire.

Even as I write all of this, I know it's easier said than done. And the reason I know that is because I've been struggling with it for years, decades really. Because the notion of surrender also ties into the notion of releasing all expectations and attachments to outcome. It means you live your life in the present moment and yes, you have goals you work toward, but you keep your attachments in check and you surrender to the present moment and what it entails, good, bad, sad, happy.

And all of this takes discipline and practice ... you are essentially trying to rewire a brain that has been operating one way its entire life. So it won't happen easily or quickly. It takes some people their whole lives to get there. And I struggled with patience ;-) However, I DO know that the few times I have experienced surrender, it has brought me immense peace.

But fighting against reality gets really tiring. And it wears on the heart and the soul. And I think I speak for other "control-freaks" when I say, it's exhausting fighting to hold onto ghost reins.

It's so much easier to lie down on the raft and float with the tide.

So, if you're anything like me, maybe these suggestions will help you. The next time you feel your stomach tie into knots, notice it, close your eyes, take a breath and ask yourself what you are resisting right now. Bring your awareness to the knot, and breathe deeply and imagine that knot loosening and dissipating. Imagine you are on a raft with a pair of oars ... now take those oars ... and drop them into the water. Just let them fall right in and float away. Take a few more deep breaths and lie back and feel the sun on your stomach and feel yourself floating gently with the tide. Tell yourself "All is well in my world," "I resist nothing" over and over as many times as you have to until you feel at least a little bit of peace if not entirely peaceful.

Another thing to do if your brain just won't quit running the hamster wheel is to imagine the "worst case scenario" and let it play out.

Is it really the end of the world? You'll likely find it is not. It might hurt ... it might hurt a whole lot or disappoint a whole lot, but it's not the end of the world. After you do that, let it go. Know that scenario is just that — a scenario, an illusion, not a reality. And know that nothing ever quite turns out how we imagine ... and our ego and imagination tends to make EVERYTHING so much more dramatic than it usually ever turns out. Because imagining is not living in the moment. And the moment is the only "real" thing we have. Our ego loves to contrive worst case scenarios so that we stay stuck in fear and fight or flight ... and defense ... because to the ego, surrender means vulnerability ... and vulnerability means the possibility of hurt.

The funny thing is, we hurt ourselves more by resisting than we do surrendering.

And of course, being present is always the key to finding peace in any given moment. Focus intensely on an object in front of you, look outside at a cloud, or a tree or a flower. Find something that gives you peace, focus on it and breathe.

Lastly, remember that the more tightly you hold onto something, the farther away it will get. Remember that the things you fear the most are the things you'll attract. And with that reminder, let go. Release.

Or as Pema Chodron so perfectly says, "Lean into the sharp points and fully experience them."

Til next time ...



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