Is it time to surrender? For me the answer is “Yes!” It’s not an excited “yes,” though. It’s an, “Can I ease into this one inch at a time, backwards, and with my eyes closed?” kind of yes.
It’s not a familiar place to be. I’m more comfortable with a certain “yes” rather than a resolved one. I know this place of quasi-uncertainty is for the highest good. Returning to that idea, over and over, keeps me moving forward, and makes my resolved “yes” start to turn into a more sure one.
But it isn’t easy. My heretofore need for control, understanding, logic, and certainty continues to be met with, “That’s not the way through this.” I’m listening to that inner voice or at least trying to and to stay open.
I have to because surrender has been showing up in every arena of my life for some time now. It’s messy. It’s uncomfortable. It’s come with a lot of tears. And yet, I’m leaning into what surrender means for me for I know, without a doubt, that it is my way forward, at least for now.
Socks and Surrender
One of my primary teachers in surrender is our old lady kitty, Socks. She has been my companion for nearly 19 years and has been on hospice care for almost a year now. Some days, it seems like she is nearing her end. Later that day or the next day, she behaves like a cat 10 years younger than she is, making it clear she’s going to stick around for a while yet.
I’ve felt pain in trying to control the situation, in trying to manage what I think her journey should look like. If you can imagine…Charlie and I have been together for almost 21 years. Socks has been with us for 19 of those years. She is as much a part of this family as he or I. So, for me, I have wanted to make her journey smooth and pain free. We all want that for those we love.
And this is where the lessons in surrender come in. I have a responsibility to her. It is my place to tune into what she needs, find and give her the resources that are for her highest good, and, of course, give her as many treats as she wants.
But she is teaching me more than that. There have also been lessons in witnessing, easing, tuning into my intuition, recognizing each and every day is a gift, and trusting there is a higher power working through me. If I listen to it, it will guide me to what she needs.
That, right there, is the struggle. I have wanted to do anything and everything in my power to make things better. There are limits to what I can do, though, and I’m beginning to realize my place is not to force things to change. Rather, my role is to witness and stay tuned in, not to what I want or need, but to what is in her highest good.
When I do that instead of fretting or googling how best to help her, I have found I more easily get clear guidance on what she needs in the moment. Whether that’s intuition, higher power, animal communication, or something else, I don’t know. That’s OK.
I don’t have to have all the answers. I just have to be there for her. For me, that is the surrender. When I let go of control and certainty to be present with Socks, I see our pain being mitigated.
Family and Surrender
I experienced something similar a year and a half ago when my grandmother passed in September 2016 after a long struggle with illness, including dementia. I was blessed to be with her and my family for the last week or so of her life here on Earth. It gave me an opportunity to witness pure love and surrender.
While it was heartbreaking to say goodbye to my grandma, the lessons I learned about surrender, compassion, love, and ease will stay with me throughout my life. I watched my grandfather hold her hand and say, “It’s OK for you to go now. You can go to heaven.”
She was in and out of consciousness at the time, but she needed to hear those words from the man who had loved her for nearly 70 years. She needed to know she had done all she needed to do here. It was OK for her to go. She passed not much longer after that.
That is surrender. That is compassion and love and ease of suffering.
Surrender and Moving Forward
I don’t know what you are currently experiencing in your life, so I can’t speak specifically to how surrender may be the way forward for you. I just want to offer it as a way through and encourage you to consider if it’s time to let go of control. If there is a place in your life, or like me, many places in your life, where it’s time to try a new approach, perhaps surrender is the next step. (Tweet this.)
It can be hard; for some, surrender comes easier or harder than for others. My hope is that it comes peacefully when the time is right.
Here are some areas where you might be holding tightly to control and need to ease into surrender:
- Moving forward in your career.
- Helping your partner find the right treatment for a medical condition.
- Finding the “right path” for a loved one who is dying.
- Guiding your teenager to think through where to get a summer job.
- Judging a colleague for how they get a project done.
Where in your life might it be time to surrender? It may not be a big life and death area, but it could be. Any place where you can let go, let go. Surrender. Trust you will find the right path forward and settle into a place where you can regain peace and quite possibly find clarity.