The last couple weeks I have spent a lot of time thinking about surrender and what it means for me; what parts of my life experience I am able to surrender within, and what parts still vex me.
Perhaps this is because I have spent so much time in my car with miles of road on which to ponder such things, but also because life has offered me circumstance that is pointing all attention in that direction.
Now I don't mean surrender in a me-against-them sort of way, but in the spiritual realm of things. Spiritual surrender. The idea that one can 'let go and let God', as they say, or to 'trust the process' completely. That beautiful concept that gets thrown around a lot in my circles--and I'm often the one doing the throwing--and which is truly the most simple thing to hypothetically do (sounds so good, right?), and yet is the hardest thing to actually do, and especially for those of us who are really damn good at controlling everything.
Cause, really, why in anyone's name would I willingly choose to let go and trust everything when I can certainly, without a doubt figure out a way to make it all work in my favor?
I've spent most of my life controlling everything I possibly could: my body, my social standing, my intelligence, my character...just like most of us, I suppose. I've been effective at this at times and have thought that this was definitely the way to make life work. But then... then highly ineffective at other times, times when the pressure of trying to make everything fit into expectations was just too much, and I (or someone else I was involved with) cracked.
The intensity and the resulting 'cracking' have happened to me many times, and without fail provide the greatest learning lessons I could have asked for. Lyme disease, a litany of other illnesses, lost jobs and relationships, deaths...these are the things that have come into my life rather loudly and without apology to make sure that despite my VERY best efforts, I did not have much of anything under control, and that the idea of control was the source of all my discomfort if I would only just see it that way.
And in those moments I have seen it that way, and have let go and grown immensely. And because of this awareness I continue to let go and let Spirit, and life gets better with every moment I choose to do this.
But control is a very ingrained and habitual response, and I have noticed in the last couple years how quickly I will resort to controlling and expectation-based modes of being when I am ungrounded (too much traveling, too little meditation and journaling, weird food, bad sleep...) or when really intense and unexpected thing happen. I suppose I only notice this because the majority of my life isn't based on control anymore--this is a good thing--but it's still surprising when it pops up, and always a beautiful opportunity to soften.
The idea that we can 'control' and manage our life experience comes entirely from the ego, not the soul. The soul--connected as it is to spirit and all of life--knows that the process of its development and experience here will be just as perfect as that of a tree, a bird, or a baby developing in the womb. In the same way that a fetus somehow, magically, becomes a fully-formed human without any direction given to it from the mind, we are each destined to fulfill a process that is unique to us and that will carry us to fruition in this lifetime if we let it.
This is a central idea of the concept of entelechy: we have something within us that wants to come out, and the release of it is the reason for us each being here. However, we suffocate that perfection within in favor of the mind and ego's chatter telling us otherwise.
We seek to create perfection in our lives by making things happen a certain way, or by making ourselves be and act a certain way...but what if perfection is a given?
We attach ourselves to a particular outcome thinking that we will only ever be happy if life turns out that way for us. Only THAT job, THAT body, THAT person, THAT experience will satisfy us.
But...who are we to say this? Who are we to argue with the perfection of the universe, with the incomprehensible guiding force that turns two single cells into a human being? Who are we to think that we, in our very limited and often wounded experience of life, somehow know better than life?
Complete surrender to what life offers us freedom, though the ego will call it laziness, passivity, and weakness. In reality, surrender--the ability to say that what is happening right now is what is meant to happen, and that you won't waste any of your beautiful energy resisting it when you could be learning from it--is the hardest thing any of us can remember how to do here. This is using the mind as it's meant to be used, and softening the heart as it is meant to be.