“If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.” ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
There was a time when I was full of angst, and desperate to unleash it.
Since I felt misunderstood in some of my relationships, I’d fight battles I knew I wouldn’t win and then only consider letting go after a mini emotional break down.
I needed to tire myself out in order to surrender. I needed to fully defuse my distress to give myself some peace. Though I wouldn’t have admitted it, I was addicted to that drama. It was only when I broke down that I felt any relief.
Most of the time, I carried my anguish in my body, like a thick layer of nerves right below the surface. I was a constantly bubbling volcano, eager to erupt.
I no longer fight through life in this way, but there are times when I feel a pervasive sense of alarm, a low-level sense of nervousness that is lessened but not fully eliminated through meditation.
It’s usually when responsibilities and deadlines are piling up, and I worry that it won’t all get done.
But the thing is: It always does. And it’s not usually because of worrying, over-analyzing, or any other type of stressful mental activity.
Things get done because I am capable—not because I fight to finish.
What I’ve learned is that surrender doesn’t have to follow battle. It doesn’t have to be a side effect of exhausting ourselves in some way, mentally, physically, or emotionally.
Surrender is a choice to be easy, to nurture a sense of inner calm that can carry us through even the most difficult circumstances.
It’s choosing not create drama where it doesn’t need to be, and realizing life doesn’t have to feel like a series of conflicts and crises.
It’s letting go of the need for control and realizing that, whatever happens, we’ll be okay.
It’s easier to say, “Be easy,” than it is to actually do it, ironically, because it takes effort to stop expelling so much effort—to refrain from spinning in circles in our heads and simply take life as it comes at us.
The good news is that we have countless opportunities to practice easing in the moment.
It helps when we remember: Our power isn’t in our ability to fight life. It’s in recognizing when we don't have to struggle.
Photo by Rob Larson