When you are tired. When you are overwhelmed. When you have screamed all there is to scream or have swallowed every whimper until silence is all that greets you.
When the thing you thought was gone for good shows up with a suitcase. When you are out of ideas and clever tricks. When everything you depend upon has failed you, or so it seems.
When you have nothing to give, you can only receive. That is when you can find the wisdom of surrender.
How to Let Go
I am often asked how one falls into a state of blissful surrender. You simply don’t. Don’t push. Don’t argue. Don’t justify. Don’t judge. Just be. Be the thing that has been chasing you. Stop chasing the thing.
This is new territory for those of us raised on a formula of thought + action = results. That’s why the last river you cross as you approach surrender is called fear. You will think there is no end to those dark waters. You will think it is the end. But the wisdom you gain when you reach the other side shows you that the end is not that big of a deal. All things end. Something new will begin in its place. That next thing will not end the way you expected either.
But don’t worry about what’s next yet. Come here. Sit on Her lap. Let Her hold you. Shhhhhhhh. She doesn’t care what you’ve done. She doesn’t care what you haven’t done. You have no need to prove yourself worthy of Her love. You are worthy because you are.
All the doing that you did for so long, it ceases to matter here. Some of it was yours to do, and some of it was very hard. Some of it was never yours, and the burden of carrying it was twice as difficult. But this — surrender — is easy.
Here on Her lap, it turns out that the only thing painful about surrender is the anticipation of it. Clouded by resistance to what is and what needs to be, we make up all sorts of schemes about how to avoid losing. It turns out that surrender has nothing to do with a fight. Surrender is when there cease to be winners or losers.
Perhaps reading these words has already slowed your warpath. Perhaps this post so far has inspired you to lower your weapon and wonder what this state looks like. And then, how do we get there?
The first question is easy to answer. It looks like breathing. Being still. Listening. Try it now. What can you hear outside of your room? What can you hear in your room? Can you hear the sound of your own breath as it moves in and out of your lungs? Can you hear what is being asked of you right now — without any talking back, no matter how strange it seems?
How to get to surrender…that is a more difficult question. Not because the act of surrender is masked, but because how you find yourself at this beautiful precipice will be different for you than for me than for every other person. Some of us get to Her lap easier than others. Some of us fight like hell until an obstacle (you might call it an omen) prevents us from doing any more damage.
You are close when you realize you are not in Her lap and that you want to be. You’re getting closer when you realize that you can feel what you feel even if your feelings are ugly. You’re just moments away when you take a step out of the prison of should and see that the world is made of is. No matter how you find surrender, your journey here is a sacred one. As messy and brutal as it has been, honor it.
Resistance Is a Teacher
When you arrive, there’s no need to judge where you came from — resistance was a fine teacher. Through it you learned the feeling of blindness, deafness. You found your “no.” That will serve you here.
To see resistance in the rear view mirror is to know surrender is present. Its sweet perfume fills your lungs so that you can only speak words of understanding. Of course this was my journey, you’ll say, There could be no other way to get here but this.
What Comes Next
Once you know what surrender feels like, you will never want anything else. But I guarantee, no matter how beautiful you feel in Her lap, there will be days when you will forget how to do it. You will forget the blessing of being held, the feeling of your head against Her soft breasts. Those will be the days on which you will say “no” to everything life asks of you and “yes” to all you should decline. But surrender is a taste that lingers on your lips. You’ll always know the direction home.
Come home. Come home whenever you want, whenever you need to. Come home for five minutes — just lying in your bed in a fetal position and receiving the truth of what is. Stay here for an hour if you can, free from blame and error. Make this sense a perch that you return to over and over for the rest of your life. No matter how many times you leave, you are welcome back. Eternally, inherently welcome.
When you are tired. When you are overwhelmed. When you have screamed all there is to scream or have swallowed every whimper until silence is all that greets you. Look for Her and She will appear.