Sometimes, probably much more often that I care to admit, I make my life battles much worse than they need to be. When I’m faced with a struggle I try to stand against it. I put up my fortress and stand firm. The bad news is, that doesn’t usually work. It makes the particular lesson much more difficult to learn. We can’t keep moving forward with our lives while we’re busy resisting the things we don’t like. Each circumstance happens for a reason. Sometimes we get stopped in our tracks by a life event. We feel powerless and hopeless. We realize there’s nothing we can do to change a particular situation. Some people use avoidance to cope with these situations. Completely denying that there’s a problem at all. But me.. I’m stubborn. I know I’m strong. Life has taught me to be strong. So it seems to make sense to me at the time to use that strength to stand still and fight for my position. This stance has not served me well. It’s made me tired and worn down.
It might be because we were moving too fast and were missing important steps. Like building a sturdy foundation before the next bridge appears along the path. Regardless of the reason… fighting, avoiding and denying just don’t get us where we want to be. On the other side of the problem that ‘s facing us. As Kenny Rogers would say, ‘know when to hold ’em, fold ’em or walk away.’ I’m learning this one. It’s called surrender.
That’s not the same as giving up. Giving up puts us back into avoiding or denying. Surrender is accepting that we’ve been stopped on our path for a reason. Even if we can’t see the reason for it today. We can learn to trust that it’s time to stop and pay attention. We can know that it’s something important. We can know that life needs our attention. Sometimes it’s about me and a lesson I need to learn. Sometimes, it’s about the other person and a lesson they need to learn before we can move forward once again.
As difficult as it’s been, I’m grateful that life stopped me on my last path. It was moving too fast before it was time. If I would have kept moving at that speed, there would have been a crash and burn situation. I finally realized it was time to stop and climb out of the powerlessness. To stand back from the fortress I’d created. To lay down my weapon of stubbornness. I recognized surrender.
In that moment, the world stopped spinning so fast and I could catch my breath. Things began to change. Doors began to open. Windows opened and a fresh breeze began to stream back into my life bring me relief. I started to see that there is a purpose for this abrupt stop. Now I can see clearly and I’m very grateful for the change of direction. I would have lost it all had I kept moving in the direction I was headed.
“Surrender and let go of the past. Whatever live takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means that you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz