You may prefer to label it faith, belief, trust, or hope, but I grew up on a Kansas farm, with a plethora of Wizard of Oz references, so for the last year I have been participating in a Practice of Surrender. I believe the seeds of that practice may finally be blooming. That may be overstating my progress some, but letting go of my personal preferences, agendas and how I think my life should look, unfold, be is becoming more natural to me.
My practice began in earnest last January when a cardiologist informed me a faulty heart valve had moved from “moderate” to “severe” and needed replacing sooner rather than later. At that time, I was told the new valve would have to be achieved through open heart surgery. Oh, how I wanted to fight that. Fight? Hell, I wanted to wrestle it to the ground and change it. Right now!! But I couldn’t. There was nothing I could do. Nothing – except surrender.
In June I learned that the valve might be replaced via the Trans Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure. Time and a lot more tests would tell. I so wanted to push the river on every test result, every doctor consultation, every diagnosis. I wanted answers. Now! But, again, there was nothing I could do – except surrender.
It was ironic that I wanted nothing more than to change what was happening NOW, but surrender required me to let go of it all. To release every idea of how this would unfold and trust that somehow it would all be okay. That I would be okay. Surrender requires that kind of deep trust. To fully surrender how you think, or hope, or plan your life to be requires you to have at least a few tendrils of belief that life is for you, that what unfolds, no matter how it may appear in that moment, is doing so in your favor. I admit, twenty or thirty years ago I wouldn’t have likely been able to accept that Life is for me, but with some additional decades of experience I can look back and clearly see how even the things I thought were catastrophic pushed or pulled me forward, stretched my mind and heart, and if not perfectly, at least adequately, prepared me for what was ahead.
So, when I knew I was facing heart surgery and was not in control of much of any of what would be ahead, I started to work on expanding and deepening my trust – my trust in Good, in God, in Spirit, Source, Mabel. Call it whatever works for you. I now call that force that brings me unexpected joy, connection and magic, Life. And, to the best of my ability, I am practicing trusting the process of and allowing Life to lead. I now delight in reminding myself to let go and let it flow. A warm, calm spreads through my heart and center when I am able to do that – to let go and let Life flow.
I struggled so much with wishing and wanting to change what was happening around the heart valve NOW, but it wasn’t until I started committing myself to practicing surrender that I began to feel the expectations, agendas and needs slip away and I could truly feel connected to the present. Surrender can only happen in the present. When you let go of how you think your life should be and simply accept whatever shows up as yours to do to the best of your ability, you are naturally and fully functioning in the present. And when you are in surrender be prepared for some amazing developments because Life has a lot more resources and experience than any of us do. I’m learning that it is in surrender where the real magic happens. That is where the synchronicities, signs, instinctual nudges and inner peace increase. It’s likely those things have always been here, but I was so busy focusing on how I wanted things to go that I missed many of the signs that everything was being created so much better than I could imagine.
Life has been going on for eons with no real guidance or help from any of us. Life is flow and power. Even when I thought I was in control of this short lifetime, I wasn’t. I never was. I cannot think of anything worth having that I had any control over the getting. In fact, whenever I tried to control an outcome or even the unfolding, it usually turned out rather abysmally.
Despite the movies where white flags are waved denoting surrender, it is not an indication of weakness. Surrender is not giving up. It is not quitting. And it is not cowardly or even easy. Surrender requires bravely committing to knowing you are worthy, important, and valuable, and that the Universe truly is conspiring on your behalf. The best payout for practicing surrender has been that when I can let go and release my personal preferences and ideas of what should happen, trusting Life to bring me what I most need, I feel a deep inner peace. Calm and well-being flow through me and I am more receptive to all the good and miracles that are happening all around me.
And, I still need that flow of calming energy and feelings of being supported. My heart surgery was an amazing success. I’ve been touted as a “medical miracle”, but other challenges are on the horizon. I now need to have a large lump removed from my right arm and both shoulders replaced. So, how am I going to move through all of that? You guessed it. Surrender. I don’t know why these things are mine to do, but they are, and I know that Life will bring the best medical personnel, helpers and all the support required to move through each step with as much grace as I can muster.
Even if I’m wrong about this, I’m still going to believe it. For one thing, believing is more fun than not. It also seems as though there’s nothing to lose in practicing surrender. If I don’t surrender, I’m often disappointed because things don’t materialize as I had hoped or tried to manipulate. On the other hand, if down the road, I realize a practice of surrender is a crock, I’ll also be disappointed. However, until it is determined by me to be a crock, I’m going to do my best to surrender and embrace the wonder, peace and miracles of Life.
So, yes, indeed, “Surrender Dorothy”!