13 November 2015
… the moment in which the mind acknowledges ‘This isn’t what I wanted, but it’s what I got’ is the point at which suffering disappears. Sadness might remain present, but the mind … is free to console, free to support acceptance of the situation, free to allow space for new possibilities to come into view. ~Sylvia Boorstein, Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life
The ritual of practicing surrender three or four mornings a week is affecting how I see the world and live my life within it.
Surrender is a word that is used in eastern philosophical traditions that has been difficult for my rational, ‘western’ mind to get comfortable with. It conjures up images of backing down, caving in, conceding defeat. Deepak Chopra uses the word ‘accept’ instead. And I was tempted to go that route, too. Except there is something more complex in this word that has the capacity to make me squirm. It’s tangled and fraught. It forces me to admit there are things I cannot change.
For years, I’ve exhausted myself chaffing against world realities and wanting to be more than I am. It’s crazy and crazy-making.
I cannot change the fact that ideological conflicts have become deadly, that human activity has degraded the earth, that my life will end. These are realities that are hard for me to surrender to.
Surrendering to the realities of the moment, stepping out of contention with them, doesn’t mean that I condone these things. But it’s hard to be grateful when I’m chaffing against what is, needing the world or myself to be different. This isn’t my best productive, satisfying living.
But is surrender cowardly? I don’t think so. I’m actually coming to see it as a huge act of courage. It’s the beginning of peace. Serenity. Gratitude. These are places of shelter, and more than that, they are places from which to do the loving my heart wants to extend into.
A flower does not rail against what is. It unfurls, opens its face to the world, and offers it small, glorious bit of beauty undaunted.
May I meet this moment fully. May I meet it as a friend. ~Sylvia Boorstein, Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life