Suffer Until Surrender
Surrender to the now.
She heard these words come up from within her as she lay in bed one Sunday morning.
The struggle to find what she was looking for had her wound up. Tight.
She was a mess. A great big, freaked out, crazy mess. She was looking for answers that morning. As she has done just about every day for the past few months.
Questions were always floating about her mind. Wafting around in there with no place to land. Too many questions. All taking up space. No room left for the answers to come.
For the last thirty-odd years she has been living to suffer. This was her part in this world. The great sufferer. One who takes everything to the core of her being so she can wallow in the misery she turned it all into. Relish in it. Swim around in it. Enjoy how the suffering feels but pretend that she really hates it. Hates being like that. Hates what she has become whilst secretly she wants more of it.
Suffering seems to be the way to move through life. Its dramatic. Effective. It works. But not really. Somewhere in her mind she believes it is working, yet she still isn’t able to find anything but suffering. All the good things in her life she finds a way to add in her suffering. There. That’s better. I feel better now that I feel like shit again.
Not too long ago she reached the point where she had enough. She couldn’t take it anymore. The lies she was telling herself about her suffering were coming back to haunt her.
She felt a tingle amongst the numbness of her suffering. Something was coming back to life. A feeling she wasn’t used to. She recognised it, though. A familiarity. An existence of what once was.
She knew this time she wasn’t going to ignore that tingle. She wanted it to spread out its warm sensation and give her numbness a big hug, then politely tell it to leave.
Easier said then done. In her experience anyway. Just because she wanted something doesn’t mean she was going to get it. That’s where her suffering began. Feeling as though she could never have what she wanted. A part of her knows this isn’t true, regardless of that, though, she has held on so tight to the belief she cannot have what she wants because…
Because she isn’t worthy enough to have what she wants. Because she’s too fat to have what she wants. Because she isn’t loveable. Because she is a horrible person. Because her life sucks and she doesn’t deserve to have anything that she wants.
That’s fucking why.
And, it’s this belief that has her stuck. Stuck in her suffering.
She recognises that. And, she is grateful this awareness found her not too long ago. The tingle, the awareness, the questions; they all converged inside her at the same time. Like planets aligning for one of the universe’s greatest performances. She felt the shift, then the tingle, then the awareness. Then the questions began.
Questions unlike those already taking up space in her mind. These questions were different. More ethereal. More beautiful in their asking.
Questions such as… How can I release my suffering? What do I need to do to feel better? How can I love myself again? What do I really want for my life and myself? Please show me the way connect to myself once again.
Yet she never got an answer. She asked and she asked but the answers were not forthcoming. She didn’t understand. Why can’t I find the answers I am seeking? Another question she continually asked. Over and over, desperately.
As she lay there in her bed that Sunday morning pondering the latest voice over from above (and within) about surrendering to the now, it spoke to her again. Ask it and surrender it.
She sat upright, feeling that statement tingle through every cell of her body. That warm tingle was bringing back her senses. Livening up those parts of her numb to all but her suffering.
She replayed those words persistently. She tossed them about her, catching them in one hand and then tossing them into the other. She couldn’t quite get a hold of them for all they were worth. She observed the words as they flew up into the air, reflecting the light and illuminating their meaning.
It was only after a few minutes of doing this did she truly understand what was given to her. A message. A ray of hope. An answer.
Not the answer she was looking for but an answer none-the-less. (Why does the universe have to be so gosh darn cryptic. And, its funny how revelations come in quietly. They sneak on in with little fanfare. There is no hauntingly beautiful music in the background welcoming them in. No bells ringing from the top of a church tower to let you know their arrival is imminent. Nope, nothing. Just cryptic words in the silence of an unbothered moment).
Surrendering was not in her nature. Well, the nature she planted for herself a long time ago. She was a control freak (not that she would ever admit it because then she would have lost some control). She had to be. The world inside her was moving too fast. Spinning at such a rapid pace it made her feel sick. She wanted to slow things down but she didn’t know how. The only thing she did know how to do was to control as much as she possibly could on the outside. That, at least, took some of the nausea away.
Ask it and surrender it.
This is the answer I have been looking for. Surrender. Not just in the asking but in everything I do. Everything I want. Everything I desire to be.
She finally knew how to be. It wasn’t going to be easy but she had a starting point. Somewhere firm in which to take her first tentative steps to release her suffering.
Hopping out of bed and putting her feet to the floor she felt lighter than she has done in years. Decades.
There is more to work out with this whole surrendering thing, she thought. But then she realised that was the exact opposite of what surrendering is. She didn’t need to work anything out. She just needed to get on with her day and out of her own way. Enjoy it as best she knew how. With as little suffering as possible. Was that even doable?
As she busied herself with breakfast and her usual morning routine, doubts began to prowl about. Roaming throughout her mind like they owned the place. She began to examine those words again. An inquisition as to why she should allow herself to believe them. Another part of her being demanded to know how she was going to surrender all she’s ever known. Why would she even want to do this when it has all been working out just fine so far. We are safe. We are content with things being the way they are. No need to rock the boat now. Don’t want to feel sick again. Living in the comfort of suffering is just fine indeed.
Searching for answers these last few months, she hoarded as much information as she could in the hope of finding that one message meant just for her. (She was so desperate in her search that none of them was able to penetrate her determined mind). Many books and articles talked about the ego and its place in the mind, and how it loves to chatter away about things that are the complete opposite to what one is wanting to do. The ego talks you down, gives you a million reasons why not and uses scare tactics as a way of talking you out of doing something that will actually bring some wonderful change into your life or take you out of your comfort zone.
This is what her ego was doing to her now. Justifying all the reasons why not. Why she shouldn’t just get on with her day and surrender herself over to the wonder of what might become of it without all of the control and anxiety plaguing her.
Eating her breakfast she contemplated how else her ego has kept her “safe” all these years. Kept her from exploring what she really wanted. Kept her small and insignificant. Kept her suffering in silence.
Its not like her life has been one big boring, dull-fest, where she never ventured outside for fear of what might happen. No. She has actually had a fairly good life. With some fun and adventure. She has done plenty of things with her life that she looks back on now and is so proud of herself for doing them. Someone else must have been running the show, she thought to herself. I can see now how there have been many moments in my life when I just did it anyway.
Yet, even in those moments of fun and adventure the suffering was right there. Sitting heavy in her chest, on her shoulders. The weight dragging her from moment to moment. A comfort. Like a cuddly teddy bear with needles sticking out of its legs and arms and torso, pricking her every time she felt the warmth and comfort of her suffering.
As she continues to think this surrender thing over and considers her suffering, she realises it is so simple and complex all at the same time. She should be able to just know what she wants and surrender to the asking of it but all of her thoughts and her worries and her anxiety’s are elaborate. Difficult. Convoluted. Tortuous. They are keeping her in the suffering instead of the surrendering.
Her ego lives for it. Looks for it. Dives straight into even the smallest amount of suffering and creates a tsunami. Crashing into every nook and cranny of her suffering to drag it back to her.
Surrender to the now.
She gives herself permission to surrender. To turn down the volume on her ego and begin listening to the other voice inside of her. The voice who has spoken clearly and crucially.
She certainly hasn’t found it easy to give herself permission. She has struggled to trust herself enough to know what she wants, what she needs, what she desires. She constantly questions herself, doubts herself. Listens to that horrid voice inside her telling her she is wrong, not worthy, fucked up. Stupid.
Why do I always have to give myself permission? Why can’t I just know what I want and do it? I don’t trust myself enough. I have to question all of it. All that I want and need.
She sighs and sits in silence for a minute. Her eyes closed as she breathes, in and out. Dropping into herself. Into her own silence. She isn’t wanting to hear anything, she simply needs to go within. The quiet is beautiful. A stillness she has been longing for without quite knowing how much she actually wanted it.
This is the beginning because I now have the best answer of all. Surrender.
Getting up from the table, she moves back into her bedroom to get dressed. She is ready to begin. To start her day feeling less of her suffering.
Looking at her reflection she sees a woman with sadness in her eyes. She sees a woman with years of abuse and punishment on her body. Her suffering has taken many forms over the years, all eventually fusing together to give her an endless supply.
Her suffering led to food binges that disgust her, nights of partying with no recollection in the morning of what went on, strange men in her bed who disappeared once the gratification was over, countless hours wallowing in front of the TV hoping someone would soon rescue her from her miserable (not actually miserable) life.
I am here to rescue you, she spoke to the woman staring back at her. I am here to help you surrender. To give you some peace back in your mind and your body. Together we can end the suffering.
It starts now.
With that thought she gives herself a shy smile and walks to the front door. Beyond that door there is something unknown waiting for her. When she gets back it will be waiting for her in her home, too. It is everywhere. The unknown.
Standing in the doorway she looks up into the sky. The clouds are small and fluffy. Brilliantly white. Moving slowly and intently. They are the epitome of surrender. Floating through life knowing exactly what they are there to do whilst giving in to wherever they may go.
Bounding down the step she imagines herself as one of those clouds. Moving lightly. No heaviness about her. She is surrendering to where the day may take her. Allowing herself to listen to her Self. Letting her guide her into the day ahead. She has no plans. She is letting go of her cares (not entirely easy but she has turned down the volume, remember) and giving in to the wonder of possibilities. She has allowed the controlling part of who she is (was) to lead the way for too long.
There is a slight tension to her mind and her body as she goes left, then right, then up around the bend; but with every step that tension is falling behind her. She really is surrendering. The beauty all around her is keeping her mind occupied. She observes the artistry of nature. How every tree and flower and plant blends delightfully with one another. They, too, have surrendered to the magnificence of what they are. They don’t doubt their ability to grow and to lean and to sway.
When a gust of wind moves through them they move with it. They go in the direction of the wind so as not to snap or break. Its instinctual. No one told them how to be. They simply are.
She realises she lost her own ability to move with the wind. She has been forcing herself to bend in the wrong direction, against the wind. No wonder she has so many fractures and barely visible cracks.
From today I bend with the wind.
Looking down the path ahead of her she can see there is a long road ahead. Today is a good feeling day. Tomorrow may be different. Yet, she is sure of one thing already. She will always, always, know how to find her way back to this very good-feeling moment. Her suffering can no longer run the show. No matter how much she relished in it. There is a new feeling taking over and it feels beautiful. Calm. Empowering.