Surrender is not a word that I like to use. It conjures up thoughts of giving in, someone else taking control, not winning. I am a strong person and I used to believe that to surrender was a sign of weakness and that was the last thing that I want to be seen as – weak.
Late last year, I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome and fortunately I was treated early and was back on my feet within one month. I began to return to my daily life even though I was told that it might take one full year to recover my strength and stamina. I struggled with fatigue but wanted to be the person that I was pre-Guillain-Barré. I was impatient. I was frustrated. I had always been strong, so why not now? And I kept pushing and was puzzled why it was taking me so long to recover fully.
As the brilliant author and speaker Byron Katie has said, “I am a lover of reality. When I argue with What Is, I lose, but only 100% of the time.”
Finally, the light bulb went on. I was fighting with my reality. And I remembered what it means to surrender. To surrender to my reality.
Surrender means acceptance.
Acceptance of my current situation. Acceptance that I had a serious illness and that it was going to take a while for me to return to me. Acceptance was not about weakness at all. It was a show of strength, a show of wisdom. As a life coach, I knew this concept well but I definitely needed to be reminded of its value.
When I work with clients going through divorce, many times they battle it out with their reality.
Some do not want to believe that the divorce is happening. Some don’t want to believe that their spouse no longer loves them. Others want to believe that their ex can change and that they somehow can make them change. My clients long for their situation to be different. They want their old life back or the fantasy of a happy marriage that they had in the past.
Don’t fight with reality.
Surrender to it.
All of the energy that is used to fight your reality can be used for building an amazing life, post-divorce. With surrender comes a great big sigh, clarity and strength. No longer do you have to focus on trying to make your reality something that it is not, instead you could have so much more energy on creating an incredible future. And so much more energy on enjoying the present.
This is where I am now. I will honor it. Instead of battling it out each day with my reality, now I noticed the daily improvements in strength that I have. I appreciate my incredible, resilient body. Daily I honor my body by working at making it stronger through healthy foods and movement. If I become impatient with myself and my recovery time, I exhale the resistance and impatience that I have with my current situation and I inhale the beautiful images of an fabulous future that awaits me. Surrendering means not fighting with my reality. Accepting where I am in life at this very moment. Battling with reality just puts me into a place where I can never win. What I end up with is frustration and exhaustion.
What about you? What reality are your currently arguing with? Can you accept your reality, really accept it, make peace with it, and then move forward? Not trying to change it or deny it. Accept it and make a plan for your future. A future that includes the knowledge that you are right where you need to be at this very moment.
Maureen Doyle, MAT
The Estuary, Inc.