I have this clear memory of my father singing “Never Surrender” in the car one day. I remember him looking at me in the passenger’s seat saying “listen to the words…never surrender”. There was something about the way he said it to me…even as a child I somehow knew I was supposed to hang on to that little nugget. We have so much thrown at us when we are growing up-it’s so amazing to see what sticks and what doesn’t. I guess maybe one of the complications of this phenomenon though, is that we catch these blips of knowledge…but we are interpreting it through a child’s perception. That day I remember thinking…”I will never give up. Ever.”
And I didn’t. Ever. But in the midst of “never, ever giving up”, my grip became firmer in fear and instability. I morphed “never surrender” into “never give up”. Two very different things. Especially when you don’t allow any space in your mind to actually digest which of the two are necessary in any given moment. Or are either necessary at all?
Then, there’s the “letting go”. Out of interest, I asked my husband what he thought the difference between the two were-surrender versus letting go. Quite quickly he said “surrender is when you HAVE to let something go-no choice“. “Letting go is when you WANT to let something go-your choice” (as a side note, his blog entitled “Coles Notes on Amanda’s Thoughts” will be live by tomorrow).
Active versus passive. Fighting versus releasing. Expending energy versus saving energy. Moment of clarity when you realize that you have been making like the provincial government and wasting A LOT of resources on things you can’t control.
One of the exercises that I was asked to do when I was away at my meditation retreat was to make a list of things I want. At the beginning of meditation, we ask ourselves three questions:
-who am I?
-what do I want?
-how can I help/serve/heal?
Then, we LET THOSE QUESTIONS GO! We let the universe handle the details-or, we are supposed to. It’s really hard for the control freaks among us to do this. For some reason, we feel that we can certainly outwit the universe and plan the details ourselves. I struggle here…but I am learning to embrace the struggle too. It’s something I (obviously) have to work through. Just like the list of things I WANT.
It took me no time at all to make this list-it poured out of me like a dam bursting. In making it, I didn’t think about the logistics of anything-it’s just a list of what I WANT:
- connection to others
- challenging thoughts
- beautiful/thoughtful images
These are in no order-just the order in which they surged up and onto the paper. After we had all completed our list, we were encouraged to “let go…let go and let God”. You can insert any word into that sentence for God that means something to you. Really, it just means to release it and let the universe handle the details. How freeing is that? And basically goes against anything we have ever been taught to be “in charge” of our destiny. Really, we have very little say in our destiny other than our intention.
And I thought back to that moment in the front seat of the powder blue LeBaron, and I realized how little Amanda had clamped hard onto that “never surrender”-so hard that it pinched off most of the free-flowing energy. Little Amanda took that advice so literally, but missed the essence. Dad was really trying to help me understand not to live my life passively…as a character who has things “happen to them”.
I encourage you reading this to make your own list-it takes minutes (the less thinking, the better). And then, the best part-do nothing. The list, after all, came from your most personal, deepest desire. The universe knows how to manifest it if you are willing to be open.
Let it go.
Idina for the win.
The sky doesn’t “try” to look like this. It just does. How awesome!