Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Thursday, December 8, 2011

From Suffering to Surrender

I heard my own words and when the tears came, I realized I was causing my own suffering.  The words were, “I wish I were going with you.”
I wish.  
I wish for so many things.  
Ram Dass said “suffering is the resistance to what is.”
I think he is right.
Because every moment I find myself truly suffering (and believe me, I have “danced” with the best of them), I see that I am not accepting the reality of what is happening in my world in the moment.  And also because I am attached to wanting that reality to be the way I wish it could be.  
Moments ago, I had to just break down and cry.  I cried out to god.  I cried out to the new angels in my life who have been sending me prayers and I actually worked every muscle I could to try to listen for them and hear their prayers.  
I cried out for some surrender.  Because I had none.  
I was suffering.  And so I ended up on the floor and I cried and cried until exhaustion.  But it was hard because I’m not in my home.  I was trying to be quiet (which is not very easy for me- as Madge can attest), and surrender wasn’t coming.  You can’t force surrender.  Surrender only comes when you let go.  When you STOP exerting.  And the pain in my body is fighting hard to let me know that it doesn’t wish to do that.  
I have WISHES.  I do.  “I wish I were going with you.”  
I wish for so many things.
All I need to do is say that and next thing I know is I hear myself whisper, “please, be kind and pass me the tissues.”
Suffering is the resistance to what is.
When I was twenty-two years of age, my father was dying of terminal cancer, and simultaneously, I was working in hospice care.  I was reminded of my father’s illness today and his temperament.  It was like what Dylan Thomas was writing about in one of his most renowned poems:  
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
My father did not raise me.  But I surely grew up with this temperament and embodied it every day.  I still embody it.  In fact, it caused a misunderstanding with a loved one last night.  Because when my survival instinct kicks in, I fight to the death before I am willing to surrender.  But wouldn’t it make sense that what I really NEED to do is to surrender right now?  And rest.  So I can do some healing.
Perhaps.  But I’m not accustomed to it. 
I’m accustomed to being in survival mode.  
And the thing about surrender is, it only happens RIGHT NOW.  Right?  I mean, I could say, “okay, I’ll try to surrender tomorrow.”  But then I would have to have a good laugh at myself.  
Last night as I was trying to go to sleep, I found myself thinking about the fact that I need to change my WILL again.  And I wondered if I would be able to fall off to sleep.  
I am staying in a beautiful home for the next two weeks while my home is being dismantled and I’m finding it very hard to surrender to all of the changes which are presently operating in my life.  What I realized last night was that what I “wished for” was to stay in a hotel, by myself, and to be left alone.  
What I realized last night was that the universe is giving me precisely what I need because had I been in a hotel, I would have the television on, whether I would watch it or not, and I would be pulled out of my experience and I would be further and further from the possibility of surrendering to it.  
I am in a home where I am forced to go inward and on top of that, I am being reminded, deeply, of my childhood.  I would much prefer to be in a hotel, with the TV on, tuning out all of these feelings.  But I am wise enough to know that as much as I may “wish” to resist this notion, the universe has given me precisely what I asked for.  Which is why I ended up on the floor crying until exhaustion.  Not because I wanted to, but because I need to get to the other side of this.  
I ran into an esteemed Yoga colleague just a few days before my second surgery and his words to me were a blessing.  “Jill,” he said, “it’s going to be hard.  And it’s going to suck.  And it’s going to take a long time.  But you’re going to get through it.”  
His words meant so much to me because he spoke a truth which I felt, and he didn’t gloss over the truth with “oh, you’ll be back on the mat in no time.”  And when he spoke those words, I could surrender.  Because it was the truth.  
I think that’s what I’m learning.  Every time I breathe into the truth, no matter how hard, no matter how ugly, no matter how uninvited, I can surrender a little more.  
Maybe that’s what I’m here to do.
Maybe that’s all there is to do now.
Stop resisting what is.  
Say hello to the ghosts of the past.  Love them each time they enter the room.  Now.  Each new now.  
Stop thinking about what there is to be done.  Because I’m already doing it.
Just breathe into the truth, and the rest will take care of itself.

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