This image was in my feed on Facebook a few days back:
I’ve been seeing a lot of messages lately about choices, as well as messages conveying that good and worthwhile things require a fight, a struggle, much striving and difficulty. Our culture collectively values difficulty (you could throw a rock and hit 10 internet pictures with savvy sayings about how a person needs to strive/fight/work/etc. for fill-in-the-blank-with-your-own-awesome-hard-won-thing) and thus we humans often forget that we can choose something other than the “good fight.”
I’ve been doing spirit animal work with Fox, and Fox has been telling me yes, the humans love to believe in a noble struggle…but transformation can be easy…one just has to choose to let go and let the Flow decide the course, the direction, the meaning, the life. Fox has been telling me it is time to embrace this lesson:
Finding happiness/meaning/worth/your own awesome thing just requires transformation. Transformation is surrender in disguise, and the secret to the whole shebang is this: surrender is easy, and powerful.
And I suppose that is where all this talk of ease and difficulty gets tricky, because surrender can feel mighty difficult when it has been done partially. It can be damn maddening to take one’s hand off the wheel somewhat, to continue to backseat drive while attempting to turn your will over to the Gods. Partial surrender feels like a lot of hard work, and I know this because I am a top-notch, state-of-the-art Partial Surrender Junky (or PSJ). You need a nose on a grindstone? Call me. You want someone who sweats blood for their beliefs? I’m right here. Wait wait, Universe – you missed our turn!
Being a PSJ has also made me a burnout queen. I have found that, when I’m truly pushing myself to the limit, when I’m fully believing the myth that I make it all happen, that I am the Captain and the Crew of the Ship of Everything…well, I can’t sustain that output. I can’t keep the mojo coming; the fires go out. I am in bed with the sniffles during vacation, emotionally checked out at the big party,or unfortunately ill at the big and well-planned workshop that I worked so hard to create. I am often unable to be present and am diminished in the big, tasty moments, all because I subscribe to the myth that Hard = Worthwhile.
In Ouspensky’s In Search of The Miraculous, Mystic Gurdjieff likened this phenomenon to the discomfort of sitting between two stools:
“You already know by this time,” he said, “that nothing terrible is demanded of you. But there is no sense in sitting between two stools. Whoever does not want to wake up, at any rate let him sleep well.”
I think it is this very discomfort, brought on by partial surrender, that has people believing that happiness/spiritual work/personal growth/life in general etc. must require hard work, akin to swimming upstream carrying a hefty weight. It has been my experience that complete surrender is letting the river take you, floating instead of fighting the current. Let go or be dragged, cautions the Zen proverb.
I am reminded of the major arcana card The Tower, and it’s message of surrender and revelation.
Maybe surrender is simply the courage to not rebuild the same old structures, the courage to allow the space for novel approaches to appear in their own time. Revelation cannot be forced, but we can make room for it in our lives.
As I catch myself wondering if I will be able to shift my lifelong tendency of worshipping difficulty…when I want to change this habit- I am instead choosing to pray.
Make me an instrument of Your peace.
I trust Your Will.
All Shall Be Well.
All Is Well Already.
Here’s to floating downstream.