Yet, if surrender is the excuse for accepting failure – I’d suggest in just ONE example of disagreement, millions of successful 12 step members would be back on the streets.
And surely, that is the fear, is it not? Surrendering is accepting defeat. To give up! “Lay down your weapons, you loser. You’re finished. Just walk away with your tail tucked between your legs like the sorry sap you are.”
To a western ideal of winning at all costs, succeeding with self determination and sheer will, surrender seems like a dirty word. Certainly nothing to teach your children – what nonsense would we be instilling into their psyche? “When the tough gets going….it’s time to give up?!”
We’re a crusty bunch – us Americans. We’re tough, full of pride – there’s no room for weakness or whiney asses. Not willing to feel “victim” to anything. We are in control! We have free will and choices abound now in history, more than ever! How dare might one suggest that we are not in full control of our environment and our involvement in it.
Unfortunately it’s just not always black/white. Our humanity – humanness enters. We’re always back there behind the curtain, running the show like the Great Oz. “Just do it” is a failing concept. Our nation gets fatter, use of antidepressants, and anxiety medications increase, dependence on mood altering chemicals is at an all time high, and we’ve become physically more ill.
Our shadow self remains. As much as we want to turn away; pretend it’s not there, “tug your bootstraps up and just try harder”…it’s not working.
“What we resist….persists.”
It’s an oxymoron to suggest that surrendering to your shadow characteristics can possibly help. How in the world can accepting a too heavy frame, an incessant need for attention, a persistent critical voice inside that whispers sometimes not too quietly, ‘Not enough’, be HELPFUL?
Because somewhere in there, is also a voice that says, “You are complete and perfect JUST the way you are in this moment. Even with the rolls, whines and insecurity. You are the Beloved.”
Part of Marie Howe’s poem, “Annunciation” reads,
And so it is myself I want to turn in that directionnot as towards a place, but it was a tiltingwithin myself, as one turns a mirror to flash the light to whereit isn’t—I was blinded like that—and swamin what shone at me..”
“only able to endure it by being no one and sospecifically myself I thought I’d diefrom being loved like that.”