It is a complex time for this girl, and yet, I’m able to concede that in our world, we are all going through complexities. It is of small usefulness to compare and contrast my struggles to those of another, because by that measure, my struggles do not carry any significance. There is always a bigger, more grave struggle.
And I can tell you I’ve already tried that life, the one where I discredit my own suffering in order to make room for all the other suffering. While it does not help to stew in our woes, it equally places us at a disadvantage to discredit all personal suffering. For me, anyway, it tends to slide off the roof one day, knocking me silly in the process. I hear that’s how it goes for others, too.
On the other side of silly, and with some levity and balance regained, I am in a long season of transition. I have no formal role, aside from living in my family, my community, and my mundane day to day. Somehow, circumstance continues to accumulate. I’m holding still, and small, while completing what I like to call “the diligences,” or “the everyday sacred,” the humble work of the householder. I adore it, and some days I forget to adore it.
Somehow, again, in this bit of my life, I am being called to surrender. Called by whom, you may ask? I’ll leave that open to interpretation, as we are all called by different agents. Bit by bit, more and more, I am being called to surrender, and it’s freeing, and it hurts. Pain is weakness leaving the body, yes?
People react to the word, “weakness.” We start to reframe and assuage the nuance off of that word. But, on this side of silly, I am fully capable of accepting that I have moments wherein I feel sensations of “weakness.” I embrace them, in fact, because they help me feel more fully alive, more in touch with my humility, and more free of my ego. They let me know where I have work yet to do, and kindness yet to sow–for myself. I can’t very well be an excellent neighbor, if I can’t stop judging my softest self, right?
And this is where it becomes complex–I am being called to surrender, but I am also being called to fight, as we all are, for the protection of civil liberties and our humblest of neighbors. This, is dissonance, my friends. This is tumultuous, and can not be allowed to shove us into defeat.
The last many days, our home has been under construction. My birds have been unhappy. The farm, where my rooster friend is welcome, is snowed in. He is trapped in small quarters, and the snow keeps falling and falling. It is trapping the animals, the elderly, the underprepared and unprotected, the homeless, the ill, and the frail. My life has been jostled, by other things too big to name, too private, too new. This is what the call to surrender feels like–you can’t fix it, Tanya. You can’t control it, Tanya. You can’t change it, Tanya.
Surrender, in the face of all this, is stopping the useless struggle. It is setting down the desire for a different reality. It is the dropping of illusion.
And it is the act of, therefore, clearing space. When we drop useless struggle, and illusion, we are clearing space.
Surrender is not falling into defeat or ambivalence.
Surrender is not acceptance, for acceptance is a taking in of circumstances, as is; surrender is a releasing, as is.
In my experience, To Surrender, is to give way. Send away. Make way. Clear the decks. In order that I may hear. With new stillness and clarity. I surrender so that I may maneuver more lightly.
In the end, I am a fighter, and a “doer.” I am not made for surrender. That is why, when I’ve hear the call for surrender in the past, I’ve simply shut it out and pushed on, or I’ve shut down. Now, when I hear it, I cry. When I am being asked to surrender, I cry, because lately, that which has presented itself after surrender, has not been easy. I cry, because I am afraid, in a moment of sweet weakness. Then, it’s past, and I wait, listening. It’s always like that for me; I don’t know how it is for others.
And I can tell you it’s harder to keep doing the diligences, humbly, and waiting, whilst surrendering. It’s harder because of that feeling of momentary sacrifice. Yes, I understand now that it’s only momentary. Surrender is momentary; shutdown is longer, for me. Shutdown is my defeat.
So here, now. Making space. Surrendering, trusting. Listening. Yesterday, I realized. During my diligences, I’m waiting for my assignment, my mission. Yes, surrender. But, “For what?” Sometimes there is no answer. Yesterday, there was an answer. What is my mission? (If one does not have a mission, one does not have a fight, one has confusion.)
And just like that: my mission, as clear as a bell, delivered yesterday during my diligences. One word. Focus here. Nonviolence.
I cried. I am fiery, prone to reactivity–a dragon. I hide it well. My hardest work is suppressing this robust part of my nature. It is my nemesis. Arch-enemy. Whatever. I have work to do.
And what about tools? Suppression is not going to work here.
But, Temperance–softer than suppression, a reconciling?
More Diligence. Self care. Yoga. Clarity. Continuing the work of surrender.
What is your mission in the fight? What clues are hidden in your own nature?