by P. Braithwaite
[Happy Easter, ya’ll. Although I don’t identify as Christian anymore, I’m committed to taking my spiritual lessons where I find them. I have lots of reverence for Jesus and the spiritual lessons he imparts.]
So, I’ve REALLY been struggling with the concept of surrender. I know the dictionary definition (verb. yield – give in – submit – give up), but I’m not sure what surrender is supposed to look like. The whole idea seems opposite of how I like to live (by controlling, managing, spinning, and intellectualizing).
When I imagine surrender, I think of someone just standing there: full of inner-peace, trusting in the universe. I see a naked superhuman hippie playing her guitar in the middle of a war. I think of ignorance and a lack of productivity. I know it’s wrong, but surrender seems like laziness, weakness and an acceptance of failure.That’s just not my style.
(I’m from NY…we like to think we get things done).
Anyway, I’d been struggling with this for weeks when, during Mastin Kipp’s Love Uni-versity seminar (which is awesome, FYI) he said, “No one surrenders completely. Even Jesus, on the cross, yelled out ‘why have you forsaken me.’”
With that tidbit in mind, suddenly surrender makes more sense. To surrender doesn’t require a superhuman sense of peace; it doesn’t mean that you are 150% A-OK w/ everything that’s happening; it doesn’t require a Zen mind, or a heart devoid of anger. You can be pissed off; you can feel alone. You can be scared, insecure, and ambivalent in a moment of surrender. You can doubt your survival and you can even be angry at God, because surrender isn’t about being anything other than human. Surrender only requires that you admit: “I’m stuck. I have nowhere to go from here. I can’t get out of this on my own.”
Surrender is more about being honest than about “giving up.”
We (or at least I) resist surrendering because no one wants to be a sitting duck. This makes sense: sitting ducks get shot. The truth is, though, that life is one big firing squad. Whether we shake, move, or sit still… we’re all just “passing thru.” Each of us little duckies, one day, bites the dust. So if Easter can remind us of anything, it’s that nothing lasts forever; therefore, nothing can really hurt us in any lasting way. There’s nothing that we really have to “do.” Jesus was nailed to a cross and (according to my religion teachers), he rose again. Why would our path be any different? His story reminds us that pain, anguish, and isolation are passing illusions and transformation/resurrection/change is the only thing that is real. At the risk of repeating myself: Nothing hurts forever…
That much I know for sure.
So now I turn to you, my often-silent friends: What would you do differently if you knew you couldn’t be hurt? How would you surrender? What is keeping you from transforming?
Happy Transformation Day, folks. (Save me a jelly bean or two.)