It all began last Friday. After a long night of restlessness caused by a bout of insomnia, I’d finally drifted to sleep just before dawn.
Suddenly I was awakened to the sound of our pugs barking.
As I listened, I could also hear voices. I looked at the clock and it was just after 6 am. Knowing my hubby had already left for the office and that it was earlier than I’d ever seen my neighbors outside socializing, I was confused as to the origin of the voices. I got up to investigate.
It was worse than I thought.
Roofers, right next door!
And So it Began
Within minutes, the whole crew burst into action, wildly hacking at the old shingles with the claws of their hammers to clear the way for new ones. Just like demolition crews seen on television in remodeling shows, they were racing along — after all, there’s no need for accuracy in this part of the process.
It was obvious I wasn’t going to be getting any more sleep. Between the noise level and the fact that I’m normally up by 5 am anyway, it wasn’t happening. So I tried to make the best of it.
Fighting with Reality
After getting dressed, I attempted to go through my normal routine. I tried meditating. But my meditation skills were no match for the noise. My head began to ache.
Then I settled into my desk chair. I had two writing projects on the agenda for the day. After numerous attempts at concentration, I could almost feel my blood pressure rising.
I was fighting with reality.
As I sat there, I knew I had a choice. I could continue trying to power my way through. Or I could surrender…
In that moment I knew surrender was the most self-loving action I could take.
Surrender vs. Defeat
Now I know surrender and giving up are two separate things. I’ve found the easiest way to distinguish between the two is how they feel.
To me, surrender feels peaceful but still empowering — it’s knowing there are things beyond my control and that I am choosing to accept them. It’s a softening, a slight bend to avoid breaking.
On the other hand, giving up often feels like defeat to me. It’s the feeling of abandoning hope. In my experience, it’s almost a broken feeling.
Nature models this beautifully:
Trees that can bend to the force of the storm don’t break. (Click to Tweet)
As I sat at my desk, I got quiet and asked what surrender would do.
Soon I had my answer: surrender would cook and pamper herself and make the best of this day. Just the idea of it felt good.
Within minutes I was chopping peppers and onions. Homemade chicken tortilla soup was its way. And that was only the beginning.
I got so much accomplished over the course of the day and it felt amazing.
More importantly, I was relaxed and felt good about it all. That was a far cry from the agitation and frustration of the morning. That’s the power of surrender.
- Is there anything in your life that’s left you frantically grasping — trying to hold on, when letting go might actually feel more peaceful?
- Or are there circumstances where you’ve fought against “what is” when acceptance and surrender might feel more empowering?
For example: Think about the last time you experienced a flight delay. Did you fight against it the whole time, or accept it and surrender to the situation?
Sometimes feeling at ease can be a beautiful thing.
Next time the situation seems appropriate, ask yourself the above questions. Then let your feelings guide you to your answers. See if surrendering feels right for you.
All my best!
Photo courtesy of Steve Evans.