I’m reading Michael Singer’s new book called The Surrender Experiment. In short, he decided to spend a period of time (which ended up being his entire life) COMPLETELY surrendering to whatever life handed him. Instead of protesting, attempting to change things, or improve things, he just said, “Ok. Yes. This is what is happening.” Even the day he came home to find a person building a house on his land. He said, “Ok. Yes. This is what is happening.” (Good thing, too, because the person who moved in ended up being his wife.)
It’s kind of akin to Jim Carrey’s movie “Yes Man”, wherein he had to say yes to everything for an entire year or something like that.
You know that stuff that happens so perfectly, so coincidentally when you aren’t even expecting it? You get a bill for $500 and before you can panic, a $500 check winds up in your mailbox for some old class-action lawsuit or something. You have to be in downtown by noon and your car breaks down at the same time they call to tell you the entire meeting has been rescheduled to your side of town the following week. You stop trying to meet a boyfriend and Mr. Right walks straight into your house to fix your washing machine. It’s those times that you aren’t fighting for something, you aren’t asking for anything, you aren’t working on anything…you’re just living; surrendered to what’s going on because your sweet little brain doesn’t really have an opinion about things at that particular time.
I want to stop listening to the opinions, likes, and dislikes of my brain and just try being surrendered for a while.
Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but it’s tough. Little things like this:
I saw a carpet in Target that I really wanted. It was $150. I knew I couldn’t afford it but I felt SO drawn to it, so positive this was the rug I needed that I bought it without too much thought. I didn’t pray for the money or do affirmations. I surrendered to the feeling that I HAD to buy this damn rug.
I tried selling the old rug that it was replacing but it wouldn’t sell. I posted it to craigslist and updated it and added new pictures. Nothing. So again, I surrendered. No praying, no nothing, just…Ok. That’s how it is.
The next day I got a small writing gig for $150.
The day after that, the rug sold for $100. My family was supposed to go out to dinner that night and I knew we were kinda waiting on this week’s payday to have a meal out. When the folks who bought my rug left, Bear looked at me and smiled. “Dinner money. Thanks, old rug.”
My point is that surrender isn’t this long, drawn out, meditative process. It just means saying, “Well, Ok. That’s how it is.” Our egos tell us that this is NOT safe. When the insurance company refuses to pay for something, WE FIGHT ABOUT IT. We highlight documents and contact lawyers and ask for letterhead. But have you ever wondered if just surrendering to what has happened might not only bring you peace but ALSO, everything will work itself out because it always does? Seriously. It always works out. Whether you fight and bitch and torch the building, or whether you accept what is happening and move forward with a full surrender that it will be fine.
I’m not good at it. Because today I wanted to burn a building down.
But I didn’t! And eventually I realized that I was back in that pattern of fighting to get what I needed. I didn’t realize it until a woman from the office I was fighting with called me and casually said that it had all already been taken care of and they only needed the document I would be providing them tomorrow. Had I just surrendered, I would have gotten that call while sipping an afternoon coffee and getting work done instead of driving home a sweaty, angry, flustered mess.
I don’t think it would be human of me to ask you to eliminate ALL of your reactions to the world and what it offers you. I do think we can actively surrender more often than we think we can and that, inevitably when we do, the outcome is often the same or better.
Repeat after me: Well. Ok. That’s how it is.
No matter the INJUSTICE, no matter the problem, no matter how COMPLETELY inappropriate it seems, surrender. Just try it for a day. See what happens.