16 Nov SURRENDER – LETTING THINGS FALL APART
There is an idea in our American culture that we need to have the best of everything in order to feel like we are living our best lives. You need to have the best grades to get into the best schools to get the best jobs and earn the best income to attract the best spouses and buy the best homes etc. However, what we have lost sight of is having the best isn’t necessarily what we are here to do. What happens when that “best” job turns out to be mentally and emotionally exhausting and we hate our life because of it? What happens when that “best” house turns out to be a financial albatross around our necks? Or our kids are not picked to be in the “best” schools? Or are spouse falls in love with someone “better”? What then? Will everything come crashing down around us?
That is the funny little game that life plays with us. Everything we think is so important and that we spend our lives building towards can be pulled out from underneath us in the blink of an eye. We think if we do everything “right” then only the “right” stuff will happen to us. If we keep control over every aspect of our lives then we insulate ourselves from the pain of loss. But that’s not what life is about, and eventually we all experience our “life lessons” i.e. heartbreak, suffering and failure. So what does one do when our carefully crafted life spins out of control? In short there are a few ways you can react. You can hold on tightly and expend all of your energy to control things. Or you can surrender your control and let them fall apart.
The case for letting things fall apart
In the Tarot, there is a card called the Tower. The imagery in this card (in most Tarot decks) shows a tall structure (such as a tower), typically surrounded by storm clouds, lightening strikes and darkness. There may even be human figures falling from its highest windows into an angry sea below. When this card appears in a Tarot spread, people will look at it in horror. “What is that?!” they exclaim. “That can’t possibly be good!” Well yes and no. The Tower does signify that everything is indeed falling apart. The carefully constructed “tower” that you erected in your life has not been built on a sturdy foundation and now that foundation is crumbling and your tower is falling down. However, every card in the Tarot has a dual meaning and the Tower’s dual meaning is simply this: Let it fall apart so that something better can be built in its place.
As horrifying and scary as it sounds, the Tower and the concept of surrender are teaching us the same exact thing. Relinquish control. Let go and let God. Pain and grief may be present for a bit, but at the end you will be a stronger and wiser person for it. It’s called spiritual growth and it’s leading you to a path of greater peace and happiness, you just have to let it. So instead of sipping your tea laced with brandy and nervously pacing your living room floor, it may be best to stop and sit down. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and just feel. Watch the feelings of stress and anxiety as they move up and down. Watch the wave as it crashes. Synch your breathing to it. Try to feel the fear – what is it saying to you? What are your really worried about? What will happen if you don’t get what you want?
Ask “what if” for every answer you receive- for example:
Q: What if I don’t get that job I want?
A: I’ll have to find a new job and I’ll feel like a failure.
Q: What will happen if you feel like a failure?
A: I’ll lose respect.
Q: What will happen if you lose respect?
A: I’ll be disregarded.
Q: What will happen if you are disregarded?
A: I’ll fail at my career
Q: What will happen if you fail at your career?
A: I’ll be lost
Q: What will happen if you are lost?
A: I’m not sure…
This exercise will help dial down to the core issue for each person. In the example above the final answer is uncertainty, which is what is driving the person’s anxiety. So in this situation the key is to figure out how to become comfortable with uncertainty, or to put it another way, how do we let go of the outcome we want and be ok with what actually happens? How do we become ok with uncertainty?
Imagine a white light descending down from the sky into the top of your head, through the mid-line of your body (otherwise known as the 7 main chakras) and down into your feet. See this light shoot through your feet and into the ground below you, burrowing all the way to the center of the earth’s core. See this light tether around the core of the earth and shoot back up into your feet – bringing with it the feelings of joy, happiness, support and abundance. Let those positive feelings flutter up your legs, hips, torso, neck, shoulders and head until it expands into a ball of energy all around you. See yourself floating now above the problem. Keep your happiness expanded and remember to breath. Then just ask – what is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now? Wait for an answer. You may hear it, feel it, see it, know it, etc. but keep asking and it will come. You will know it when it shows up because it will not have fear or anxiety attached to it. Instead it will be subtle, loving and honest. Trust in the answer and have faith you are being led to the best path for you.
As you continue to practice the exercises above you will be able to better combat the anxiety and fear that accompany a loss of control. You may still get tossed around a bit by emotional anguish, but over time that too will dissipate. Just trust in the process and remember to let go…you are being led exactly where you are meant to be.