As I mentioned in my last post, I have been practicing surrendering. Not an easy feat with an ego as strong as mine. At almost every step I am met with, “nope. Not going to do that.” “Nope. We are going to do it my way.” “Nope. Don’t you realize how irresponsible that is?” “Nope. Are you even thinking of the potential consequences?” Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. As I have read over and over again, most recently in The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer, that voice saying all of those things is just holding me back. It is creating a hard stop from allowing me to accept the gifts that life is attempting to offer me. I say, “No more.”
Sure. Great. Easy enough to say. Harder to practice. Even harder still when you are a parent or a caregiver with responsibilities to another human being. I’ve always felt frustrated by these spiritual books written by men who may not know what it is like to be the primary caretaker for a child. Or, who may not have ever had to experience the heavy load of being the sole caretaker for another human being. But, who am I to judge? Maybe they do know what that is like. Maybe they are speaking from that experience and maybe, just maybe those of us with those responsibilities have an even greater opportunity to practice surrendering on a daily basis. Once we ensure that during our practice of surrender the one we are caring for will not perish, what is the worst that could happen? A thousand scenarios go through our minds. Perhaps they will soil themselves, perhaps they will find where I hid the knives and cut themselves, perhaps they will figure out how to unlock the door and escape the safety of their confinement, perhaps they will call and call for me and I will not be there, perhaps they will choke.
The reality is that sure, any one of these things could potentially happen. But, they can happen when we are being diligent too. Each of us has our own path in life and no amount of sacrificing ourselves to another can prevent their destiny from being fulfilled. Or our own for that matter. So, why not surrender? Why not choose to be on the offense and enjoy life rather than be on the defense and afraid of every little thing that could go wrong? Things will go wrong. But, things can also go so very right. What I have come to find is that things go right far more often than they go wrong.
Remaining centered and a witness to life rather than an active participant has brought me such peace. The fearful thoughts still creep up from time to time, “what if my son falls out the window?” What surrender has taught me is to remember that he didn’t. He hasn’t. He probably won’t. But, if he does, I will be present enough to to do what needs to be done in that moment for him and for myself. And, that is enough.