When you face, with honesty, the ‘truth’ about your condition, you will be able to let go of the obstructions and limitations to your growth. Surrendering only happens after the naming and owning ceremonies have taken place. You will by now have understood that sustainable transformation becomes possible once you’re honest about what needs to change and you have stopped making excuses for why you act and behave in certain ways. To surrender is easy in principle and yet in practice it can be a huge challenge. It’s like a bird holding onto a branch really tightly, flapping its wings with all the energy it can muster and yet asking the question, ‘why can’t I fly?’ Of course the answer is the bird cannot fly because it refuses to let go of the branch.
The branch represents all those things that we hold onto out of fear. Fear that the world would not like or love us were we to own up to our ‘stuff’. Fear we will be rejected and abandoned. Fear we won’t be good enough and will be found wanting. Because of our fear, which is entwined with shame, we hold onto the branch as if our lives depend on it, flapping our wings desperately because we ache to be free. The wings represent honesty and courage. Without these two qualities we have little chance of being free. Honesty and courage will lead you towards authenticity (your true nature) which disables the ‘acquired selves’ (what you’ve become) and making it possible for them to fall away.
So, in order to appreciate the beautiful feeling which surrender evokes within the spirit, simply let go of the branch. Naming and owning begin the transformational process and the honesty and courage that both these activities require make it possible to experience the beauty and power of surrender. Surrender is not an intellectual journey, it is a journey of the heart, which is why we invite you to plunge into the challenging and creative process of dark room work (see handouts Dark Room Work 1 & 2). This is a process which exposes you to your feelings of shame, regret and fear and as a result your emotional/psychological blockages are removed.
To surrender ‘it’ is to truly feel your feelings and dark room work exposes one to this, followed by the joy of letting go of the pain and hurt of the past. The journey of forgiveness and gratitude can then begin in earnest. Facing what holds you hostage with sincerity and compassion enables you to let go and fly freely! Make time to undergo the journey of forgiveness (see handouts Forgiveness and Gratitude 1 & 2). Even at a sprint this is an activity which will take some 2 –3 months. Forgiveness deals with any residual emotional rubbish that remains and makes room for a better today and tomorrow.
Forgiveness is like the air beneath your wings. It will ease your transition and maintain your flight. The more you forgive yourself the more you will have the capacity to forgive others. In time forgiveness then becomes a way of being, a way of life. Gratitude, its divine companion, will equally keep you soaring like a bird in the sky, flying way above all the things that bring you down. Gratitude is not something to start today with a view to stopping at some time in the future. Gratitude is a lifelong appreciation of things that you take for granted, especially the gift of your own life. The more things you find to be appreciative of, the more your heart will sing.
To surrender is to have found your beauty and to promise never to let it go. This is achieved by remaining true to yourself, your beliefs and principles. It’s based on a life of forgiving yourself for your mistakes and affording others that compassion too. Surrender is to live within the ‘generosity of gratitude’ and by doing this you will no longer be that bird flapping your wings, yet unable through fear to let go of the branch.