By Rebecca Compton
Living can sometimes seem such a struggle: to survive, to succeed, to evolve, to create. Look at the words we use: “fighting the good fight” or “battling illness” or “struggling against oppression”. This can be exhausting — and too often, we don’t seem to make much progress. Lately, I’ve begun to suspect this way of “warrior” thinking may not always be in our best interest.
Perhaps less is more.
Perhaps “being” is more effective than “doing.”
Perhaps surrender can actually move us forward. And there is the paradox.
Sometimes, in the course of our lives, we go through times when we find ourselves hitting a “productivity” wall; we may lose our focus, our ability to follow ideas or projects through to some pre-defined conclusion. What do we do? How do we handle these times in our lives when we just cannot seem to get anything done?
In our modern, technology-infused, productivity-focused world, we are often consumed with deadlines, objectives, or sheer “busy—ness”. And sometimes that just doesn’t work for us. We may find ourselves prevented from moving forward in our lives — in the way that once worked for us.
What if the Universe is trying to tell us something important about the way we’re living our lives?
What if we’re just trying too hard?
What if we’ve been sending our energy in the wrong direction?
What if we could relax into the discomfort of whatever block is showing up for us?
What would happen if we just surrender to the current struggle?
This revelation has been very personal for me (I suppose most revelations are personal). I have been struggling (unsuccessfully) with writing about a particular topic: the distractions in our lives. The more I tried to make the topic work, the more frustrated I became. What I’ve realized, just today, was that my insistence on trying to write about one specific topic was preventing me from seeing any other possibilities. I was totally stuck and I couldn’t get much of anything else done. So, I have made the choice to stop fighting with an idea whose time was simply not now. And, of course, once I gave myself permission to just let go of my self-limiting initial idea, another possibility presented itself. Surrender was the topic all along — I just wouldn’t allow myself to know that.
There was no possibility of progress until I fully embodied the idea of surrender. I acknowledged, accepted, relaxed into and was honestly thankful for this moment. And, it was in the moment, I could feel my body and mind release the tension of what I wanted to happen instead of what needed to happen. I was unable to perceive the better path because I was so invested in what my mind wanted (as opposed to what my heart knew).
Please understand that in my belief system, surrender is not the same thing as resignation. Resignation would have meant me giving up any notion that I could write at all. Surrender allowed me to release an idea that was not working for me — and that made room for another idea to appear. Resignation would have meant stopping. Surrender was a re-direction. Resignation comes from outside of ourselves; surrender comes from our core selves.
When we are inevitably confronted by blockages in our lives, what do we do? Maybe we need do nothing at all. Perhaps we can enjoy the delicious irony that surrender may, in fact, bring illumination and evolution.
Rebecca Compton recently retired from a much loved career as a school librarian. She now enjoys abundant time to think, create, relax, drink coffee, and enjoy sunrises. She is entranced by the unfolding of this next phase of her life.