I have lots of experience with surrendering. Actually, to be more truthful, I’ve had lots of experiences not surrendering and using my will-power to bully on through, beyond where stopping, or at least slowing down would’ve been a better option. Using my will-power to push past where I’m meant to go, is very tiring and futile. It’s also painful.
Surrendering is a much better plan. The trick is doing it.
Earlier this year I was suffering with terrible back and knee pain. I was working in a school kitchen serving lunch to little kids which involved a lot of bending forward and moving in ways my back didn’t like. I really enjoyed my job but it got to the point where I was in constant pain. I received lots of medical care, but at the time it wasn’t helping. For some reason my body wanted me to stop.
My mind wasn’t helping, taunting me with pictures of when I was younger and stronger. Then the judgments came:
You can do this, what’s wrong with you? How come you can’t handle a simple job like this? What’s the matter? Are you getting old?
This kind of crap kept me in my job way longer than necessary. My ego was damaged and fighting back.
An MRI indicated that I had a bulging disc. I had lots of fear arise, the biggest one being: Will I ever be able to walk without pain?
I became very restricted in my activities. I was relegated to lying down, and at some points crawling. Sitting wasn’t even a good idea. I had lost my identity, and no longer recognized myself. Who am I if I can’t express myself physically anymore?
Do you think I would have quit my job by now? I stubbornly carried on.
It was a very strange time indeed. Lots of pain and not much hope. The only thing left for me to do, was surrender. I chose to accept the fact that I may always be in constant pain and the person I was before may never again exist. It wasn’t easy and I had lots of feelings arise, similar to the cycle of grief:
Because of this experience, my body became the single most important thing in my life.
I no longer cared about my mind’s devious chatter, for it usually had me believing I could muster through anything – dragging my body along with it. This time however, my body was staking it’s claim – I wasn’t going anywhere. I was stopped.
Acceptance was the only way forward. I put my body in charge, allowing its wisdom to show me the way. I was now listening to my body – it occurred to me that this wasn’t something that came natural. Most of the time I’ve spent in my head.
So I surrendered. I listened. I quit my job. I didn’t push past the pain – I stopped.
I found a different chiropractor. I remained loyal to my body and followed it’s lead. As a result, I walk now without pain. I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude to my body for stopping me and showing me a different way of being. I learned to be gentle and kind to myself, no longer needing to push through things.
The human body holds a tremendous amount of knowledge. It can literally show us the way. It also helps us heal things we weren’t even aware of. Take some time to be with your body and ask it what it wants, making sure to acknowledge it by listening and acting upon the guidance. It’s ok to stop and be kind to you!
Being faced with loss gave me a different perspective for which I’m grateful! I have a job now I really like and works well for my body. Ultimately, the mind and the body each have wisdom – using them in harmony with each other is a wonderful thing.