Welcome to the Abyss. Your shadow. The underside. This is not a territory you wanted to visit, and yet here you are. So what do you do when your Shit with a capital S blindsides you? And you've still got bills to pay... kids to care for... or a job you can't screw up?
Every time I tell someone that the answer to suffering is to surrender, I get either a dismissive sigh or a slow roll of panic that dawns across their face. No one wants to go into the pain. But ask yourself: How can you let go of something you don't think you even have a right to feel? What you resist does not get released. It simply gets buried, until eventually you are forced to constrict your life force, your field of vision, and your possibilities in order to keep these parts of you submerged.
Then come the seepless nights or unnameable anxieties that wake you up at 3am. Haunting whispers that challenge you: "Why am I not over this yet?" "How can this still be coming up for me?" "Why am I still shut down?" "What's wrong with me?"
Those night terrors are worse for you if you're awakening, opening up, and stepping into your purpose and power. Why? Because your breakthrough isn't just about you anymore. When you heal, shift and evolve - your energy raises the frequency for all and your breakthrough becomes our breakthrough. So here's the secret...
When I ask you to surrender, I'm not asking you to surrender to the pain. I'm asking you to surrender to your purpose.
For you to live your message and pursue your personal destiny, you have to surrender to the deep place your power comes from: your humanity. And that means surrendering to and accepting all of it — your darkness, your light, your divinity and also your humanness. These are the gifts we birth in the womb of the shadow.
It is by the very things that break us that we find the glue to put ourselves back together again. So don't be afraid to admit the ways you may be "broken." Don't fear the parts of you that may have starved or departed. And be open to the ways you can surrender... to your desire to be loved… to your need to be seen and honored and known… to your hope that what breaks can be mended and what has died can be reborn.
You never lose what is truly yours. You cannot destroy your essence. What feels like breaking is only the breath of your being finally breaking free. So please don't be afraid of the parts of you that are hurting.
Here is a 4-step process you can use to step through surrender and into breakthrough:
4 Steps to Surrender
Acknowledge your heart's deepest desire for you and your life... and what has prevented you from living it to this point. Surrender allows you to move beyond the pain and into the deeper need that is going unmet.
When you stop fighting the disappointment or sense of betrayal and you let your guard down, you can glimpse new ways to meet that need. You take back the responsibility and control to meet that need in ways you might not have previously considered. The more you experience a need being met, even if it's not the way you originally hoped, that positive experience will reinforce and encourage additional experiences.
Understand the story you've been living. We all have our stories. And stories hold immense power. Most people will tell you to simply change your story, or to get over your story. But even the story that has been holding you back is valuable when you understand it. Because our brains are wired for story.
Lisa Cron stated it this way: "Story, as it turns out, was crucial to our evolution—more so than opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs let us hang on; story told us what to hang on to." The story you tell yourself will reveal what you're holding on to that is holding you back.
The other gift in understanding your story is that you gain a bit of objectivity and distance from it. You begin to notice patterns, archetypes, and the same beliefs, fears or emotions repeating themselves.
Choose a catalyst. Introspection is great. But you'll just stay stuck in the suffering unless you intentionally choose to break through. That means deciding what you want to step towards. So decide what's going to rev your engine, starting now. What do you stand for? What would be your legacy?
Have a bucket list. Take a pilgrimage. Do the one thing you fear you cannot do. Make meaning. What you choose as your catalyst won't be nearly as important as the fact you've chosen one. Choose to leap.
The book that helped me most at this juncture was Osho's Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously.
Make it about something bigger than you. For most of us, surrendering to the healing process and truly meeting our own needs feels very very selfish.
We are taught that we are responsible for others, that to do our duty is noble, and so to care more about our own happiness is a betrayal of those that depend on us. And you know what? This is muddy water. Ideally you want to be able to care for yourself and others. But sometimes that's just too overwhelming. So here's the secret...
Connect the two together: make what saves others also the very thing that saves you. How do you do this? You shape your mission and the way you serve others around the thing you need to give, be and do in order to save yourself.
In other words, become the knight in shining armor you wish had come save you. If you fell victim to prejudice, become a heart-centered warrior who fights for the rights of others who are mistreated. If someone broke your heart, become a beacon of the healing power of self-love and teach others how to do the same.
Surrender to Knowing You're Worth It...
Your most celebrated teachers will tell you that they taught what they most needed to learn. I know this has been true for me. So go ahead and decide that you're worthy of becoming the very thing you thought you needed someone else to be for you. It doesn't mean those people won't show up, or that they won't love you and see you and celebrate you. It just means that the world will give to you - not what you want - but what you are.
Also remember that as you give yourself permission to heal, others find permission to heal themselves too. As others watch you live your mission, they will find the way to theirs. Sometimes it is in taking care of ourselves that we most empower others.
Finally... get particular. Get intentional. Starting today, I want you to COMMIT. Take just one step. Anything.
Move ahead. Move toward. Choose your breakthrough. Choose to surrender.