The price of surrender …

This morning I crawled to my morning practice in front of my altar steeped in self-recrimination. I had become acutely aware of my own painful stand-off against Source. I was seeing vividly my own state of resistance, and knew I was being held prisoner by my own unwillingness to surrender. I realized that my  addiction to the reactive mind (especially regarding one particular situation), had me in service, not to the principles of peace and Reality, but to a fear-based ego instead; an ego who insists upon seeing itself as being under attack, and in justifying its right to protect itself according to it's own distorted sense of fairness. In other words, I recognized myself as being firmly on the road to Inner Hell.

Sitting there, quietly going through the motions of straightening and aligning the physical body, I called on the Presence, and, as it often does, the Inner Voice, eager to guide and comfort without demanding or interfering, responded with a question:

What would it be like,” I heard, “if you were to respond to your life situation as Abram did, when his nephew, Lot approached him with complaints about crowded conditions and demands for larger pastures for their sheep? Do you remember the words of Abram to Lot in that moment? I looked them up:

“And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.” And Abram continued in verse nine: “Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.” (Genesis 13: 8-9)

What WOULD it be like?

I imagined what it would be like if I were to …

… spread my arms wide, and like Abram say, “Not my way – but your way. You choose, for we are brothers & sisters, and I am honored to do your bidding …

… be grateful no matter what choices are made by those around me, even if their choices appear to deprive me of the “best” of everything – even if I am left with only piles of stone to call my own, because I have total confidence in Source to supply all my needs.

… trust my own Source of Supply so totally that no question or doubt surfaces – no second guessing, no matter what happens – because my faith in Source is so unequivocal that even ‘selfish choosing' is recognized ultimately as being FOR the highest good of all, and therefore something to be celebrated.

… see my life challenges as simply another opportunity to practice obedience to Life through a willing acceptance of the way things are, and in so-doing, be allowed to experience the Miracles of Abundance that always follow when, through Grace, we surrender to Reality and the Will of Source.

… to be brought to my knees in trembling humility and radical acceptance, witnessing with gratitude and tremendous awe, the work my Creator started in me, and promises to finish.

Again I reached for my Bible, and at random, opened it to Isaiah 48:10 (KJV), and read God's words to the house of Israel, “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Reading further in the same chapter, (verse 17) “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.”

I reveled in the reassurance these words offered me. They seemed to promise that even my most troubling moments are part of the work of transformation; I was reminded of how many times progress had come about for me through inner struggle, and about how suffering (usually at my own hands)  seemed to be a necessary part of the refinement-through-crucifixion process that we each must undergo if we are to give up that in us that resists the Will of the Father. My earlier bitter chagrin began to turn to a feeling of gratitude at just how blessed I am to be allowed enough of an understanding to allow me to better cooperate with this necessary crucifixion towards opening my heart in absolute Trust to Reality and Source.

Nonetheless I grieved, for it was painful to watch my own visceral resistance to, and stubborn stance against the One Source of All Being. It seemed that in spite of all my conscious awareness, I was still totally incapable of releasing my painful insistence on standing squarely in the way of Source, blocking the bounty of His company. I suffered to know that it was me, and only me, that was keeping me away from my Inner Beloved.

For it is in assuming this sort of self-responsibility … to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are the only ones who keep us from the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth that makes transformation possible. We must know without blame, without judgment that it is up to us to say yes to the process of transformation – but saying yes does not mean we can do it for ourselves! The transformation is a total miracle of Grace. It is something done through us, not by our own hand, but by the Hand of Source … however, we must give our permission first. We must say yes to allowing the miracle, to accepting the gift, before we can be be delivered from the personal Hell we create for ourselves.

Sitting in physical alignment on my prayer bench before my altar this morning, with all these feelings and thoughts raging inside me, I slowly and spontaneously began to lift my arms to the heavens, beseeching Universal Help … and gently at first, I began to arch my back in an elongated, slow backward bend. The image came of offering my heart to Source … no … it actually felt more like my heart was being offered, that it was being pushed up from behind,  in a gesture of heart-rending surrender.

The arch that was happening now in my back was much more pronounced and deeper than my usual yoga backbend. I felt altered. A vivid image came to me of being stretched backwards over the horizontal arm on the cross of crucifixion, and my chest reached higher still, arching even more, thrusting the heart upwards in a desperate reach for Source. I wasn't surrendering on my own, I was being surrendered. And I knew that could only happen because, not being able to surrender on my own, I had asked for help, and was being given exactly that … the support I needed to surrender.

Another vivid image arose, I saw my own determined hand, driven by the combination of my wild desire matched by the Intense Longing of my Creator for our merger, reaching in through my chest wall, breaking open my heart cage in search of my own blood red, passionate heart, and once found, raising it as a love offering to Source.

Later, upon reflection, I recalled the moment in my image most vividly, when the horizontal arm of the cross that was holding me in a backwards surrender, suddenly shifted from being the cross of crucifixion to becoming instead, the loving arms of my Inner Beloved, my Creator Source.

To move from crucifixion to new life. To give it all up in trade for abundance, To own resistance and find peace. To hold nothing back and receive it all – these are the paradoxes that move us from Hell to Heaven on Earth.

May it be that we each, you and I, find such complete surrender in the Loving arms of Reality.


9 Responses

  1. Lynne…wonderful exploration here, epiphany, and grounding it all in your body, in your Soul.

    Just got pointed in your direction from a mutual friend whose passion for the “Conscious Kids” work you and Danielle are doing spoke to me (being a former educator/principal). AWESOME work and calling ! Kudos !!

    LOVE the depth of your blog, and honesty. Hugs for all that courage.

    I am moved to share in this spirit of surrender, with my own reflection in this morning’s meditation, when how sweetly, I am (we are) reminded in each, simple breath, that Creator gifts us with unconditional support of our choosing – LIFE, in all of its fullness. Simple. This gift, our breath. This intimacy, with Creator.

    Namaste…you are doing amazing and important work, amazing and important Joy :))

  2. Thank you Rose, for your open sharing. Your process is a beautiful unfolding … can you love you, or at least accept you, where you are right now in that process? That is your true work … to allow the “undoing” of a mind, previously possessed by the victim ego, to return to remembering the Reality of who you really are.

    Remember it’s not yours to do, but to get out of the way of the work being done to and through you. Surrender is the practice that takes you there. Blessings, Lynne

  3. Dear Lynne, I want so badly to experience what you describe, to understand what that kind of surrender feels like. My struggle to ‘save’ my family of origin rages on and I don’t know exactly what I am ‘supposed’ to DO (?) with it.

    So, I’ve basically maintained a type of radio silence with the FOO to avoid making the same old mistakes.

    Well, I am so glad to live in Chattanooga so that I can still see you in counseling & at retreats. I want to get to those surrender experiences with all my stuff.

    As you know, this is so new to Steve and I. We were only recently pushed by the Holy Spirit towards your practice. We came to you at yet another painful stalemate in our 19 year marriage.

    I recently told Steve while we were walking that this experience of recognizing the victim consciousness, and the dawning awareness of a better way, has been another Born Again experience for me. It feels identical to how I felt when I first found Christ at the age of 21 – everything looked different then, my eyesight had permanently changed. And, while I can no longer go back to the confusion of agnosticism, I still feel the grip of the old victim ego pulling at me, trying to convince me to get back onto that old path, the path I have invested so much of me in, and therefore, the path that will finally deliver up the results I desire: IF only I would invest another full court press towards RESISTANCE!

    Today, I don’t know exactly what to do, I know more of what NOT to do. So, for now, I will pray, “Dear Lord, make Your ways my way”. I will keep asking and I will wait. And then maybe at some point, with His Blessings, I will do.
    Thank you, Lynne, for sharing your experience.

  4. Bless you Lynne for all that you are and all that you share so that others may also learn the blessings that surrender brings. Not easy for one who is so defended but little by little and with God help all is possible through love and acceptance. You do my heart good! Thank you! Many Blessings!

  5. Thank you for your empathetic response, Elizabeth.

    Observing the resistance in us to “follow our inner marching orders” is a sometimes frustrating, but necessary, step in the process of recognizing where we need Divine intervention.

    I’ve noticed that demanding self-change, nor castigating myself for not doing what I think I should, only accentuates the “stub­born heels-dug-in stance,” and does not motivate positive self-change at all – only surrender to That which can transform us really works.

    Learning to trust enough to be able to surrender – even our unwillingness to surrender – is the key to inner transformation. 🙂 Blessings,

  6. I was deeply touched by this…it was clear but mysterious. I wanted to know more about the situation. But somehow it was strangely more evocative of a process I go through resisting what IS. An emblematic essence of surrender to what is real.

    The relaxed opening of the supported yoga backbend I am familiar with. A deep sinking into openness and contact with ALL.

    I resist doing my taxes today and it is agonizing because I am excoriating myself for procrastinating yet again. I surrendered yesterday and started to my own great relief. But not finished. Today the resistance is there again, such a strong no, with such a stubborn heels-dug-in stance. Painful.

    I know it is not the same depth, but for me struggling with it, it is a life or death in the moment reality. I pray for God to let me surrender, clear the table and begin spreading out the papers….

    Thank you for your beautiful inspiration to let go and just do it.

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