I’ve been thinking quite a lot about this business of safety, trust and surrender, because my life has changed so radically ever since I put all three of these into action last month in Sedona. In fact, I barely recognize myself these days.
A number of things have happened over the past few weeks that would’ve previously sent me spinning into waves and fits of anxiety and fearfulness. But now…nothing.
From car breakdowns a thousand miles from home; to stolen credit cards; to computer malfunction and potential loss of income; to howdy-do visitations from ghosts (or possibly angels, I don’t know – one invisible entity is much like another in my book).
Anyway, my point is, it’s been a cavalcade of what used to be code red anxiety-producing events.
But apparently there’s nothing that presses those fear buttons anymore. In fact, I’d go so far as to say the buttons themselves seem to have been permanently dismantled. And strangely enough, I would actually characterize the events of the past month or so as peaceful and enjoyably stress-free. Because I didn’t really blink an eye at any of it.
And there’s more.
In addition to the total lack of fear, I seem to have unexpectedly acquired a brand new ability to differentiate between the actual facts of a situation, and any stressful story I would’ve told myself about it in the past.
For example, when my credit card information was stolen, I was fully aware of the same old stories I might have chosen to attach to the event: Oh no! I’m not safe. Oh no! What will be stolen from me next? Oh no! What if my replacement card doesn’t arrive before I leave the country tomorrow? But I clearly saw they were optional embellishments, not the reality itself. And so I wasn’t tempted to indulge in them anymore.
Instead there were only simple facts: My credit card was used to make two purchases. The card company reversed those charges and cancelled the account. My new card would either arrive in time or it wouldn’t. Because no stories were woven around the facts, there was no anxiety – indeed, no suffering of any kind, associated with the incident. There was only joy. And gratitude. And profound peace.
After a lifetime of habitually anxious hand-wringing, I cannot begin to tell you how new and wonderful and utterly bizarre it is to live inside this unrecognizably serene new version of myself.
• • •
And so I wondered: What was so incredibly different about the trust and surrender I offered up at the Sedona cabin, versus the hundred thousand-odd other times I’ve tried it? I mean, I’m sincere as hell when I pray. Why did this particular set of prayers cause such deep and fundamental shifts in perception?
I took a long, careful look at this question, because I wanted to crack the code. To tease out the primary catalyst for the miracle I’ve experienced, and hold it up to the light so that I – and you – can get a good look at it.
The nucleus, the core difference between the Sedona Cabin prayer and all preceding ones seemed to be the fact that I was at the end of my rope when I offered it.
I guess I have a hard-ish time fully letting go of ego control under normal circumstances. (Perhaps you can relate.) But these circumstances were hardly normal. I accepted the possibility that surrender might cause my death and then surrendered anyway, because I couldn’t stand to be tormented by my own fears for one minute longer.
And so, I completely and fully surrendered my imaginary “control” of the situation to Spirit for the first time, I guess. Even though it felt like I was putting my life in extra danger by doing so. And I managed it despite being unable to trust even a little bit at that point.
And that’s the tricky thing about trust and surrender. The ego mind so dearly wants it to happen in just that order: Prove to me that I can trust, and THEN when I know it’s safe, I’ll surrender. (Maybe.)
But unfortunately that just isn’t the way it works. Surrender comes first, and then the trust floods in afterward, along with the beautiful miracle of prayers answered.
Having to surrender before we trust isn’t some kind of twisted test set up by God to doublecheck on our worthiness, by the way. That’s not how God rolls.
Our inability to trust in advance is just a hurdle set up by our own ego mind as a means to protect itself.
Yes, it’s kind of a bummer that it works in that seemingly backward order. And your ego mind might want to convince you that surrendering first is some kind of dreadful “lady or the tiger” trick: be suckered into surrendering, and then discover too late that you’re worse off for having done it.
But that’s honestly never the case.
In my experience, anytime we manage to surrender, there’s a guaranteed jackpot waiting in the wings. (The jackpot is always there either way, of course. But surrender seems to enable us to accept it.)
• • •
So is “end-of-rope” suffering necessary in order to surrender deeply to God and accept all the good stuff that comes as a result?
Strictly speaking, no. Of course not.
We just tend to vastly prefer the suffering (i.e. hanging onto ego “control”), wrongly believing it’s the road to peace and freedom.
Oh honey. Au contraire. You want peace? You want freedom? Freedom is having a sense of peace and safety no matter what kind of stuff arises in your 3-D world.
If what you truly want is peace and freedom, then what you truly want is surrender.
Great big gobs of it. Run toward it with open arms. Ask for it with joy and gratitude, even if it feels scary as hell while you’re doing it.
You won’t be disappointed. Trust me.