Thursday, March 15, 2012

Surrendering to the Flow of Life

Some people don't get it when I talk about "having to do something" I don't particularly want to do, but doing it anyway. They don't get it when I say that I'm supposed to be somewhere at a certain time so I can be in position to help someone. You see, I'm on this planet to fulfill certain missions and those missions involve helping and teaching others. We all have a role to play really and a certain time frame to do that. While most of my life is based solely on what I want to do, sometimes  I have to sacrifice my personal comfort temporarily in order to help someone I've agreed to help even before I was born. An excellent case in point is feeling so strongly the need to move back to Florida temporarily. I did not want to leave my lovely spot in the world in the Pacific Northwest. I did not want to pack up my belongings again and move anywhere, particularly not Florida, and especially since I knew it would be temporary. Yet I did it because I knew I was supposed to do it. I had tasks I needed to do while I was here. I could not have accomplished them while living on the banks of Puget Sound. I can't explain exactly how I knew this, but my heart and my gut, if you will, were leading me to that place and time. Now I can resist this internal guidance, but resisting doing what I know is my responsibility to do can get annoyingly uncomfortable. Even doing something while still resisting inside can cause problems.

As for my move out here, I knew I needed to do it, even though I didn't particularly want to  do it. I did it, sort of kicking and screaming most of the way, but I did it. The move would have gone much more easily, I suspect, if I hadn't been kicking and screaming, but I really didn't want to leave my happy place on the side of Puget Sound. The trip out here was hellish, to say the least, but now I see that my resistance to following my guidance is what caused the difficulties. Had I simply said to myself, "Okay, so you don't really want to do this thing that is before you, but you do want to follow your intuition more than you want to stay in your comfort zone and not show up for your chosen work." Jesus had a similar experience, only he handled it a lot better. Praying in the garden of Gethsemane, he repeatedly implored God to "let this cup pass away" from him, meaning, "Can we just skip that whole crucifixion business? I'm really not into all that pain and suffering." Only Jesus was much wiser than I was. In the end he surrendered to his much more difficult fate by saying, "Not my will, God, but thine be done." He didn't want to go through the whole suffering gig, but because he knew it was part of what he'd come to earth to do, he did it anyway. He surrendered to it even though he did not want to do it.

Am I comparing myself to Jesus? Not exactly. It's more like I'm contrasting myself with Jesus. When faced with a task he knew was his and his alone to do, he surrendered to it, even though it was his personal preference not to suffer. I, on the other hand, continued kicking and screaming about half the way out here. It was only after I was nearly killed by a freak wind in Nebraska that I completely surrendered and stopped doing the whole internal temper tantrum bit. While I was calm in Wyoming when my tire blew on my car, which I was towing behind the moving truck, apparently I still hadn't completely quit resisting. I had only quit resisting on the outside. The inner me was still pouting somewhere behind that calm exterior. Not until after I was nearly blown off that Nebraska highway and had way too close of an encounter with an eighteen wheeler did I surrender to my fate. That is when the road got oh so much smoother.

While I have grumbled a few times since I've been here, particularly since the moving event itself caused me great physical damage I am only now healing from, I have mostly been okay with being here in Florida. I know most of you may think I am nuts for not wanting to be in Florida, but I grew up here. I already know that Florida and I are not a good match. The Pacific Northwest and I are a good match. However, I knew I had work to do here, so I packed up all my stuff, jettisoning a lot of it before I did, and showed up for work. It would have been a lot smoother if I had merely showed up without all the drama, but it wouldn't have been as interesting to write about as what I got as a result of  all my temper-tantrum antics. I'm not sure those interesting accounts are truly a good trade off for having to live through all that stuff, but as I have been known to say, "You can live and learn, or you can just live." I hope I am coming away from this whole experience with a lot of valuable life lessons in my backpack. In some ways, it's been like returning to boot camp after having been in the army for many years. I had to go back and learn some basic lessons again because I needed the review apparently. I had lost sight of some significant truths about life and my connection to the universe.

What are those lessons? Well, trust is one of them. I could have simply trusted my intuition and done what I needed to do quietly then gone back home again. I could have done it without all the kicking and screaming, but I didn't, and I learned what happens when I resist following my guidance with joyful surrender. Okay, well with surrender anyway. I suspect Jesus didn't start down the road towards the cross singing a happy song and dancing a jig, but he did surrender to it in order to fulfill that part of his life's purpose. My mother can attest to the fact that I was a strong-will child, but that strong will comes in handy sometimes. That same strong will is what enabled me to overcome my own resistance and do what I needed to do. It is what got me here despite the mishaps along the way. So it helps at the same time it hinders me. I guess I should just surrender to that understanding of myself and learn to use that strong will to keep me on the path before me. I may hit a few steep inclines along the way, but joy and surrender can make those inclines gentler. Stubbornness and complaining will make even the slightest bumps in the road feel monumental.

By surrendering to the flow of life, I can turn mountains into molehills instead of allowing my stubborn focus on the sacrificial aspect of a situation to turn the molehills into mountains. It's my choice. It's always my choice. There may be some things in life that I've agreed beforehand to do, but it's still my choice whether to complete them as promised. If I decide to follow through and do them, I have the further choice to do them joyfully and with all my heart or to do them grudgingly and with much moaning and groaning. Honestly, the moaning and groaning didn't help in the least. It is only as I've surrendered to this time in my life that the doors have begun to open to me, easing my way back home. So hopefully if I'm faced with similar life situations, I'll learn to say, "not my will, but thine be done" a lot sooner than I did on this phase of my journey. Who knows? Maybe I would have even been able to go back sooner if I had surrendered sooner.