Posted by: Artandsoulnj | September 23, 2010

surrender vs allowance

I recently received an email from someone who has been struggling with physical challenges these past six months that have significantly limited her activities. She has been very much in resistance to the suggestions of the doctors and as a result, wound up in the emergency room in the wee hours of the morning on more than one occasion.
While I am in no way diminishing her experience, as she lives on her own and this is both frustrating and frightening to her, it has occurred to me that she has been in resistance to the circumstances she finds herself in and what is being offered as a solution.
Being beyond the average retirement age, this friend would definitely benefit from a scaled-back work schedule in the least, and retirement at the most. She has been responsible for the care of her mentally-challenged brother for his entire adult life and the wear and tear on her body and psyche are revealing themselves, letting her know it is time for her to take care of herself and ask for help.
We are all presented with challenges when it is time to make changes in our lives. Mythology and the hero archetype are the result of this belief we have sustained in the collective consciousness and reinforced each time we go through our ‘trials’.
How we perceive our ‘trials’ determines the duration and intensity, as well as whether it is beneficial. Even the words we choose to define them can affect our perception.¬†After all, nothing has meaning but the meaning we give it. An experience can be a trial, a lesson, or an event. Notice the feeling of each word. They each define an experience, sometimes with a subtle or not so subtle undercurrent of judgment. ‘Trial’ has the undercurrent of negativity tinged with victim running through it. ‘Lesson’ has less weight to it, with more of a reason for the event in the first place and the opportunity for a positive outcome, but not necessarily committing to it. And then there is the word ‘experience’, which has an optimistic, open feeling to it – one of possibility.
I’ve found my greatest challenge to be surrender. For me, surrender has the negative connotation of giving up, and winds up in my ‘judgment column’ as having failed. This has only served to reinforce my belief of not being good enough or smart enough and further entrenches me in my pattern of shortcomings.
When I look at the experience through a different lens, much like looking into a kaleidescope, the shift in perspective, ever so slightly, changes the entire picture or experience. Stepping into a place of allowance releases the negative feel of the experience and opens my heart to the opportunity presented.
And then I notice what is different.


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