That feeling of frantically treading water just to stay where you are. Like everything in the world is going against you.
Here’s. Your. Sign.
I find that when everything I do feels like a constant struggle, when it’s all ebb and no flow, it means I need to switch things up. It means that I am playing God (a role I am not at all made for nor do I want!).
It usually means I am spinning my wheels and stuck in a rut as well. I am pretty stubborn and it is very important that I remain open-minded because I have found that the best path isn’t always the one in direct eye-sight.
It can show up in a lot of ways
Sometimes when I am in desperate need of surrender it could be something as simple as not accepting that I am not in the same spot as I once was. I am there right now.
A couple years ago my life was a lot simpler. There was a lot of non-desirable things going on, but I always managed to handle it so well. I had my life scheduled out. I was just in the beginning stages of getting sick, like really sick. Like so sick that I usually ended up in the emergency room every other week. Yet I handled everything with such grace and ease, to this day I look back and try to replicate what I was doing.
I try to grasp back on to that handle I seemed to have on life. The ability to have my day scheduled to the minute. The ability to be sick, tired, and most days barely able to walk, but yet keep the house spotless. The ability to carve out a couple hours once a week and cook up a storm, creating nutritious culinary masterpieces to freeze and consume throughout the week until I could do it all over again. A routine that was so structured I could get through it in my sleep.
That’s not my reality any more
Somewhere between the doctors appointments and working from home, that structure was lost. I didn’t get it for a long time. I didn’t understand how I could be feeling a lot better, having my illness under control most days, how could it be more difficult to stay structured. To keep my house clean. To feel like I had life by the balls.
Then it hit me.
That’s just not where I am anymore. The more I fight it, the more I try to reach into the past into the shadows of the no-longer-exists, the more futile my battle becomes. I have gotten married, I spend time with my husband. I work from home. Along with the freedom to wake when I want and work at my leisure, comes the double edged sword of not having set times in place of when I can be working and when I can’t. I used to bring my full-time work home from the gym, don’t get me wrong, and I did work for The Health Coach Group, but that was part-time and I had two tasks that I managed for them. My life has evolved and changed. And that is a good thing!
I have to surrender
I hate surrendering, it sounds so weak. In reality, it has been through the surrenders in my life that I have found the most strength. It has been when I have let go of futile battles I can never win, that aren’t even real, that I am able to move forward. I can find peace. Shadow boxing may be amusing for a while, but it gets old real fast.
So I have to work with what I have now. I don’t get to manipulate my life back into how it used to be and fit it my circumstances now into it. It just doesn’t work. There are a lot of blessings now that I didn’t have then. I am not even going to try to name them all. A lot of things have happened.
Truth be told, those weren’t my glory days. Right now, the present, this is where my glory days reside. I refuse to say I peaked at 31, and in reality I didn’t. I can make it look like that real fast in my head though, discounting all of the things that I’ve accomplished since then, focusing on the things I used to have that aren’t there any more. I’m trying to dance to a song that ended two years ago and no sir, that ain’t pretty.
Sure I don’t spend an hour a day meditating any more, it is definitely a goal of mine to get to that point in my practice again when I am truly ready. Right now, in my reality, it’s usually closer to a 5-20 minute thing. And that is okay. It is where I am at.
Surrender doesn’t mean defeat
When I surrender, it doesn’t mean I give up. It means I realize that there are things that I have absolutely no control over no matter how hard I try, how much I want to. It doesn’t even mean that I stop working toward the same goal. It means that I accept that what I am currently doing is not bringing the results I want. It means it is time to step back and reassess the situation.
Think you may be in need of some surrender? Ask yourself the following questions:
Is it really the hill you want to die on?
5 years from now will it even matter?
Are there different actions you can take to get where you are trying to go that don’t deprive you of your integrity?
What do you have control over? (Usually it comes down to actions and reactions and accepting that you have absolutely no control over the actions or reactions of other people, places, and situations.)
Are you even being productive or useful?
When I ask myself these questions, it becomes very clear, very quickly whether or not some surrender is in order.
Surrender can be required in many different situations, in many different ways
One of the biggest areas that has required recurring surrender in my life has been with my health the past few years.
It wasn’t easy to accept that I wasn’t physically able to continue working full time as a personal trainer. I fought it probably 6 months longer than I should have. Ultimately, my surrender came when I realized that even though it wasn’t literally killing me, it wasn’t fair to my clients. Sure there were days that I could go almost full steam if I budgeted my energy wisely, but then there were also those days I was only functioning at 30%, they deserved my best every day and I couldn’t give it, and that’s when I threw in the towel. (I hadn’t been diagnosed yet and was still clinging to the hope I would wake up one day and would be better, but I rode that horse way into the ground.)
There have been many other times I’ve found it necessary to surrender with my health. Admitting that I didn’t have the energy to do certain things, that I couldn’t commit to almost anything during the winter, and knowing when I just needed to rest. Those are all things I can’t change no matter how much I try. What I could change is how I approached it. I was able to work from home, I have been able to create a home-based business that brings in more that I made personal training, I have been able to learn how to manage my illness to enjoy more energy, functioning on a higher level, I have been able to adapt.
Surrender occurs in little every day things too.
It has been huge as a newly-wed. Do I really think my husband doesn’t know that it drives me nuts when he wears socks to bed? I’ve told him.
Trust me. He knows.
Is it the hill I want to die on? I am really going to leave him because his way of sleeping looks different than mine. Absolutely not!
When someone cuts me off in traffic, is the person driving really going to lose sleep if I get all worked up, if I curse at them? Is it worth it? Not at all. People drive like d-bags. I am not the police, I can’t do anything but keep my eye out for those drivers and keep my distance. Does it mean they have power over me? Nope. Quite the opposite. I don’t lose my serenity over it. I look at them with gratitude that I don’t drive like that. Who knows maybe someone they love was just rushed to the hospital, maybe they have a legitimate reason.
Surrender, acceptance, peace, that is the secret to life. I mean when someone isn’t always trying to swim upstream, life is really a lot more enjoyable, plus more progress can be made.
How do you surrender? Will you fight to the death just to prove a point? (Hey, I get it, been there, still go there sometimes) Do you dwell on problems or do you look for solutions? I want to know how you find your groove in the comments below!
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