The whole world is afraid to feel in one way or another and it is my belief that that is where most of our problems begin…
We are afraid to feel shame, so we hide ourselves, we create barriers within. We harbour things we don’t want anyone else to see and through this process we become false, we loose connection with our true selves.
We are afraid to be different, ridiculed, so we suppress our true selves to fit in with the crowd and through that we limit change, not only in our selves but in our communities and society
We are afraid to just grieve and feel loss and devastation, so we justify unloving actions, like violence, to save or avenge a life.
We fear the afterlife and the end of relationships through death, so we go to extraordinary measures to cling to the physical body. Because we are afraid to explore the true causes of disease i.e. all this suppressed emotion, we push modern medicine to the limits, creating empires of drug companies who now invent illnesses in order to make more money from our fears.
We don’t want to feel powerless, we are afraid of others taking advantage of us in our vulnerability so we seek status as individuals and as nations we go to war.
We get angry and lash out instead of feeling our fear of change or attack. We try to control every last variable in our lives, including our ‘loved ones’, in order to avoid our terror of loss, of change, of the unexpected.
We are afraid to look stupid, so we stop asking questions. We stop seeking and in doing so lose our largest asset to learning, the thing that as children helped us discover so much; i.e. our wonder and curiosity. In its place we breed cynicism and doubt.
We are afraid to love in case we loose it, afraid to open our hearts and be vulnerable because the feeling of being rejected feels unbearable. We can miss out on the greatest happiness; of being connected and honest and close to our partner, if we let the fear of grief and pain hold us back.
We are afraid to hope because we once hoped and believed in magic and were disappointed. We shut down the grief of this disappointment and instead vowed never to be so naïve again. Not understanding that if we cried for our loss we would not be afraid to hope again (and cry again if need be).
We believed our parents were heroes and then they turned out not to be so now we don’t believe there ever could be heroes.
If we could all learn to just submit to our grief, our shame and our fear we would free ourselves to take steps that were driven by real love and care and consideration for ourselves and for others. These things I know to be true. In fact I believe in the power of these things to change the world so passionately that I dedicate every one of my days to understanding what it is I am avoiding and releasing my fear and pain. I do all this because it helps me to grow in love. And I know it works – I am a different person today than the one I was three years ago.
That doesn’t mean however that I don’t still struggle to submit, to surrender to ALL of my grief and pain. I still fear loving AJ with my WHOLEheart in case he suddenly dies. Sometimes I still prefer to punish myself rather than feel my shame about things I have done in the past. I still fear complete surrender to my deepest grief, and sorrow.
Yesterday I came face to face with how much my lack of surrender to all things was impeding my progress towards God, towards my soulmate and towards true joy.
Its one thing to become more emotionally aware, to ‘cry it out’ regularly, quite another to submit at all times to whatever emotion pops up and kicks me in the guts.
‘Omigosh!’ I hear you say ‘Why on earth would you want to even do that?!”
Well I believe we are all born in a state of surrender. And we like it! As infants and toddlers we feel totally comfortable and natural just letting our emotions flow freely. We don’t try to protect our hearts; we open them in trust and joy, whenever we desire to love. Until we are taught to fear our pain, we don’t need someone to hold our hold while we cry; we just feel the hurt until we’re done. We don’t try to look tough; we don’t avoid being a ‘cry baby’. We are born knowing that it’s natural to feel. We arrive with the innate the ability to experience and to surrender to ALL of our emotions. It’s only as we grow that our environment and the people who are most dominant in our lives, alter our relationships to emotion. Some of us get taught to fear our grief, that it is weak or self indulgent. Often we are shamed for our fear, told not to be ‘silly’. We instantly learn that it’s not acceptable to show our fear or that we are foolish to have it, and we bury it deep inside. We get teased for our excitement and wonder. Others of us get taught to use our tears to manipulate. This takes us down a path away from our true feeling state, and into a world of self deception and false emotion, used only to control. One way or another, by the time we are three or four, we end up far away from our natural, feeling, connected state. A state in which we cry when we feel pain, shake when we feel afraid, express joy and excitement without reserve. We surrender, without censorship or shame, to the kaleidoscope of emotional experience that colours our lives.
This is the state that I long to return to.
The only problem for me, and for all of us really, is that, because as kids we were shut down so much, alienated so often from our authentic emotional connection, we all have A LOT of grief and pain stored up inside. There are so many past hurts and pains that were squashed and still now cry out for expression. We carry so many fears buried under our everyday rage and control. To surrender means, not only submission to our feelings in the here and now, but letting go to feel what lies beneath them. The real beauty (and pain) of true emotional processing is that when I submit to each current pain it leads me back to pain stored from the past and if I am humble I will feel and release it all so that that childhood injury will be gone from me forever.
Until now I have been dealing with my past pain and hurt in bite size chunks. Letting some of it go has been life changing in the positive to put it mildly. I feel happier and more whole than I ever have. But deep down I know I am still resisting the place of ultimate growth. I am feeling my hurt and fear in bits and pieces. It feels safe and manageable. In short I’m on the slow track. You cannot ‘surrender in stages’ and the very fact that I’m not surrendering means that I still harbour fears and insecurities about the very process of allowing my emotions, about being emotional. Sooner or later I’m going to be stuck for good.
I know I need to surrender. I find myself time and again coming up to my emotional cliff face, seeing that over the edge lies the place where I just let all of the grief and suffering pour out of me, where my emotions lead and my intellect takes a back seat and……
I get stuck. I feel afraid.
I shut down and find myself saying “I can’t cope, I can’t do it, it’s too much, how can I feel this?”
So why is surrender so hard???
Stay tuned for what I have learnt about surrender in past two days.
P.S. If I happen to reach a place of surrender before tomorrow I may not post for a while… Days of tears, sobbing and snot will ensue – which I think will strangely feel like a sweet, painful victory and cause for celebration! After which I promise to return and tell you the secret to it all.
If I don’t reach that place in the next couple of days I’ll be back to share what I think is the secret and why I’m still struggling to implement it. (Along with; common ways I avoid surrender but pretend I’m emotionally processing fear vs. surrender, the power of truth, and other tips and truths AJ has helped me out with.)