A Whole World Afraid To Feel – And My Struggle To Surrender – Part I

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.)

6 thoughts on “A Whole World Afraid To Feel – And My Struggle To Surrender – Part I

  1. Anonymous

    i understand reading this i have such a need for control that the pain has not reached it's maximum yet for me to let go. It feels like a matter of life and death and it is,only i am facing it the wrong way. I "saw" what you mean processing in chunks. And it left me with an after taste. too afraid to take love in, to be vulnerable to let God heal me and lay comfortable in her arms. The memories of being helpless as a child haunt me still and i run for sweet life.Thank you a thousand times, i feel the pain is reaching it's maximum height and i am afraid!Katerina,Greece.

  2. Suzanne Stallard

    Wow Mary,THANK YOU SO MUCH….I have been so worried that I am to be so shallow in this….Like I dance around it, but never show up..and yet it is my Absolute Passion as well…and in saying that I feel even more phoney…because I just don't seem to be able to meet it where it counts…I am never going to give up!!!But at 61 I am really frozen…I only seem to see what I might have felt, after the moment has passed.I am so grateful that we might find our way through sharing and helping each other…I REALLY LOVE YOU!!So much so that sometimes it seems inappropriate to try to express it, to you or AJ.Like you I KNOW HE IS ABSOLUTELY GOLD!!He is JESUS, JESHUA, YESHUA…I know that you are MARY, his MARY!!The LOVE that comes from you both is so apparent and unlike anything else that I have ever encountered. It is CLEAN, and BOTTOMLESS!!THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS…I feel that you are the bridge between Him and us, because we can catch the tail of your lived experience and not feel so far from the centre of what is possible.LOVE YOU HEAPS…..LOL..Suzanne

  3. Anonymous

    Thank you for this. It really helps me and sets goals for me to return to the stage when it was okay to feel feelings. I am currently in high school, and I am absolutely terrified to feel anything. I reject guys who ask me out because I'm afraid of getting to close and getting let down. You really helped inspire me though, and I just wanted to say thank you.

  4. Anonymous

    I would like to say thank you. I cried bits and pieces while reading your lines and I too have been too much suppressing that any feeling I have feels strange. Just wanted to say thank you and keep us posted.

  5. Maxine

    Reblogged this on The Truth Of It All and commented:
    This holds SUCH TRUTH. Well worth a read.

    A blog from 5 years ago and looking at Mary today she has learnt to surrender much more and is living proof of it’s power. It is something I have yet to do…

  6. mike

    Wow.Thanks Mary for all the truth and honesty. It’s refreshing to say the least. I also have the same fear and have been processing in small bites…but at least I know what’s up !

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