For me, 2013 was the YEAR OF TRUST AND SURRENDER. When I set that theme back at at the beginning of the year (originally it was going to be year of living intuitively – but within a week of 2013 starting, I changed it), I didn’t know how it would play out for me. In November just gone, I experienced a moment where I felt myself to be an iceberg melting into an ocean. I was nowhere special when it happened. I was in my room here in Santa Fe, doing a session with my therapist via SKYPE. Yes, therapist. I am doing regular therapy and have been since the spring. I took it up as a response to a severe episode of anxiety. I had a reached a point where I was completely taken over in my self by fear. I had been dancing all my life (as long as I can remember, anyway) with a sense that life was trying to drown me rather than hold me, support me, carry me through my existence. I constantly lived in fear. In 2013, this fear decided to take over, to sit at the helm of the ship that is my mind and heart and steer me into the waves of mental and emotional paralysis. More than six months later, to have a moment of feeling like I am an iceberg melting into an ocean affirmed for me that i have begun to trust and surrender – to give my self over to life, without being afraid.
How did this change happen?
One the one hand, I think I could write a book on that. On the other, I think I have nothing to say. So much of the journey to dissolving into the ocean is a mystery. And that’s been part what it has meant for me to trust and surrender. I wanted a clear plan and definitive steps to freeing myself from the shackles of fear. However, I was told that this isn’t how it works. I can’t plan my way out of it. I can’t have a formula that X+Y= freedom. A big first step to trust and surrendering was to be willing to enter a process of acceptance, release and re-creation. The catch, or at least to me at the time it seemed like a catch, is that no one could tell me how long it would last or even guarantee that I would come out of the mental and emotional hell in which I was burning – that I would be released from my shackles.
I had to trust the process.
I’m not talking about a definitive, existing 12-step process like Alcoholics Anonymous – which, I’m guessing, though it has clear steps is still very much an open-ended process. A step is like a day in the story of creation in the bible – could take you 30 seconds to take the step or 30 years. For me, the process has involved daily focused meditation (which tends to be through dance-movement), weekly therapy and moment-by-moment meditation. By this last activity, I mean observing myself moment by moment, being conscious of what beliefs and emotions are guiding me in each moment, and seeking to take action in that moment that is loving and restorative. The idea is to take responsibility for how I use my creative power, rather than to allow myself to be led in action by reaction, by old emotional wounds.
In other words, I’ve been on a journey of embedding a daily practice of loving my self. Of trusting and surrendering to a belief that I am loved and capable of loving. That I am worthy of love. That life is holding me rather than trying to drown me. That is is okay to allow myself to relax and to flow with life. That it is okay to forgive. That it is okay to disconnect from the struggle, familiar as it is to me.
What’s been critical in this journey has been my willingness, at last, to stop looking for the silver bullet, the magic fix or cure to heal me. Rather, I’ve come to see how trusting and surrendering is about a moment by moment practice of giving myself over to life/love repeatedly. To accept that fear will keep coming to me and asking me to walk with her. Sometimes, she has useful information to provide – I am afraid because I am under threat. Most of the time, though, she is deceptive. She’s telling me old familiar, enticing stories so that she’ll have someone to walk with into the darkness.
I do not need to be cured or fixed because I am not broken. Never was. I was misguided, misled. I was wounded and hurt. As for healing, that I have needed. Stepping into trusting and surrendering has very much been a journey of healing. Still is. The journey doesn’t really have an ending. The journey is living, being human. Each day I am alive, I am being asked to trust and surrender. On some days, in some moments this is easy. On other days, in other moments this is hard. Over time, I imagine, it all becomes easier – and happens unconsciously. I am in a process of re-wiring my brain, changing the default modes. I am in a process of opening my heart – dismantling the walls I had built around it.
In my last session a week ago, my therapist asked me: “Where were you and how were you feeling this time last year?” My answer: “I was starting to fall into an abyss of fear – I was feeling frightened, insecure, confused.”
“How are you feeling now?” he then asked.
“At ease, relaxed, open.” I responded.
What a difference a year can make…..
Wishing you a New Year full of much love, laughter, joy, clarity and conscious creativity.