Near Death Insights
I was reading about near death experiences and about how, in the context of healing, if they’re simulated, they can be catalysts for helping people get ultra clear on their values and what they really, truly want to do with the rest of their lives.
But my first thought was: if I was about to die, the most important thing to me would be my capacity to make real, authentic peace with how much I didn’t get to in my life. I didn’t come away from that reading thinking of all the ways I want to reorder my to-do list. I came away with a renewed sense of how important the concept of surrender is.
Any time there’s a crisis, we get a chance to practice surrender. Because we are confronted, when things go wrong, with the reality of just how little control we have as human beings. In non-emergency times, it’s much easier to get lulled into the illusion that we’re the ones behind the wheels of our lives. We have time. We have agency. We have our lists. Our routines. We’re crossing stuff off, adding stuff on, getting things done.
Then something happens and we’re sidelined. By an injury, a sudden loss, an ending we weren’t prepared for, an illness. We have a choice in times like these. We can either double down, trying to control our circumstances. Or we can regard the whole situation as an opportunity for surrender practice.
We’re taught how to build and accumulate. Our first response, in the face of loss, is always to hold on harder. Surrender is an opposite skill. It does not come naturally to us. That's why we have to practice it. We can practice it in little ways, all throughout our days, so that when we need to practice it in big ways, in a moment of legitimate crisis, the muscle already exists in us.
We can practice surrender in our daily lives by releasing the crap our Egos get fixated on. We can let someone else go ahead of us in line at the grocery store or the intersection. We can give up the last cookie to another member of our tribe, even though we wanted it for ourselves. We can react intentionally, with acceptance, when the plans change last minute.
Anytime we feel disappointment - which is inherently connected to LOSS - we can use it as an opportunity to work the muscles of acceptance and surrender.
We will all face a capital “S” surrender at the end of our stay here on planet earth. We will have to check out, turn in the room key and pass through the door onto the next incarnation. When we encourage ourselves, lovingly, to practice letting go of the smaller things, it sets us up to be a little more graceful in letting go of the big ones.
Have a beauty-full week!
Till next time,