Tuesday, June 8, 2010


To surrender is to accept
life as it is:
winter today, spring tomorrow;
cruelty with beauty;
aloneness after love.
These are words by Marion Woodman from Coming Home to Myself, a gift from a friend who understands the mysteries of change better than I.

I do not easily surrender, nor often. I want control. My mind knows when I use my determination to stop a leak in the wall of control surrounding me, another leak will soon begin at my back. My mind knows my thin wall of control can easily crumble allowing a flood to rush over me. I am afraid I won't be able to swim. So, despite what my mind knows, I white-knuckle to maintain control.... over what I eat, over my surroundings, sometimes over my friends and family.

I don't want to admit that last week I tried to control a friend. I wanted her to come to my studio for a "sewing day." She said she didn't feel well. I wheedled and whined. She said, "You're twisting my arm." I said, "Yes, but I really want you to come." She didn't. And she hasn't replied to my email messages, including one where I acknowledged my fault and apologized.

I also don't want to admit that last week I tried to influence my sister to do something. She said she was tired. I pushed. She didn't do it.
Ten Things I Can't Control
  1. my genetic makeup
  2. my past experiences
  3. my eating
  4. the weather
  5. the world's population growth
  6. my husband
  7. my sister
  8. my friends
  9. truth
  10. everything else

Is to surrender to have no influence? To surrender must I allow the flood and the dark to push me down? What if I cannot surface again? Nature knows all about control and surrender. The dog rolls over and shows his belly. The flooded river recedes. Must I then surrender my will? And if so, how?

Let go. Breathe. Stay in the moment. Someone said, "Be where your hands are." Breathe. Let go. Trust. Forgive. Breathe.


  1. Again...your post makes me think. Your imagery is amazing. When I read your list I wondered about number 3. Isn't that what the journey is about? Controlling your eating?

  2. To Karen ~ I don't know... Always with past diets I thought I had to control my eating. Sometimes, now, I think that too. But most of the time, now, I understand that I am powerless over food. One day at a time, with the help of many sources, people and an unknown higher power, I abstain from overeating and bingeing. Somehow, it's different than before, both internally and externally different.

  3. Wow. I've been thinking about this. It seems as though our survival has always required that we do not surrender, but keep on going and fighting through. And yet, some of the most peaceful people I've met talk about the value and joy of surrender. It may lie in the way we define the word, equating "surrender" with "giving up." Maybe surrender is not about giving up, but going on... and letting the universe and all that goes with it go on, too. Control is probably an illusion, but it's one that I don't really want to give up, probably because I don't trust the universe in general to do the right thing. This will be something I'll be pondering for a long, long time.

  4. Interesting thoughts. For me, when I gave up trying to control everything else, I found I was able to control what I ate. My mantra (more of a mantrette, really): *MY* actions=yes; other people's actions=no. :)

  5. This is too deep for me right now!! I have been trying to let go of my inner control freak because the truth is, it's really not in our hands. If we think we have it over others and events, it's a total illusion.

  6. Thanks, everyone... I almost didn't publish this post, but now I'm glad I did because of your comments!

    To Genie ~ I agree with your last sentence. And I have to add that if we think we have it over ourselves, it's also a total illusion.

    To Lois ~ I agree that the definitions are important and could vary quite a bit, person to person. I really like the idea of "going on" rather than "giving up." Thanks!


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