I am not much of a blogger, in fact I can admit that I am too much of a perfectionist to write uninhibitedly for a public audience, but I am willing to make the effort – especially in the hopes of learning a new skill.
Anyways, while I was considering what to discuss in this first post, I was struck by the experience of surrender. Struck because I’m not sure I entirely understand what is meant by “surrender.” Probably, my most basic understanding of the concept originates in a mix between my Catholic upbringing and military lineage. Surrender has a distinct significance and purpose in both institutions.
Lately, however, I have been thinking about the relationship between surrender and uncertainty.
I do not like not knowing things. Just about everything piques my interest on a good day. On a lesser day, only most things pique my interest. I have discovered a sense of security in the general belief that I can understand, plan and execute with enough knowledge available and/or resources accessible to me.
In June, I downloaded The Pattern app which is supposed to inform you about your behavioral patterns based on an astrology reading of sorts. Of the many daily posts I have received and ignored over the last two-ish months only one has stuck with me:
“At times it could seem like you’ve lost your innocence or your cherished ideals. This energy is pushing you to figure out who you are by causing you to lose objectivity and question your beliefs. During this time you may need to surrender what you thought you knew – or at least let go of your attachment to it. During this time, you might ask yourself, ‘Can I let go of the pursuit of knowledge and my desire for understanding – and allow myself to feel powerless?…”
This summer, I experienced a true sense of powerlessness. The above post came in the week after that experience. Simultaneously, amidst this or possibly because of the powerlessness, I learned that that not every situation can be rationalized – even with 25 years of personal, experiential knowledge or even centuries of faith-based knowledge. Since then, I have sporadically vacillated between a state of “… it is what it is” and “but, why would…”
People close to me continually remind me that there is wisdom to be gained in the uncertainty, and that the universe has ordained a path that is already mine. And, I do know that the universe is the higher power.
Relevantly, I shared a quote awhile back that was then sent back to me in timely fashion:
“Don’t let the chaos be for nothing. There is wisdom to collect, positives to erupt, resolutions to translate.” – Melissa M. Tripp
I think on this quote frequently and question whether I must first totally surrender to the unknowing, and allow for the possibility that chaos may ensue, for the greater purpose of new wisdoms, positives, and resolutions.
Surrender to higher power. If knowledge is power, as the saying goes, is un-knowledge (or uncertainty, or whatever) power too? Or is uncertainty just another form of knowledge? A yogi-in-training this weekend said “I need you to respect what you do not know.” I can respect the fact that I do not know everything, and that some know more than me, but learning to respect what I do not know somehow feels far more critical to me.
But wait, before all of that, I am still on the act of “surrendering”? How do I even do that?