Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Surrender

The other day, I read a friend's Facebook status that said "Surrender is the answer to all my problems!". I understand why she wrote this because she's struggling with a particularly difficult year, to say the least. When you spend all of your energy working on such a huge life load like debating possible and agonizing solutions, roller-coaster emotions, and neglecting yourself, when do you reach a point where you simply surrender and stop fighting? It's by no means giving up, but it's acknowledging you have done all you can and it is now beyond your power to solve. You relinquish all of your worries to the idea that God or the universe or whatever has a reason and a purpose that is beyond your understanding at the moment. But, why is that so tough to do and why does it take us so long? All I know, from personal experience, is that it feels damn good when you finally do. Aaaah, surrender...

Ironically, that same week, this quote of the day arrived in my in-box by F. Scott Fitzgerald: "I know myself...but that is all." After reading it a few times and considering the meaning, I found it very timely and comforting. If all I really know is myself then all the other rough stuff can be treated like a learning experience but also as something I can't always figure out or find a simple solution that will fix the problem. And, sometimes I just have to laugh and surrender and remember that tomorrow is another day.

As a mom I feel like I surrender all the time - at least once a day from my pregnancy to now. My kids are almost six and are acting very almost six, so do I fight it and expect them to act like I think/wish they should act (little angels) or do I read about what to expect at this age and adopt the phrase "that's very six of them" and provide support and comfort and love (and make sure I have a fully stocked wine cabinet)? What, noooo, sick yet again for the 27th time this year? Movies and tv on the couch all day again and no social life - it's all part of the family package. Fight and anguish over the indisputable fact that it's nearly impossible for my children to sleep in past 6 a.m. no matter what early or late hour they fall asleep? I still grumble, but also embrace and appreciate the fact that we are never late to school considering we have over two hours to get ready in the morning. Oh, I could go on and on and on. I didn't even mention the permanent dark circles under my eyes and smaller boobs from breastfeeding, if that's even possible (I certainly didn't think it was). I will never be able to make up for all the lost sleep and bra sizes, but my mommy life is certainly very rich and rewarding...and yippee for padded bras and under-eye concealer!

I think back to before I knew where my children were going to kindergarten. Every time me and the kids would throw a coin in the fountain I would make a wish that "my children would be able to attend my beloved childhood private school". This went on for months and months at fountains all over LA. Only when I finally decided to stop trying to impose what I selfishly wanted and surrendered to the universe and wished instead "I wish that my children get to go to the school that's just right for them" did I feel at peace with whatever happened. And, turns out we were beyond blessed with getting two "lucky" lottery slots at a public charter school that seems tailor made for our family.

What I'm trying to get at is that as much I surrender, although often it feels like defeat, it's all worth it. It's humbling and character building and a necessary part of gaining perspective and a different outlook on what really matters. And, thank goodness for the wisdom and maturity that the gift of surrender brings.

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