Surrender is Freedom

Surrender is Freedom.

A month ago, surrender was a dirty word. Filthy. The kind that makes your mama wash your mouth out with soap. “Surrender?!” Month-old me would scoff, brows knit together in disgust. “I’m not a quitter,” I would have stipulated vehemently. “I will NEVER give up.” 

Because that’s what the word surrender meant to me. Quitting. Giving up. Letting this Lyme disease win, giving it free reign to decimate my body piece by piece like a blood-crazed Wampa snow beast.

And then I went to a weekend conference at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, called “Living Well with Lyme Disease.” Believe you me, I was terrified. I had no idea how I’d make it through a whole weekend when I was too sick to leave my house most days. How would I survive? So I swallowed my pride, and climbed into the wheelchair I abhor, knowing it was the only way. So much happened that weekend, which is a whole other post in itself, but a huge take-away for me was how to heal my heart. How to put the pieces of my shattered identity back together, so that when my body does recover, I won’t still be broken; a wounded warrior.

I’ve tried for years to do all the tried and true methods: meditation, positive affirmations, etc. They never stuck. And I realized, it was because you can’t use just any positive affirmation. You have to find YOURS. And mine was not remotely what I’d thought it would be.

Surrender is Freedom.

WHAT??!! Are you crazy? Shouldn’t it be, like, I am loved, safe, and cherished,  or I am getting stronger every day, or something like that?

No. Surrender is Freedom.

<At this point, a stern Yoda puppet comes and raps me on the knuckles with his staff, muttering, “You must un-learn what you have learned….”>

And suddenly, surrender isn’t a dirty word. Because it doesn’t mean I’m going to roll over and let this disease take me down without a fight. It means I can see what actually belongs in my realm of things to work on, and what is just a waste of time and energy, because it will never, and can never be mine to control. It means I can stop berating myself for needing a wheelchair to get around, or judging myself when I can’t accomplish as much in a day as I’d like. It means I can be kind to myself.

Surrender is Freedom.

Now, you may read this phrase and viscerally reject it. You may, as I did, have the urge to spit on your screen, or yell all Luke Skywalker style: “That’s not true! That’s impossible!” But that may change. Because we all hold onto things that aren’t serving us anymore. Things that hurts us, that we’re scared to let go of, because we’d rather feel a familiar pain than the unknown. I don’t surrender my fight for health. But I do surrender what is no longer serving me, the thoughts that judge me harshly, the worry that keeps me from doing things, that paints my world in tones of fear, that crushes my spirit.

Surrender is Freedom.

And perhaps, there’s something you’d like to let go of, too. Go ahead. Throw it up. Let it go. I promise you. It feels freaking amazing. Just don’t let it hit you in the head on the way down.

<Whoosh!>

The Foda