A Deeper Surrender
In some spiritual circles, surrender acts as a staunch request to relinquish attachments to a personal story or identity. The belief is that human suffering is caused by an attachment to a personal self. Therefore, once you have correctly surrendered by following an arrangement of rules or steps, you won’t feel the way you don’t like feeling. For anyone seeking a way out of pain, despair, or misery, I don’t blame you for wanting solace and resolve from what might seem like the plight of never-ending sorrow. I empathize so deeply with your loneliness, worries, and concerns that I do not wish for you to spend any amount of time attempting to cover-up your suffering with cleverly-disguised forms of spiritual obedience.
Your suffering is not due to your identity or story at all. Even if you can look within and see no ‘who’ in which anything references, it simply shifts your perception from ‘your life’ to your unique experience of life. While that shift, in and of itself, can bring a tremendous sense of relief, it quickly becomes a daily ritual of reframing your experiences, as a way of hiding from the feelings that are still judged by comparison. Even though your story is life’s story, you’ve never been given anything by the Universe to toss into the nearest trash can. Instead, you’ve been offered an odyssey of transformation as a way of watching your infinite potential come to life and heal the appearance of a world around you.
How are you supposed to commit to life’s epic saga if you’re too busy trying to “let things go” or “get out of your story”? How is it that you’ve allowed yourself to subscribe to such teachings that do not help you treat your personal experience with the respect, honor, and support you’d offer an innocent child in need? And even if you think you’ve followed every rule and successfully dropped your story, can you see that you have merely reframed your perception; instead of being a person in the story, you are a newer version of the character on the other side of judgment.
Even if you seem to be free of your personal story, now you must avoid the stories of others, or watch characters from a distance with more emphasis on escaping their pain than healing our planet. In either case, you are likely to confuse the joy of true liberation with a refusal to engage. Perhaps there is another way.
It’s also strange to notice any time spent either trying to let things go or dropping your story, puts you even deeper into the personal framework of self-absorption. Imagine a parent saying to a child, “I cannot be troubled by your concerns right now - I’m trying to drop my story.” I’ve witnessed dialogues where teachers tell students to ‘let things go’ or ‘drop your story’, all the while not seeing how an innocent heart hides in stories or attachments, awaiting the support, acknowledgment, and approval that only love can provide.
I have met with countless students from a variety of paths who have been instructed by teachers to do such things. It has never brought any type of lasting clarity, but served to make an energetically-sensitive soul more insecure and distrusting of their instincts.
Even when meeting the occasional student who found relief from letting things go or dropping their story, two remarkable tendencies remain. One is a necessity to patrol the perimeter of their energy field on the lookout for more things to let go or a new story to drop. The other is a tendency to speak to others in an insensitive or passive-aggressive manner.
I cannot tell you how many marriages and relationships have been hindered by the short-sighted nature of such teachings. It’s as if the instructions have become a mistress that pulls one’s attention away from the truth of love, instead of inspiring a deeper, more intimate connection. If a teaching has any hope of assisting you into your highest potential, it will help you become more kind, gentle, and loving with yourself and others. It will not turn you into a callous expression of spiritually-righteousness, but instead, assist you in finding true safety as a way of liberating every being in existence.
When “letting things go” or “dropping your story” consumes your attention, you are unable to see your experiences as universal themes that so many are facing right now. Once you see that you are having unique encounters of the same growing pains that may be residing in the shadows of every heart, you remember the deepest healing potential that exists throughout insurmountable odds, excruciating pain, and overwhelming despair.
When you are unable produce the results such an overemphasized teaching promises, you add to your despair the burden of failure - unaware that you are only failing to see the pitfalls of a path that cannot escort you any further into the paradise of truth. As you may have already seen, only love can accomplish such a task.
Instead of dropping the story you came to transform, perhaps you can embrace the one who judges personal experiences as something less than divine union. Instead of trying to let things go by turning your back on one obsession, only to turn toward a more preferable circumstance, maybe you can acknowledge any obsession, grudge, or insistence of belief as a sign of how unsafe you happen to feel. Once you realize that you are only acting out as a way of capturing the power of your own attention, anything that arises can become a chance to love the one who was never accepted by others or may have been denied along the way.
While an overstimulated nervous system is the source of ego, it operates in patterns of self-denial, which is the core of human conflict.
As your love revolution unfolds, self-denial is directly addressed by embracing yourself as never before. In doing so, the personality is liberated from patterns of inflammation to reveal nothing to let go of or any story to drop.
Self-denial is often perpetuated in spiritual circles as an empty promise of transcendence. It is important to remember that denying or abandoning your story does not free you from it. Equally so, letting go of yourself doesn’t liberate anyone, no matter how many times you’ve tried. It just gives you a bigger prison to construct, defend, and maintain.
However, if you desire relief from your personal struggles and freedom from memories of enduring pain, the remedy to any complication is always profoundly simple.
Whether you think you are a person, have seen the person to be a decoration of universal consciousness, hate the person you seem to be, or work diligently to become a more spiritually-accomplished person, each aspect is only here to be loved. Even if there are aspects you cannot seem to embrace, it is merely an opportunity to love the one who can’t. Perhaps loving the one who cannot love itself seems too far away. If this is the case, it is an opportunity to accept its highest purpose of making your love more unconditional in nature, even when you cannot seem to answer its request.
By resting in the acceptance that every facet of experience exists as perfectly-orchestrated catalysts of divine perfection, a willingness to accept how everything is only here to be loved instinctively moves you into the reality of eternal grace.
A heart-centered spiritual path does not invite you to abandon yourself or drop your story since it wouldn’t be a way you would ever wish to be treated. As I always say, “If you wouldn’t say it to a child in need, please don’t say it to yourself”. The point is not to drop anything since you are not the one holding onto it. With a deeper look, you see it’s holding onto you as a catalyst of divinity, here to ensure the expansion of your consciousness by freeing you of judgments that divide you from Truth.
As is evident throughout every stage of growth, truth is not the opposite of falsehood, but the recognition of love in action. If you wish to know what is true in any moment, it can only be discovered by loving what arises.
Perhaps life’s story is not yours to discard. Maybe it’s a chance to recognize any attachment to a personal image as an imaginary shield your innocence hides behind whenever your heart feels unsafe. The more you try to let things go or drop your story, the more self-denial you invite into your heart to confirm how unsafe it is. This keeps it closed, as you remain disconnected from your true innocent nature, until the invitation of love is embraced with sincerity.
As depicted in any great movie, the point is not to abandon the story being told, but to allow the plotline to transform the characters in view. While there is no denying any amount of success that you may have uncovered throughout your journey, perhaps these words remind you of a deeper purpose and greater importance throughout a spiritual path. Instead of denying yourself or others, only to abandon your heart in the process, perhaps you can see patterns of ego as signs of how unsafe someone feels. You don’t have to drop a story to see where you hide in it, nor do you have to defend yourself against false accusations, whether arising as thought or through the projections of others. Instead, you can recognize any layer of sadness all the way to outbursts of madness as eruptions of self-denial the universe is purging as a way of liberating every heart.
Maybe you are able to love the ones who hurt you, or simply love the one who hurts. No matter what you are able to embrace, as long as you speak to yourself in a way that matches how you would treat a wounded child or abused animal, you are sure to uncover the deepest wisdom that leaves you nothing to defend and no one to deny.