Thursday, January 14, 2010

Daily Om - The Wisdom of Surrender: Relying on Others

Last weekend, Jami called me out on not walking my talk. I frequently advocate for openness and vulnerability in our relationships, but I am still a work in process when it comes to being vulnerable, to surrendering myself to the safety of our relationship.

If I cannot tell her my concerns, my fears, my anxieties, she cannot offer her support. More importantly however, when I can be open with her, it deepens our relationship and our intimacy.

Her observation is well-taken, and I am still working toward being the open person with her that I want to be - there are many years of conditioning to undo. I was raised to be self-reliant, especially with emotional issues.

Today's Daily Om looks at this from a more general perspective, and less of a gender issue, but it is still a good reminder.

The Wisdom of Surrender
Relying on Others

Most of us pride ourselves on our self-sufficiency. We like to be responsible for taking care of ourselves and pulling our own weight in the world. This is why it can be so challenging when we find ourselves in a situation in which we have to rely on someone else. This can happen as the result of an illness or an injury, or even in the case of a positive change, such as the arrival of a newborn. At times like these, it is essential that we let go of our feeling that we should be able to do it all by ourselves and accept the help of others.

The first step is accepting the situation fully as it is. Too often we make things worse either by trying to do more than we should or by lapsing into feelings of uselessness. In both cases we run the risk of actually prolonging our dependency. In addition, we miss a valuable opportunity to practice acceptance and humility. The ego resists what is, so when we move into acceptance we move into the deeper realm of the soul. In needing others and allowing them to help us, we experience the full realization that we are not on our own in the world. While this may bring up feelings of vulnerability, a deep feeling of gratitude may also emerge as we open to the experience of being helped. This realization can enable us to be wiser in our service of others when we are called upon to help.

It takes wisdom and strength to surrender to our own helplessness and to accept that we, just like every other human being, have limitations. The gifts of surrender are numerous. We discover humility, gratitude, and a deepening understanding of the human experience that enables us to be that much more compassionate and surrendered in the world.

Image source: Hope in My Pockets

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. To be masculine requires one to surrender to others in so many stereotype "busting" ways. I just wrote about this as a part of my 4-part series on job loss for men. To get "back" they have to look back...and set a good example for the next generation of Normal Males. Well done...thank you.
Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male