Thoughts on Surrender

My ego recently underwent an ass-kicking. Seriously. Like, the suckerpunch-in-the-gut, fall-to-your-knees kind. The long and short of it is that there was a guy, then there wasn’t a guy. Anyone who has ever fallen hard then been hurt by love can fill in the blanks.

Nothing breaks us like a broken heart. Nothing makes us question who we are and lose sight of our own amazing beauty like trusting someone with our vulnerabilities, then being betrayed and tossed away like yesterday’s trash. The pain is almost physical, and the scars are as real as any surgical incision.

I am fortunate. I have a strong tribe of friends, both male and female, who have surrounded me with love. They held me as I cried, listened as I ranted, and reminded me gently but firmly of who I am. They let me feel the pain, but shined a light on my path so that I could find my way back to me. I’m still healing, but my wound now requires a band-aid instead of a tourniquet.

I’m not new to this life, so I’ve felt it sting before. I’ve lost three unborn children to miscarriages. I’ve felt the pain of divorce, felt powerless as my own child made painful choices, and built a business and lost it to the economy. I’ve seen the horrors of modern-day slavery up close and personal. I’ve lost loved ones, and watched helplessly as others suffered in final stages of AIDS, cancer, and other terminal illnesses.

What I realize now is that all of these things ebb and flow. Like monsoon rains, eventually the winds calm and the water dries. The landscape is forever altered, but it is the rain that allows for new growth. The parts of us that become buried in our grief are not lost; they become seeds and eventually begin to sprout with something new – and often wonderful.

Such is surrender.

When we allow ourselves to feel pain, acknowledge it, and let it rise through us and leave our bodies through tears and words, however long that takes, our rivers of grief and hurt dry up and we begin to heal. And just when we think we are parched and wasted, our seeds of passion and purpose that were lost in the fray begin to sprout. Each time, those seeds come back a little stronger and grow a little taller because they’ve been nourished by experience. We gain personal insight, empathy for others, and a renewed appreciation for who we are and what we do and do not need in our lives.

The key is surrendering. Don’t fight the pain. Watch it rise and tend to your wounds as they appear. And surrender to the joy, because it will come, too, and it also has a place.

One thing I realized on this go-’round is that it isn’t the guy I miss. When it comes down to it, he never was the person I had built him up to be. What I miss is who I was when I was with him. I miss being in love and having the willingness to love someone with my whole being. I miss connecting with someone through laughter and shared experiences. I miss being held, and holding someone back.

And I surrender to that.

I am allowing myself to feel the hole that’s left behind in my heart, and when it heals, I know I will be ready to give love another shot if I feel it’s time, and if I decide the person is worthy. I will not try to hide my scars; I will wear them like jewelry because they will soon be beautiful.

And I surrender.

I surrender to the pain and the joy and everything in between, because I know feelings are temporary, but the important things remain. I surrender to not knowing all the answers, to not being perfect, to owning and embracing – and guarding more carefully – my vulnerability. I surrender to the lessons and acknowledge that there is a gift in them.

I surrender to the journey, no matter where it takes me. I have a choice, as each of us has, to pick at my wounds so they stay open and raw, or to let them heal and see what grows.

I choose me.

About the Author | Amanda Christmann

Amanda is editor for Women For One, and is also a human rights advocate and founder of Compassionate Journeys, a volunteer organization spreading awareness and creating economic, educational, and quality of life opportunities for trafficked children in Ghana, West Africa. She is an avid cyclist, a world traveler, and is mom to three boys, two dogs, and two sassy cats.

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