Life has a way of continually delivering doses of reality to you, until you stop resisting and accept what life is trying to tell you. Accepting reality often means surrendering. I've never liked the idea of surrender, or the act of surrendering, or even saying, "I surrender!" I'm in the arena, doing battle, and I will never give up. If I get sick, I keep going and pretend like I am not sick, so I can be sure to stay sick an extra two weeks. If I injure my shoulder from overuse, I keep throwing everyday for months, and then pay a physical therapist thousands of dollars to heal those muscles. If I am unhappy in the studio and not liking my work, I keep going in and putting my nose to the grindstone, because that's what I do. I work through it, I keep going, I never give up, and I NEVER SURRENDER!
I have re-examined my habit of refusing surrender. Recently, I did something bad to my arm, and now I have tendonitis. I did not know I had tendonitis, all I knew is that my elbow hurt all the time. I ignored my elbow pain, and I would wake up in morning with my whole arm throbbing. Finally, a doctor diagnosed tendonitis, and told me I would have to suspend my normal activities for 6 weeks. To me, this is a ridiculous prescription. I mean, who does that? Maybe if I were a idle rich person, or a baby who had nothing to do all day, could I suspend normal activity for 6 weeks. I thought about it. I thought about living in pain for the foreseeable future, or doing major, long-term damage to my arm. I took a deep breath, bought a wrist brace, and I suspended normal activity.
I have surrendered to the idea of rest, of giving my body a chance to heal, and of changing my concept of "surrender". It does not mean that some other, unseen force has somehow won the game, and I have lost. Surrendering, I think, means acknowledging reality, and trying to align your actions within this new understanding of reality. I can't tell you how smart I feel having figured that out, at last. What about you? How do you feel about surrender, and when was the last time you tried it?