Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I surrender

It was late at night -- in fact it was closer to early morning, and I could not sleep. Tossing and turning kept me in that roiling state between sleeping and being marginally awake all night. I would have half-dreams about things unresolved in my life, or decisions to make, or things to do. Tossing and turning had me unsettled and frustrated.

Finally I gave up and turned on the TV. Oprah was on the Oxygen network with a show about her mingling with her audience. Apparently she stays around to answer questions and chat sometimes, and it is filmed. I can usually count on Oprah to have something to say to interest me, so I listened.

When I tuned in she had been talking to a couple who had been trying in vitro fertilization for some time without success. The woman was tormented with sadness at what she felt was her failure and overwhelmed with fear of disappointing her husband and her family. She just had kept trying and trying and trying but to no avail. She just kept pushing away at something that wasn't happening.

At this point Oprah got very soft, very tender -- she looked deep into this womans eyes and told her that she needed to find peace, and that she wasn't going to find peace until she surrendered her attachment to the outcome.

She spoke to her about the need to do the best that she could, and then to let her life happen. To let her life happen. Big words. She said (basically) " If you can find this acceptance of the fact that your life may be bigger than you know, finer than you imagine, and you let God or the universe unfold it for you -- then you will have what you do not have now -- and that is peace, whether or not you have a child."

Then she did a remarkable thing. She sang to the woman, telling her that the words were part of an old hymn that was important to her. And like a mother singing a lullabye to her child, she sang softly to this woman -- "I surrender all -- I surrender all...."

I found myself weeping. I felt the burden of all the foolish and not so foolish things *I* have been pushing against. I felt the loneliness of believing wrongly that I had to do everything alone. The acid of that heresy had ground into my sleep. I needed to let it go. I have done my best.

Chief among my agitations was finding and supporting a house. It is taking so long that I am worried that it may be the wrong direction -- or am I to try and stick to it, to persevere in faith? I think what I am supposed to do is to live my life and let it happen. To keep looking but not to put my life on hold while I do. To just let it unfold. To know that I have done enough. To know that my best is enough.

I find myself humming those lines .."I surrender all..I surrender all.." through the day.

And I am finding comfort.

3 Comments:

Blogger beth said...

Wow. Amazing post, amazing what you'll find in the middle of the night. Amazing how God works through a woman with such power and influence.

I appreciated hearing this story of how this woman was blessed, and how you, in turn, were blessed as well.

I have a dear friend whose mantra is 'abandon the outcome'. As she prays, she keeps that in mind. I try to do the same.

Thanks for the blessing.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Jayne said...

Blessings and peace to you dear friend. Will call you soon, I promise... Love to you.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Kerstin said...

I am not religious but believe in serendipity, and that the universe (which of course may be GOD) will help us if we open up to it. Not an easy thing to do, mind.

Letting go is hard. Whether it is the past (painful experiences) or the future (outcome). I read an interesting article, incidentially in the Oprah magazine, about exchanging the phrase "let go" with "let BE". That made so much sense to me and is starting to help me put certain things into perspective about my own struggles.

By the way, I just sent you an email about the house - who knows, it might be serendipity?

Take care,
Kerstin

6:08 PM  

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