This past week, I hit the wall. I hit that point of just wanting to escape reality; the overwhelming feeling of restlessness and feeling trapped in this cycle of fear and uncertainty. Usually when I have felt this way in the past, I run.
I run away from the situation, often quite literally. There have been countless times in my life that when I am faced with a hard situation, I just leave. When I couldn’t leave physically, then I would leave mentally and emotionally whether it was in the form of drinking until I blacked out or coping through eating disorder behaviors. None of these options are helpful or healthful. Luckily, I no longer see any of these as options anymore.
How do I deal with these emotions now? How do I not let fear and uncertainty overtake me?
I surrender. I surrender to the fear, to the uncertainty. I move into acceptance of what is instead of trying to force what I want.
I used to think that surrendering meant admitting defeat and weakness. However, over the last few years, I’ve come to see how courageous the act of surrendering can be. Surrendering for me means that I stop fighting and resisting reality and instead lean into it.
Someone once told me about a fighting style where when someone realizes they are going to lose, instead of cowering back in retreat, they open up their chest and walk TOWARDS their opponent. This is the image that comes to me now when I think of surrendering – stepping forward, stepping INTO what I was fighting and let it go.
For what we resist, persists. We only truly lose when we keep fighting a battle that we cannot win. Right now, trying to fight reality, trying to move out of the discomfort, that’s where we lose. It’s so easy to get lost and consumed by emotions right now. Or wanting to desperate change how we feel.
The courageous action is sitting with the discomfort, the uncertainty, and the fear. Facing it head on instead of trying to run away from it, physically or mentally Accepting and surrendering does not mean that you are happy or even okay with the current situation. However, it does mean that you are not going to let it consume your life. You are not going to keep expending energy on something that does not bring you joy or happiness.
What have you been fighting lately? What have you been resisting?
Personally, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future and for the first time I have no idea what that is going to look like, no clear direction, no clear focus, and it creates so much anxiety for me. But the truth is, none of us have any idea what the future is going to look like, and it is constantly changing. Why do I spend so much time ruminating on something that isn’t even real? So instead of fighting with myself over that, I’m choosing to surrender to it. I’m choosing to let those fears go and focus on being present. Focus on what I can do in this moment, right here, right now.
Perhaps you’ve been in the same place with thinking about the future too much. Trying to imagine what this “new normal” will look like and how you will manage all the changes. Maybe you are struggling right now with trying to be the perfect mom and wife, comparing yourself to others that seem to be managing much better than you.
Whatever fight you are in right now, ask yourself what surrendering to it would look like? How would you feel if you just leaned in to, opened yourself up to accepting what is instead of what you want it to be?
Stop fighting. Surrender.