Well I don’t know much.
I do know that this world is a complicated, beautiful, painful place.
And I have lived quite a few decades and for roughly half of that time I’ve been a practicing physician as well, so I’ve learned quite a bit about what allows the human body to be resilient to stress and trauma and illness and disease.
And what I’ve found is that surrendering is what allows healing to happen.
Surrendering = healing.
What heals people in real life is the total opposite of what I learned about healing in medical school.
We never learned about the concept of surrender as a healing modality in our medical education. In fact, what we learned about were ways to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT as if health was a battle and we were automatically going to lose if we didn’t get incredibly stressed out over it.
And God forbid if we did lose the battle it’s because we didn’t fight and resist hard enough or struggle long enough. But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t seem to actually work that way in real life at all.
What builds resiliency in the healing process is allowing yourself to be overwhelmed and surrendering to that… making decisions based on what aligns you with feeling better and better and better, not what builds despair and desperation and struggle within you.
So I began to identify a new way to think about the healing process, one that serves us better than the idea of healing being a big fight… one that feels more accurate to my own personal experiences and the experiences of the patients I’ve worked with.
Think of healing as surrendering… and allowing the process to unfold in partnership with it, instead of fighting it.
Surrender is one reason Grounding is such an incredibly powerful healing modality.
You allow your body to get into the zone of healing and allow the healing energy of the earth to facilitate this processes more quickly than your body could ever do it on it’s own, disconnected and struggling.
Typically in the beginning of a health challenge what we feel is pure resistance:
“This can not (or should not) be happening.”
Interspersed with sobering moments of:
“Yes, I can do this, I will do this, this *is* happening”
…and what I notice is that each time patients surrender to what is actually happening, hope immediately returns. Because then you are in the flow of the healing process and you know anything is possible.
In fact, needing to control or fight the process is actually just a normal reaction to trauma, a PTSD coping mechanism that allows us to attempt to regain our footing.
There is nothing wrong with the impluse to try to take control in order to cope, it means that we are in the midst of change that is overwhelming us and we are responding.
But the real growth comes when we no longer need to control the process.
Letting go of the need to control is a huge triumph in the healing process and a major victory in releasing the PTSD patterns we may have created along the way.
From the book Oneness, by Rasha:
“The key to maximizing the pace of your progress lies in the degree to which you are able to let go and cease directing the scenarios of your drama.
Allow life to unfold for you.
And consider the possibility that your best interests are best served by a level of awareness that transcends your conscious mind.”
I know that personally, for me, every single time I’ve taken a step backwards in the healing process it is because I am resisting it or trying to control it.
And every single time I’ve ever taken a huge leap in the healing process, it is because I was surrendering to the transformation and ALLOWING IT TO BE something more beautiful than had ever stood in it’s place before.
The ugliest messes have a way of being the most necessary, meaningful, healing experiences possible.
And even when fear has us screaming:
“no, no, no, no, NO!”
… the entire time, our soul is singing
“yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!”
and surrender happens.
And healing happens.
And growth happens.
And my ability to heal — and my ability to help patients heal — is directly proportional to my ability to surrender and to help guide surrender.
Surrendering and watching what shows up feels ever so infinitely better than resisting what life has planned for me.
Surrender has shown me beauty, grace, love, unconditional support, strength, survival… and more of *myself* than ever before.
Turns out, stepping fully into the process of trusting what is unfolding is what real, deep, soul healing has been about all along.
Think of it this way:
If you are going to go from Point A to Point B in your lifetime, and yet you are holding onto a very heavy weight at Point A — how will you reach Point B in one piece?
You won’t. Hold onto the weight tight enough and your body will begin to suffer.
Pain will appear in your arm first.
Stress will arise in your heart and mind as you feel the strain increase.
Tension will cause sleep and digestion to suffer.
Your body will continue to hurt as it is pulled in one direction but you remain stuck.
Ultimately — will you let go of the weight before your body is torn in two or will you let the journey itself kill you?
I’ve found with health and healing that the body that stays healthiest is the one that has the least resistance to the journey.
Letting go of old energy dynamics that no longer serve you allows you to stay intact and healthy… holding on, fighting, resisting… that’s the stuff that will tear you in half and rip your body at the seams.
Life has plans for you and a journey to take you on… and honestly it seems that you are going to go on that journey you are destined for whether you are ready for it or not, or are fighting against it or not, or are allowing it or not.
Nothing else compares to this messy experience of being cracked fully open until there is no option left but to surrender to it fully…
… it’s beautiful sacred work and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.
So I painted it.
Allowing this painting to flow through me has been a wonderful healing process of surrender.
I wanted to share it with you here to support your process too.
If you are in resistance, if you are in a situation you feel you didn’t choose, don’t want, can’t survive…
Let go and surrender.
I love this adage:
Let go… or be dragged.
It tells us everything we need to know about how to navigate a healing crisis, or really any kind of crisis.
Letting go as Spirit pulls you ever onward, upwards… you have no choice but to expand and learn and grow and uplevel.
Life moves forward every minute of every day.
But the question is, are you going to let that forward movement kill you?
If you don’t let go it will certainly put incredible strain on your physical body.
I need the reminder just as much as anyone does so I sketched it out… an image of a woman at the very point of surrender. Letting go of the chain that tied her down.
In fact, it was never a chain at all.
A lovely ribbon… a gift… and releasing it was more effortless than she thought it would ever be.
All her life she had stocked up and prepared for a fight. Turns out it’s more simple than that. Life pulls you along. You don’t have to even see where you are going. All you have to do is drop resistance to it.
Once I had it sketched out, I painted it.
1. Painted background:
See this weight?
Identify what is weighing you down, holding you back, what you are fighting, what you are resisting.
You don’t have to know where you are going or what is coming next.
You don’t have to see ahead or figure it out or control it.
Letting go allows your body to experience peace and wholeness as you move into what life has waiting for you.
Let go… or be dragged.
Simple as that.
Complicated as that.
Hard as that.
Beautiful as that.
Learning how to let go right along side of you…
“Let Go” original artwork found here.