I will read a line of something and find myself sidetracked wondering why the author chose the words they wrote. Were they really in that zone of perfection where phrases string themselves together or did it just pop into their head and they didn't understand the weight of what they had just written?
I have been struggling with some words this past week, almost marinating in them. Surrender, Stubborn, Forgiveness & Grace.
My sweet friend Mary sent me this quote, "Sometimes the battle we brace for is actually surrender. Sometimes the security we seek isn't at all what we need. Sometimes it's the embrace of the unknowing that delivers us to grace - however wild and untamed and raw and real that grace may be." - Jeanette LeBlanc
I feel like I have found the definition of my life in that quote. I don't even know how to describe what this quote means to me. Every struggle in my life has been because of my fighting the surrender or in the act of surrendering.
I have searched for security in the arms of everyone in my life, not understanding that the security I seek, the safety I seek will never come from others.
My fear of the unknowing, of fighting accepting me in my own power and being. My fear that I am not enough, that I am not worthy, that I don't deserve.
SURRENDER: sur·ren·der səˈrendər/ verb
- cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.
"over 140 rebels surrendered to the authorities"
synonyms: capitulate, give in, give (oneself) up, give way, yield, concede (defeat), submit, climb down, back down, cave in, relent, crumble;
I have been stewing over this quote for days. Surrender is such a difficult concept for me to wrap my head around. The mere thought of surrender straightens and strengthens my body.
"To capitulate, to give in, to give up, to give way, yield, concede, submit, climb down, back down, cave in, relent or crumble" are words that make my stomach roll in anger. Somewhere, from someone, maybe farther back in my DNA than I can trace, I was given pride and determination.
I would say I have always been a fighter. I do not often start the fight, but I am always aware of where the line in the sand is. I am always gauging those around me as friends or enemies. I am always ready to defend and always on guard.
I believe my mother would say I was born with a sense of defiance, a stubborn streak, and a lot of attitude. Stubborn is another word I struggle with as
STUBBORN: stub·born ˈstəbərn/ adjective
- having or showing dogged determination not to change one's attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.
"he accused her of being a silly, stubborn old woman"
synonyms: obstinate, headstrong, willful, strong-willed, pigheaded, difficult, contrary, perverse, inflexible, iron-willed, uncompromising, unbending;
I don't like the synonyms for stubborn either.
The feelings these synonyms create in my body when I taste them is anger.
I can't remember when I learned what surviving meant, but I know I learned from an early age that all I had in this world was the ability to get back up.
Stubborn and not surrendering are words that define me and have protected me, however I have been hearing the call to lay down my sword. Like a weary battle worn soldier, I am being called to look around me and see that the battle is over. When all you have known is war, it is easy to only see war. I find that I am still sitting, watching and waiting for the next attack.
While I know my enemy has not given up, I do not wish to continue living in this state of readiness and fear.
It is time for me to release and surrender my fear. My fear of surrender feels so much greater than my fear of the battle.
What is before me is all mine. It does not have to be colored with the past. What I am being called to create is free of the pains of the past because I won the right to be free. It is time to explore this world that I have won the right to be free in and to start planting the seeds of my future.
I am standing at that place of unknowing stepping into my grace.
"When we lose our map, our real knowledge of the path begins...once we admit that we're not sure where life is taking us, then we are ripe for transformation." —Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen
I am surrendering to Grace and only to Grace. In this place and being of grace, I am safe.
"Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there." —Anne Lamott in Traveling Mercies
My Grace is not going to look like everyone else's, but I am finding that there are other's out there like me. My Grace is not pretty and clean. My Grace cries easily and stains my cheeks. My Grace uses a great deal of bad language. My Grace is still working through the emotions from the war and trying to reconnect with love and peace.
My Grace is wild and untamed and raw and real like me.