Thursday, November 15, 2012

What Does It Mean to Truly Surrender?

I can clearly remember one particular day from a long time ago.  I was thirteen and I was playing in the ocean with a group of my cousins in the Caribbean.  We were volleying a ball when suddenly I found myself sinking.  I didn't know it at the time, but this particular beach named Captain's Bay is known to have sudden "drop-offs."  If you stepped out even just a bit, you could find yourself in really deep water which is what happened in my case and I didn't know how to swim.

It all happened so fast.  I didn't struggle to stay afloat.  I can't say exactly how much time passed, but enough seconds to recognize that I was sinking and that I was waiting for someone to help me.  Still, there was no sense of panic.  I made no attempt to save myself.  My cousin, Shawn, was my angel that day. 

It wasn't until I was safely ashore that I began to feel a sense of panic.  I began to think about all that could have happened.  I can remember asking myself, why didn't I pray? 

Why didn't I pray?  Why didn't I panic?  Why didn't I fight to stay afloat?  I guess I just trusted that I would be okay. 

True surrender is about letting go of the outcome, the result, the way we believe things should be even when we appear to be sinking fast.  It is knowing that life works beautifully when we choose to live and act according to what is most essential in us.  When we stop fighting for what we must have and begin to trust the experience, we are able to recognize our strengths and unwrap our greatest gifts.  We also leave room for the unexpected to happen. 

It is then that we begin to see with new eyes.  A chance conversation in a grocery store aisle turns out to be more than it what it first appears to be.  A particular book falls off the shelf.   A sign along a roadside might speak to you one particular day.  While you may have traveled this road many times before, the intended message was not ready to be received until this very moment.  

I have grown to trust the process of life completely and yet I continue to pray each day.  My morning prayer is now:

Thank You God for the blessing of another day,
Let me see the truth and may I light the path for others to find their way.

When I say thank you, I express my gratitude to the Creator of all life that allows me to exist.  I recognize that God already knows what is on my heart and the power of this divine source also resides within me.
Prayer, meditation, painting, playing music, singing and writing are all means of accessing this deeper life within us and allow us to live with intention and purpose.  We are also able to connect to the truth of any and all situations.  Sometimes the answers are not immediate.  Still, the timing is always perfect. 

Love and blessings.

Kathleen O'Malley

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