Surrender…but to what?
Surrender to what?
This is the question that would haunt me all throughout my first year in recovery. I understood the different analogies.I understood that if I kept fighting I would suffer.BUT what was it that I was fighting against? I wanted to put the boxing gloves down. I wanted to make that constant ache within my soul go away I wanted to take the suggestions of those who came before me – “surrender is a necessary part of recovery.”
But, I had no outlined step-by-step textbook that would help me ace the surrender exam.This was an uncomfortable place to be, and the pain of the battle persisted. I began the process of surrender by repeating, “take my will and my life, guide me in my recovery, and show me how to live.”
As I spoke the words out loud, there was no bolt of lightning, burning bush, not even an instant feeling of peace. Despite the lack of immediate results, I did what my sponsor suggested. Initially, I found myself only speaking the words when I could not stop crying, and then gradually began praying every day.From this practice, I finally began to understand surrender.Surrender to what?
Surrender meant that I had to accept myself as I was AND I had to accept the world around me. No easy feat for this addict. All my life, I had wanted everything to be different, especially who I was. The struggle to control every aspect of my life meant I was fighting a losing battle.Surrender to what?
I wanted to believe that if I fought hard enough, I would get what I wanted immediately, I would change into a perfect individual, and life around me would morph into the self-serving world I fantasized it would be.
Unfortunately for me, this is not reality. There were no benefits to living in self-will. I only got to feel the wounds that came from this constant battle. The pain of not surrendering started to make sense to me. It was not the world around me that led to this intense hurt, it was me constantly trying to quarrel with a reality that would not budge, no matter how much I railed against the gifts I had been given. Notice I stated, “the gifts.”
While I continued to resist, I was only able to notice those things I wanted. When I finally stopped, I started to see the wonderful life I had been given. I had blinded myself. Today, when I turn my attention to gratitude, I can feel a calmness wash over me. My addiction does not scream inside my head about all the things I am not or all the things I should have. Surrender to what?
Instead, I get to feel the world as it is and see how wonderful it has always been. This is not a perfect practice. I still have days when my addiction screams so loud surrender feels impossible. But as long as I keep working my recovery, I can continue to find peace. All it takes is surrender.
Stephanie B Surrender to what?
Surrender to what?