Monday, September 12, 2011

Suffering, trust and surrender

Some thoughts on the topic of surrender, trust and suffering.

The longer I walk in this season and time of stretching and hardship, I see over and over again the importance of living in a space of trust and surrender. 
The picture that comes to mind is my hands held out, and completely open. 
Not grasping or holding tight to anything.. 
And, not fallen down to my sides against my body in hopelessness and despair..
But simply open wide and extended out.
Ready to receive what gift is in the today, and ready to let go of what needs to be let go of.
Just open.

I have started to research the word suffering, not the suffering of abuse or grief. 
The suffering I am talking about is the suffering that is self induced.
I am starting to see this kind of suffering largely as a simple thought patterns in the mind. 
My own expectations of what my situation should be, and not just "being" in the sitation as it is.
Because really, when I look at my day, and all that happens in it, it just is what it is. 
And when I begin to suffer is when I begin to wrestle with what I felt my day SHOULD have been like. 

And as soon as I begin to wrestle with what I felt it SHOULD have been like, and loath it and hate it and wish for something else, and long for THAT over there, and not just embrace what is, I begin to suffer. 
Suffer in the way of lack of peace and joy, in frustration, worry, fear, rage, anger, discouragement, despair and hopelessness... 
I begin to suffer internally because of my not accepting what is.

Think on that for a minute.
I suffer and bring on all kinds of negative things because I don't accept this moment for WHAT IT IS.

Acceptance doesn't mean I don't DO anything about it. Because obviously if I can, I think that would be the right action to take. Acceptance doesn't mean lying down and taking it and being passive. 
No, that's not what I mean.. Acceptance of what is, is simply not striving against it. 
I can be at peace with what is, and make changes, right?
Peace seems to be found in that space... accepting what simpy is.
I find myself saying alot, " Well, it just is what it is." And it's true.
I don't have to get upset, I can just move forward from what is, and make the changes that need to be made OR make the changes in myself to adjust to what is, if I am in a situation that I can't change.

I heard it once said about stress in our life... that stress means one of two things.
A. I need to take action and change my circumstance  
B. I need to make changes in myself and adjust my expectations of my circumstance.

And when I think of suffering, and not excepting what is, I see hands that have closed tightly shut... it's when I call something MINE, and I hold tight to that.
My expectations! My way! My dissappointment of what I want!
Mine mine mine!

Suffering comes along and is such a great reminder, don't you think??
It reminds me that I have closed my hands and clinched then tight.... suffering becomes a tool for me to once again let go, and simply accept what is. 
Open my tightly clinched hands once again to trust and to surrender.

Just some thoughts on the matter... I would really love to here yours!

Monday's are always hard days for me... Sunday's I can feel dread of the week to come, and I stand a bit bewildered and confused today about my " what is" situation. 
I cried hard for a long time last night thinking of my "what is". 
It seems to be becoming my Sunday ritual. oy.
It is suffering... is it self induced or is it simply the pain and ache of being shoved into a job that I am not designed for?
I don't know.
But I do know one thing...the crying and pain is causing me to look at it, and ask the 2 questions..
What can I do about my situation? 
What can I adjust in myself?

Love and freedom to you.. 


  1. I LOVED this. So encouraging. I am going to read it to my hubby.
    Hmmm. I think personally you are not suited to your job. That causes MUCH suffering. My husband has suffered for 9 years. Its time to change. Our counsellor said once that even though my hubby made sacrifices he also needs to after a time be true to his natural born gifts and temperament he was given...which means no more sensory overload. We have to find a way to make that work. SERIOUSLY read MONOCULTURE by F.S. Michaels that may help you!
    Now I need to ask myself those two questions. I feel we are on the brink of some BIG changes and I am scared shitless.

  2. hmm. deep. i do like the thoughts about surrender. yes, a lot of the time suffering is self-induced, i think. the weight lifts off my chest when i realize it's not up to me, and it never was. when i can just give it to Him. that does bring peace and eliminate some stress.

    but sometimes we're just in a place of stress, and a place of suffering. i think objectivity is good, where you can look at a situation and say, "this is a stressful time. and i don't know that there's any way to relieve it." sometimes there's nothing you can do. sometimes it's just being spread too thin, and that can be a stage of life. so it's about finding ways to cope, and finding relief whenever you can.

    and suffering... yes, sometimes we make ourselves suffer more when we look at things as wish they were different, or wish something else had happened, or that we could change something. but at the same time, i think it's okay to look at something and realize that it's not ideal. we live in a sinful broken world. you can say, "it is what it is", and for some things, that's good...that's the best thing to do. just give it up. surrender it.

    but other times...i think it's totally legit to be like David when he said, "oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would hasten my escape from the stormy wind and tempest." he wished for a change in his situation, because his situation sucked. and sometimes we're just in those kinds of places. where things suck. where things are hard. and i think God is totally okay hearing prayers of wishing. prayers for change. His ears don't turn away our complaints.

    and you know me: i'm not saying complaining and discontent is okay. it's not. i think you know that's not what i'm saying. but it's okay for us to want to be rescued. the Psalms prove that over and over. rescued from stress, rescued from suffering, rescued from a job that you weren't ready for. yes, we have to find a way to cope with and be content with the circumstances we can't change. but that doesn't mean we can't wish for change or hope for change or pray for change.

    i'm not sure if i'm making sense here or if i'm just rambling. :P it's been a crazy long 7 hours at school. but i guess i just want to make sure that you're not beating yourself up or putting yourself down or belittling your legit pain. you were shoved into a job you weren't designed for. and that's true. that's not going to change. so don't blame yourself for the stress and suffering that and other things are causing you. but also don't lose heart, and remember the One who came to bring you rest. He knows it all. He knows how hard it is. hang in there, sweetheart. wish i could be there for you in real life.

  3. I hope you don't mind- I quoted you A LOT. I didn't put your web addy as I wasn't sure if you wanted it shared...I can paste it up there too...and I will take the quotes down if you want...I figured you wouldn't mind but I got a little ahead of myself. In retrospect I should've asked first. I was just so excited. Let me know if you want anything changed. Sorry and Thank you:)

  4. Rachel- I loved your reference to DAVID. I need to read him more:) I can relate:) I agree. Perhaps there is another way besides a job that brings heartache?

  5. I have more thoughts on this area.. can feel another blog post rumbling inside..

  6. K.. I am gonna scoot over to my library and check that book out! I love your book reps! Thankyou!!
    I most definitely think the same thing.. my job is not for me...but on the flip side, it is what it is for right now, and for this year before we make our move to Colorado, I am going to do it.
    That is my space of surrender and trust that if God wants to, I am completely open to something else. And I am going to start putting my feelers out for something else. But for now, we need me to work, and I have a job. I feel good today..Sunday wasn't so purdy..but Tuesday is good. :) I loved your thoughts

    Rae... I completely agree! I love how David was so demonstrative of every human emotion that we feel in the midst of this human experience. He def would have so many reasons to want to be somewere else then the place that he was at. For sure! But the common thread of David is how he openly surrendered and didn't fight his emotions... that right there is what I was talking about... I am a fighter of not wanting to feel any kind of negative emotion... I want happy, peace and joy. Done. Nothing else. But that's not how life flows. In our culture tho we have such a interesting kind of accumulated message of entitlement and fear of pain and hardship. And I know I have grabbed a hold of that in my own life. I don't want to walk through hard times.. I don't want to desire and dream and not know how my dreams and desires are going to come to fruition. I don't want to feel sadness, fear and frustration...
    I guess what my internal hashings are in my life season right now is to be open and feel and not resist the hard emotions that come, and not resist this season of "in between" that we are in, and not cancel out and shove down my desires and dreams, but not go hog wild and flip out because they haven't happened yet.

    A friend was sharing on this topic.. Stacey Robbins... she said you have these two boxes..
    One box is your situation, whatever it might be, Just the facts of what it is.

    And the other box is " what I tell myself, and the stories I tell myself about my situation, whatever it might be."

    We tell ourselves alot of stories about the things that happen in our lives. And those stories are how we perceive life, and things around us.

    Anywho.. just more thoughts that came to mind after I posted and read what K and Rae shared.

    I just think alot of our self induced suffering comes in how we perceive "what is"... in what stories we tell ourself about "what is."

    Albert Einstein asked the question, " Do you see the universe as compassionate?"
    When I heard this question I thought, well yeah I do...but there are areas in me that think it isn't. That God holds out on me, or if I don't do this and that and this, He doesn't bless me.

    But it's a perceiving kind of question.
    Is the Universe/God compassionate?
    If you can answer that question, you can decipher your worldview.

    Thankyou for sharing your hearts, my lovies!!


  7. wow
    I have spent two days absorbing all that has been written here
    LOVE IT!
    I think you are right on the mark Amy, about suffering...suffering is a state of mind, a mind that we control and can shift...and sometimes...who am I kidding....most times it is the slightest of shifts that make something look entirely different.
    Your job for already have the mind set of this is right for you can take comfort in that this is not forever and there is a purpose and a goal that you are working instead of focusing on the job that is not a fit, you can look beyond the job and see the goal and all the benefits of reaching that goal.
    The deeper I go the more I am shown that we have choices..and even in the toughest of times, the darkest of times, we can choose to fight it or sink into it and
    Is the Universe compassionate?
    More than we in this human body could ever ever understand or know!
    That is my Truth.

    Keep pouring it out here sister
    here you are and will always be
    Amy the Free

    love and light

  8. totally goes along with what I was reading about Buddhism and the 4 truths...

    thanks for being real sis!

  9. there is so much here, amy...
    lots to absorb.
    i really resonate with how you feel when you said:

    "It is suffering... is it self induced or is it simply the pain and ache of being shoved into a job that I am not designed for?"

    and this:

    "Acceptance of what is, is simply not striving against it.
    I can be at peace with what is, and make changes, right?
    Peace seems to be found in that space... accepting what simpy is.
    I find myself saying alot, " Well, it just is what it is." And it's true.
    I don't have to get upset, I can just move forward from what is, and make the changes that need to be made OR make the changes in myself to adjust to what is, if I am in a situation that I can't change."

    i love how rich your heart is. it could go on for days.