SR - Hey. I haven’t seen you in ages. I hope that is a good thing.
Jan - Yes it is. Sorry. I have been very busy doing exciting things. I never thought I would feel excitement again but I do and it is real.
SR - How does that make you feel regarding Murray?
Jan - You always know what questions to ask. The paradox is still there. I know he would be very excited about what I am doing so that both hurts and gives me strength and confidence to go beyond where the old me may have tread. Since surrendering to life as it is, things happen. There is less resistance. Less stress.
SR - What exactly do you mean by surrendering, just letting go?
Jan - Letting go would be part of it. Letting go of how things were going to be or letting go of thinking life should be a certain way because that is what you were led to believe. Such as parents die before their children. There is no rule book for how things should be. Things are how they are. It takes a while to get to that. For that to really land.
SR - Does that make you feel better? Does it get rid of the pain?
Jan - I would be lying if I said it got rid of the pain. No. I would say, and I can only speak for myself, it feels like I am getting used to life being the way it is. I think the neurons in my brain have caught up. However, I can honestly say I don’t like it. This morning, I was looking at the pictures I have on my wall of my family. Looking at one with all three of my children, I realise I now have one of each, a son, a daughter, and an Angel. That made me cry. So no, surrendering doesn’t take the pain away but it does mean you live with more awareness. When pain comes you surrender to it. When joy and happiness are around you surrender to those too.
You see, I consciously decided to surrender to life. This means accepting how things are but accepting them with a loving heart, not with bitterness, anger, or jealousy because someone has what you used to have. I think it is possible to say we have accepted how things are but some anger remains. I don’t feel angry anymore. Deciding to surrender with a loving heart, has made me feel more love and compassion for others, for my younger self, and for mistakes made, plus all of creation. I find it easier to see beauty, even in the most challenging situations.
SR - That sounds like forgiveness.
Jan - I think surrendering precedes forgiveness. I don’t think you can fully forgive until you surrender. I feel you first have to let go, let go of an attachment, let go of thinking you have control of your life and the outcome. To me, it feels like there is something way bigger than all of us. Not necessarily pulling the strings but something that wants you to feel love. You can’t feel love if you are angry and you can’t forgive what is making you angry until you surrender. Some would say, ‘Let go and let God in’. There is a big part of me that is starting to believe that.
SR - That sounds like you have had your eyes opened and have made a lot of progress.
Jan - I wouldn’t call it progress because that is linear. We are simply in this space of life. It is all the same. We are still in the same place. To me it feels like cleaning some muck of the lens we each view life through and then life becomes clearer and brighter. More real and the reality includes everything from joy to pain. It is all part of the whole and it is ok. We have spoken about muddy lenses before.
SR - We have and it is a great metaphor. You say ‘we each’ view life through. Do we have different lenses then?
Jan - I guess we do. We have different perspectives on life, based on our experiences and as we go through life, often wisdom will change that perspective. This wisdom, I was going to say sometimes but I will say always, comes from challenges and tragedies. Sadly.
SR - I hear what you are saying. That seems like a fault in life.
Jan - It certainly feels cruel but I see it all the time. Some of the nicest, kindest people I know have had a lot of pain and tragedy. Not that you would want to make tragedy your goal but I guess it is what you do with your wisdom that makes the difference.
SR - It sounds like tragedy is something that comes to you. One minute life is doing fine and the next all has changed.
Jan - Yes. Those are the biggest learning curves and the times that rip your heart open for it to grow bigger.
SR - But not in the way you expected.
Jan - No. My daughter was just telling me of a young girl who was leaving work, tripped on the curb, and broke her ankle. Her ankle got infected and there is now a great chance she will have to have it amputated. In that brief moment the future path of her life was sent off in a different direction, forced to join a club no one would ever apply to be in. I am sure she will now connect with many people who will share enormous wisdom and she will also grow in wisdom herself.
SR - She will have to surrender to that too.
Jan - She will. Surrendering takes time. In fact, I think grief is a transformation to surrender. A lesson in truly letting go in order to find peace.
SR - If surrendering is the best thing to do, why can’t it be done straight away?
Jan - Perhaps some enlightened people can. For me, there was a lot of transformation to do first and time to build inner strength. When life changes drastically, you physically feel you have been run over. For some that might feel like it was a car, for others a bus, and for me, a truckload of lorries! If you knew someone in a physical accident, you wouldn’t be rushing them to heal, you would nurture and observe the healing. The person who is suffering must do this and not pay attention to others who may say things like, ‘She should be over that by now.’ They may not say it but think it. Neither is helpful. In fact, it is hurtful. Each person must find their path to surrendering and accepting.
Jan - It isn’t a magic wand or potion. You may have to surrender on many occasions. Like I said earlier about cleaning the muck from the lens you view life from. There may be a lot of muck. They may need cleaning several times. I clean my lens every day through meditation and prayer. I ask how I can live with more joy and peace that day. No point going beyond a day because you haven’t yet got tomorrow and that isn’t promised to any of us.
Jan - I have talked longer than I expected. It is Queen Elizabeth 11’s funeral today. That whole family is now on their transforming journey. The whole country is. She was an inspiring woman and no doubt will continue to inspire us from her grave. That is a well-lived life, and for that, she gets my support. She has suffered in life the way we all do. Death, divorce, and making tough decisions. It doesn’t matter how much money or status you have, nothing protects you from life in all its joys and pains.
SR - It sounds like today is a sad yet inspiring day.
Jan - I would say it is. I will see you again soon.
SR - I look forward to that. See you soon.