Friday, April 18, 2014

Surrender, Annie

Earlier this year, Ali at Hit the Ground Running asked what our word for the year was. I knew mine immediately: surrender.

It's actually something I've been meditating on for over a year now, knowing that I am more the person I wish to be exactly to the extent that I can surrender to the here and now, in all aspects of my life.

I find this so hard to write about yet it's the thread that has been running through everything this year and keeping me going...

Surrender to what?

The circumstances of my life. Being mom to two young children. Wife to a wonderful man, who has some considerable stresses in his life right now. Living in a major city. The work that I do. My past. All of these have their considerable joys and satisfactions but also impose their own limitations. I can butt my head up against those limitations, or relax into things as they are.

And, like water, flow towards that which is necessary for me to keep going.

Moments of silence. Of comfort. Of joy. Of longing.

("This longing you express is the return message." Rumi).

And always, of movement.


But it isn't just about surrendering to, it's a matter also of surrendering up:
  • the idea of being "successful"
  • what I "should" be doing
  • my expectations for myself based on others
And thereby surrendering to myself, to who I really am.

Having children has forced me to spend my time on what I really want to do. Observing this - seeing what choices I make - has opened my eyes to seeing more clearer who I am and who I want to be.

A little bit painful (humbling).

A lot freeing.

The Dude and I had thought we might bear another child and then, last year, closed the door on that idea. I feel, in this 42nd year, as if I might be giving birth to myself.

A late bloomer, I know.

But better late than never.


Some more Rumi for this Holy Friday (translation by Coleman Barks):

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

With love and peace -


  1. Annie, this post is really a gift. Thank you for sharing (also, I feel like you're creepy-stalking the thoughts in my own brain. Nice to know I'm not the only one trying not to 'should' all over myself)

    1. I'm going to pretend you're one of my besties and go with my first response... Kiss kiss. Please know this is not in any kind of crazy way only that my heart is full and this is how I would respond if one of my soul sisters wrote what you did. (Since, you know, I only know you through the interwebs so it is a little forward to respond in this way.) :)

  2. I never really thought of myself as needing to have her own children, nor did I ever think of myself as someone who didn't want children. It's a conversation for another day, but that mindset meant I never really deeply pondered what having children might provide me (rather, my thoughts were always around how having children would change my routines and focus). I will say one of the most amazing things to come out of parenthood is the necessity to slow down. It's allowed (actually, forced) me to look at my life, decide what's important and do away with the things I don't have the time or energy to prioritize. It's been an amazingly freeing experience. Sounds like it just might provide something similar for you.

  3. I love how you're looking at surrender. It's such a different and refreshing take. Thank you for sharing!