Lol am I just going to tell you guys everything? I’m just going to leave my bleeding heart on the page? Cool. I mean I’m chill with it if you guys are chill with it. This week I wanted to write about the Power of Surrender, and I guess that kind of ties in a little bit with the “Waiting” post that I was going to write last week, because during waiting you’re often having to surrender and yadda yadda whatever we’ll get to it.
Alright, have you guys heard of the Enneagram? It’s this personality thing, kind of like Myer’s Briggs except instead of certain letters, each type is a different number, 1-9. If you want, you can take a second to Google it, don’t worry I’ll wait.
You back? Okay great. So I’m an enneagram type 8. Words that might be associated with an enneagram type 8 are straightforward, independent, honest, intimidating, masculine energy (my favorite), authoritative, self-confident, direct… you get the gist. Okay but the number one thing that drives 8’s is control. Literally the “basic desire” of an eight is to control and our “basic fear” is to be controlled or manipulated. For example, I hate pranks. I don’t like seeing them played on other people and I LOATHE them being played on me. The idea that someone somewhere knows something I don’t and would use that information to potentially shock or temporarily harm me, even in jest, is not appreciated. I would argue that everyone is a control freak on some level. Even the enneagram type 2’s, who are basically my soft and gentler opposite, feel the desire to be needed or to be seen as helpful. And whenever you throw in a “need to be seen as” something, you’re talking about wanting control over others perceptions of you. So yeah I mean we’re all control freaks. But I think perhaps my death grip might be particularly strong, to “let go and let God” has never been one of my strong suits. Also I fucking hate that phrase but that’s a whole other issue.
Alright so another little fun fact about me: I’m 26. And there are a lot of things that go along with being 26 but the thing that rings loudest to me right now is this weird sense of urgency to find a partner. Don’t you dare act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Engagement photos take up every other story on my newsfeed, I feel like I’m seeing 3 a week at this point. And for those of us who currently aren’t dating for whatever reason, there’s like this silent suffocating pressure trying to slowly crush us under the weight. If you’re reading this, and you’re single and around my age, and you’re saying that you’ve never felt that pressure, I’m gonna tell you right now to your face: you’re a goddamned liar. ESPECIALLY if you’re in the Christian community, oh my god. Sometimes when I hang out with Christians it feels like the pressure is palpable. The air is THICK with the desperation of hot young men and women looking to nail someone down, it’s wild.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I don’t want a meaningful relationship with an emotionally mature man who’s also super hot. I’m not going to sit here and grin manically and feed you platitudes about how I feel like “God is really working with me in this space” and “I’m just so happy to be where I am right now” and “I don’t care whether or not I get married, I just want whatever God wants” and blah blah blah. Those things are true, but sometimes they don’t feel true. I frequently go back and forth between “It would be so nice to have a meal with someone I like” and “OH MY GOD I NEVER WANT TO SHARE MY BED”, but that’s my own struggle.
My point is that I would love to be in a relationship but I have no control over when or if that will happen. Enter learning the Power of Surrender lol. Matt said, in that incredible message about waiting, that one of the hardest things about that process is not knowing if you’ll ever get the thing that you’re waiting for. I’m not gonna lie, most days I don’t do so well with that. Not just in finding a relationship, but like with anything. As we learned earlier, I prefer control. But when you’re faced with that reality, I mean what else can you do but to let go? I guess you can get mad, sometimes I do that. Sometimes I throw tantrums and journal furiously and drink a lot of wine. But ultimately that’s all part of a process of learning to let go, again and again, every day.
The thing that’s interesting too though is how relieving that is. I forget a lot about the freedom in surrender. I come upon this situation that I want to control and manipulate and force my will over but then when I remember to let go it’s like, wait a second I don’t need to do shit! It’s like finding out a homework assignment you had was cancelled, all you have to do is chill.
And I love yoga because it reminds me, even on a microcosmic level, to relax. They always talk about how you should never force anything, your body will go to the spaces available to it, and if it doesn’t, it will with time. Or maybe it won’t but either way it’s fine. Getting into a pose is more about relaxing into it, vs. struggling to achieve or maintain it. And that can be broadened out into life, deciding to relax into and release control of a situation we can’t change, rather than struggling to force it to work.
I feel like a lot of times that desire to force comes from us being overly dependent on the thing it is we’re waiting for. “If I got married, I’d finally be happy!” “If I got this job, I would finally be happy!” “If I won the Power Ball, I would finally be happy!” (Not gonna lie though, that last one woulda been super chill. Congratulations to the big winner in Chino, whom I can only assume to be Ryan Atwood). But Matt also spoke in the message about the danger that comes when what we’re waiting for becomes what we’re counting on. Like if you take the relationship example, can you imagine putting all your hope for finally being happy on another human being?? That is WAY TOO MUCH PRESSURE! Like go ahead and hire the lawyers now, there’s no way that thing’s gonna hold. It’s like we all have to just be like “I really want this thing, but if I don’t get it, it’s chill *sunglasses emoji*”. And I feel like the power comes from exercising that CHOICE to let something go. You yourself get to decide what you will pick up to stress about and what you won’t.
Now to be clear and honest (#TruthTour2016), I’ve written this post in the middle of a time when I am not feeling the power of surrender. I’m more on the wine, journal, tantrum side of things. I say that to say a) in case you’re there too, there’s no shame in it, because b) like everything else, learning to surrender is an evolutionary process. Sometimes you nail it, and sometimes you don’t. Again, like in yoga, you might be able to get into crow pose one day, and the next day your body is like “nope, not into it.” That’s totally fine and normal! You just have to keep practicing it. Surrender, not crow pose. Or you can do both, knock yourself out! But even if you’re in the middle of being unable to surrender, I feel like it’s helpful to remember the option is always there. At least writing this post really helped me out, even if I’m probably still going to scream into a wine glass later. Cheers.