I’ve spent every moment of my life trying to control everything I physically and possibly can.
This has meant an enormous amount of agony in everything I’ve done—in writing that perfect sentence, in friendships, in love and romance, in work, in how many pounds I have lost in the last week.
We all know this at some point in our lives—that need to manipulate a perfect outcome.
I’ve gone through volumes of books and talks about acceptance, letting go, embracing imperfection and unpredictability. Some of it has been tremendously helpful, some of it has been just too complicated to get through. While the theories and philosophizing may all be incredibly sound, it’s equally hard to recall all the finer points of what I’ve read when I faced with the muddles of real life. Trying to reason it all out in my head becomes just as convoluted as the problems themselves and always, inevitably, I go back to my favorite base station: panic.
Recently, I’ve come across writings, memes, books and people who, like a chorus of angels, have brought me the same message:
Surrender it to Spirit.
Notably, there is Gabrielle Bernstein‘s Spirit Junkie, where Gabrielle shares her own spiritual journey as much as she shares methods for us to achieve the same happy state of mind that she’s come to embody. She talks a lot about just giving her troubles over to Spirit, to pray to a higher universal energy to take over and guide her to make the right decisions. She says it works every single time.
This didn’t resonate with me at all in the beginning. I felt like it was a bit of a cop-out. What? Hand it over? Just like that? Get ‘someone else’ (whoever or whatever that was meant to be) to sort it out for you? What about personal responsibility, taking and maintaining control of your own life? Isn’t it all just a bit of a risk to throw it up in the air and wait for something invisible to drop a miracle?
But then, I was reading this at a time when I was also at the lowest point in my life. I had to be honest with myself and see that this insistence on controlling every outcome just wasn’t working out.
I was tired of falling into the same old wrong mistakes all the time and then feeling so damned awful about it. I decided I’d go the way of Gabby—just hand it over. It couldn’t get worse than this constant battle against myself.
So I tested things out with Spirit, asking for tiny, inconsequential things at first—like a parking spot, finding the right gift for someone, a good night’s sleep with good dreams.
It worked like a charm, every single time. I just put it out there, connecting to whoever or whatever was out there listening—God, angels, Buddhas, ascended masters, the universe, my own higher self, whatever thousands of other names there are for divinity.
I settled on Spirit because it felt like such an uplifting word to me. We speak of a person being ‘spirited’ when we refer to them being energetic, bubbling over in goodness; we speak of ‘spirituality’ to mean matters higher than or beyond our worldly, earthly bodies but which encompasses every one of us. I love the sense that the word ‘Spirit’ is as much about the individual being as it is about a collective, universal energy.
It began to feel like I wasn’t just handing my troubles over to ‘someone else’. It was about aligning myself—my spirit—to the larger energy that I’m only a tiny part of and letting things find the necessary balance on their own. It worked every time. Instead of struggling as a single renegade cell against the grain, I decided to go the way that Spirit was headed—which of course would include me.
It also doesn’t mean I just sit back and do absolutely nothing. I still have a lot to work on and I still have to act. But I’ve found that surrendering to Spirit has meant clearing out a lot of the self-imposed worrying and freeing the space to receive new ways of thinking, doing, being. It has meant trusting that there is something bigger than just this one physical body that can guide me towards a higher outcome, a higher vision. It is also understanding that since every being—including me—is a part of Spirit, ‘surrendering’ is also actually about just tapping back into my own intuition and higher self which is aligned always to a larger outcome and vision.
So if I was finding it particularly difficult to deal with someone, I would call for Spirit’s help to speak or act in the most beneficial way to all involved. Trusting that Spirit has my back and works at the highest vibrations for the highest good of all concerned, I relax, knowing things will be okay. Then the universe conspires. The right situations would arise to help us mend and talk; the right words would come out; emotionally, I’d feel a lot less anxious about what the other person would say or do; I’d also feel a lot more confident about myself and what I had to do to make this a good relationship or friendship.
If was struggling with a bad emotion—anger, sadness, feeling stuck—I’d give that emotion over to Spirit and believe that things would find balance. Almost immediately, I’d have a conversation with someone or read something that would inject a different perspective to uplift my mood. Or something would happen to just make me laugh, to feel good about myself and where I was right at that moment. Things would smoothen out around the edges, balance.
As if to confirm that I was headed the right way and Spirit was listening to my every little request, I would often bump into healer friends who would reaffirm this message. Without me asking, they would offer own experiences of prayer to Spirit.
Oracle cards that I pulled, across different decks, would all give me the same advice:
call for Spirit, hand it over to the universe, expect miracles
Gabrielle was right. Spirit is right there, all the time—Spirit includes me and I exist within Spirit. There’s this resource to tap into for any and everything, that is us and yet so much bigger than us.
Realizing this, know that when we hand things over to Spirit, there really isn’t anything we can’t handle.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Agung Cahyono/Pixoto