Friday, April 07, 2006

The Power of Powerlessness

Well, while I haven’t yet had the blinding flash of light, or the revelation of the complete surrender (which I hate, because that is what has been happening for about a year now, I come close to surrendering, really close, and then get a sort of deus ex machina, not a real, heart moving solution, but just enough awareness to stop the pain, and the letting go, dang, just put me out of my misery once and for all!), I have had some insights.

I am not in acceptance of my situation, of my life as it stands right now, of reality. There are things I want that I don’t have. And I have been hoping and wishing and trying and praying to get acceptance around not having those things (naturally that step came after the step where I was hoping and wishing and trying and prayer to get the things I want, so really this is progress). And nothing changes. Nothing changes. And so I assume that my praying wasn’t done right, or good enough, or something, and so I try harder. And harder. And still nothing changes. Still I don’t have what I want.

Of course at some level I am assuming that accepting my situation, accepting that I don’t have what I want will change my not having what I want, that through the acceptance I will get to have what I want. It is sort of like having my fingers crossed behind my back when talking to God. It is a form of bargaining, “If I accept that I don’t have this thing, and get ok with it, then you will give it to me, right?” Which sometimes does happen. But not recently, not on this round of “wants”. The real win, the real power behind this spiritual principle, is that when I do accept my situation, really accept my situation, then I change, and I look at the world differently and I am less inclined to be longing for something outside myself.

So picture me, face all screwed up tight in the effort, trying to think my way to acceptance. Acceptance of these things I don’t have and I want. And then it hits me. I don’t need to accept that I don’t have these things; I need to accept that I don’t have control over when or whether I get the things. That is the real issue here. I want to be able to decide when and what and where and how I get the thing(s) I want. I want to be able to make the change happen. I want control over the outcome. Power over the outcome. And what I need to accept is my powerlessness (12 stepper that I am, this is not the bad word it might be in other circles, not powerless as in victim, but powerless in that I believe that there is a power greater than myself that guides me and life, and I can trust in that).

Accepting my powerlessness. Ouch. And yay! Seeing that I am not all powerful, seeing that I am not in control of every last detail, that gives me the room to breathe, to stop being so hard on myself, to trust that it is all exactly they way it is meant to be. Oh holy relief. A mini breakthrough (not that this is entirely new, but each time I must be getting it deeper, right?). Enough for a reprieve at any rate. And maybe if I keep exploring it and really living into it, I will let that lesson of the head percolate all the way down into my heart and then the relief and release will be long lasting and profound. But I don’t much have control over that either.

So what do I have control over, really control? Whether I live my life, fully, today. Whether I express myself completely, today. Whether I line myself up with God’s will for me, just for today. And let tomorrow take care of itself.

8 Comments:

At 1:01 PM PDT, Anonymous deb said...

LOVE the way you've articulated this so clearly. Thanks for being willing to reveal your process. I see myself in it, and I'm sure others will too.

And while I know that's not necessarily why you share it (even though you like to light fires under people and make them think), what a delicious byproduct for those of us who read who also on the path - to have it said so. And revealed so bravely and true. xo

 
At 11:27 AM PDT, Blogger Signy said...

Deb, you are always go great at both acknowledging the power of the process, of the words, of the experience, while at the same time inspiring people to open to the next place.

What a gift you are!!!

 
At 7:24 AM PDT, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

By George, I think you've got it! And you've given yourself permission to do this! Now that's power and control - even if with a smaller magnitude than what you previously wanted!

 
At 7:21 PM PDT, Blogger Signy2 said...

Dear Signy,

I stumbled upon your site this morning "accidentally" while looking up my name on the internet. But after reading your story, I'm convinced that it was no accident. I'm not a Cancer survivor, though a lot of people in my family are...my MOm included. I'm not seriously ill (physically)at all in fact. I'm just a girl who feels like she's lost her true self. I don't know when exactly, but I've felt really empty for quite some time- like a part of my personality or soul just went to sleep and can't wake up. That's why what you wrote about "reclaiming your true self" really hit home for me. I'm 26 years old-living in Australia with my Australian husband- newly married, and three months pregnant with my first child. All of this is great and my husband is wonderufl and loves me very much...but there's still this emptiness that I can't seem to fill....Why is it there? Why shouldn't I be perfectly happy and just appreciate what I have?? I'm constantly watching the calender and wishing the time away... I can't wait for every day to be over with before it even begins. I measure time by how long I've been away from Canada and how much longer it's going to be until my parents come to visit or we go back there to visit. I'm a "musician" with a degree in Contemporary music but i find it hard to sit down and write a song or even play the guitar or piano at all...something that used to be my greatest passion.I used to dream about being a famous singer-songwriter but that dream seems so distant and out of reach now. I joined a local choir to keep myself singing but it's hard to will myself to sing outside of that. It's like I have completely lost the passion. Where did it go? I wish I knew.
Mostly, I am finding it really hard living on the other end of the world- so far away from my family and friends. I miss them so much! I know that there must be a deeper meaning behind my unhappiness....it's coming from within myself,I know...and I am so sick of letting it control me.
You seem like a really warm, lively person who knows how to make the most out of life. Are there any suggestions you can make for overcoming adversity and regaining lost inner strength? I am inspired by you and your story. Thank you for sharing yourself with others.
Sincerely,
Signy Arnason-Bell

 
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