Some will say “suffering is an option”. It took years, but I finally came to understand those words. As the poem above states, “this is one of the hardest lessons to learn“. I certainly found that one to be the TRUTH! The core reason we suffer is we resist the reality of what is when there is pain, loss, heartache, “unfairness”. “IT SHOULDN’T BE THIS WAY!!!! is our very universal and understandable cry of resistance. It is part of the denial that goes with grief. We just can’t believe or accept that what has happened has really happened. It is hard to accept the finality of whatever was lost. It is hard to accept the fragility, unknowns and uncontrollables of life. It is mind boggling to experience life totally turning upside down in a fraction of a second. The mind can’t take it in. There is the illusion somehow, that if we resist enough, scream enough, suffer enough, worry enough, dread enough that somehow, someway, we can change the reality to be how WE WANT IT TO BE, as if we were in charge of the world and how it runs. As if we were in control of accidents, health, death, other people being malicious and evil. It is just so hard to accept what we do not have control over. The helplessness of that, the fragility of that, the vulnerability of that is overwhelming. So, it is easier to suffer and pretend that we do have that control. That way we have the illusion that we are not helpless and can’t control what we so want to be able to control and hang on to. We want guarantees. We want security. We long for that the people we love will never leave us, whether by illness, accidents, death, suicides, divorce, estrangement, wars, drugs, sex trafficking, and other situations and horrors outside of our control.
The reality is that the more we resist, the longer we suffer. Because suffering is caused by resistance, our unwillingness to accept “what is”. We can fight, scream, resist what we think we cannot bear, cannot endure, cannot possibly survive, but the reality is that our resistance doesn’t change what we are grieving over in any way. We, by our response, are adding to the grief, not making it go away. We are trying to control what we cannot control.
Surrender is the letting go. Surrender is facing the Truth. Surrender is faith and trust in the Bigger Picture. Surrender is learning to live from our soul’s perspective, rather than from our ego body’s perspective. Surrender paradoxically brings the peace, security. love that we were so longing for. We realize now we were looking in the wrong places and we were defeated before we started, because we were building our foundations upon illusions. We were looking to the outside physical, dense unevolved world of lower consciousness. Without the ego knowing it, we were bound to fail.
Somehow, we all have the fantasy that life is going to be how WE want it to be. We hold onto the illusion that we have control and we expect that life SHOULD be “fair”. The reality is that this is a world of free will. There are many, many people living in very dense awareness, consciousness, energy that is very destructive, cruel, harmful of others.
Study the Map of Consciousness here. Think about how much fear, shame, anger are used to control and manipulate us and others. Another truth, is that our time in a human body is limited. We come in, live and learn and then the body ends whether through age, accidents, illnesses. As soon as a life in a body begins, there is now the FACT that the body WILL end, it’s just a question of when and how. That’s it. See that and there is freedom. However, if we are only seeing that from the eyes of the ego, it leads to existential despair, depression, emptiness, defeat, resignation,hopeless, a feeling of regret and hollowness, where we may become very cynical, pessimistic and angry, perhaps taking out those feelings on the world and others around us. This can lead to the suicides, the school shootings, family violence, child abuse, the family murder – suicide combinations,
racism, the hatreds of “the other”, and on and on. The capability of love is very low. It is demanding, controlling, conditional “love” that can feel heavy and limiting. Relationships can feel like prisons with the illusion of “the grass is greener” somewhere else. The truth is that it is time to go inward and do the work of inner reflection, which will eventually lead to the soul, the Divine that is placed in the heart of every person, no matter how buried, and how unaware a person is of this Divine Flame in their heart. Accepting the truths of the spiritual laws of this universe meets with RESISTANCE and DENIAL if we stay in the ego. But the facts remain. When we learn to fully face those facts, life ironically can now become easier. Suffering can lift. We now can slowly start to flow with the reality of this physical, dense world, making the best we can of it. And, start to focus on the beauty, harmony, joy, love that is all around us, that we may have been blind to. We are now surrendering to TRUTH about the temporariness, the fragility of the human body. Ironically, this can be replaced with the awareness of the blessing and gift that life is. Our hearts can start to be filled with gratitude and awe for the gift of this incredible thing called “life in a physical body”. We start to see the miracle of life, no matter how brief. We also start to have a consciousness of the density of this earth and the number of people still living in very low vibrations, focused only on themselves and their own survival and gain, at the expense of anyone and everyone else. With turning inward, being still, we start to realize that there is another whole part to ourselves, in our souls. It’s always been there, but it wasn’t in our awareness. Now it is. Slowly, one step at a time, we can start to develop our relationship with our soul. At some point in time, we understand the soul’s message to us: “you are soul first, having a physical experience” rather than body first without a soul, or body first but the soul doesn’t matter, isn’t’ worth spending any time with, much less developing a relationship with. There is good news here too. And at this moment in time, it is VERY good news. Actually, amazing news. Incredible news. The earth and all life upon her is at a MAJOR change point in it’s long, long history and we signed up to be on the earth to be a part of it. AMAZING. This is actually a HUGE PRIVILEGE. There are many souls from the other side of “the veil” watching with excitement, anticipation, wishing they were here. The rafters are packed, as they watch how we each respond to this unique period of time, to this incredible opportunity to co-create a new world at a much higher level. To be a part of the Piscean Age ending with the transition and transformation into the Aquarian Age, the Golden Age.
When we learn to see our physical lives and the earth through the eyes of our soul, everything changes. Our hearts fill with a deep, deep, profound gratitude. Our Hearts overflow with unconditional love that flows out and wants to serve, to give, to co-create. We are tapping into the creative force of the universe and we feel blessed and in awe and wonder. There are moments of pure bliss. We have become heaven on earth within us. We now see through eyes of wonder and sacredness of all life, the incredible beauty of this planet, the joys of our senses in taking in this beauty. We are touched and moved by our divinely inspired creative abilities that start flowing through us for the greater good of all. We have become LOVE. Not an ego limited, controlling love based in dependency and fear, but a pure love that is unlimited. We have now become Illuminated from Within. That energy glows, is healing and is felt by others. It justs wants to give, to be expressed. This is where surrender of the ego can lead — to the blissful peace, wisdom, understanding and love of the Soul. This is the ONENESS we have come to learn about, experience and give to others. This is joy. ~ Caterina
FOR OUR MICHAELIC AGE
Let us eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what comes towards us out of the future. We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations of the future. We must look forward with absolute equanimity to everything that may come. And we must think only that whatever comes is given to us by a world direction full of wisdom. It is part of what we must learn in this age, namely, to live out of pure trust, without any security in existence – trust in the ever-present help of the spiritual world. Truly, nothing else will do if our courage is not to fail us. Let us discipline our will. And let us seek the awakening from within ourselves every morning and every evening. ~ R. Steiner
DIRECTIONS FOR USING THE ABOVE TOOLS
Recommendation before starting:
It is very helpful to have a journal to write in, as you do these steps of assessment and reflection.
First Step: Look first the 4×4 Life Human Journey Map through the row and lens of surrender. Surrender means letting go. Our ego fights this one like crazy. The ego wants to hang onto the illusion that it can and should have control over things that in reality we can’t and don’t have control over. These are those “Big Things”: job and health losses, healthy pregnancies or infertility issues, accidents, divorces, deaths. On a scale of 1–10, how would you rate your resistence to reality at this time? (1= mild and 10= very severe). Make a note of this in your journal.
Next look at your surrender through the lenses of the 4 squares in this row: 1. physical 2.emotional 3. mental 4. spiritual. Which one of these squares is your strength right now that you can draw from? Which square right now is your weakest area, your most challenging? How can you get help in this area? What do you need to do, ask for, seek out that can bring comfort and strength? What about the other 2 areas? Can those areas help in your strongest or weakest areas? What is getting in the way of your surrendering? Can you develop the courage to face life head on and see the truth of what has occured? Can you learn to “let go and let God”? Can you face the truth of what you do NOT have control over no matter how much you wish you did? The Covid-19 impact and spin offs are a perfect example of this area of surrender right now. We didn’t have control over it occuring and we don’t have control over so many of the spin offs. And, we don’t have control over predicting the future. We are having to live in the moment, trust and flow with how it all unfolds. This is not easy. The ego is having a HUGE temper tantrum. The ability to surrender and flow is a spiritual, soul quality of faith and trust. Surrender isn’t easy. Understatement!
Second Step: Look at Maslow’s pyramid. Identify which area you are fighting with. What is/are your specific resistances at this time? What are your current needs? This could be in one area or several areas.
Third Step: Now, reflect on each of the four areas and think about them from the perspective of first your ego and then your soul. What messages do you get for yourself when you look through these two lenses, ego or soul, in each of these 4 areas? What is helping you? What is hurting you? Any thoughts, insights? If so, jot them down in your journal.
We, as complex human beings have the challenge of having both a human body and a divine soul within us. Those two parts are humorously referred to as the “devil on one shoulder” and “the angel on the other shoulder”. We need our ego to survive in a physical body with day to day life successfully. Yet, out of balance, the ego can take over and be the absolute “worst of human nature”. The soul part of us can be “the best of human nature”. Yet, again, if out of balance, a person couldn’t function with daily life. Our goal is to be aware of both and learn to balance and integrate the gifts of both parts. This is easy to say-write, but a huge challenge to learn to apply and live.
Fourth Step: Click on the Tool, the “Personessence Chart” by Jose Stevens posted here to go to the full page and explanation booklet of this chart. There is a LOT packed into this chart. Each of us has has a leading quality in each row. Do you sense what yours might be in each row? (If this chart really interests you, I would recommend reading Jose’s books that go into more detail.) This chart may help you identify examples of ego qualities (bottom of each block) and soul qualities (top of each block). Our lifetime challenge is to learn to move from the ego level to the soul level on each of these characteristics. The two places give entirely different perspectives. Jot down thoughts, aha’s, questions in your journal.
Fifth Step: Click on the Map of Consciousness Tool for the full size. Look up your primary feelings and see if you can identify which primary row you are currently dealing with. What impact are the vibrations of those feelings having for you? Do you want to change any of them? This may give you some ideas of goals you might decide to set, to be able to grow and change to behaviors, feelings, thoughts, ideals that could feel much better for you and help you on your path to healing, wholeness and empowerment.
Sixth Step: Click the link to the Medicine Wheel Page. Look these over and see if they help you put these parts together into a bigger picture, into a whole. It helps to step back and see the bigger picture, the bigger perspective. Solutions can start to pop in from our intuitive guide within us.
Bonus Tool: Go to bonus tools and check out my note with the Serenity Prayer. Decide which column what you are working on belongs in: cannot change or can change. If cannot, then pray for acceptance and serenity. If can change, the pray for courage to make the changes you need to make.
Seventh Step: The SURRENDER FORUM is here for you to be able to share your thoughts and feelings with each other. Sharing of ourselves involves trust. In order to do that, these need to be safe spaces. It is essential that sharing comes from a place of respect, not judgement. If you want to share with another something that has worked for you, be sure to do it in the format of an “I statement”. Simply, stating what you have done that helped you. No, “you shoulds”. You can share, but what the other person does is totally up to them. We need to be kind, considerate, compassionate with each other. Focus on listening and understanding and offering support and encouragement and affirmations of any progress the right direction. Healing is slow, uneven and takes effort and energy. Just showing up is success!
(Note: If you have been at this stage and now have moved beyond this, you are also invited to share and encourage others, giving hope and inspiration that it IS possible to continue with life at a new level, integrating this loss into the patchwork quilt that makes up your life.)
Remember, too, that life goes in stages and cycles. We can be in and out of issues involving surrender many times throughout our lives. Coping skills you have learned before can help you again. With time, you also build up resiliency. It is true that surrender can really create depth, character qualities and have priceless gifts of pearls and wisdom buried in the challenge. Every one of my blessings of mystical experiences and incredible spiritual growth started first with a huge loss and broken heart, with MUCH resistance regarding what the loss was. My ego kept saying, “but it shouldn’t be this way!”. The longer I resisted, the longer I suffered. Ironically, surprisingly, unexpectedly, surrendering actually leads to inner peace, acceptance and freedom. Learning this, makes future times needing surrendering easier. But, the ego still doesn’t tend to give up, give in, with a huge fight and a few messy temper tantrums!
Remember to write in your journal. This can be very helpful to go back to later and see how much you have learned, grown, changed. Life never holds still, it is always moving forward. The more we can be IN THE FLOW, rather than resisting and fighting the flow, the easier it becomes.
When life becomes challenging for me, I always ask myself, “What SOUL quality is this “inviting” me to develop / strengthen.” That helps me look for the deeper meaning behind the surface appearance of something.