Don’t Despair; Surrender to Events with Hope

As the UK furlough scheme ended yesterday, potentially plunging thousands into financial limbo; the queues at petrol pumps started to return to normal ending a week-long crisis where poverty mindset (or wartime mentality) entered the collective consciousness and it was like the Wild West on the petrol forecourts, every man for himself; and the sombre autumnal rains and winds arrived as they tend to at this time of year, this mantra came to mind. I completely surrender and let go.

In the last few days, there was more: a policeman was jailed for life, “whole life” meaning no parole, ever, for presenting his credentials to a woman walking home alone in South London, handcuffing her and ostensibly arresting her for excuses no-one seems to know… then raping her and murdering her by strangulation with his police belt before setting fire to her body to disguise her identity. A horror that’s a bit of a one-off, surely – but feeds the general fragility and further encourages the lack of confidence the public has in the police. Sarah Everard. We know now we need to say the names of police victims in particular. That name is now up there with the horror felt for George Floyd and Stephen Lawrence, for example. I skip so many other names and many other crises at this time, but this makes the point. Despair could set in, but consider the spiritual act of surrender.  And consider giving up despair as if you actually are stil in control when you clearly no longer are.

The current times are tough, without question, and many of us were already feeling overwhelmed, because, pandemic and lockdown, for example.  As a collective, we’re going through times that previous generations never had to encounter. For that matter, each generation has it’s own trials and tribulations and this may just be ours – but that doesn’t help with knowing how to be, how to get through or even to thrive in these times.

I found these wise words that apply across times and geography and have drawn some comfort. All that I need to do now is learn how to surrender.   A little bit of research informs me that no, this doesn’t come without effort, like breathing, no; we need to practice and keep practicing. However, when you can do it, the relief from handing over the burden to a power greater than oneself (be it God, the Universe, Something Else, whatever it is to you) is so rewarding. When you can do it, it’s the only thing that makes sense.

Surrender… but never give up

One other thing to consider about the subject of surrender, however, is that you can’t just give up at the first hurdle.  Struggle or mental stress is necessary before you can consider surrender, otherwise that’s known as “just not bothering”, am I not right?  Kris Kristofferson in the quote above and many other thinkers agree that you should never give up.  Surrender only becomes a deeply spiritual experience when something is worth fighting for in the first place, it’s not being manifested but you believe in it anyway – like, just being yourself, for example – and you’ve tried absolutely everything else in your power.  That’s when you step aside, I believe.   Of course there seems to be a contradiction – but that’s the subject of another post, I suppose,that life is paradoxical.  But let me know what you think.

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