I cannot deny that the past month or so has been frustrating. There have been moments of depression and anger, for the first time in a long time, seriously doubting my path and what the end result of all of this is going to be. I found throughout my journey however, that these moments are almost always followed by a wave of peace, and realization.
Surrender tends to be a common realization for me. Each time I surrender I feel that I’m doing so on another level, gradually ascending some invisible staircase leading toward higher levels of spirituality and oneness. There was a weekend recently when I felt so sad and defeated. Every part of me seemed to be giving way, crumbling, each piece falling to the floor and shattering. As usual, a fight ensued, a fight to push away whatever it was that I was supposed to deal with. When this fight inevitably came to no conclusion, I fell to my guru’s feet, and for the thousandth time shouted, “I surrender!” It was then that a warm sensation spread through my heart, and expanded, giving me the peace that I sought. That night I grew very ill, and spent the entire sleeping hours, curled up under my covers, shivering and aching. I cannot fully explain these moments, except to say that I know it is a spiritual, as well as physical, shift taking place. I cannot help but complain at the time, for the physical suffering I am enduring, but within, I know it is for the greater good.
This feeling of surrender lasted a little while, but as a warm sunshine cascaded over the landscape, I felt an insatiable desire to be free of my physical limitations, and embrace the emergence of spring and summer with the youthful energy that I once had. I was continuing to feel tremendous healing taking place, but I asked myself, “Is it ever going to lead to the recovery I have dreamed of all these years? Will it always be this way? Sitting on the edge of a miracle, peering through double plated glass at a vision that only my inner eye can behold?”
I couldn’t believe that I was actually doubting my inevitable recovery, but every time I began to brainstorm about other avenues I could take, I knew that none of them were for me. I knew that I couldn’t give up. It simply wasn’t an option. “What should I do?” I asked myself. I was feeling trapped, and smothered, unsure of what the next steps was. And so I went to the place where the answers are always given, where peace is always found. I sat in front of Amma’s photograph.
“I will just sit here,” I thought. “Whenever there is a still moment, whenever the silence turns into noise, badgering me with doubts and fears, I will simply sit here.” And as I sat there, I felt the familiar warm sensations flowing through my body, my legs began to ache with pain, and I knew she was working on me.
“Okay Amma,” I thought. “There is no path for me, except the path of recovery. That is my path. I will sit here and feel your energy and love, until I am recovered. I have nowhere else to go.”
It was then that I got a new message, a different message than surrender. The thought came to me that even though divine help is all around me, including Francis, guides and angels, Amma, and who knows what other divine beings, ultimately, my physical healing is up to me. I must continue to put forth the effort. I must do my japa, I must visualize my healing, I must wiggle my toes, and push down through my feet. I must continue to believe in Francis, and know that the incredible energy, and sensations I feel flowing throughout my nervous system is not an illusion, it is not my imagination trying to convince me that something which is impossible is possible. No, I must continue to fight, and do everything on my end, to make this dream a reality.
It is easy to think that surrender means not doing anything. But it is always necessary to combine surrender with effort. Surrender without effort, is like plugging a lamp into the wall, without turning the light switch. We are all instruments of God, but in order to make the music play, we must put forth the effort. Surrender allows us to tap into the divine, clears thoughts of negativity, and opens the door of intention. Then we must act, create, and move with determination and perseverance towards our destination.
At first the notion that my physical healing was up to me, felt contradictory to all my previous lessons of surrender. But effort and perseverance have a beautiful relationship with surrender. When their forces combine, that is when we achieve our goals. That is when everything we thought to be unachievable is realized.