Give Up or Surrender?

I just about ran out of pluck.

And gumption.

And grit.

I’ve had 6 surgeries in the last year and a half, some bigger than others, but all required some rest and recovery time.  My muscles atrophied from all the sitting.  It’s harder for me to move around easily. Then I took a trip and came home worn out and sick with bronchitis.

After a long day of consciously feeling the fear of not getting better and staying weak and fragile, I realized I had a choice. I could give up or I could surrender to reality and begin the work to get better. Giving up looked easier.

Giving up means admitting defeat. It’s saying, “I have lost, there’s no sense in trying anymore.” Surrender means stopping the fight against forces you cannot control. Surrender allows you to reserve your energy for later. It’s the process of letting go. It does not mean giving up. (Teresa Bruni)

I surrendered. I asked–well, begged–God to help me find my pluck and gumption and grit again.

The difference between surrender and giving up is the difference between suffering (giving up) and being at peace (surrender). It is the difference between being lost and finding your way.  (Tim Custis)

I remembered what I hear in 12-step meetings:  Do the next right thing. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

And from Anne Lamott:  Right foot, left foot, right foot, breathe.

Giving up is resistance to what is. Surrender is acceptance of what is. Giving up says “No” to life (you curl up in a ball on the bed). Surrender says “Yes” to life (you hold your arms wide open ready to receive). Giving up moves you away from God. Surrender moves you closer to God.  (Tim Custis)

I exercise in the pool again. I ride the exercise bike in the basement. I lead with my weaker leg when I go up the stairs from the basement. I bought some new shoes (Hey, girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do) that work with my new orthotics so I can walk outside.

I’m not angry at God anymore. I had to feel the anger and tell God I was angry before I could let go of it.

There is no hope in giving up. It’s a dark, miserable place to be.

God and I are buddies again.

I have hope again.

And pluck.

And gumption.

And grit.

Thank God.

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Published in: on April 21, 2015 at 12:03 pm  Comments (15)  
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15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. In hard times I have a mental image of standing, my arms at my sides and letting it come. Accepting is wiser than fighting what cannot be fought. And it passes, it always passes, and in the meantime dignity and peace of mind have been maintained.

    A beautiful brave post Robin.

    • Your image makes me think of the riding the waves of the ocean. That same relaxing and letting it carry me rather than fighting and getting knocked down.

  2. I think many have felt that way, to just take your hands off the wheel, that nothing can be done to make an improvement. Then you look at the young, so full of energy and hope, and friends who care. You have friends who care very much, no matter what you do or what comes whistling out of the clear blue sky.

    Small triumphs, minor signals that you are still in motion can buoy the spirit and provide inspiration to others. I am amazed that you have done so well so long, more than I could have.

    Gung Ho!
    FJ

    • “Small triumphs, minor signals that you are still in motion”–the trick is to be mindful enough and aware enough to notice. And not looking much beyond the present moment.

  3. This was a FB post from a friend who works for Hospice in another state. She posted it today and after I read your blog, I thought there was some relevance, so I’m copying it. Of course, she is referencing Meister Eckhart’s quote, “If the only prayer we ever pray is ‘Thank you,’ that is enough. Bravo to you and gratitude for your insights, Robin.

    Here’s the FB entry from my friend:
    I’m increasingly intrigued at the way we humans handle crisis and the prayer that accompanies it. We list all the things that we want a God to do: guide the hands of the surgeons, keep us safe from germs and bugs that go bump in the night, take all the cancer, fix the weak arteries, and on and on and on…human nature. Then, almost always, we write, “and pray for God’s perfect will.” Wondering all my life why, if I trust the perfect plan of the universe, I need to tell it how to do its job. I know, I know. I know the answer. Guilty totally. So trying to just say “thank you,” and maybe “help.” Where’s Meister Eckhart when you need him?

    • I think I just want to make sure God doesn’t overlook anything! Ah, that illusion of control…

  4. Brava, Robin! Pain is part of the experience of being alive but suffering need not be, a truly lovely post. Thank you.
    Karen

    • Suffering sometimes seems easier than acceptance. That’s when I know I’m in trouble!

  5. Robin, so beautiful! Thank you so much for writing this — and for everything you courageously share. You are amazing to me!

    • Thanks, Anne. Your kind works help me keep writing.

      • That should be “words.”

  6. Gentle peace: Whenever anyone makes such a choice and goes on in the new and possible ways, it makes a tremendous difference for all of us, Amma, humans, but also elephants, tigers, butterflies, stars…every bit of life pushing back against no into yes. The energy changes; more falls on the side of hope and love; we’re all strengthened. Thank you, and blessings.

  7. Hi Robin,
    I just now read this and am really touched by it. Different circumstances have taught me the same things that you expressed. God knows our thoughts, happy or sad or angry, etc. No need to try to hide them from Him. He is the one who shows us the next best things to do, and you are doing them. You are a brave and lovely woman! Thanks for this post!

    • It means a lot that you read and are touched by my writing, Ann. Thank you.

  8. Thank God for your surender and thank you for sharing.


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