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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P’ease Pick Me Up

  “Amma, p’ease pick me up,” pleads Adaline.

But I must say,

“Can’t do it, my sweet girl.

Do you want to climb up on the couch and we can

eat some blueberries?”

F–k, I say in my head.

God help me.

Give me

hands, my hands that work.

I am Amma,

just as I am.

Kristin needs help.  She doesn’t ask.

Loss.

Love.

Maggie I can still pick up,

now, today.

Oh, please, will someone give me Atticus?

Quit trying?  Never, not ever.

Relaxation and

recuperation, they come later.

Stephanie worries.

She sees me struggle.

Tuesday I will play with them

under the trees outside.

Voices will sing and we will laugh.

Wednesday I will rest and maybe hurt.

X-rays of my hands and wrists and spine

yell at me to be careful.

Zebras at the zoo?  Let’s go!

(This is an alpha-poem (look at the first letter of each line) started during a workshop titled “Writing Through Grief and Loss” led by Ray McGinnis, author of Writing the Sacred)

Published in: on February 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm  Comments (11)  
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