Strength and Surrender

by - 2:11 PM

Strength. It comes in so many forms. The strength I have witnessed these past few weeks from different people in my life who have undergone some of the most heartbreaking moments of loss has both inspired me and caused me to do a lot of self reflection.


I know this is kind of a heavy topic, but the reality is that sad things happen. Either in our own lives or to others around us that we love - and it's ok to be sad sometimes.

Without knowing sadness and heartbreak, we cannot appreciate true happiness and joy. One cannot exist without the other. It is how we process and choose to deal with grief that defines us in our darkest moments.

Strength

I have been absolutely floored and inspired by the strength I have seen lately - one from a friend who suddenly lost a mother, and the other from friend who lost her newborn child. Both happened within a week of each other - neither expected. The strength I have seen by both of these women and the families around them - supporting them in this time of utmost sadness - was so beautiful. I am still awestruck.

Nothing can prepare you for the sudden loss of a family member. I am so so very fortunate to not have experienced this personally in my own life so I cannot relate to what they must be going through - I can only watch and support.

I've watched communities band together, sharing prayers, time, food, love, patience, peace. I've watched husbands support their wives, friends drop everything they are doing and prioritize another family over their own. So much selfless love has emerged from these moments of sadness, it only begins to scratch the surface of answering why.

Why.


There is always a why. How could God do this? Why are people removed from our lives suddenly? The seeking for answers is often the hardest part.

Surrender

We might never know why. But we can begin to surrender to the fact that it isn't up to us. There is a greater plan. We don't know what it is, but there is a reason for the events and the timing of these events in our lives that affects everything.

Everything is connected - all energy is universally shared. The sudden loss of a friends mother may inspire you to call your own, just to say you love them. Which warms the heart of that mom, who feels compelled to share her love that day with a stranger, warming their heart. And so on.



We may not understand why things happen in the order they do or the way they do. Sometimes years later we can look back and appreciate the changes that were made in our own lives, in response to an event, and see how it shaped our path. But in the current moment, this path can feel quite dark.

This is where we can start to look to surrender to deal with pain, happiness, sadness. It is ok to feel sad, to be sad, to cry, to grieve to let your emotions OUT. They have to get out, or they will just keep building inside, swelling and consuming and eating away at your joy.

Clearing out the junk

I have never found such surrender as I have on my yoga mat. I didn't quite understand what was happening in my practice, why I would feel so much better mentally after. Or why I would suddenly cry in savasana, sometimes for absolutely no reason at all.

Yoga, meditation, true surrendering activities allow us to clear out the junk. Sometimes it is some really old, scary, cobweb covered stuff that you completely forgot you buried down there years ago. But it hasn't moved. It has existed within you this whole time, perhaps creeping into your interactions with others.

Think of that time you heard a song from your past, and the surprise wave of emotions it evoked. It probably took you by surprise. But those feelings exist within you. And you need to learn to feel them, to let them out, to not judge them. To simply look at them as if you were a person standing on the outside looking in - learn from this, and then watch them float away like you are releasing a beautiful balloon into the sky.

This is not an easy skill. It takes time, practice, energy, patience. But it can be done. I have only begun to tap into the powerful things my mind is capable of once I am able to truly surrender. Yoga is what has taught me to do this.


I've cleared out a lot of junk on my mat. On the running path. On my bike. In my own backyard while meditating. It wasn't all pretty. Some of it was beautiful.

The point is, there is no right way to go about dealing with grief or sadness. But it IS ok to feel feelings. Because that is what makes us ALIVE. The ability to feel sadness and sorrow, happiness and joy. Love.

I have found the better you can learn to connect to these feelings, the easier it is to connect to your inner self, understand why you feel how you do and control your emotions. Not react so quickly, so negatively, so aggressively. To feel a sense of peace and contentment and be able to share it with others (particularly if they are having a bad day).


This week the yoga world lost one of its most foremost teachers, B.K.S. Iyengar. My yoga training was Iyengar based, in alignment and philosophy, and I have only begun to process many of his teachings.

I love this quote above, and believe it speaks to what I have found personally on my mat. I know that yoga may not appeal everyone, so I encourage people to then find something - some routine, some activity that allows them to truly surrender. A safe place to clear out the junk in your mind.

Find your yoga. Find your meditation, and peace will follow.


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