On Trust and Surrender

by Simon Goland, February 4, 2016

Person and UniverseEvery end of the year I start this process, or perhaps a ritual, of reviewing the past year and looking at the year ahead. What has the past year brought? What is emerging in the coming year? What do I want to create, and what am I called to bring forward? The process starts around the Winter Solstice and lasts about a week or so, though mostly, it lasts as long as it takes to get the clarity I am after. That clarity is tricky at times, because – for me – it involves a lot of silence, presence, openness, and listening, inviting the Universe into this dialogue. Over time, we have reached a working agreement around who is responsible for which part, and we keep fine-tuning it year after year. Still, it appears that the Universe does not work with precise checklists and I keep learning to hone my listening skills.

This year, it took me right into the first few days of January to get clear on what the overarching theme is going to be. Trust and Surrender. A’right then, I thought, here we go. Again. Not realizing that it actually started about a week before Christmas. I am still a slow learner at times.

“A deep, rich, evoking, and transformative learning journey brings out our vulnerabilities into the spotlight of the naked eye.”

It is a week before Christmas and the interview went great. I am excited. Thrilled. The organization does work that, in my unbiased and objective perspective, is totally fitting with what I bring to the table. A blend of leadership development, creativity and innovation, and coaching, on a part-time basis that is a beautiful match to both my calendar and themes I am passionate about. The fact is, this opportunity fits in the way I have not felt in a very long time. The person asks me if I am around the following week (I am), and that they will set up time for me to meet one of the two co-founders.

And then, 3 weeks of complete silence go by. During those weeks, I fluctuate between accepting that it might not be “it” and a juicy blend of frustration, disappointment, and disillusionment. Until it finally clicks in for me – Trust and Surrender. That’s what it looks and feels like.

“Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you.” – Andre Gide

Tobi has entered his 13th year, and other than sleeping more and, occasionally, snoring, he is still the same to me. Yet, when we went for a check-up visit to the vet, she told me that – while he is in a great shape in many aspects – he is developing some stiffness in his hind legs and spine. Apparently, Alison has been noticing it, and whether I haven’t, or resisted, it is here and even though I want Tobi to live forever, it is not going to happen. I don’t want to. I also don’t get a say in this matter. Trust and Surrender.

“I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, only more love.” – Mother Theresa

My parents are aging, and not in the most graceful way. Their relationship has not been the most loving one for a long time, and after various illnesses over the years, their mental, emotional, and physical health is deteriorating. It is both strange and hard to watch as they appear more and more like little helpless children, needing a lot of attention and huge amounts of patience. My recent visit helped me see, for the first time, the situation with a lot of clarity, and the resulting sadness, compassion, and peace – their life is not mine to live, own, or try to fix. A whole different level of letting go is beginning to take place within me, and while I don’t know where it will lead, I can feel its truth. Trust and Surrender.

It is said that an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.”

How do we go about Trust and Surrender? How do we learn to accept the fact that there are so many things in this world that are completely outside of our control? How does one say, OK Universe, you clearly know better than me what The Grand Plan here is, and so I am willing to give myself over, fully and whole-heartedly, and follow your guidance? And, after saying it, truly and fully give oneself over?

Given that it is only February 4, and we still have the rest of the year together, I have a sense that I am facing quite the year.