Posts Tagged ‘“Of Its Own Weight”’

c. Susan Sorrell Hill

The Illustration Friday word of the week is surrender.

There is no getting around it: limitation is misery. Whether it be a dearth of space, time, money, ability, success or love, “not having enough” of the thing we need (or think we need) is akin to that proverbial slow trip through Hell. Most of us would do anything to avoid it.

Alas, (and as spiritual teachers of all persuasions have always written) limitation does have a purpose. Surely Eleanor Roosevelt was referring to limitation when she said, “A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.” We don’t have to like it… but limitation is, indeed, a great teacher.

Many of us (with the exception of those who are still testosterone-driven and/or caffeine-powered) have begun to suspect that the true name of Life’s game is surrender. This is not the surrender of giving up, losing, passivity, or any other similar mind-set, but Surrender as in an alignment with the greater wisdom, the greater plan of Life. The words of Lao Tzu (previously posted here) describe this definition of “Surrender” quite clearly, translated here by Witter Bynner.

“…When a man is in turmoil, how shall he find peace, save by staying patient till the stream clears? How can a man’s life keep its course if he will not let it flow? Those who flow as life flows, know they need no other force: they feel no wear, they feel no tear, they need no mending, no repair.”

Yet there is this thing about humans and free will: the freedom to choose. We grow and become wise from whatever choices we make, but there is (of course you’ve noticed) a steep price for choosing to go against the flow of Life. Edward Bach, in his classic book, Heal Thyself: An Explanation of the Real Cause and Cure of Disease, wrote convincingly that the root cause of all disease is to be found not on the physical level, as modern medicine would have us believe, but on the level of the spirit. He states unequivocably, that the cause is a conflict between Soul and Mind. (In New Age lingo: a conflict between Head and Heart.) In the words of Lao Tzu: a resistance to Life’s flow.

When I honestly look at my own health and the mirror of my life situation, I see the evidence of resistance to Life’s flow everywhere. That being said… Surrender is not easy. If I ever knew how, I am long out of practice and very rusty. Where did I put that oil can?

“Of It’s Own Weight” (oil on board)

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