I’ve been reading up on renunciation lately. In a couple days, I’ll be leaving behind all my friends, familiar places, routines, and rituals to start life anew in a totally different environment. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for months now, but as the time grows so close, I’m beginning to feel some apprehension. These past few nights, my dreams have been full of difficulties. I find myself struggling with something that should be so easy.
I found this quote by Eileen Delehanty Pearkes in Ascent Magazine:
“I am beginning to discern the difference between the mind’s willful forcing of an outcome and the spirit’s ability to flourish in the dark and discomfiting soil of surrender. For years now, my mind has been trying to force something to happen that wasn’t ready. I have been trying to rush a process that knew, in an unseen way, its own time. I have been trying to achieve mastery through the will, not through relinquishment.”
In my own spiritual practice I often must find my way, slowly and laboriously, back to this point. Through no amount of self-confidence or apparent strength of character have I ever been able to force myself to feel happy, loved, enlightened, or successful.
It has been a tough lesson to learn, and unfortunately, one I cannot teach to others. To witness the struggles of others bothers me, but ultimately, they must learn the difference between surrendering and giving up on their own.