cancer · humility · self-love · surrender

The Clatter of Swords.

clatter of swords photo
There is a vacuum that happens when one admits surrender. When you have finally laid down your sword, all your fight, all your shaken fists at the sky. You let it all drop, all of it, knowing you can no longer fight, that you are defeated.

In that moment, when your armor clatters to the ground, and you look up toward your opponent with your empty, calloused and bloody hands, you experience relief.

There is nothing more to do. It is over. You may not have won, but no longer are you fighting either.

If, in that moment of surrender, you are able to hold that place of vulnerability and uncertainty, it has been my experience that newer, better ideas and actions, and strange serendipities, come to fill the void left by my own tenacity and fierce determinism.

If, in that moment, I admit defeat and then subsequently draw up my arms again, thinking, wait, no, there’s something else I haven’t tried, I can still will this thing, then I am lost, again.

I am in that moment. That moment of choice, when I will either say, no, this can’t be right, I still have a few ideas up my sleeve; or I will say, you know what, I give up, I have no idea what I’m doing, I need help, and I am willing to sit here in the discomfort and uncertainty of change.

This place is what some people refer to as hitting bottom. Many of us hit bottom around many different things: relationships, sex, food, debt, shopping, television, even reading can become an addiction at the expense of engaging in real life. Anything that we think we can out-master by the sheer will of our mind and will-power, anything that keeps proving to us that we can’t.

I am at a bottom, of a whole cornucopia of things. I think it’s what all the breakdowns have been lately, the bedframe one, the one in the hospital last week, the impossibility of me being able to do on my own what I have been doing on my own. The impossibility of continuing to struggle forth in single-handed combat. I don’t know any better. My best ideas have led me to being single, broke, and existentially agitated for years. And I can’t will, wish, pray, or beg my way out of it. I have come to the bottom.

The end of my resources, the end of my ideas. I think it’s part of the calm of yesterday’s blog, the realization that I’ve come to the end of the fight, that relief of the end of a battle. Recognizing I’m not the force that will rescue me, I’m just the conduit. I’m just, in some way, the pawn.

And, please don’t misunderstand that; I have free-will, I just mean that in the end (to tragically mix metaphors), there is a stream, and I can follow its course, or I can fight against it, because I still think my answers are upstream. If I allow myself to float, to let go, to be taken by the river, to stop resisting that which is true, then I have the chance to gain some of my power back. Supported, strengthened, and aimed in the right direction this time.

I think my soul-weariness has been this end of the battle. I know I have “better ideas” lurking in my mind, ways where I can “figure out” how to get out of the jams that I’m in. But, perhaps just maybe, I have learned that I’d like some other ideas, please. Perhaps, just maybe, I’m willing for today to sit in the serrated uncertainty of surrender, let myself rest in the fullness of that ease, and allow myself to be open to floating downstream.

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