Agency and Surrender  

This blog is an excerpt from a class that I taught recently called Healing Microtrauma. The full length video is available here if you are interested, because I believe that this material can be life changing or life saving during these difficult times. 

What is surrender? Surrender is admitting that you can’t stop this train, even though you’re trying really hard. You may grieve. What happens may, in fact, be heartbreaking.

Surrender is not about refraining from doing what we can; it’s about going into the physiological state where we first come out of struggle against the river, and then step into agency–doing what we can, which may or may not end global warming. 

Because it might not. We may lose the planet. I’m being drastic, but I think a lot of people are caught in frantically trying to save the planet, the climate or the microclimate. We may or may not be able to. The struggle that impedes surrender, and thus impedes true agency, is an unreflective trying and trying without checking into, “Okay, it’s bigger than I am.” I am actually powerless over it; it’s out of control, whether or not the planet is saved. What do I do now, knowing that I can’t save it? It may be saved through a combination of efforts, one of which is mine. But I can’t save the situation. 

I want you to embrace the realism of the vulnerability, when you find yourself there. It’ll keep you from getting exhausted and pushing the river in the exact same situations where you still have the exact same amount of agency; you’re just letting yourself acknowledge it…  

Because sometimes it’s tough. Sometimes the thing you don’t want to have happen happens. Are you gonna go fighting tooth and nail the whole way–and therefore with way less recovery capacity, otherwise known as trauma–or mourning, but not making it a deal breaker between you and Source? Because that’s what trauma is: when the thing happens and we say “Okay, if this happens, I’m cutting off from you, Big Love. Because you suck. Because you let this happen. So I’m not turning to you anymore, and I’m not letting you support me.”   

Oh shit, you lost what you loved, and now you’re going to lose your connection to Source too, in protest? It’s a double loss now. Understand that I’m saying this respectfully. It happens so easily, on the inside, when we lose what we didn’t want to lose, that we decide, “Okay, so now I’m going to close the door to my recovery capacity, too.” 

This, if you ask me, is why we have Whole Heart Connection community–so that when we are right in that moment of “I’m about to create lasting trauma in myself, because in the surrender that had to be surrendered, when I really could not prevail over this, I am now going to cut off from my recovery capacity.” A Whole Heart Connection pal can say, “Wait, wait, wait a minute, just wait a minute.”  

How about if we just grieve? Maybe a lot; maybe it’ll take more than three minutes. But we could be back to back and feel our agency, because this is where the agency is now. There are times when, over whether something comes to pass that we didn’t want to have come to pass, that may not turn out to be where we have a whole lot agency. It just may turn out that way. It could happen. But we always have agency over our inside, and whether we are now going to sulk, rebel, turn to the devil and wreak some havoc, harm a few people so that they’re hurting as much as we are… 

This is our agency. This is our agency or saying, “Big Love, you know full well how much I don’t like this. But with my agency, I want to stay where I can receive support, and where I have recovery capacity. What a mystery this this whole thing is.” 

To learn more about Whole Heart Connection, join Thea at one of her upcoming WHC events. Whole Heart Connection Intro – Aug 5-6, 2023

To join the discussion, find us on my Perennial Medicine discussion listserv (all are welcome)

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