Two words that changed my life. Surrender & Faith.
I grew up a fighter. A believer in never letting go because if I did the world and I would get sucked into the ground forever. I believed in nothing other than my own sheer will, my own shoulders to carry the weight of the world…
And that world was heavy.
Until one day the weight simply got too much, my knees buckled and I found myself on them, head down, arms raised whispering, “I surrender.”
And that’s when everything I ever thought I knew to be true shot up, moved around, words and thoughts and ideas shifted and re-arranged themselves and gently floated back down, bathing me in peace.
Now, I’m not talking religion. Not that there is anything wrong with having a religion. But, I am not religious. I don’t go to church, temple or a mosque and I wasn’t raised with any religion as a child.
I always say the only spirits in my home growing up were the kind you drank.
So, if you’ve stopped reading because you think, “Oh, boy, Studio City Mom’s gone all freaky preachy on us” continue reading (please). This is about surrender. Faith. And faith can be in the sky, the ocean, a flower or your favorite park. Faith can be in a child’s blue eyes, the man in the moon or simply a feeling that enters your heart telling you, “It’s okay. Let go and trust it’s all being taken care of. Just show up, sweet person. Just keep showing up.”
And let me assure you, surrendering does not mean life suddenly gets hunky dory, perfect, effortless, painless. No, life still happens. People break your heart, you break people’s hearts, animals die, jobs don’ t happen, loved ones get ill, children get hurt, bank accounts get low, cars, houses, insurance, marriages, parents and careers go away.
All those things have happened to me. All of them. But what didn’t happen? My loss of faith. Hope. Belief that there is a path, a plan, a lesson, a gift in all these things.
Sure in the moment of darkness it sucks. BIG TIME. And it’s okay to shout as loud as you want to “THIS FRICKIN’ SUCKS!”
Oh, believe me, I’ve shouted. Plenty.
But I’ve also shouted, “I SURRENDER!” Perhaps I’ve shouted that just a bit softer but it was heard.
When I started my Studio City Mom column five years ago you watched me surrender. Literally, before your eyes (if you’re a long time follower) you read my columns, saw my journey. Heart break, animals dying, loved ones ill, children hurt, cars, houses, insurance, jobs, money… all go away.
But what couldn’t go away? Me. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t hide. I couldn’t drive off a cliff. I had a daughter who depended on me. Looked up to me. Believed in me. So, I kept going. Every day. Shoes on.
What I didn’t know during that time was that I teaching my daughter something important. Believe me, if I knew I was teaching a lesson I would have no doubt messed it up with my thinking. Instead, I was just living in surrender and faith, surrender and faith to save our lives.
And that was what she learned.What she witnessed. And, ultimately, what she knew was the best place to be in life.
How do I know this?
Because, full circle, my daughter has seen her mother fall deeply in love, bring animals home, take a parent to Paris, buy a car, receive health insurance, encourage children, have a career and, for the first time ever, put a bid on a house.
And when we didn’t get the house and I saw how disappointed she was I reached for her hand and said,
It’s okay to be disappointed. We should always go into life with as much excitement, hope and enthusiasm as possible. And when it doesn’t go the way we thought? We —
I know, mommy. I have faith.
She said it before I even could. Oh, my friends. To hear those words at her age…
If the gift she learned from watching me during one the worst times of my life saves her from a life of heavy lifting, wasted worry, useless fear, and needless anxiety. That might be the greatest lesson I could ever teach.
The next day we saw a house we loved even more. We put an offer on it…
Surrender and faith. xo
(This post was originally posted May 2015… two months later we moved into the house of our dreams. Surrender and faith, my friends… surrender and faith)