>My kind promise for February is to “surrender patiently.”

I’ve written elsewhere about surrender and the difference between  giving in and giving up. Why did this promise call to me? What more do I want to learn about surrender?

I’m sure this is a response to my increasing difficulty with my hands. It is harder, these days, to accomplish the things I want to do. It doesn’t take long for me to find myself in snarling frustration.

I want to practice surrender more frequently as a first instinct rather than a last resort. Too often, I try and try and try to get it done and, when something proves too difficult for me or the universe seems to rally against my effort, I surrender.

I had an interesting conversation last night with Sam Jasmin, radio host of Disabled and Proud. We talked about stubbornness and it’s pros and cons. She’s right that I accomplish more because of my stubborn streak. Unfortunately, I am not as nice to be around because of my stubborn streak.

I want to keep my determination and persistence but lose the short tempered meanness that seems to come with it. How would this be possible?

Off-the-top-of-my-head ideas:

  1. Take a calming breath between each effort.”
    I seem to have spent the last six months retraining myself to breathe. Such a simple thing, yet I have been unconscious of it for most of my life. Now I am consciously trying to build a breath-calm-joy connection.
  2. Try three times and then (A) ask for help or (B) take a break or (C) reconsider.
    Maybe putting limits on my effort will also put limits on the escalation of my upset. This is definitely an experiment.
  3. Use “the next moment may also be a surprise.”
    I discovered, during “forgiveness month” that my expectations do not serve me well. Maybe the same thing is happening here. My poor nerves are having trouble carrying signals. Why should I expect my hands to be adept? Acknowledging uncertainty may be a help.
  4. Try “everything belongs.”
    In my philosophy/theology the universe is a stunning harmony, a whole. What we see as imperfect is part of that harmony. Everything belongs. This allows me, my increasingly dysfunctional hands, the ways I am clumsy and even my snarling frustration to belong. I need to remember that and be compassionate.

Oldie that I am, I can’t help thinking of this song when I am thinking about surrender. Maybe singing a chorus or two will soften the brittleness.