My name is Wayne. I'm an older guy, been in this world for a while and it has taught me many lessons. It took me a while to actually realize that I needed to learn lessons. I'm not sure how your belief system is set up. I'm pretty open minded. I have chosen to be a Christian, but I confess to my friends that if I was in a different country, different belief system, I would probably subscribe to that.
I just find it incredibly frustrating to live in the world sometimes. My experience in our American culture is to pretty much stay on a fairly shallow communication level in relationships. When I mention God or lessons that I have learned, or lessons I need to learn, my colleagues and friends look at me askew.
Thus, I was hoping to find some kindred spirits out there...
The first lesson i had to learn was surrender. I was talking to a friend of mine that has found herself on a spiritual journey, but is so turned off to religion that it makes it hard for her to make some first steps. I told her the first step is always surrender.
Surrender goes part and parcel with trust and that's the rub. I believe trust is a foundation set from the beginnings of our life here on earth. Any of you out there that took Pysch 1A will remember Maslow's inverted hierarchy of needs that puts trust vs. mistrust at the foundation. My beginning experiences in my family of origin taught me that I could not trust my caregivers to love me. It was not that were not good people, just that they were so wounded they could not be available to me...some abuse did happen which only strengthened the belief that world was untrustworthy. My friend had similar experiences.
For me, surrender had to be complete and unflinching. There was no percentage, I had to basically surrender my identity completely. It was very much like facing death. The layers and layers of mistrust and false beliefs about myself and the world had to be relinquished. It was my entire identity up to that juncture in my journey that basically had to die. Believe me, it was a last resort. Saying it was uncomfortable would be an understatement.
And so how to trust and surrender work together? Surrender, ultimate surrender, for me, is the highest form of faith. Faith that there will be something there to catch you when you surrender all that you hold true, the foundation of your belief systems that were formed since you were but a wee infant that learned the world was a place NOT to be trusted. Hence the term a leap of faith. It truly is jumping off into a void that is totally unrecognizable.
But let me put this process in real life terms. There was a time when I believed myself to be omnipotent. I believed if my intellect could fashion a reality, then of course it was the only true one. I had convinced myself that I needed someone besides my wife to meet all my needs (boy, have I come to dislike that phrase, meet my needs). In essence I found myself in the middle of an affair. After way too long...my wife had reached her breaking point and left me taking our two girls with her. Now I had been married before, whereby basically my wife left me for another man taking my twin boys with her. That was and continues to be the deepest pain I have...but that's another story. Loosing my girls and also having my "reality" unravel before my eyes brought me to my knees.
I just sat in my recliner literally not moving for four hours. While it was like dying, everything I loved, everything I had hoped for just vaporized. I had lost everything that was dear to me. However, an odd feeling, for lack of a better word, came over me. It was like the accounts you've heard of people dying...no white lights or anything, but I could just see my life passing before my eyes. I could see me as a child...I could recount the crazy life I had been living since I had become an "adult" (and I use that term loosely). But the most important thing of all, I could sense that there was someone, something that was and had been walking with me the entire time. That was my moment of complete surrender. I won't say I found God, for he had always been there. It was more like the veil that had been occluding my vision had lifted.
That was twenty years ago...I have learned many lessons since then, but it all began with surrender.
As a postscript, it hasn't ended happily ever after...yet. But I will tell you this, from that point on, I have no regrets. I have no shame in the way I have conducted myself. No, I'm far, very far from perfect...but I have been on the narrow path they speak of in Christian circles. It has been a very difficult path at times, and very painful too, but the pain has been cathartic. I tell people that God gave me a new heart, but they really don't understand that I'm not speaking a quaint phrase. My actual thought processes and beliefs are totally different. I have learned to trust.