Surrendering as a lifestyle

Good morning, friends –

thank you so much for your well wishes on my one year anniversary.  I feel almost ill qualified to really celebrate because I have been at this point before and have let the gift go for no good reason (because no reason is a good reason).  Last time I hit one year I felt so elated, it was a huge accomplishment.  This time it’s merely another day, another month, part of life.

Right, as for the reading this week.  Surrender as a lifestyle.  It makes me wonder why, after all the evidence I have collected through experience, the “easier softer way” still never seems to be surrender; I need to struggle, fight, try everything else first.  That’s with food and more recently with chewing gum; and because much of this happens under the surface for me, almost in my subconscious, I often don’t identify those struggles until they are bad enough for me to consider simply surrendering.

So who knows – there may even now be things, simmering under the surface, but I am still blind to them right now.  Behaviours, crutches other than God, that make me uncomfortable but not desperate enough to give them up. I think diet soda is one of those things for me right now.  I reward myself with it, and right now I’m actually abstaining from it consciously, but I’m not at a point of giving them up (for good) – instead, I keep the option in the back of my mind that if I really, really want one, I will have one.  To be honest, I probably don’t trust God enough to believe he will take care of me if worst comes to worst: diet sodas are a crutch I keep in the cabinet in case I ever come to the point of choice between food and soda (in which case, of course, I will go for the soda).  True trust in God, and surrender, would be to believe that this point of either-or will never come, that he will always provide a third way out by which I can get out of the situation simply by relying on God.  Deep down, I don’t have that trust and assurance.

As an addict, surrendering crutches and behaviours doesn’t come easily to me.  I have to have an experience of unmanageability.  Only when my life becomes bad enough am I willing – but what I can do, I believe, is raise the bottom.  I can have that experience of unmanageability long before my life is truly falling apart, by understanding how much mental freedom I lose by relying / being addicted to crutches.  This will give me a perspective of how unmanageable my thought life is.

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