Once in a conversation with Dr. French, he said to me “the point of life is to learn how to DIE.” We are all slowly making our way towards death every day. We will either learn how to accept death and die at peace or we will die troubled.
As I am learning to die it involves learning how to let go. To release my grip on things. It is requiring me to surrender to the wind whichever way it might blow. I am learning that I must release my grasp and let life flow.
My sister wrote a song that I have written about before, the lyrics say, “Don’t let the waves swallow your brave, don’t let your heartbreak, cause maybe its gravity, maybe its heartbreak, maybe its tragedy, but darling don’t fall too deep cause maybe its gravity.”
The process of surrender involves re-evaluating tragedy? In Christendom and many other religions, there is hope of an afterlife that is supposed to be a utopia. Often, we will do anything we possibly can to not go there and especially not for our loved ones to not go there. I don’t know where I am in regard to my theology on the afterlife, but I do know that it is ironic that we are so afraid– terrified of death.
What are you most afraid of? Are you afraid of flying in an airplane, spiders, divorce, losing a child, dreams unfulfilled?
I think almost every fear can be traced back to a form of death. Fear of a relationship ending, the fear of a dream dying, the fear of a child getting hurt, the fear of not finding your purpose. The fears are either connected to the physical death of the body, the death of ideas or expectations, or the death of relationships or spiritually dying, walking through our life, life-less.
I am learning how to let things die. It is painful for sure, but necessary.
John a biblical writer wrote something like this about the process of dying, “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” (John 12:24-25 MSG)
The topic of fear is kind of a pop topic right now, but it is the place where our clinging takes place. Clinging for safety, clinging for pain-relief, clinging for love. I truly believe that whoever tries to “save” or preserve or hold on to their life will lose it.
When we are in self-protection or self-preservation mode, we are tight, hard, rigid, life-less, rule-bound, legalistic, unbalanced probably both chemically and physically.
Surrender becomes essential to achieve health of our mind, body, and soul. Formulas, rules, and legalism will not produce health. When you choose to open yourself up to grow, learn and expand, surrender will take you to the depths. To death, pain, and darkness. To the underground where seeds go to bring forth new life.
Life, free from the fear of death, the fear of man, free from self-preservation and self-protection, and free from the constraints of the ego or stripped of our armor, is possibly the space where we tap into the spring of everlasting life in our soul, that promises we might never “thirst” again.
In the book, “Return to Love”, Marianne Williamson expresses these ideas related to surrender.
“When we surrender to God, we surrender to something bigger than ourselves—to a universe that knows what it is doing… We learn to trust that the power that holds galaxies together can handle the circumstance of our relatively little lives. Surrender means, by definition, giving up attachment to results. When we surrender to God, we let go of our attachment to how things happen on the outside and we become more concerned with what happens on the inside.”
“…To place something in the hands of God is to give it over, mentally, to the protection and care of the beneficence of the universe. To keep it to ourselves means to constantly grab and clutch and manipulate….”
I can surrender, I can afford to relax because I do not hold all things together. I do not cause my heart to pulsate or my lungs to expand, something greater is holding all things together. It is holding me together.
The more I surrender, the more I let go, the more I find that place inside of myself of purity, the place where love, belonging, ease, joy, and life-everlasting flows, where we can stare death, of any kind, in the face and say, “where is your sting?” because we are learning how to die.