“Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace is transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Anyone who has dealt with an addiction, a dysfunctional relationship, knew it wasn’t making them happy, or even been on a diet has experienced that little voice in the back of their mind telling them not to do something, but they did it anyway.
Maybe an alcoholic hears it as they are driving to the liquor store and still their foot presses on the pedal to keep going, or maybe you’ve found yourself invited to attend an event with a friend who has only brought negativity and drama to your life and against your better judgment you still agree to go, or maybe a gambling addict encompassed in debt finds themselves once again pulling into the casino parking lot. Why do we keep making decisions we know are bad for us?
The details vary from person to person, but almost everyone has at one time or another found themselves making a choice that they absolutely without a doubt knew was not good for them, yet almost as if their body was possessed by another entity, they found themselves making the very decision the little voice told them not to.
It is almost as if they had no choice in the matter. Unfortunately we have been living in a world that preaches things like “more self-discipline,” or “work harder, faster, make more money, control yourself and your actions by methods of fear and shame.”
And for anyone who has dared to go deeper than just changing things externally in order to make healthier and more conscious decisions, know that exerting more control over ourselves by beating ourselves up for our actions is a method that simply does not work.
All things stem from deeper emotional issues or subconscious belief systems that are hardly ever readily seen by the conscious mind. But a new reality has emerged.
If making good decisions for ourselves was really a matter of just more self-control, I dare to say the success rate in changing ourselves would actually be a lot higher. More self-control is not the answer. So what is?
In order to find the answer, we must look at the question, “why do I keep making choices I know aren’t good for me? Why do we keep making decisions we know are bad for us?”
“Some of the most extraordinary moments can be devalued and stained by feelings of shame and unworthiness. Thought patterns that spiral you into existence of limitations.
You don’t even realize you are doing it, and you think because you are exerting a tremendous amount of effort to make things work you are on the right path.
This is an insane life. The only work to be concerned with is not external.
Let life take you, mold you, shape you, surrender your resistance, your need for control and your existence will be more beautiful, more meaningful, more love packed than if you followed a guru or a leader, or enforced a mental system or ideal.” ~ Amy Larson
If we look at the above question we see that there is an element of blame involved. “Why do I…” as if we are the ones in control of the choice. Therein lies the problem.
The more we think we are the ones in charge will be directly proportionate to how fiercely we have clung to judgment and blame ourselves (or in some instances others) when it comes to making decisions. The key here is to surrender.
But what does surrender really mean? And how will it actually have the power to change our lives for the better? We are brought up to think that we have absolute control over everything in our lives.
To think otherwise is a terrifying thought to an ego that wants to be in charge of everything. But the first step to a more fulfilling existence and to making better choices for ourselves must be to actually declare that we are in charge of nothing.
By seeing things from this perspective, we actually rise to a vibration where everything becomes “ok.” For an ego that is used to be judged as “good” or “bad”, for every emotion or action this will feel strange at first.
For instance, in the example of the compulsive gambler, when we have relinquished our alleged “control” over our actions and everything becomes “ok,” it may feel inauthentic to be completely ok with the fact that we are in the negative in our bank account, yet we are sitting at a slot machine gambling. But do you know why it’s ok?
Because it’s happening. Anything that happens is supposed to happen and in fact wouldn’t be happening unless there was a part of you and your higher self that has ok’d it.
This is the heart of true surrender, if it’s happening, no matter how painful it is, or how much you wish it wasn’t happening, but if it is happening then it is ok. By deeming anything that naturally occurs as “ok” the ego no longer has an enemy to judge or contend with.
Now as we’ve learned before, the ego needs something to judge in order to survive, which is precisely why the ego is afraid to make decisions that can’t be judged as “wrong.” The minute everything becomes “ok”, the ego meets its demise, which is why this step may be much harder to do than it seems. Be patient with yourself, it won’t happen overnight.
Realize that some amount of suffering is required
“Worry is one of the toughest things to surrender. We are so conditioned to worry about our loved ones, health and finances, yet worry only perpetuates the problem. The answer is always divine surrender and trust. This allows grace to move into your life.” ~ Kevin Fitzgerald
Suffering is often a catalyst for change. How do we know what we want if not to experience time and again a reality which we have consciously decided we do not want?
The fact of the matter is we are trying to wake ourselves up and our higher selves want so badly to step in and take over our lives for us which it could do as long as we were not clinging on to the reins of our ship so tightly with the limited belief system of “I am in control of my life, my thoughts, my actions, etc..”
The more one believes in their own control over their lives, the more suffering that is often required before surrender can take place. If you are amidst pain and suffering in your own life it can only be because a part of your ego is still clinging tightly to its power. And that’s ok. There will come a moment in your life, where life may knock you to your knees in submission.
You may have found yourself so deep in pain that your only option is to finally make the choice you have been so afraid to make, (and you can call that divine intervention, listening to your inner voice, or having no fight left in you to keep staying the same person), and this is where your story will start.
The minute you stop believing in yourself (your own personal will) and start believing in a power greater than you, your own mind and thoughts becomes the portal by which a higher power can come through. And if you still find yourself making the choices you are trying to get away from, then you must declare acceptance once again.
Nothing happens by chance and everything is here to help you. Change often does not occur in an instant, and making peaceful surrender with every decision, emotion, thought or action allows the resistance inside you to change, to lessen each time you choose the things that align with your highest wisdom.
You are not being put through anything that will, ultimately, benefit you in some form. This is why the best and brightest of us still require to make “poor” choices time and time again, even if only to continue to practice this little thing called unconditional love, which means loving ourselves no matter what.