The Art of Surrendering. Paballo Jo'burg South Africa - WirSindDu

LIFE

The Art of Surrendering –
[Inspired by: “A Return to Love” written by Marianne Williamson...]
#Lockdown 2020/2021 Chronicles

I honestly did not know how to begin writing this piece without first reflecting on the year that was.

Is it not amazing how at a certain point in life, we sometimes think we have this life thing all figured out? Then before we all knew it… “BOOM!” a pandemic such as Covid-19 hits our shores globally… Not only locally, or just in one or two locations, but GLOBALLY, yip “IT WAS A WORLD-WIDE AFFAIR, DARLING”, one we did not even expect, nor even an event to look forward to. [I am shaking my head as I type this just at the thought of the impact thereof: in our households, relationships, work/life balance situations, the economy at large, our minds/mental health, physical health, lifestyles and life as we have always known it].

“The new normal!” Or, is it?

A lot of us lost jobs, businesses were adversely affected, relationships died as we were subjected to being in each other’s faces 24/7 – a tradition we are not used to at all. More than anything, a whole lot of lives have been lost (my heart goes out to each and every reader who lost a loved one during the pandemic   ). Let’s not even begin to tap into the abuse some people were subjected to which we can associate only to

GENDER BASED VIOLANCE caused by anger during these hard-pressing times.

Writing this gives me shivers… I mean, in my private time and space I would often sit and wonder what I would have done had I been a leader, to try and spare/save lives in the midst of this tragedy? I cannot even begin to imagine how I would have made an effort in trying to ensure that everyone is and stays alive, as well as taken care of during these dire times. It has been a tough season for a whole lot of us.

Today I write to you in my capacity as a Christian/Spiritual Being.

To be quite honest, it doesn’t matter how much of the Bible I read in and during this season, or how many times I prayed and meditated on the Word of our Creator.  There is a human element within me that ultimately started to think the worst of this situation. I could barely even manage my own thoughts. Prior to the pandemic I never knew what an Anxiety Attack was, or felt like. I only heard of it. However, I can tell you now: it is one of the worst situations a person can ever endure. I mean, oneminute you are breathing fine and doing absolutely okay, and then next, you are gasping for air – wondering

“what on earth is happening to me?”

I remember the one time I came back to my senses after one major episode I endured and literally had to pinch myself to ensure that I indeed was alive  I mean it!!! I am not even sure how to describe what an Anxiety Attack feels like. But, just to give you an idea: I imagine it is caused by a lot of numerous thoughts that pounce at us at one go and then you get to a point, where your mind just cannot even begin to fathom, what on earth you are thinking. Nor can it even process all these thoughts at one go.

Picture this 😊 - “Dear God, I would love to go to the store to get some strawberries.

Or; ‘’Gee, I need to submit a report for work, ‘’when is my deadline again?” Or: “I think I am hungry, what am I going to fix myself to eat?’’ Or, “I need to call my dad and check on how he is doing after his surgery. He is probably not okay. God is he okay?” and even… ‘’I think I want to go to the bathroom to pee.’’ And then the next minute you are like “Did Sam just dump me? Why did he dump me? God I still love him…I need to call him so we can iron issues out.” Then in that moment, you remember there is an accident not far from where a loved stays, which you just saw in the news and you are like: ‘’Gosh there is a shooting at my friend’s house? Let me check if they are okay?” Then last but not least… “Jesus what does this pandemic even mean? Am I going to die? Are we all going to die? Is it even going to come to an end?” Wow…It can be all those thoughts and more at once. Then your heart rate suddenly goes up and you feel like you can no longer breathe, even though you are still alive. With all of that being said, I really take my hat off to people who struggle to maintain their mental health on a daily basis because they truly are strong (Just know that I am praying for you and my thoughts are with you). I for one could not manage my mental health during this pandemic. I really battled, and at some point, I had to teach myself what the art of surrendering means.

Which is where Marianne Williamson’s “A return to love!” comes in.

If there is one thing the pandemic taught me – it has to be the art of Surrendering. Yip! Letting go and trusting that everything will work out as it should. I had to learn to embrace the being that I am and also not understanding where life is headed by just letting go. Last but not least: it is okay to not know what to do. I remember one day sitting outside my porch with a cup of tea, my Bible, a copy of “A Return to Love”, as well as a pen and a notepad and saying to The Almighty:

“God, I do not know what is happening in our world right now.

I am not sure where life is going to lead all of us. I have absolutely no idea what to do next: I am hurting! I am perplexed! I am utterly anxious! Please take my hand and show me what I should do next.”

In that instance and at that very moment, I felt God’s warm embrace clutching on to me and comforting my very fragile heart. With tears streaming down my face and a bit of snot – I let out a very loud cry and let go.

I must tell you though; the process has not been an easy one. Letting go, to me still feels a lot like giving up. Yet God always whispers in my ear that “For years in my Christian Journey, He has been waiting for me to let go and give all my worries, anxieties, fears, plans and failures to Him, so He could start building a better life that I deserve.” Marianne’s book reminded me that everything that I am and all that I have, could not possibly be Greater than the Universe or God. I am genuinely still getting the hang of it. But I take it all a day at a time.

Surrendering is basically a way of saying:

Lord, I am a mess! I am confused! Help me and please fix the mess that is happening in and around me! It is so scary because you don’t know what to expect next and I have always been someone in control and ahead in life – or, so I thought! Meaning, that I always preferred to know all the answers to how my life would ultimately turn out.

However, as painful as the process of Surrendering is:

I am enjoying the amount of work God is doing in me. Some days are better than others, but, I would not have it any other way. There are some days when I get out of bed and wish I could get back under the blankets and on other days, I feel like I am on top of the world.

What I do appreciate about the lockdown is that it introduced me to monsters within myself;

monsters I never knew existed – hurtful as it has been. But I would much rather let God purify and sanctify my heart, whilst I remain partially in isolation, than to step out in my own strength and continue hurting people, I am meant to love. What I do not enjoy is the volatility of my mood swings. I mean; on some days, I rise only to fall again, but I find comfort in knowing that God knows all my weaknesses and nothing I do, can ever turn Him away from me. He is after all, a God who loves me recklessly! Be that as it may, in my imperfections, moments of anxiety and confusion – I am no longer afraid to lift up my hands up to God and just say “Father, I messed up again. Please help me fix this life You entrusted me with.’’ Or, “Jesus I need You!!!”Rest assured; time and again, He always comes through even though His ways are different and  bit more mysterious. He shows up just in the nick of time! Yet, I still echo: surrendering is a painful process. But never have I ever learnt as much as I have about myself than during this season.

The most important thing the process of surrendering has taught me is to stop expecting more from others.

Instead; it is more what I can do, to be the love and change I expect. I have learnt to trust God to work on my heart, so I can be a better person holistically. Furthermore, I do acknowledge that I am still a work in progress. I am learning to love and embrace parts of me, I used to be ashamed of and to be a little kinder with myself, so I can be kinder to others as well. I am God’s Masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). One that He wouldn’t dare give up on. Due to childhood issues, I always thought I had to be perfect for Him to love and accept me. Today, I know that there is nothing I could ever do to make Him love me any less. With all the above being said: it is safe for me to let go and trust that “All Things will work out for my good.” After all, I trust the One in charge.

In closing, I would love to share a scripture that has kept me going for the year that was, and part of 2021: i.e. 2 Corinthians 12:9 ‘’My Grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’’

I am trusting that everyone is holding on and living strong.

Always love; be kind to yourself as well as to others…

P.S: “Return to love!” and remember – LOVE IS, AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN YOU!

Paballo Tsoeu

I do whatever I need to do
as and when for life to improve.
I live in my head…
I write, speak, read and pray a lot.

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