Slippers covered the feet shuffling along the tile floor of the hospital. A body, bones and flesh being corralled along with an intravenous cord attached, towards the room.
Drip, drip, dripping… each precious nectar of saline solution filling this bag of bones that hung like it had weathered hundreds of winters.
It was my body.
How could this be my body?
I have had so many bodies in this one lifetime; so many versions of this flesh…never the same from day to day.
This body has betrayed me relentlessly but it’s never let me down. Seven year illness after a fateful trip to India, mysterious inflammation of my face and neck until I was unrecognizable, blistering hands erupting every time I attempt to holiday in a tropical climate, a growth on my leg left me on crutches as I hobbled across the stage to receive my university degree in contemporary dance…and on.
As I lay in the windowless room with grey walls of a third world hospital I felt both resignation and peace. The combination felt like surrender.
The irony is that, surrender was the word I had chosen for this two-and-a-half-month journey (silly me, should have chose fun).
I know now that surrender isn’t an intellectual exercise or a cliché that yoga teachers spout out (because that’s what they’re supposed to say, right?).
Surrender is a process of awakening that happens. It is the face of grace that initially stings, like when the nurse stabs around and ruptures five veins before finding one to jam that intravenous into. But once it’s in, it’s in.
Once surrender has happened it can’t un-happen.
Something in us has changed. Died, transformed, transmuted.
I’m not good at surrendering but I’m getting lots of practice. What started out as a just-like-India-bout-of-diarrhea ended up transpiring into a month of not being able to keep food in and eventually leading to hospitalization.
But what happened in those four days hooked up to IV in hospital in Bali was much more then salmonella gone bad. It was an initiation. And every initiation is about crossing over a line and expanding into the next realm of possibility within you.
Not all initiations have to be as shitty (literally) as mine. Yours may feel more subtle, soft, and more graceful—or more severe, dramatic, and harsh. It doesn’t matter. My way is my way and your way is yours.
In the surrender you swallow life whole—the sacred, the disgusting, and all that is.
Surrender Leads to Trust (It’s Not the Other Way Around)
Surrender when you’re blindsided by life.
Surrender when you can’t hold it anymore.
Surrender when you’re ready to dance with your demons.
Surrender when it’s all been taken from you.
Surrender when the incomprehensible has moved into your life.
Surrender when you don’t know who the hell you are anymore.
Surrender when it doesn’t make sense.
Surrender when it’s so bloody perfect that you’ve stopped questioning right or wrong.
Surrender when love of this ecstatic life shreds you apart, rips you open and shows you who you really are.
And at the end of it, don’t ask, “Who am I now?” but sit in the quiet knowing that it never really mattered.
Go live your glorious, treacherous, ever expanding life.