Surrender: Self-Care through Letting Go
Since we’re in the midst of the July Self-Care retreat, I wanted to share this story. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one with difficulty switching my brain to “off” when necessary.
I had a dentist appointment today. Granted, not my favorite thing, I fractured my jaw in college playing rugby. Twice. And, well, it doesn’t always open easily, and that’s understandable. So I did my “always be prepared” thing: morning silent meditation, guided imagery, bringing music to listen to for the appointment, ice pack for later, etc.
I was doing my best and kept telling my jaw and neck to relax, and kept trying to manage everything in my mind. What was she doing? What was going to happen next? How long could I keep my jaw open? What was going to hurt later?
And then a little voice at the back of my head whispered, “surrender”. It was only then that I got the comedy of it all. What did I really think that I needed to be doing or managing? I had no idea what was going on, and it wasn’t like I could say, “hey, lady, use that tool instead” or “a little to the left!” There was nothing useful to DO, and certainly nowhere to go.
My job was to prepare for before and after, to find a good dentist, and then let go. There was no amount of mental hamster-wheeling that was going to make the experience any easier.
In that moment of clarity, I though, okay, I surrender.
And what do you know, *poof* most of the neck pain went away.
I mention this because it comes up a lot: with medical issues, stuck in traffic, even when we’re out ordering a gluten-free meal. Yes, you can do your homework. But you can’t control everything (or, if you can, please leave me a comment and let me know how!) Brains like to plan and strategize, and sometimes that’s a good thing.
And then it pays to know when to let go.
I find that’s something I need to relearn endlessly.
How do you remind yourself to let go?