The Wisdom of Surrender
Resistance Equals Persistence
Resistance tends to strengthen the energies it attempts to oppose by giving them power and energy to work against.
We all know the feeling of being repeatedly haunted by the same issue, no matter how we try to ignore it, avoid it, or run away from it. Sometimes it seems that we can get rid of something we don’t want by simply pushing it away. Most of the time, the more we push away, the more we get pushed back. There are laws of physics and metaphysics that explain this phenomenon, which is often summed up in this pithy phrase: That which you resist persists.
Resistance tends to strengthen the energies it attempts to oppose by giving them power and energy to work against. Additionally, resistance keeps us from learning more about what we resist. In order to fully understand something, we must open to it enough to receive its energy; otherwise, we remain ignorant of its lessons. There is a Tibetan story of a monk who retreats to meditate in a cave only to be plagued by demons. He tries everything—chasing, fighting, hiding—to get the demons out of his cave, but the thing that finally works is surrender. He simply lets them have their way with him and only then do they disappear.
Now, this wisdom must be applied practically. We are not meant to get ourselves physically injured. Instead, this story speaks of how, in essence, our demons are inside of us. What plagues and pursues us on an inner level has a way of manifesting itself in our environment in the form of people, events, and issues that appear to be beyond our control. But all these external expressions are reflections of our insides, and it is inside ourselves that we can safely experiment with surrendering to what we fear and dislike. It may feel scary, and we may find ourselves in the company of a lot of resistance as we begin the process of opening to what we fear. But the more we learn to surrender, and the more the demons that
As the Earth Allows the Rain
Sitting with Feelings
Taking the time now to sit with your feelings and acknowledge them will save you much distress down the road.
It can take great courage to really sit with our feelings, allowing ourselves to surrender to their powerful energies. All too often we set our feelings aside, thinking we will deal with them later. If we don’t deal with them, we end up storing them in our minds and bodies and this is when anxiety and other health issues can arise. Denying what our bodies want to feel can lead to trouble now or down the line, which is why being in the thick of our feelings, no matter how scary it seems, is really the best thing we can do for ourselves.
One of the reasons we tend to hide or push aside our feelings is that we live in a culture that has not traditionally supported emotional awareness. However, as the connection between mind and body--our emotions and our physical health-- becomes clearer, awareness of the importance of feeling our feelings has grown. There are many books, classes, workshops and retreats that can help us on our way to emotional intelligence. We can also trust in our own ability to process what comes up when it comes up. If sadness arises, we can notice its presence and welcome it, noting where in our bodies we feel it, and allowing ourselves to express it through tears or a quiet turning inward.
When we simply allow ourselves to fully feel our feelings as they come, we tend to let them go easily. This is all we are required to do; our feelings simply want to be felt. We often complicate the situation by applying mental energy in the form of analysis, when all we really need is to allow, as the earth allows the rain to fall upon it. As the rain falls, the earth responds in a multitude of ways, sometimes emptying out to form a great canyon, sometimes soaking it up to nourish an infinitude of plants. In the same way, the deeper purpose of our feelings is to transform the terrain of our inner world, sometimes creating space for more feelings to flow, sometimes providing sustenance for growth. All we need to do is allow the process by relaxing, opening, and receiving the bounty of our emotions.
It's like you posted that just for me! lol Thank you, Ken, helpful as always!!
Just joined the site and not too sure how everything works yet. I am 29 and hooked to alcohol since i was 23 after loosing my Mom. I am desperate to quit but seems close to impossible as i can't sleep without atleast 12 beer a day Lost the zeal to live, from a very ambitous young woman, who worked in media and all...i am just existing.
I once was a strong christian, but feel like God took a long vacation and i no longer feel anything. I hope i can find something here t help me I am willing.
Welcome Malaika. Wanting a change is the crucial first step. If you are interested we have exercise challenge going under water cooler. I have found that exercise helps jumpstart healthier actions, including cutting down on the drink and healthier eating. We look forward to your posts!!!
Thank you Millie. It's nice to know someone somewhere cares.I live in Denmark, pay so much for the gym but i can't remeber when last i was there. Reason? i'll be drunk by the time i think of going there. Alcohol has truly taken away my 20's. turning 30 in April and only thing to show is a beer belly How do i get motivated to start with gym again?
Malaika, welcome and I'm glad you had the courage to post. You have come to a good place with plenty of smart and caring people that will be glad to reach out to you and help any way we can. I understand how grieving can affect you, I've lost both of my parents and I did the same thing. When my father died, I really started drinking heavily and it caused a lot of problems in my life, as it has for you. I thought, we are all going to die, so what's the point. After my mother passed a few years ago, it gave me a whole new perspective. I realized that we are only here a short time, so I've got to get busy making the most out of my life. I know my parents loved me and sacrificed a lot for me, and they would not want me to just barely get by. They would want me to achieve everything in life that I was capable of and I have made it my duty to honor them by becoming the best person I can be in all areas of my life; health, career, family, every area!
I am genuinely sorry for your loss, but you took the first step by coming here, so you want to feel and get better. I offer you my story (you can thank God I gave you the short version!) to suggest that we have something in common. You will find a lot of people here have had to deal with a great deal of adversity, but together we help each other pull through. You are now part of this community and we want you to live the life I'm sure your mother would want you to live. I'm a Christian man and can relate to what you are saying about feeling abandoned, it is a process that I went through as well. You can conquer this and get your control back. I would suggest starting with the main site and reading through the articles written by Patrick that appeal to you. Keep posting, read through this thread and the "How to stop drinking thread" and you will get some amazing ideas on how to get your life back. Please feel free to contact me anytime you feel like it as well. Best wishes to you and hope to see you around much more.
Hey Malaika, welcome. You are amongst friends. We all have the same desire to get sober. I have felt the same way with my faith being shaken. In my case I took the vacation away and not the other way around. Have you ever taken time to celebrate your mothers life and not her passing. To remember the great things? You will be able to sleep so much better sober than wasted. It will take a little while but I sleep amazing now and exercise is huge for me. As Ken said, in the How to stop drinking section, you will see that we all have many different ways, thoughts and ideas on how to get sober and tools that help. Eating is something that i barely did when i was drinking but it really helps me to stay full or on a schedule of eating. Look forward to hearing more from you, Mark
How does one keep track here?
Malaika, I'm not sure what you are asking by "how does one keep track here" can you explain what you mean please? Hope you are doing well, Ken.
Hi Kimber, hope you are having a good morning. Another article I felt compelled to pass along:
Present in the Progression
Letting Life Unfold
Present time can be hard, but life unfolds as it will and the universe will wait as we make our way into the unknown.
Our lives are guided by natural rhythms that are particular to each of us and cannot be altered by force of will alone. Life itself is a journey made up of processes and events that manifest before us only to be swept away when time marches on. Whether we envision ourselves creating a career, building a family, or developing the self, we instinctively know when the time has come for us to realize our dreams because all that is involved comes together harmoniously. When the time is right, the passage of destiny cannot be blocked. Yet as desperate as we are to touch these beautiful futures we have imagined, we cannot grow if we are not fully present in the evolutionary experience. The present can be challenging, uncomfortable, and tedious, but life unfolds as it will, and the universe will wait patiently as we make our way into the unknown.
The fate that awaits us is not dependent on our pace, which was preordained before we ever appeared in human guise. Therefore there is no reason to rush through life to reach those pinnacles of development associated with the paths we have chosen. Enjoying and fully experiencing the journey of life is as important as achieving goals and reaching milestones. There are lessons we can learn during those moments that seem immaterial or insignificant that we cannot learn at any other time. Appreciating these takes patience, however, because human beings tend to focus on the fulfillment of expectations rather than the simple joys of being.
Like many people, you have no doubt longed for a device that would give you the power to fast forward through certain periods of your existence. Yet haste is by its very nature vastly more stressful than serene fortitude. When you feel yourself growing impatient because the pace of your development is deceptively slow, remember that everything that will occur in your life will occur in its own time. Quelling your urge to rush will enable you to witness yourself learning, changing, and becoming stronger. There is so much to see and do in between the events and processes that we deem definitive. If you are patient enough to take pleasure in your existence's unfolding, the journey from one pinnacle to the next will seem to take no time at all.
Freedom Day: 12/25/11
Ken, I love these articles. Who writes them?
I'm really fed up of my drinking, I had 2 bottles of wine again last night. I say again because I did the same the night before last. I feel like I can't get out of this cycle, it's really depressing me. I've always drank quite heavily but it got worse since I started my new job. I just keep telling myself I deserve it after a hard day's work. Thank you all for posting on this site and allowing me to feel I'm not alone in this struggle. I also find it difficult not to drink when I go out with friends, and I've got 2 evenings coming up where I know I'm going to be tempted to drink so badly. I'm going to use this site like a diary, and help with my journey.
Hi Hannah and welcome! It is comforting when you find out you are not alone in the struggle against alcohol. Please read through this thread and the "How to stop drinking" thread. You will learn so much from some really great people that are having success doing what seems almost impossible right now. You can use the knowledge you gain here as tools in your toolbox to win this battle along with the support of our "family" here, of which you are now a part of. Please read through the main site any articles that appeal to you and keep posting. You took the first step, coming here and admitting to yourself that you have a problem. The best gauge I've heard is that if you believe alcohol is a problem in your life then it is. Please let us know how we can help. One of the best things you can do is set a quit date and start tapering off your drinking between now and then and the sooner the better. Get rid of the alcohol in your house by that date and stock up with healthy alternatives. If that seems like too much right now, that's OK, just read for now. Look forward to hearing from you!
Hey Sue, they are from Daily OM. Here is today's:
Steps to Freedom
Change What Isn''t Working
If we don't change what isn't working in our lives, we will continually have the same day over and over again.
We have all had the experience of realizing that something in our lives is not working. This knowledge can come as a sudden realization or a nagging feeling of doubt that grows stronger, waking us up to the fact that something needs to change. Some people have a tendency to act rashly and make sweeping changes before even understanding what the problem is. Other people fear change, so they live with the uncomfortable awareness that something needs to shift but won’t do anything about it. Between these two extreme responses lies a middle way that can help us powerfully and gracefully change what isn’t working in our lives.
The first step is remembering that your life is made up of parts that belong to an interconnected whole. Changing one thing can change everything. Because of this, small changes often have a big effect. Sometimes much bigger changes are necessary, but the only way to know for sure is to take the time to really understand the problem. Examine your life as an entirety—your work, your relationships, where you live—and determine what specifically is not functioning the way you would like. Once you have figured out the problem, write it down on a piece of paper. For example, “I am not happy with my relationship” or “I don’t like my apartment.” The next step is to figure out the adjustment you would like to make and how you can go about making this change. If you are unhappy with your relationship because you spend too much or not enough time with your partner, you may want to discuss this problem with them and come up with a compromise. On the other hand, if you realize your relationship is not working to such a degree that it needs to end, begin working through that process. Writing down the truth can be a powerful catalyst for change.
The key to making changes that work is to accept the necessity of change as part of life. As we change, we may find it necessary to fine-tune our relationships, work, and living situations. Our lives are living, breathing entities that reflect our dynamic selves.
Freedom Day: 12/25/11
Thank you for sharing these, Ken.
And welcome, Hannah!
I also felt justified in drinking because of stress at work. I now find that work is less stressful since I'm not drinking!
"Change what isn't working". Great article.
Malaika, are you still here? Let us know how you are doing.
Thanks Ken and Sue for your kind and helpful words. I did intend to quit for good today but then I got scared about suffering withdrawal symptoms and thought I'd better go out and buy another bottle to wean off gradually. The good news is I've only had 1 bottle and not 2, even though I was really tempted to get another. Tomorrow I will try and stick to half a bottle and then none the next day (Wednesday). I hope this is the right way to do it. Feel free to make any suggestions if it's not. Thank you!
Hi Hannah. Welcome to the forum and best wishes on achieving sobriety. Ken has some really great advice. I joined the forum in December and have found it really beneficial to read the back-posts and all the valuable articles provided by Patrick. I check in here many times each day as a good motivator for me and I find a great deal of help in the posts other forum members make. Only just over a month ago I thought it was an insurmountable task for me to remain sober, but it is possible. I'd say it was very important to get my mind in the right place, but take things one moment at a time. Without knowing your drinking history, it is difficult to say whether you may experience withdrawal symptoms. But, I know what you mean about scared of withdrawal. You may wish to consider speaking with a doctor to determine whether you need a medically assisted withdrawal. I did this, and my doctor prescribed a short course (5 days) of medication to help ease the physical withdrawal symptoms. You are probably best placed to know if you need this. Your plan to taper down seems okay, and it is also positive that you have set a stop date not too far into the future. Just remember to see your doctor if you need to. I encourage you to keep reading and keep posting, even if you don't feel up to it, or if you feel you have nothing to offer the forum - we all know you do definitely have something to offer! By helping yourself, you are also helping all of us. Lastly, I recommend you check back on some of the posts for some practical guidance on things to do during the early days of not drinking. Feel free to ask any questions if you would like specific guidance. Take care and best wishes. Jeff
Thanks for your reply and good advice. Well done for getting sober by the way!I used to drink a bottle a few times a week but recently it's been everyday, sometimes 2 bottles. I hope I can stick to half a bottle tomorrow, thinking about it now it seems like quite a difficult task!I will keep you posted. I'll keep reading the past posts for inspiration too. Speak soon. Hannah
Well, needless to say I didn't manage it. If anything it's got worse. And I've got to meet some friends tomorrow night. I would find it really difficult not to drink when I'm with them. Maybe I should have a new start date. I'm aware that there's a danger of putting it off too much. I really want to crack this. I feel disgusted with myself, but just feel it would be easier after Saturday night. I'm not going to drink today. The problem is when my hangover symptoms get really bad later on I want to drink to get rid of them. I'll leave it as long as I can and just drink the bear minimum to get rid of the hangover, if I have to. This is madness.