Dr. Carolyn Myss tells a story of a sick woman whose condition went undiagnosed. The woman couldn't accept that this was happening to her, that her body was ill and no one could provide an explanation about why this was.
She said that she lived in a state of resignation, as if to say that she wanted to bargain; if she said she accepted her illness, she believed that she should receive some reward.
"I was living in this type of attitude that said, 'All right, I'll do this. Now reward me for it by making me feel better.' And then, that night, I realized that I might never feel better and if that's the case, what would I then say to God? I surrendered completely. I said, 'Whatever you choose for me, so be it. Just give me strength.'"
Resignation is not the same as surrender. When you resign yourself to something, you say to everyone and yourself, "Well, I guess this is about as good as it's going to get." Whatever "it" may be. I've felt that way a long time about my love life. I had discussions with God about Tim last year... and I quote, "This is what I have to work with? Really?"
Surrender is letting go, truly, without any thought of reward or a "wink-wink" to the Universe that it'll finally give you what you want if you just say you give up. That's like an actor saying a line, and pretty meaningless, even if the actor is good.
I have found, though, that sometimes just when you surrender, it does work out and you do get what you thought you wanted. Sometimes, what you wanted disappears, never to be seen again. You never know what the Universe will do. Sometimes it'll zig when you think it might zag. In the immortal words of Mick Jagger, though, you'll "get what you need" even when you can't always get what you want.
There are a lot of jobs I wanted that I never interviewed for. There were guys I wanted a chance with who didn't make the slightest effort to get to know me. But then, I have been blessed with so much work, and knowing so many people. My life is in a constant state of change, from one year to the next, but some people are stable and stick with me month after month, year after year, while others add flavor for a while. Looking at the big picture isn't all about seeing what you didn't get to do; it's about seeing both the opportunities and the dead-ends. It's planting seeds; some grow into beautiful plants, while others don't. Maybe a seed you plant is eaten by a bird and then pooped out and then grows somewhere else, for someone else. Whatever! It's all good, as the hippies out west say.
My challenge these days is to look at what's out there, both the opportunities and the dead-ends, and say to the Universe, I'll show up and give this stuff a try, and it's your job to get to me all the things that I should have. It's my job not to argue why you give me this instead of that. It's my job to be grateful and make my life be as good as it can be.