I used to think that if I were really doing this spirituality thing right, my life would be perfect – perfect home, perfect mate, perfect job, perfect bank account, perfect health – you get the picture. The truth is when I had my “perfect” life, it was anything but. Instead, I was anxious and unhappy, numbing out on food and busyness. It really wasn’t until I let go of my life that it became what I’d call “miraculous”.
It’s interesting to note that the first thing that has to happen in order to experience life beyond the ordinary is you have to surrender the life you have – even the one you think you want. I know that sounds contradictory to the Law of Attraction and envisioning your dreams, but the truth is, we still have flaws, see ourselves as guilty, and judge things as good or bad. What we want is so often tied to our ideas of survival and approval, that we lose sight of what our hearts truly desire. Instead, we choose things we think would make us feel safe, successful, or accepted.
A Course in Miracles reminds us, “Peace abides in every mind that quietly accepts the plan God set for its Atonement, relinquishing its own.” (T 14. III.12.4)
When my marriage fell apart, and I was finally able to accept any outcome by putting it warily in God’s lap, miracles started to happen. Though I’d get fearful and try to take back control, sanity only returned when I surrendered – again and again.
As I describe in my book, Peace, Power, and Miracles, A real turning point came when I stood in line at a teacher’s fair for SC schools, not wanting to be there. As I waited in the heat, carrying my bag of references, transcripts, and licenses, I said a prayer, “God, I do not want to be here. I want to be back in PA teaching at my old school where my family and friends are. But if you want me to be here, fine.” It wasn’t eloquent, but it was honest and sincere. At that moment, a strong peace settled within me.
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When we truly give up control and surrender the life we think we should have, two things happen. 1) We feel relief, no longer striving to control. And 2) we care less about the future and more present with what is.
Was life perfect after I accepted and surrendered? No. That’s because the lessons in this life aren’t meant to bring about perfection, they are meant to help open us where we’ve closed off from Love.
That means I’m going to go through difficult relationships to learn about vulnerability and trust, fears around money and needs to learn about real security and faith, self-worth and self-esteem issues to learn I’m loveable and enough just as I am. And each time, I’m humbled by my new found realizations.
Life doesn’t become perfect, but as we accept and let go, we find more contentment, peace of mind, and gratitude for what is truly good right now. And then a funny thing happens, the things that truly make us happy come to us as a natural part of Love Itself.
“Miracles occur as a natural expression of Love.”
A Course of Love