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Surrender Like a Duck

Beneath what I try to see is all I need. – Mark Nepo

A lot has been written about having the power we seek. From Dorothy in Oz to Gandalf in Middle-earth, we know power lives in our very being. We don’t have to fight for it. We don’t have to learn it (though some might say we have to remember it once we have grown up). We don’t have to magically conjure it. There’s no magic to it. We simply have to trust. We simply have to let go. We simply have to surrender. Like the duck floating asleep on the water, we have to surrender.

What does it mean to surrender?

Surrendering might seem pretty straightforward, but it is not. It might seem like we simply let go and que sera, sera. I am not convinced. There is more to the surrender story. Surrender is when our power meets our capacity. (We simply float.) It is when our understanding exceeds our need to be understood. (We let wisdom breathe in our bones.) It is when we leap and (more than know the net will appear) we know our power will allow us to fly. It is when trust runs so deep that even the Nile is envious of our power. That is surrender.

Why is surrendering so hard?

Given our vast internal power, surrendering should not be hard. My guess as to why surrendering is so hard is that we forget our power. Again and again, we forget our power. We let failure weigh heavy on our souls. We listen too much to those who tear us down. We drink from the well of negativity and worship at the alter of lack. We get separated from our power and forget.

Should we always surrender?

This is a complicated question. I was raised to believe we should forgive 7 X 70 and turn the other cheek. I think surrender is a cousin to forgiveness and looking away from conflict. If our power is within, and strong enough to hold the forces of ego and attitude at bay, then surrendering is always the right choice. There is strength in surrendering.

Surrender like a duck.

As a child I learned to float on my back. To this day, I can float in extremely rough and deep water. When I think about ducks surrendering, I think about floating. I think about the release that happens. I think about the irrelevance of the waves. I think about the quiet strength that guides my muscles. I am absolutely at peace. I surrender.

August 8 – Surrender Like a Duck – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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