At the tail end of my first miscarriage, while still in the early stages of coming to terms with understanding loss, I couldn’t quite make sense of how our pregnancy was over. It was over before we had the chance to really celebrate in the first place. It was an early loss, but heart shattering nonetheless.
I had been in this place in life before. Heartbreak, disappointment, loss of a future dream, grief. I had been able to move through bad places by tuning into my inner voice, my intuition, by listening to what it was I needed to get me to a better place. I was consistently receiving the messages around me to “surrender”. I thought I had been surrendering in that moment- I accepted the fact that I was no longer pregnant, and that I had no control over the situation. But the truth it, I had no idea what it actually meant to surrender. It wasn’t until several miscarriages later, with my heart and hope bottomed out, that I knew I needed to shift my perspective and look at my situation in a different light.
I went straight to the guru of tuning into your inner voice and the art of surrender, New York Times Best Selling Author, Gabrielle Bernstein. I fell in love with Gabby’s presence and vibe when I watched the Universe Has Your Back series on Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions when she spoke about her struggle to conceive. There was something about her presence, the way she held herself, the transformative messages she spoke, and most importantly the hope that she leaves you feeling each and every time you hear her speak. I needed more.
On a cold and dark winter month I sat at home with a pile of Gabby’s books, highlighter and pen in hand, and ready to dive into to SURRENDERING. I learned 3 pivotal lessons that helped shape my journey and change my outlook.
“When I think I have surrendered, I surrender more.”
I had not even thought about the fact that surrendering is a layered experience. It’s not a once and done type of thing. It takes time to release our pain and the burdens we carry, and we need to give ourselves time and permission to continue to surrender through the process. Surrendering itself can be a meditative process, so rather than fight the idea that I have already surrendered, I allow for the possibility that there is always room to surrender more. I thought there was a timeline for my grief and pain, but I realized that the process of surrender dictates the pace.
“I release the outcome and surrender to a plan far greater than mine.”
Sometimes I am resistant to a certain outcome because I expected it to turn out differently. I had planned to have a healthy beautiful baby on my timeline, and I expected that outcome to unfold naturally. When things are not going according to plan, we tend to think of that as a negative. Instead, I like to consider that whatever obstacles are put in my way, everything happens for a bigger reason, and that there is a bigger purpose at play. We are always being guided along our path, so we can let go of what we see as obstacles, and create the space to allow for new paths to unfold. I might not have the outcome and ending that I would like right now, but I am open to an ending far greater than my own plan.
“When we surrender our will to the power of the universe, we receive miracles.”
When I let go of the reins and allow the beauty of the universe to unfold around me, I have seen the magic happen! Not once. Daily. It might not be the miracle I want in that specific moment, and I might not be holding my beautiful baby in my arms yet, but I commit to tuning into life’s beauty so that I’m not missing what IS magical in that moment.
I continue to make the practice of surrendering a regular part of my routine. I know that when I am feeling down, resisting something in my life, feeling helpless, I can return to a more positive, hopeful outlook through the art of surrender.
Lee-Anne Wine is a Therapist and Author in Toronto, Canada. Sign up for her fertility newsletter on leeannewine.com and check in daily for her posts on mental health, infertility and being human @changeyourbrain.