by Karen Mehringer
Sitting in class in 1996 at Seattle Pacific University, my professor had us gather in a circle and share what we considered to be our “role” in life. Surprisingly, what popped out of my mouth was “mommy.” One of the reasons for obtaining a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy was so that I could have a part time private practice and still be a full time mom. I wanted to have my cake and eat it too…to have a fulfilling career in which I could make an income and feel like I was making a difference in other’s lives, while also pursuing my dream of being a mom and raising a family. That was the plan twelve years ago!
Today, as I sit and write this, I am waiting to find out if this “go around” is going to take. Over the last six years, since going off birth control, on many, many occasions, (at least twenty by now), I have felt my body trying to get pregnant. I frequently feel nauseas and am extremely hungry all the time. (My mother in-law just visited for a week and couldn’t believe how much food I consumed, especially given my slight body frame.) I am easily fatigued and winded when going up and down the stairs or when exercising. And, my breasts become tender and enlarged. Excitement and hope rise as my symptoms appear…friendly reminders of the possibility of new life. But, then, the inevitable happens and I get my period. I feel like such a failure and think, “What’s wrong with me?” All of the fertility tests over the years have been normal. Science has been unable to explain why this keeps happening. Anger, frustration, disappointment and grief set in.
As I am present with my painful feelings and allow them to flow, I am able to surrender more deeply to what is happening in the moment, while trusting there is a higher purpose for my circumstances. Letting go of my resistance has been a process, much like being on an emotional roller coaster ride…hope, despair, acceptance; hope, despair, acceptance; hope, despair, acceptance. With each ride, I relax deeper and deeper into surrender and my heart opens wider and wider to embrace all of life’s infinite possibilities. For example, I have become open to the idea of adoption, and even a fulfilling life without kids, in which I can see myself expanding professionally in my career and traveling the world. I have also considered the possibility that my experiences may be of assistance to others along their journey. Being open to the possibilities, I feel freer and lighter. I am able to move forward and create more abundantly with my life force energy. There is more room in me – body, mind and soul, as I and let go.
Holding on too tightly to our dreams and desires, we are taken out of the moment. Our attention and focus is on the desired outcome, some place in the future, instead of being completely present, thus draining our energy for living fully here and now. Our deepest dreams can only be experienced in the moment, by surrendering to the divine perfection of life as it is.
By letting go of our attachment to our dreams and how they are fulfilled, we open ourselves to experiencing the greater possibilities life has to offer.
“Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. The only place where you can experience the flow of life is the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation. It is to relinquish inner resistance to what is.”
– Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, (pg 171)
“The constant want and worry of most westerners is a burden that obstructs Presence. It’s hard to feel fully alive, here and now, when you’re locked into the delusion that happiness is attached to outer circumstances rather than an indwelling aspect of your own true nature.” – Joan Borysenko