Have you ever experienced the crushing atmosphere of four young restless children in a small space for a long time, feeling all their childish exuberance?
Have you ever felt the pressure of something new, really new? These two situations like oil in lemonade would not, could not blend.
I would have given much for a quiet space to collect my thoughts, a space life chose not to afford me.
There I was, seven hours of driving, pounding headache, the last fifteen miles down a winding road with several cars hanging off my bumper.
Suddenly there are blue and red lights flashing, and the scream of sirens invading my pounding head. Some neatly dressed man in his pressed uniform and fluorescently offensive jacket is signaling me to pull over. In a state of complete and incomprehensible thoughtlessness he writes me a speeding ticket telling me that the tailgating traffic was no excuse for my ten km per hour speeding spree. Incredibly he seemed oblivious to my four, by this time, totally unruly children, my pounding headache or my beautiful wife who was apparently lacking in beautiful praise for me in that moment.
In that instant with the tools I had I could not have mustered a glimmering of the notion of surrender. I am sure the last fifteen miles were pervaded with a thick, sticky silence that left everyone feeling just a little dirtier than they possibly could have felt after traveling for three days through the steaming swamps of the Darien gap. That moment could be construed as a turning point in my life.
Over the next ten years I embraced inner study as a way of life. I learned the value of surrender and forgiveness. I learned to breathe, I learned simple relaxation techniques, I learned to speak my needs and listen to the needs of others.
Ten years later as I stood in the doctors parking stall in a new town I had recently moved to, with a light slowly dawning in my head that my car was gone, towed away, surrender did not even glimmer in my thinking; back to the books.
Another ten years have since passed by. I continue to study, I continue to practice. Do I yet know how to surrender? In the moment, occasionally; with a little time I seem to. When I discover how to find the humour surrender seems to finally finds completion. Then I find a new opportunity to learn surrender.
May you find within yourself the strength to surrender to life's challenges in 2006.