My prayer right now is surrender. In life. In writing. In the industry. Surrender is a theme I’ve explored in my writing and it’s a theme to which I keep returning. I can’t live courageously, in truth and vulnerability, unless I also surrender to the wild and scary unknowing of what it means to be human. I think mostly, control is an illusion. The only control we really have is our agency, our behavior, how we settle into our skin and move in the world. We can’t control our health, our lifespan, the health and lifespan of our loved ones, the behavior and intentions of other humans, even our own children. We can’t control sick, random tragedy or disaster. Anything could happen to any one of us at any moment, and yet most of us live as though that’s not the truth. And so it is, I find that the more I surrender to the beautiful unknown, the less I resist, fight, or try to avoid pain and heartbreak and change, the more alive I feel. The more awake I feel.
For me, writing is less about story telling, though that decidedly needs to happen in a novel, and more about truth- telling. It’s about digging deep, letting pain or joy or heartbreak or sorrow, passion, or even the mundane, rise in me (and then fall again) so that I can put it on the page. And even though our own truths don’t resonate with everyone, if we’re coming from a place of depth and openness, the art we create is bound to resonate with someone. Therein lies the heart of connection.
It doesn’t happen on every page, but my best writing has come from moments of total abandon. It’s come from surrendering to vulnerability. And despite the implication of the word surrender, I think most of us know that surrender is far from passive. It’s an active spiritual practice. Surrender is not a still and murky pond, it is an angry, full-moon tide, it is an irreverent and continuous waterfall, it is a river raging over and around rocks and fallen tree trunks.
So I surrender to the unknown. I surrender to the truth of my characters and the truth in my heart.I surrender to the journey. I surrender to the art. I let go of my need to control the outcome, whether it be the end product or whether a book sells. I let go of expectation, of myself and others. Instead I’ll just show up as I am, dig deep, express it, work on it, put it out there, and let go.
I let go. Join me.