Friday, April 24, 2009

White Flag of Surrender

I was driving home from town the other day and something caught my eye along the edge of the road. I live in a pretty rural area. Our mailboxes are mounted on posts along the street.

As i drove along, I saw a white flag attached to a mailbox. It was on a short little stick.

It caught my eye and I wondered what the heck it was there for. It looked like a white flag of surrender!

Who put it there? Why did they put it there? What did it mean? Did the couple that live there have a fight? Was it an offering of peace and surrender from one of the parties?

As I continued my drive home, I couldn't stop thinking about the white flag. A flag of surrender. I wondered if this was a message for me.

My teacher, Dr. Charles Bruni used to say, "What we resist, persists. What we fight against, grows stronger." He taught me that particularly when it comes to emotions and inner experience, we fight a futile battle if we attempt to resist and suppress what is trying to be expressed. The best way out is through. We have to go through our feelings in order to be free of their influence. We can't just ignore them or pretend that they aren't there. They will just keep pressing on us from the inside. We won't feel right and we won't live right until we face, feel and release our feelings!

A lot of our dark feelings come from resisting our experience. We simply will not accept the reality that we are faced with. Sometimes we spend immense energy pretending that we are not where we are! Denying reality and suppressing our feelings is a recipe for unhappiness and despair.

I think the white flag that day was reminding me of all this. That sometimes in life, things happen that we would not choose... and they are bitterly painful. To simply try to 'wish them away' or 'ignore' how we are feeling does nothing to resolve the situation or move us forward. We need to honor and acknowledge our feelings - fully express them (in appropriate and safe ways) and allow ourselves to heal and move on.

Surrendering to an authentic healing process is the only way to freedom and joy! I think the white flag on the mailbox was my reminder that resistance is only going to cause more suffering. Surrendering to the process of feeling our feelings in order to completely release them is the path to healing and joyful living!

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