When you’re struggling, don’t quit. Surrender.
Think of the last time you reached for something you wanted, but didn’t succeed. If you gave up, there’s probably a piece of you that feels left behind. It’s like Aesop’s fable of the Fox and the Grapes: unable to reach the grapes after several attempts, the Fox dismissed them as probably unripe and sour.
Our desires are often rich, ripe, and juicy. Sourness doesn’t become them, nor does abandonment. So what can you do when the desires feel out of reach?
You can surrender. You can listen for the stories that keep you trying the same approach. Loosen your grip on them. They want you to keep fighting the same inner battle, so you surrender that fight. You let go, and the stories let you go, freeing you to take a different approach and another angle.
Cheri Huber writes that “Fear is a green light”, that taking a step in the direction of the fear leads us to freedom. We can be aware of the old stories and choose not to enter the fight again, but step toward the dangerous, desirous place and see that the danger is entirely illusory.
I found myself struggling with my physical limitations in yoga practice, and the stories were rising up strongly. I was ready to give up the practice. So I decided to try something new: I resolved to try each pose and notice what my body could do today. Accepting my body and its abilities has led to breakthroughs on the yoga mat and in life. (I also see the part of me that tells fearful stories and accept it.)
The stories that hold us back become habits. What’s your habit? When you reach a challenge, what do you do? Do you push through, attack the problem, back away, or give up? When you want something, do you reach toward it or hold your hands closed in fear?
Can you take just one of the old battles and surrender the next time it arises? Call a truce and try stepping into the unknown. I hear the grapes are sweet and juicy there.