white flag bandiera bianca
white flag bandiera bianca (Photo credit: portobeseno)

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I waited to commit until I knew it was a promise I could keep. Till death do us part. In sickness and in health.


If only I could reach him. I see that this choice will hurt him. Maybe if I try one more time I can make him see the better path. I can’t let him get hurt. He is my son. What kind of mother does that?


When did this 45-year-old body creep up on me? Where did the lithe younger model go?


Why does she desert me every time a ray of light appears in my life? Why is it only an acceptable friendship when she has the one-up hand?


I thought I was better than this. The house a mess, my hair a mess, too many rushed dinners, not enough time to mother. To just be. To teach. How do I find another piece of me when the other pieces are scattered in a million different places?


None of it changes. The old tapes in our head continue because we don’t surrender to the reality of the situation. We stay on that merry-go-round, too scared to hop off because at least the music is familiar and we’re in motion—even if we’re going nowhere fast.

I have learned, the hard way, that acceptance of a less than desirable situation is the only way out of the situation. But acceptance does not come naturally to most of us. We ignore circumstances. We rationalize the amount of time we stay in a relationship by focusing on its good points, even as they disappear—and so do we, until not a kernel of our original spark is left.

Or, we throw up our hands at the general mess—be it finances, physical shape, mental state, our house or our family. We convince ourselves it’s not so bad and numb ourselves with television, food, drink, mindless computer time, work—whatever our drug of choice is to avoid facing our current situation. Because if we face it, we have to accept it. And after surrender, things may change.

I’m a woman with a strong faith in a higher power. When I surrender, it’s to God. It’s to a plan that I don’t even begin to fathom, one that stymies me as much as it thrills me. I surrender to a power that I know will lovingly watch me go through lessons in both joy and pain.

I believe there is salvation in the surrendering. And I don’t mean holier-than-thou salvation, as in I’m unworthy and God saves me. I mean salvation in that life on earth will be closer to heaven or hell, depending on what we do with what is thrown at us. Free will, baby.

I don’t know much, but I know the first step is to surrender to what is. Admit the relationship is no longer a relationship. That your spouse/friend/parent/self needs something you cannot provide. Or, that despite a heroic effort, it’s no longer a relationship that serves you both in its current state.  Lovingly remove toxic influences from your life, silently wishing them no harm as you pursue a healthier path.

Or, admit to yourself that while you’re far from the person you hoped you’d be, you are lovable–foibles and all. That your 45-year-old body is not the Ferrari it used to be, but it’s brought two lives into the world, nursed them and sheltered them. Admit that is a phenomenal feat and learn to love what is not perfect—because if it was perfect, it would not have accomplished all it has.

Admit to others that you cannot be/do/say everything they’d like you to be/do/say. That you can’t run the class party but you’ll send snacks. That you are sorry your child was less than Mahatma Gandhi but everyone makes mistakes and you’re mothering the best you can. That you will have to miss that meeting because you need to cheer your child on at that game. That you really would much rather collapse on the couch with a good book on Friday night and skip the jewelry party. Whatever it is that you know will ruffle their feathers—just accept your limitations and/or feelings and move on.

Surrendering brings pain, usually. If it didn’t, we would have done it long ago. But, it also brings a relief and peace we’ve not felt in eons. These are the beginning of healing.

Learn on me. Whatever it is, surrender. You will know what to do if you ask for guidance.

Your fears mislead you.

Nothing is worse than a refusal to be where you are. Not even the bleak future you envision if you make the change that scares you.

All along, we’ve thought strength was in the fight but life shows us, it’s in the surrendering to what is. Only then can we accept it, or move past it, or forgive ourselves for the blinders we all put on from time to time.

Wave the white flag. Step off the merry-go-round. Add your own metaphor of choice here, but do it. What appears to be standing still will actually be your first step in the right direction.

Here’s to the journey . . .


4 Comments Add yours

  1. A mantra I will repeat often is, “Bloom where you’re planted.” The impulse to surrender does not always mean retreat 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      So well put! My mother often used that saying with us as we were growing up. I find it to be ever more true as I get older.

  2. Colleen Stroshine says:


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