Failing to Surrender

Although there are many approaches to healing chronic, non-healable conditions, I’m fairly certain they all have one thing in common.


You have to surrender your need to heal yourself if you want to heal yourself. If you’re determined to fix your health problem you must be 100% okay with not fixing your health problem.

I know it sounds crazy, but I’m starting to believe it’s true.

I think this type of surrender is different from traditional surrendering because when it comes to sporting events, you flat out lose if you surrender. During wartime you not only submit to your enemy, but hand over territories, fortifications and armaments upon surrendering. Neither would be helpful to me as forfeiting or submitting to multiple sclerosis doesn’t seem like a good idea. That feels more like giving up.

In his book, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, author David R. Hawkins notes that it’s more important to focus on feelings rather than thoughts. Then, since we are not our feelings and because feelings come and go, he suggests that we simple bear witness to them without trying to resist or alter them.

Hawkins wants me to be neutral with my feelings. But if you add my recent nervous system work into this equation, Irene Lyon would ask, Where are those feelings showing up in your body? How do you actually know what you’re feeling? How does your body give you this information?

Fo example right now I’m ambulatory, but when walking around my house I have to drag my leg everywhere. When I think about my leg, I get scared for my future. I picture myself in a wheelchair while thinking about the four different stairways in my house! Then I follow that thought and picture me being a prisoner in my home before saving up to move. Then I follow that thought and dash my dream of vacationing in Positano or returning to my yoga studio on a regular basis. Then I follow that thought…

Hawkins would tell me to cut that shit out! Ignore your thoughts and just focus on your feeling which is fear.

Lyon would take it a step further and tell me to do the work. So I’d orient (note that I’m safe), scan my body and notice the pressure in my chest, my climbing heart rate and how I’m holding my breath. In other words I’d recognize that fear shows up in my torso, vascular and respiratory systems.

I can’t change fear and frankly, I don’t want to. I need fear in case someone breaks into my house or I’m ever stuck in an elevator with Bill Cosby. But I can do the following:

I can change what my body does when fear shows up: I can breathe. I can feel my feet against the floor. I can acknowledge the pressure in my chest but once I orient to the room and notice there’s no wheelchair to be found, I will no doubt notice the pressure subside.

I can be neutral regarding fear every time it shows up accidentally because of my thoughts: Fear created the wheelchair not reality. It doesn’t exist. And although it’s not always pretty, my leg still climbs every damn staircase in my house. So fuck you, fear. I’m good.

As for my need to heal MS. I have to surrender that as well. Hawkins claims that “surrender is complete when a person has let go of needing or wanting a physical healing to occur”.

In other words, I need to be okay with not being okay while I do the daily work to be okay.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s