Sweet Surrender

I’ve been pondering this particular rewrite for several weeks now. While thinking about it, I created the featured image so that I could offer you a visual representation of what surrender looks like “to me.” What’s fascinating is that, in the process, what I was creating taught me a little something about surrender that I had never really thought about before.

In the original story, this chapter was an anecdote about the time a good friend offered to let me stay with her so that we could work on getting me sober. My stomach was in knots, and my mind was chattering non-stop; telling me that if I went away, I would surely lose my business. In hindsight, I think it was the alcohol talking. I see no common sense behind the idea. When you’re stuck in those addiction-mind-games, you fail to see that you will “most certainly” lose anything that you’re holding onto if you continue to drink (or use), so trying to convince myself that taking time out to “help myself” would be the straw that would break the camel’s back was preposterous.

“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.”

– Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

Anyway, that was my first experience with surrender; I had the marvelous realization that nothing was more important than getting the help that I needed. I had to let go—and go. Still, it would be hard to define surrender at the time. I just knew that I was letting go of whatever it was that was keeping me imprisoned—and I was going after whatever it was that would set me free.

What I noticed about the image is that the things that we hold onto (or that hold onto us)—power, money, clutter, habits, desires and worry (to name a few)—are things that we often “think” or “feel” that we need. I thought it was interesting that they are at the top, and you have to wonder if the poor girl spent half of her life pursuing these things. I mean, she must have had to work really hard to get up there to attain them, right? Some of these things don’t come easy, so it’s almost understandable that she is trying so hard to hold on.

In contrast, the things that we “actually” need—contentment, joy, love, serenity, peace and acceptance (to name a few)—are at the bottom, growing freely. If I were to guess, I’d say that if this poor girl were to let go, she would actually crash land into a soft cushion of all of the things that will make her a happier human being. How weird is that? We fight to get the things that can destroy us, but we fall into the things that we need.

It made me realize that we work really hard to get the things that we “think” are important. We have to push and climb, struggle, sweat and go through a shit load of pain… but we keep going. We WILL get there, dammit, and nobody can stop us. So, it’s no wonder we hold on so tightly when we know we have to let them go.

But the things that we REALLY need, all of those things at the bottom… don’t require hard work hard at all. We just need to let go and take the plunge. I mean, how many times have you talked to someone about their dreams or goals and heard them say something like…

“Well, my short term goals are acceptance and peace, and my long term goals are love, joy, and contentment. I know, I know… I have a long hard road ahead, but I will never give up. I am willing to sacrifice my blood, sweat and tears to make it happen.”

It just doesn’t happen. Not in my world anyway.

Thinking about this reminded me of Adam and Eve, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I often wonder if that tree had something to do with our inclination to think that “we know best,” because that inclination can kill us. I think that’s why I added the snake (that was actually an afterthought). These things that we desire, crave, and fight for—the things that we “think” we need—are like temptations, and they can actually cause us harm. They taunt us, beckon us, and then… when we get close enough… they entangle us. Like the spider’s web traps it’s prey.

That being said, I think that another way to look at surrender is that it is the willingness to let go of the things that we “think” we need, in order to accept the things that God wants to offer us. No sweat required.

We just need to open our hands.

Thank you for reading—
I hope you found something of value here!

Life: From A to Z

Fill the page with the breathings of your heart.

A quote by William Wadsworth with a minor tweak by yours truly.

Happy 2021 Everyone! February is right around the corner and I am finally getting back in the groove with a new series.

But first…

An Update: We suffered a little setback here at the abode in December. My mom and I both ended up sick on Christmas eve (I’ll talk about that another day with another letter of the alphabet). Although we are doing much… MUCH… better at the moment, we’ve been moving mighty slow for the past month.

I was forced to recalibrate my compass and focus on what matters—which was taking care of my mom for several weeks—and (thank God) it’s turned out to be a positive experience with some awesome perspective shifts. That being said, I’ve had a LONG time to think about this series and I’m excited to get things rolling!

When I did my series The Alphabet Game, I wrote about the things that I love from A to Z. In this new series, I’m going to talk about life and the thoughts that come to my mind as I scroll through the 26 letters. I’m also going to have some fun with illustrations—and there will be no judging here because I’m doing some of these for laughs as a little “play therapy.”



The first word I thought about was ambition. I like to think of myself as one who has a lot of ambition (after I’ve had my coffee, of course), and ambition is a word that we hear from our parents, teachers, employers, and a truck load of self-help books. Then we grow up and talk about it with our kids, and we pray (and sometimes shout) that they’ll have some ambition when they grow up.

Ambition is at the top left of my image. She is up on the seesaw doing jumping jacks (of course!). Ambition is kind of like the engine of a car. Automobiles might look nice, or have fancy accessories, or even be stocked full of everything a person needs to do a long road or camping trip… BUT, it has to have a running engine (ambition) to move. Otherwise, that vehicle will be parked in the driveway looking all shiny and pretty—with no real desire to go anywhere. That’s what ambition is to me.

Another thing that came to mind is that ambition is one of those double edged words. A person can become obsessed about their dreams and desires if ambition gets out of control. As they race their way to the top (or what they think is the top), they trample all over anyone who gets in their way (people who have ambitions of their own) and they leave a big mess behind them. One ugly pile of greed. It’s kind of like a carbon footprint, but it consists of human beings that have been damaged in the process rather than greenhouse gas emissions.


These thoughts about ambition led me to addiction because being over-ambitious is a lot like being an addict or an alcoholic. As a matter of fact, there’s a pretty BIG list of things that people can obsess about, overdo, or overindulge in that can reduce or destroy their quality of life and their relationships.

Off the top of my head—and aside from drugs and alcohol—people can overdo and become addicted to adrenaline (extreme sports), eating, exercise, gambling, gaming, money, pornography, sex, shopping, and even work.

Over-ambition looks a lot like addiction (to me) because when you’re over-ambitious it’s like you’re wearing blinders (denial maybe?). You can only see and focus on what’s in front of you, which is usually the things that YOU want. You lose that peripheral vision that allows you to recognize the needs of others. It takes some thoughtful self-reflection and willingness to look at yourself openly and honestly to see that you’ve gone bonkers outside of the boundary lines of normalcy and/or human decency.

Addiction is down on the ground there in my image. She’s holding her drink in one hand, and she’s holding herself up with the other. Let’s just hope she doesn’t knock over the seesaw and send the rest of the letters flying! What I’m trying to say here is that I think that there are many things in life that are fun and good, or even positive and useful—but only in moderation. When we wander into the land of “excess,” we’re headed towards instability.


I was so happy with where these thoughts took me, because I realized that life is ALL about balance. This is something that another blogger has said to me before, but sometimes I just have to see things for myself before they sink in.

I’ve included two balancers in my image—I suppose they could be twins—but one has lost her balance (I guess we need to call her imbalanced now) and she is tumbling toward the ground. Maybe she was over-ambitious with her jumping jacks, or maybe she drank too much? Who knows!? But look at her twin go! She is postured in the middle of the seesaw and is as stable as could be. Not too far to the right, and not too far to the left. She is perfectly balanced.

So, ambition is good and all, but what’s really important in life is balance. You don’t want too little of the things that make you tick, but you don’t want too much either. That’s my two cents anyway.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed my thoughts about “A” and “B,” and my artwork as well.

Balance is the key to everything. What we do, think, say, eat, feel, they all require awareness and through this awareness we can grow.

Koi Fresco

I’ll be back in a few days to talk about the letter “C.”

Stay balanced!

No News is Good News

The Journey Continues…

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated my journal. On the one hand, it means that nothing exciting (or newsworthy) has been going on. On the other hand—and more importantly—the old idiom rings true: No news is good news.

Today marks 1,229 days of sobriety… so that’s good news!

Continue reading →