Last year I set out to deepen my surrender to the Divine. I would set an intention of surrender during my meditation. I would actively look for areas that I could surrender more, and I would ask the Divine to help me in my surrender. That prayer was answered in a profound way. After a pretty routine day of work I came home on a Friday looking forward to having the weekend ahead of me.
I sat at my desk and opened a letter from the V.A. It informed me that they had given me more benefits than I had earned and that I owed them $40,000. I am fortunate to not be in debt, and because of my military service I was on schedule to graduate with zero school debt. I have also been really paying close attention to retirement and getting my financial house in order to be successful in older age. So this letter hit with particular ferocity.
I sat back in my chair and felt that the shock. It felt like a tidal wave of fear descended from my head and washed over my body.
After the initial shock hit me I went into survival mode. I began making strategies to get out of this scenario, I started dissociating from that pain in my body by making strategies in my head. And then it hit me, surrender. I immediately stood up and hit the cushion. This meditation began quite differently then most, I sat with total heart break. I was sitting with my awareness firmly rooted in my heart center. A few times during this meditation I could feel my awareness move into my head, during which time I could feel how much suffering was there. It was amazing, when I was in my heart space it felt in a weird way good, I was just sitting with heart break, but it was only when I began thinking about it, I would suffer. The raw energetic expression of heart break felt intense, but it was an intensity that had no story. My head was telling me about how much damage and pain I was going to have to endure for the next couple years.
I don’t know how long I spent on that cushion, but I do know that it was a profound gift that I had attracted into my life. After the meditation I got up and accepted my fate, I did not know what would happen with the money, but it felt like a gift worth $40,000. I also knew that if I began thinking that I would somehow get out of the debt I would be forgetting the lesson I had just learned. I was fully prepared to pay back $40,000 that the V.A. had mistakenly overpaid me. In the days that followed there were a few times I would slip into resentment and anger toward the V.A., I would rage in my head, “THEY MADE A MISTAKE, I DIDN’T! THEY TOLD ME I WOULD BE GETTING THE MONEY, IF I HAD KNOWN I WOULD HAVE PLANNED ACCORDINGLY AND NOT SPENT THAT MONEY, AND NOW I HAVE TO PAY THEM BACK!!!” Every time this happened I could track just how much suffering I would begin to feel. I was very sensitive during this time.
Just recently the V.A. did confirm that it was in fact their fault and forgave the debt. Reflecting upon this whole episode I realized that I had received a $40,000 dollar bonus. If the V.A. had properly paid me I would have not received this extra money. In the end I received a huge bonus and a massive teaching about surrender.
Since that time I have been working on different practices to cultivate that state of consciousness centered in my heart. I have reached that state many times, and I have come to know this place as a one of silence and stillness. I am lucky enough to have practices that take me to silence when I am willing to have the discipline.