This article shares a visitor's question about spiritual surrender and an answer from webmaster, Katherine T Owen.
I very much appreciate your website and your sharing your story. I struggle with the notion of surrender to God.
I suffer from depression which has greatly
limited my ability to have a fulfilling life...
... It's been a very frustrating life and I'm now 57 years old with very little money saved, not a whole lot of marketable skills, and a scary future.
Surrendering to God feels like Stockholm syndrome. I don't feel the love. Many others didn't like those who died in the holocaust etc.
I don't like feeling this way but it's based on my experience of the universe as cruel.
What are your thoughts?
I really appreciate your heartfelt question.
Spiritual surrender is such a difficult concept for us. We
associate surrender with losing. Indeed, there IS a sense of loss that
comes with surrender to God. (See my spiritual poem on this page.)
If you don't “feel the love”, in your own words, it is completely understandable that you resist spiritual surrender.
Why would you surrender to someone you don't trust, unless you absolutely have to do so?
My spiritual beliefs are very much non-dual. That means I don't see God as the creator of those things that we see with our eyes and witness to with the very limited capacity of our senses.
The world IS cruel. It is a place of lack and suffering and illness and death.
Does this mean God cruel?
God is the changeless Love behind the world.
Sadly, many people in the name of spirituality or religion also
try to convince themselves the world is more beautiful than it is in order to
believe that God is good.
There is no need to do so. God IS good. The world we see is not God’s world. It is a world in which our memory that we are spiritual beings has been hidden behind our belief in this world.
When we accept that God is the reality, and that what we experience
is only a semblance of reality, it opens us to an experience that is beyond
this world, to a Love that is beyond this world.
An increasing awareness of this love moves us towards the spiritual surrender of our identity as a small separate self. We are reborn in the knowledge that we are part of God.
In his book Surprised by Joy, CS Lewis speaks of his despair in the moment of surrender to God. For him surrender was motivated out of a process of reasoning which convinced him of the reality of God.
David, you speak of your depression. I am sorry to hear that you are going through that.
Depression is a legitimate response to the realisation that the world can be horrible and also perhaps to the realisation that we ourselves are not the people we would like to be.
A worldly attempt to heal depression says that someone with depression needs to correct the way they see the world to see it more positively.
But the spiritual perspective offers an alternative for potential recovery from depression. Spiritual surrender comes not from blind faith but from x-ray vision.
See the world as it, but see also the Love that lies behind it.
See the crucifixion but do not dwell on it. Dwell on the resurrection.
Allow a breakdown to become a breakthrough.
David, keep asking the questions.
Keep sitting in silence and opening to the possibility of answers.
Our understanding is so limited. Spiritual surrender opens us to a Love beyond our understanding.
With love for your journey,
Katherine T Owen, webmaster,
Author of Be Loved, Beloved (Kindle)
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For 14 years, Katherine T Owen was severely disabled with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, unable to walk, with little speech, and with inadequate care.
Katherine's small beautiful collection of poems take the reader with her as she journeys to know both self love and
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