What Mindfulness, Oral Sex, Massage, and Haircuts Have In Common
The other day I had the pleasure of getting a really great massage. The body worker was skillful and I was in need of a little self-care. But while the physical sensations of the massage were great, I realized there was something even more enjoyable about the experience. Specifically the opportunity for total and complete surrender.
The Danger of Control
Control is one thing many of us strive for in life. And it’s understandable; the ability to control seems to offer the shortest and easiest path to getting what we want.
But while control is attractive, it’s also deceptive. Not only does control often rob others of their freedom. It can also rob us our ability and willingness to surrender.
You see while control gives you more ways to pursue happiness, it also puts the responsibility for that happiness squarely on your shoulders. It makes you believe that you and you alone can and must create a world that meets your needs.
The truth is that nobody can find true and lasting happiness by themselves. Not because we depend on others to make us happy, but because we need the kindness and engagement of others to live full and complete lives.
However, when we try to control everything, we lose sight of this simple truth. We get caught up in the constant struggle to stay in charge, until it feels like we are guard duty twenty-four hours a day. And that’s why it’s so important to let go from time to time.
You see what I realized on the massage table was that deep surrender is a huge relief. A relief I felt so deeply during my massage that I was almost moved to tears. As I sat there naked and vulnerable letting my body be manipulated, I was reminded that I didn’t have to rely on myself. I was reminded that it’s not only essential to ask for help, but also to I surrender when it’s offered.
What makes surrender so powerful is that it requires us to express deep faith not only in the person or situation we’re in. But also in our own ability to trust, love, and accept.
It’s so easy to think that life is a big hunt where we must stalk and kill our prey in order to eat. Instead, I’ve found it’s wiser and more conducive to happiness, to see life as a flow of giving. Instead of having to hunt to get what you want, all you need to do is stay on the path so that the blessings of life don’t have to find you and give you what you need.
Seek Out Surrender
So my challenge for you this week is to seek out healthy situations of surrender. Get a massage, spend time with a lover, get your hair cut, or pamper yourself at the spa. No matter what the act or occasion please take a chance, trust someone, and let go of the need to control. Even if it isn’t exactly how you’d like, your willingness to surrender can give you so much more than what you think you want. It can give you what you deeply need.
A Final Note on Surrender:
Before I go, I wanted to make a brief note about surrendering safely. Surrender more than anything else demands deep trust by the parties involved. And while you shouldn’t withhold trust forever, you also shouldn’t give it without some due diligence or caution.
Our desire to trust and surrender has been used by many false prophets, religious cults, and snake oil salesmen to ply what they want from the bodies and minds of their willing victims. So please let your own intuition and better sense guide you as you engage in this practice. And if something feels off or wrong at all please seek wise counsel from an outside source who can help you stay safe and happy.