Letting Go – The Pathway to Surrender.
The title of this blog is the same title of a book I am currently reading. The author is a famous psychiatrist, Dr. David R. Hawkins, who most people would know as the author of Power versus Force. Dr. Hawkins passed away in 2012 but his legacy lives on in the amazing research he conducted over his life. This remarkable professor was also an awakened Soul.
He used kinesiology – muscle testing to define what he called a ‘map of consciousness’. He was a psychiatrist who ran a large psychiatric hospital with a staff of 50 therapists with 2000 outpatients. He would get up to a 1000 new patients a year. Patients come from every country. He would get the most severe cases, Many people who were brought to him were in his own words, ‘the most hopeless of the hopeless”
But in each patient, he saw what would heal them. In his own words again, “Beneath the crippled appearance, there was the shining essence of love and beauty, perhaps so obscured to the ordinary vision that he or she had become totally unloved in this world.”
He recognized the fact that everyone needs to be loved. And as he helps his patients connect to their own love within and see who they really were, they began to recover.
Now what has made this book so remarkable for me, is the honesty it which he shares his own journey. For all his wisdom and awareness he himself became very sick. He gave so much he lost himself. Even with his awakened self, he became physically sick. There were too many people crying out for help and the work became too much for him his body went into decline
He had over 26 recognized health problems, everything from migraine headaches to diverticulitis, that occasionally required hospitalization. His friends were making bets on how look he was going to last. He felt embarrassed and ashamed of all his problems.
In the chapter, “physician heal thyself’ he wrote, “The inner question at the time was: recognised how could a successful, highly educated professional man, functioning creatively in the world, leading a balanced life, who had been thoroughly psychoanalyzed and experienced many modalities of therapy and healing, still have so many physical ailments?”
He recognized that he had a very strong will that pushed aside all obstacles to him being an effective doctor. His willpower suppressed his feelings. His clinical and scientific work demanded that he suppress his own negative feelings day after day, year after year. This was especially hard given that he worked daily with severely ill people and as a compassionate person he understood that the suppression of his emotions was the major cause of all his health problems.
He came to the understanding that he had made his thoughts more important than the feelings that accompanied them. He had pushed his emotional feelings down away from his consciousness into his subconsciousness and physical body. There they had built up over the years into physical diseases.
He understood that ignoring his feelings was slowly killing him, so he decided it was time to leave New York and head for the hills. He moved to a quiet town in the country and began a deeper inner journey that focused on his recovery through meditation and study.
This was to take seven years.
In my next blog, I will share with you what Dr. Hawkins discovered and how it is having a profound change in how I live my life…
I finished the last blog describing how Dr. Hawkins quit the hospital and went to a small town to recover. To recap, he had realized that as a knowledgeable psychiatrist he had made his thoughts more important than the feelings that accompanied them.
He had just pushed his feelings away from his conscious mind down into his body and subconscious where the negative energy built up over years into his 26 physical ailments. He realized that ignoring his feelings was slowly killing him.
We, humans, try to use our thinking processes to figure out our stressful, negative emotions. We think that our thoughts generate our painful feelings and I must say that for a long time I have too. But I tricked myself by identifying myself with my conscious logical mind, not the huge unconscious mind that has many different emotional frequencies vibrating through the body-mind.
I thought that the thinking mind was the same as the brain and that thoughts created emotions within the body. Now I am beginning to understand that my feelings are an energy and my brain does it’s best to make sense of that vibrational energy.
Dr. Hawkins book has shown me a very important truth.That to ignore your negative feelings will eventually kill you or at least make you very sick. I was fearful of feeling my negative emotions and fearful of fully letting them go.What if they took over or swamped me sending me crazy? Of course, all these thoughts need to be let go of as well.
I recognized how I spent my days focused on getting rid of my negative feelings and trying to work out why they were there. Another name for this constant worry is anxiety. Dr. Hawkins points out that the more you are focused on your negative emotions the weaker your energy systems become making it very difficult to focus on what is good in your life.
For a couple of years now I have been getting the lessons, heavy reinforced, to let go, to give up, to surrender to what is, to surrender my life to God’s Presence. Of course, this means giving up judgment, interpretation of events, surrendering into the here and now and having complete trust in what turns up.
I have been resisting completely letting go into the hands of the Divine. I have let go by degrees, surrender for a little while but then quickly taking it back when God seemed to be taking to long or that it looked like to me that I might not get what I wanted. I just didn’t believe that the Divine was doing a good job. I certainly wasn’t getting what I wanted, I wasn’t super rich or healthy, or always peaceful and happy. I wasn’t sitting in the Bahamas on my yacht drinking Pina Coladas.
For most of my life, I have felt that if things were going to get better, then it was up to me to make it happen. My parents drummed into me that ‘if you wanted anything’ then you had to work hard and sacrifice ‘now’ for the future. I have used every trick I could, mind maps, affirmations, prayer, gratitude, meditation, reading thousands of books and attending hundreds of courses.
When I was in India doing an Awakening retreat I realized that I was frightened of God and the price that I might have to pay to get His attention. I went into the ancient mind of Christianity and recognized that what we ‘Christians’ are most afraid of, is, that if we really surrendered to God, He might ask of us, what He seemed to ask Christ to do, to be crucified and die for Him. This I believe is a fundamental fear that runs through our western Christian unconscious minds. That if we want God to come into our lives then we are going to have to sacrifice or give up something.
I have been emotionally suffering because I have been trying too hard to be good and do it right. I believed that every negative thought had to be looked at and cleared and I have spent my whole adult life trying to be good for God. I realize now how arrogant was my thinking. That somehow I could figure out what I should do to make the Divine love me. I didn’t stop to think that maybe God/Self-loves me totally and all I need to do is show a little willingness to get out of the way and allow Grace to flow into my life and consciousness.
The Masters say “that when you are ready the master will find you”. Well, Dr. David Hawkins’ book found me. People kept saying I should read this book about Letting Go, but I already had 5 books next to my bed so I was in no hurry to add another book to the collection. But now that I have picked it up it has become my constant companion. Nothing, in this moment of time, holds the power that this simple act of surrender does for me.
In my next blog, I will share with you some simple methods of letting go that you may use to improve your health, relationships, prosperity, inner peace, and happiness.
As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God because He was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him, in peace, to work alone;
I hung around and tried to help, with ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them back and cried,
“How can you be so slow?”
“My child,” He said, “What could I do? You never did let go.”
author Lauretta P.Burns 1957
“Letting Go is a simple method to reach great clarity and transcend your problems.
The way is not by finding the answers but by undoing the basis of the problem. The state reached by the great masters is available, the solutions are within us and easy to find.”
(Dr. David Hawkins)
This article follows on from my two previous blogs on Letting Go – the path of surrender. Here I discuss how to let go our damaging, negative emotions and the stresses that accompany them.
You may use this practice to reduce any distress or dysfunction, increase well-being and support a spiritual practice. It will take you on the path of Awakening. As you let go you may develop more joy, happiness, inner strength, clarity, inner peace, caring and insightful qualities within your own mind and nervous system. This will, in turn, begin to resolve or dissolve the difficulties that you might be experiencing along with your path, in your outer life with relationships, health, and prosperity.
Research is now showing that long-term chronic stress can shorten a person’s life by 9 to 14 years. It seems our genes have a direct link to our emotional brain. Under stress genes that hold the patterns of disease will be switched on while the genes for immunity etc get suppressed. And when we are peaceful then the reverse occurs. Our genes hold the electrical DNA blueprint that life energy flows through.
Some stress is good for you, such as sports stress or getting out of the way of a Mac truck while crossing the road stress.
The problem is not with having stress, but how long we have had it. What do we do with all that emotional energy swirling around within our nervous system, brain and body parts?
So let us get straight into the Letting Go process. Here it is in Dr. Hawkins words:
“First step: Become aware of a feeling.
Let it come up, stay with it and let it run its course
Second step: Give up judging it, feel it without wanting to change it, resist it, vent it, fear it, condemn it or try to make sense of it, or try to make it different or do anything about it.
You focus on letting the feelings be there and letting out the energy behind it.
The technique is to be with the feeling and surrender all efforts to modify it in any way.
Let go the wanting to resist the feeling. “it is resistance that keeps the feeling going.”
The letting go technique is simple, you just let go of resisting letting go.
And if it seems you can’t let go of the feelings then just sit with them and let go your resistance to feeling them. Surrender to ‘what is.
The real issue is that we are afraid of our own feelings. We believe that our feelings are so real and are so powerful, that if we really let them out we would be overwhelmed.
This may be true for some people, so it is always important to have someone to support you while you are going through this process. This is where I suggest having Acupuncture or going to a counselor or using the techniques of EFT, or do ‘the work’ of Byron Katie to clear the excess energy blocks.
It is true, that when I first began to allow my negative feelings to surface, it really hurt, it physically hurt, a deep ache within my chest. But I remembered the ancient Buddhist texts that said to just sit and allow whatever needed to surface to arise. So I would just sit and feel the feelings arising. This is a meditation technique taught in many ancient schools both Buddhist and Hindu. It is helpful to breathe, deeply and slowly into the feeling for as long as it takes.
“When you give up resisting or trying to modify the feeling it will shift to the next feeling and be accompanied by a lighter sensation. A feeling that is not resisted will disappear as the energy behind it dissipates.” (Dr. Hawkins)
When I am upset or fearful or angry what I do first acknowledge the feelings. ‘I own my stuff’, I notice what I am feeling and where in my body I am feeling it. This feeling can be looked at as just ‘energy’, instead of naming it. Naming an emotion is the way our mind can relate to it.
What is important to recognize, is that it will be only as painful as the energy you have accumulated within the body/mind matrix. One feeling may cause thousands of thoughts, so when you practice letting go, remember to ignore the thoughts that accompany the feelings.
Stay focused on the feeling and recognize that all thoughts are merely the mind attempting to make sense of the accumulated pressure behind the feeling that has built up and now seeks to be released.
“The mechanism of surrender is simple and the truth is self-evident. It works at all times of the day and night. There is no dogma or belief system. You verify everything for yourself so you cannot be mistaken.” (Dr. David Hawkins -Letting Go the path of Surrender.)
To finish I must say that my letting go is a work in progress. I am learning more each day. As my negative energies are resolved I begin to experience an internal willingness to focus on the positive emotions.
A great practice to finish with is ‘the letting go of my resistance to thinking positive emotions’. Such as letting go my resistance to being happy.
As I feel into it I start to smile.
Letting go has become my daily meditative practice. I recommend to everyone,
For more information on the effects that long-term stress has on the body,
go to my blog called “Healing happens ten times faster”.