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Can You Surrender?

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Can You Surrender?

Give up the fight and forgive.
Dr. Dena  Mendes
Dr. Dena Mendes More by this author
Nov 08, 2011 at 09:00 AM

Surrendering is the perfect recipe for contentment. Why, then, is this task of letting go and moving on so much easier for some than it is for others?

It wasn’t until my third go-round with cancer that I truly understood why I’d attracted it into my life. One day while meditating, I received the vision of a key. I went to my natural doctor to help interpret what this could mean, and we both felt that I was ready to open Pandora’s box, if that’s what it took, in order to find the answers to the recurring cancer in my life.

The following day I went into my special space to do some yoga and look for some more clues. As I was digging through some old CDs to play, I saw one by Caroline Myss called Personal Healing. I remembered going to her workshop with Dr. Wayne Dyer when I had first been diagnosed four years earlier, but I didn’t remember buying this CD at all. I pressed PLAY.

The program began with a dedication to a woman named Penny who had died of breast cancer. I was just about to jump up and turn it off—the last thing I needed to hear was another story about cancer, especially if the person was dead. Yet something wouldn’t let me move off my mat, so I stayed put and listened. I’m so glad I did, since it was by far the most valuable information I received through my healing transformation.

First Caroline spoke of some people’s need to stay sick because, unconsciously, they might be getting something out of it. I saw how I might have been doing this so I could get the love I so desperately wanted from my family. I thought, I won’t do that anymore.

Then she started to talk about the alchemy we do for ourselves. This sounded just like me, the queen of natural doctors, healing, tinctures, herbs, and remedies. My ears perked up when she said, “You can go to the ends of the earth for the most potent form of herb, tincture, or essential oil.” I was anxiously waiting to hear where I needed to go next for the most miraculous potion on the face of the planet, when she said, “It’s forgiveness. The remedy is simple: if you don’t get rid of your bitter heart and forgive, nothing will work.”

I immediately stood up and said out loud, “I’ll do it. I will forgive. If that’s what it takes, I can do that. If Caroline says to do it, I will.” I was gung ho and ready to call the person I most needed to forgive: my mother.

Then the voice on the CD warned about the struggle between the ego and the spirit. Isn’t that funny? This is exactly what was happening—my ego was taking out all the old pictures to show my spirit. My ego reminded my spirit, “You know what your mother will say. She will say what she said last time you tried to forgive her: ‘I forgive you too, Dena,’ in that patronizing way of hers. Remember the egotistical and accusatory way she said it? Yep, she will do it again.”

But my spirit did exactly what Caroline said it would. “I don’t care,” it responded. “I must forgive her. My life depends upon it.” I decided to make the call—but before I did, I sent my mother Caroline’s CD, in the hopes that she would listen to it and better understand where I was coming from, and not hurt me as my ego feared she would. No such luck. When I told her, “Mom, I forgive you,” she replied, “I forgive you, too,” just like my ego warned. I now understand that she couldn’t help herself . . . she was in her ego.

After the frustrating call, I went upstairs to my bathroom to blow-dry my hair, and I started to yell at God. “You think it’s funny?!” I screamed. Then, through my tears, I laughed at the hypocrisy of it all. “It’s all so cleverly done,” I heard myself say. “So many twists and turns in dark alleys. I have the worst mother on the planet, I get cancer, and the only way to heal myself is through her. What could You possibly have been thinking when You designed my life’s plan?”

At this point, my husband walked in. He said, “Dena, I think you’re confusing forgiveness with relationship.” It was as if someone had turned on the proverbial lightbulb. All at once, the room went from dark to bright. I got it. God couldn’t have possibly meant that I needed to stay in an unhealthy and dysfunctional relationship. I could forgive my mother and even love her, but not be in a relationship with her. This would take work—the addiction to the dysfunction was strong, and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy for me to break free from this emotional web. Surrendering would be a process, but I was determined to accomplish this surrendering business in this lifetime.

About Author
Dr. Dena  Mendes
Dr. Dena Mendes received her degree in Public Health and Broadcast Journalism from Arizona State University, has attended programs at Harvard and Northwestern universities and holds a Doctor of Naturopathy Degree. Dena was introduced to healing a Continue reading