Surrendering a desire
For the next week, whenever you get something that you wanted BUT DID NOT EXPECT TO GET IT, carefully write down a brief description of this event. Over the week, try to notice all these events-no matter how small or insignificant they might be. Here are the four elements to look for and to include in your brief descriptions:
1. You consciously wanted something-an object, a privilege, an opportunity, a reprieve, a something extra, a surprise, a solution to a problem, etc.
2. At some point in the “wanting history”, you had CONSCIOUSLY given up all (or almost all) hope of receiving it. You had “pretty much written off ever getting it”. At an exact moment, you were aware of a thought (or emotional surrendering) that signified to you personally that you had given up expecting to ever get this “something”. You had resolved the “wanting issue”. Even though you may still have “loved to get this”, you had “come to terms with reality” or “made peace with your destiny”. You had given up, AND IT WAS HONESTLY OKAY if you didn’t get it.
3. You THEN obtained this “something”. It could be immediately or days or weeks later.
4. Obtaining this “something” gave you a FEELING of surprise.
This is a powerful observation exercise. Read the follow-up questions below to be more alert to this process of “getting”. The more effort you put into this exercise, the more astounded you will be that it actually works.
Ask yourself,Can I give up hope on purpose?
Is there a wide range of “how much” I actually give up? Can I give up absolutely? Do I ever give up absolutely?
How do I know when I have given up hope? Do I stop having desires or fears or at least have less desires and fears? For me, does giving up always mean subsequently having less thoughts and emotions about the “something”?
What happens when I surrender to my “fate” or “God’s will” or “how things work?” Is there a personal pattern I typically show? Can I augment or change that pattern or create a pattern if there is none?
When I give up, and then I DON’T get the “something”, how do I feel? How do these feelings vary in regards to the “something” desired, the degree of my giving up, and the strength of my original desire?
After this exercise, am I surprised at how much or how little I am getting my “somethings?”
Is there a payoff to never wanting anything but cherishing every something? Would such an attitude get me a whole lot more somethings?
If I tell a waiter in a restaurant what I want, and then insist on telling the waiter over and over again in redundant and precise detail what I want, how does the waiter ever get to the kitchen to place my order? And who’s cooking back there anyway?
If I were God, what would I give me?