“The first step of the journey is the admission of powerlessness. It is where no one wants to go and no one will go voluntarily. We have to be led there through our own failure and experience of death. In men’s work, we call it the Great Defeat. Franciscans call it poverty. The Carmelites call it nothingness. The Buddhists call it emptiness. The Jews call it the desert. Jesus calls it the sign of Jonah. The New Testament calls it the Way of the Cross. We’re all talking about the same necessary step.”     Fr. Richard Rohr, (

Remember that all things are possible – you don’t have to believe in a religion to know this. Part of that possibility for me was founded on surrendering to the future; it was an essential part of my healing. I didn’t tell myself the story of survival. I left that up to Spirit, the Fates, the Universe. Call it what you will, the act of surrender is a complete, falling on your knees kind of thing, and it feels heart driven. As Fr. Rohr says above, none of us go there willingly; we are driven there by deep pain and powerlessness.

The story of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane is the story of surrender. You don’t have to be religious or a Christian for this story to talk to you. It is for everyone. Sometimes there is no path but surrender. There is beauty and peace in surrender, and trust me it will find you with this diagnosis: but you must open the door when it knocks.

IF IT BE YOUR WILL by Leonard Cohen


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