Excerpt from Surrendering to Yourself
This is a book about living from truth, about uncovering who you are, who you really are, beyond your parents, marriage, children, career, beyond the expectations of your peers, beyond social games. Living your truth takes excavation and examination of gut passions and primal character, like an archaeologist on a dig.
You must sift through layers and layers of false selves to get to your naked essence, through capillaries and bones, into the marrow of your being, into the unmasking of the soul. Soul is the fluid spirit of self that is pure truth, pure you, untarnished and undiluted by time and experiences, the link with God and eternity.
Surrendering to Yourself is the most difficult and most important surrender. It is about mustering up the courage to yield to your true self and embrace that flawed person, a process I am still in the midst of, but getting better at every day. It is about discarding old selves that are disingenuous, crafted over time as protective shields or to placate others, or to get ahead.
It is about boldly realizing the time is now to live your dreams, to quit jobs you hate, to severe unhealthy relationships, to plug back into childhood passions, to figure out who God is, and what She/He can open up for you. Surrendering to yourself means facing your death, even if you have never been sicker than a bout with the flu.
This surrender to self is not a selfish pursuit. Self-knowledge and the discovery of clarity from within means the birth of a person who can best love and serve others.
Surrendering to yourself means becoming fully unleashed, unconditionally, and explosively. Next time you sing "Wild thing, I think I love you," you should be singing it to yourself. Joan of Arc spoke of being true to her "inner voices"; to values firmly held. We all should aspire to letting our inner voices, and not others' voices, shout directions for how we live.
You can love a partner completely; he or she can trigger ecstasy and lust. But an act as intimate as the mating of the soul can only happen internally; it's a dance that is exquisitely private between you and yourself.
You have already met your most reliable, most intuitive, most trustworthy friend. And that is the person in the mirror, someone who may have graying hair, furrows between your eyebrows, a softening middle, lines above your lips. Before you choose to eradicate the etchings of time with visits to physicians wielding needles and knives, know that looking younger doesn't guarantee you'll feel any better.
In the 1980’s, I lived in Texas, working as the fashion writer for the now-defunct Dallas Times Herald. I became friends with a wrinkly, flabby, confident, white-haired woman of 64, who owned one of the city's most prestigious women clothiers.
Her name was Idelle, and she used to shake her head and cluck her tongue against the roof of her mouth when customers would walk by with trampoline-tight faces and huge, stand-up breasts.
"Honey, they are fixin' the wrong thing," she would hiss under her breath. "They should be fixin' their insides." Indeed, when we are perpetually working on our insides, we will not fall apart when our beauty starts to fade.