Thursday, April 17, 2008

Surrendering what I am

Last night, C.C. and I took Liseanne and his daughter, M.C. to dinner and a play. The Sryinga Tree is a one woman play set in South Africa at the height of apartheid in the 60s. The actor plays 22 characters over a continuous 90 minute dialogue. For props, she has a swing and a well on stage. That's it. And in the process, she portrays her characters without any question as to who she is in any given moment.

Very powerful.

What is most powerful for me about the Syringa Tree, is the statement it makes about change.

See, people are always saying nothing ever changes. And yet, if I look at South Africa, lots has changed. Apartheid was defeated.

In the southern states, segregation was defeated.

Some things stay the same, but many things change. It is inevitable.

It's how I feel about homelessness.

In our city, there are plans afoot to 'end homelessness'. There are those who say, it can't be done.

And yet, if I focus on the impossiblity of doing it, I never see the opportunity of it happening.

Sure, homelessness as an alternative for someone falling into distress in their lives, may always be an option. But, the pandemic issues of homelessness we witness everyday, those can change. Those can be countered with strategies and concrete tactics that will make it harder for someone who has fallen into homelessness, to stay there for weeks and months and years on end.

I don't know who said this, but I find it very powerful, “Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”

To become peaceful, I must surrender my unrest. To become loving, I must surrender my anger. To become happy, I must surrender my sorrow.

Change is always possible. Ending something that isn't working for me requires me to change what I'm doing.

As a society, ending homelessness requires that we collectively look at what doesn't work in our world today -- and surrender our fear of change.

For me to heal from anything, be it an abusive relationship, or an illness, I must surrender my belief I cannot heal. I must fall into love with what I can become in healing.

The question is: Where does your belief that you cannot change keep you from acknowledging that, to become all you want to be, you must give up that which is holding you down?

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