Submission has a different flavor from intentionally, consciously choosing to appease or please the other. It includes an internal feeling of having betrayed oneself.
When we submit to the will of another, consciously or unconsciously, trust is compromised? Both our own and the others. Even if there is a positive intention behind the submission, submission is not in truth. When we agree to do something, or not do something, without checking in with ourselves and our true needs, we are neither true to ourselves or the other. As a result, we are not in reality – and we are lost to the greater Truth.
When we say “yes” out of weakness and fear, we cannot be trusted. The actual action, or again lack thereof, is irrelevant. We may agree to do something that in and of itself is benign.
Anytime we abandon ourselves for the sake of the other, we are not in line with spiritual law.
By denying the self, we deny all of life. By saying, in action, word, thought, or feeling; “I don’t matter, my desires are unimportant,” we are denying ourselves our own reality.
There are times, of course, when ultimately, our individual desires are indeed less important. Very much so. There is a giving, a natural and deeply spiritual flow out towards the other. This is not the same energetic experience as submission.
As a person who is thought of as one who does not submit (by myself nor by any who know me), this concept is difficult to grasp. Hence, I am attempting to address this. We teach what we most need to learn.
We are all stuck in a vicious circle of defensive submission and rebellion. Some of us are more comfortable submitting, others rebelling. Each group holds the other in significant judgment. Ironically, the judgment we have of the other team is only a reflection of how we feel about ourselves when we do not react from our usual defense.
A year ago, I submitted to a person for whom I feel and felt tremendous love and respect. I tricked myself into believing her request of me should be followed just because I respect her. I held her at a higher level and to a higher standard than I hold my own truth. This is, in the end, disrespectful to both of us. I have suffered deeply from having made this egregious error in analyzing reality. This mistake could have cost me my relationship with this dear person. Had I not taken responsibility for my role in the matter, I could have held onto the belief that I had been wronged by her. I was not. I wronged myself by submitting.
For a person who typically rebels, this is a hard pill to swallow. It is more than a little distasteful to admit weakness. To be weak is the death of all deaths to someone whose life depends on strength.
When we feel as if our lives are at stake, whether it is to be seen as weak as a rebellious personality does, or as mean, which is a death to the submissive type, we typically double down.
When a rebellious personality type is faced with their own weakness, the typical reaction is to increase the aggression, to double down on the anger and rage. The negative pleasure of the adrenaline high carries this personality type to untold violence (in action or thought). Once this train gets rolling, it feels impossible to see that the original attack was against oneself. To admit that it was I who submitted out of my own weakness means that I have to swallow my pride. To me, this is quite a mouthful.
For a submissive personality, to be seen as mean, cruel or selfish is a type of “death.” They only want to be experienced as good, kind, helpful. Rather than admit their selfish motives, they will go overboard with their sweetness and understanding. They particularly enjoy being kind to those horrible, mean rebellious types (like me). This gives them the feeling of being on higher ground, avoiding the pitfall of being rejected. They abandon themselves in order to not be abandoned by the other.
Around and around we go – neither party able to trust the other. Each group sees their way of being as the only answer, the right way to approach life. Neither is trustworthy; neither is in reality.
The truth is usually somewhere in between. Truth, while difficult to find sometimes, can only be recognized by the feeling deep within. Truth, on one day, looks one way and another, quite differently.
The laws of life are not carved in stone as humans try to force them to be. There is a constant give and take, giving and receiving, expansion and contraction. The flow that is Life cannot hold still to accommodate our petty needs and fears. To step into the flow of life and allow it to take us where it may, takes courage, vulnerability, and faith. Again and again, our work is to trust life over our egos. We can lose, we can tolerate being wrong, we can be rejected, frustrated and hurt. These are not what kills us, even though it feels that way at the time. What causes us to die is our refusal to live in line with Truth. The key is to be aware when you are surrendering consciously and lovingly (to oneself and the other) vs. abandoning yourself in submission.