LENT, Day 3: Surrender
When you are inside of great love and great suffering, you have a much stronger possibility of surrendering your ego controls and opening up to the whole field of life. Frankly, because you do not have much choice now, you are being led. Great love makes you willing to risk everything, holding nothing back. The feeling of fusion or acceptance by another, or with the Other, at least temporarily overcomes your terrible sense of aloneness, separateness, and fear. The ecstasy of this union makes you let down your barriers and see things inside of a new kind of wholeness and happiness for a while. . . No wonder people run toward love.
Great suffering opens you in a different way. Here, things happen against your will – which is what makes it suffering. And over time, you can learn to give up your defended state, again because you have no choice. The situation is what it is, although we will invariably go through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, resignation, and (hopefully) on to acceptance. The suffering might feel wrong, terminal, absurd, unjust, impossible, physically painful, or just outside of your comfort zone. So you see why we much have a proper attitude toward suffering, because many things every day leave us out of control – even if just a long stoplight. Remember always, however, that if you do not transform your pain, you will surely transmit it to those around you and even to the next generation.
– Richard Rohr, The Naked Now