Human in Big Space
Source: Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash
Is there anyone, in one situation or another, who has not given up? The words used may be different: “I just give up,” “I give this up,” or “I surrender.” There may be different idioms: raise the white flag, throw in the towel, lay down one’s arms, or pack it in. The body may have different physical expressions: lifting one’s hands to the sky, dropping one’s head down, shouting or whispering, crying or staring blankly.
Is there anyone who does not have a story of giving up, with some action taken or some feeling of regret or relief afterward? What is the difference among give up, give in, give over, and give out? The variations imply there are different directions to give. To give down is mostly ambiguous except for what a cow does with her milk!
It appears many suggested restraints to giving up assume it is due to a negative mindset that needs to be corrected with motivation and persistence. It’s easy to find reaffirming, even humorous quotes, such as this one by Mark Twain: “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times” (Goodreads Site).
It’s easy to find books about giving up, such as the over 6000 listed on Amazon alone. Some books encourage not giving up, others suggest when giving up is the best solution. This site, Psychology Today, offers an abundance of written materials in their archives. If all of the above aren’t enough information, there are always videos on youtube.
In short, the first action of exploring giving up may be to not give up while in the quagmire of potentially helpful resources. Don’t give up, that is, on narrowing your contextual intentions and using discernment. Such actions could be the first steps to identify one’s specific needs that prompted the search for help and understanding in the first place.
From my personal perspective, the topic of giving up can be very complicated—perhaps enough for me to give up right now. I won’t. I have had a deep impulse to explore giving up within the context of my spiritual life and to share whatever arises. Though not a certified psychologist, I have led a long life with many experiences to draw upon. Here’s a statement that reveals my current focus: “When one experiences their being in alignment with the Truth of Universal Being, there is no doubt about what to give up doing.”
In my curiosity for the Truth of my being human, I have felt an unfamiliar need for a very familiar space—really BIG space. Though I find comfort in the large spaces Nature provides to view the sky and stars and oceans and mountains, there is often greater comfort in the space that seems to be growing within my own sensation of being truly me. Being in Nature gives me an experience of inner expansion that includes a connection to the Source of Nature. Within that connection is an expanded awareness of freedom and creativity. In the presence of empty space, freedom is not limited and creativity has the potential to draw forth novelty from the void. It’s like being able to dance spontaneously in a living room suddenly unclogged with furniture and accessories.
I can confuse even myself as I try to translate my intuitive sensations into rational words. On a practical level, I find myself wanting to lessen the objects in my house. This is symbolic of removing unnecessary distractions from the “inner house” of my body. I am making decisions about what to give up in my material world as I simultaneously give up needless thoughts. Both can be considered actions of doing. When I remove objects, I expose empty physical space that was always there but hidden. When I remove extraneous thoughts, I expose an unconscious space into which consciousness can expand.
Mysteriously, my own giving up has resulted in something giving into me.
When I sit in meditation or stillness and truly give up what is in the space of needless thought, I sometimes have an inexplicable awareness. It is as if unbounded spiritual Love is being given into my heart to expand it. From there I can give out spiritual Love for all that exists. In the distant background, my mind continues to have thoughts and my physical heart continues to beat. In the big space of sensed being, there is something else present I am yet timid to identify. Such moments are short in time but immense in space. When I give up in this way, it’s not from fear. It is from a realization that whatever is no longer needed is transforming into available emptiness. I long to fill that space with the Truth of my Being. I write these words even though I realize I am only at the beginning of a process of change in which giving up may be the greatest challenge of my life. At the same time, it may be the greatest gift.
For some unknown reason, I feel certain that what is happening within me has been, is, or will be happening within others. Will giving up unnecessary material objects give space for more human-human relationships? Will giving up extraneous thoughts open spaces in our hearts for deeper spiritual connections? Will giving up spaces once occupied by greed, cruelty, hatred or pride free those spaces to create generosity, kindness, love, and humility?
I won’t give up on the belief of the potential in each of us to discover the Truth of our Being to guide us in what to give up doing. Are the current times not calling loudly for us to do so?
© Betty Luceigh, 02/2020