Second Discipline of Six: Surrender
My spiritual memoir Spiritual Audacity is built around six spiritual disciplines of which the second is ego surrender. Is this an important discipline in your spiritual life?
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows . . .
—Jalaluddin Rumi (Coleman Barks translation)
How and when does spiritual submission or ego surrender factor into your life today?
Ego Surrender: It is in surrendering the separate ego-self to the greater good of the broader community that we grow spiritually. Each person chooses where and when he or she wishes to be involved in any intentional community. Congregations are an intentional community. But a consumer approach to community seldom meets real spiritual needs.
You may not want to get involved. You may not like teaching or greeting or singing in the choir or committee work. But when asked, your spiritual discipline could be: “Where does this spiritual community need me most?”
The Sufis taught me the joyous power of surrendering our ego-self to discover the seven richer, deeper selves, which can be discovered through loving compassion, connection, and community. If we bring our gifts for greater good into the congregation, are drawn into service wherever we are most needed, and sacrifice our ego-self through our service, we will be transformed in the process.
A spiritual community can confront, defy, and heal consumerism, classism, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and other sicknesses of community if we confront them as a faith community. We are more powerful as a community than as individuals. We don’t each get our own way, but we can do it together. This is the power of surrendering to community to discover how to do together what we cannot do alone.