From the January 2015 magazine.

Morning battle

Willpower and surrender are hot on her mind as she braves the cold for her 6:30 meeting

For me, surrender is not a verb; it’s a noun. It’s a state of being that did not arise because I took certain actions. It wasn’t, as John Lennon sang, “Instant Karma.” It was a gift I received in stages, purely by grace rather than by performance. I certainly didn’t earn it by living a life of right action. In fact, I’d say that my only contribution was becoming desperate and demoralized enough to accept the gift when offered.

I can will myself to take actions I find distasteful, but it requires far more than willpower to transform lifelong thinking and behavior patterns. Surrender didn’t arrive as a grand event; it came in pieces, like an assemble-yourself bookcase without an instruction manual. It took time to fit all the nuts, bolts and boards together before I had a shelf sturdy enough to rest my Big Book on.

-- Kate L.

Springfield, Illinois

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