surrender səˈrɛndə/ stop resisting to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority. “over 140 rebels surrendered to the authorities” synonyms: capitulate, give up, yield, concede etc. antonyms: resist, withstand. (Google, 2018)
Let me narrate a little story for context. I’m 27 years old (relatively young); a mother to a 4 year old (children require lots of emotional labour and time); isangoma/ngaka; a student, a liker of funners and nice times; a friend. Recently added to the list is uGobela: isangoma who can become a teacher and a parent edlozini . The implication is that idlozi lam has grown enough for me to impart teaching and knowledge to others with a similar calling. I personally don’t feel ready for the responsibility of helping another person grow, but idlozi is ouchea. I spent weeks lamenting and crying about this matter, but idlozi was looking at me like I look at Lehakoe when she’s crying to get inside the TV.
Looking back at all the events that have taken place in my life, in spite of me, I realise now that surrender is a longstanding life lesson of mine. Surrender and patience. They always come back to remind me where it’s at. I recently saw isangoma who throws bones, reads tarot and numerology. In all 3 of these readings, the constant message was that of ‘reconciling paths’ (surrender) and patience. Man, those 2 hours felt like a personal attack. Never mind that I went with a person who knows me very well. She punctuated every sentence Makhosi spoke, with “DRAG!”. Having a mirror held up for you, by someone who sees beyond the physical can be a harrowing, but healing experience. I understand some people’s fear of izangoma. I also get uvalo when I ask a fellow Sangoma to divine and look into my life. I digress. The experience was harrowing because there are aspects of myself I’d been avoiding, like the sting of ubulibazi/bobatsi (stinging nettle).
Once the consultation was over, I realised I’d been playing myself, avoiding myself. Popeye e ne ele nna. There lies abundance of healing in reconciling paths and painful and scary aspects of ourselves. Initially, repression and avoidance make sense and bring temporary relief. With time, however, they create a fragmented sense of self. You shun all the unpleasant aspects of yourself and embrace all the pretty ones. There’s a lot of beauty and healing that lies in bringing together the good, the bad and the ugly in ourselves.
I have absolutely no doubt, that every single adult has come across multiple lessons in surrender. If you still view your lessons in surrender (or any other lesson, for that matter) as things to be avoided, I don’t know what to say to you because- at the risk of sounding Eckhart Tolley- what you resist persists. Truly. The lesson will constantly come back, packaged differently. If you miss it that time, it’ll come back another time. And so the story goes…
The truth of the matter is that every single one of us have a journey to walk, with its idiosyncrasies, life lessons, joys, tribulations, njalo njalo. You and I may experience life differently, but the common denominator is that we’re human, weaving our way through the tapestry of our lives.
Do you know which life lesson you need to embrace?
Kganya le Lesedi <3