Some of my most cherished beliefs about who I am are the exact ones that I have had to surrender to allow the winds of transformation entrance into my life.

When I married at nineteen, I was crystal clear that I was making a solemn vow “for better or worse/ for richer or poorer/ in sickness and in health/till death do us part.” Twenty-three years and four children later, I came to a crisis point of no return.

I had held on to my commitment as the marriage dipped in and out, until the only experience left was the ‘till death’ one. I was so weak, diminished and overwhelmed from the fight to keep our marriage alive that I started thinking that if I kept up the way it was going, I would get sick and die.

After a particularly painful fight, I started to cry and couldn’t stop. My eyes were like a leaking faucet. I wanted to scream. My head felt like it was going to blow off my shoulders. I was terrified. I knew that I needed to get out. I felt depleted and incapable yet I still knew I had to leave.

My biggest challenge was that I prided myself as a person who never gives up. My persistence and loyalty values defined me.

I would stand up to anything that I was committed to and even if it were devastating emotionally, I still wouldn’t give up. I would persist in giving the situation one more try.

I came by this stance legitimately. I am from a family of eleven children. Seven boys and four girls. I am the second eldest with an older brother and two brothers just below me. My oldest brother was mean-spirited and used to punch me in the arm so often that I had a permanent black and blue mark on my upper left arm.

When I would go yelling to my mother she would say: “If you don’t want to get hit, get out of the way.”

Now, what is wrong with this picture? My righteous indignation regarding the blatant unfairness of a bully being allowed to get away with his bad behavior was birthed when I was about ten years old.

From that point on, I went into confront mode when anyone seemed to be unfairly treated. Think ‘Statue of Liberty.’ “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” That made me a good friend to have but also put me in the middle of more victim/persecutor/rescuer dramas than I care to admit.

I was a champion for others. At forty, I was faced with the daunting challenge of standing up for myself. I left my marriage, with my four daughters, and took on the task of letting go, walking away from the only life I had known and starting over with no visible plan or concrete means of support.

I was the first one in my family to divorce and that met with strong disapproval. My friends were used to having me be the expert and therefore, seeing me floundering created discomfort for them and that created distance.

I began the process of surrendering into the unknown and to call on invisible means of support. I let myself down. I allowed my tears, my fears, my disappointments, my anger, my rage and my sadness; all the thunder, lightning and rain that I had passed up in favor of a happy face and a sunny persona, to come home to me.

One day, as I took each baby step into the creation of my new life, I heard a whisper from a distant corner of my mind. I heard my mother’s words: “If you don’t want to get hit, get out of the way.” I decided to seek a softer, calmer, more loving path that springs from my inner knowing of what right action to take.

That day, I began the process of surrendering my fight to survive the ups and downs of life in favor of taking on the task of learning to thrive.

My deepest intent today is to be solidly aligned with that center-point within that allows me to live a life that flows. I court that Sacred Wisdom that beckons me to open my mind, soften my heart, deepen my awareness, and strengthen my resolve to thrive rather than merely survive.

Author's Bio: 

Susan McNeal Velasquez is the author of: BEYOND INTELLECT: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind. She writes and produces seminars on the Dynamics of Intuition and does National and International consulting by phone. Learn more at: and