I’ve never liked the term surrender. To me, it always felt like another word for giving up. But as my life journey has taught me me, things are not so black and white. Surrendering doesn’t have to mean giving up, maybe instead it’s more about accepting what is. Recently, at physical therapy my PT said to me, “I don’t want you to tell me what you wish your leg felt like. Tell me what it feels like right now. We have to stay present in what is reality and work from there. That’s how we move the needle.” That stuck with me because I think over the past five years, I’ve been clawing my way out of what has been happening – wishing life had gone differently. Enduring setback after setback, I have greatly struggled to surrender to life and find acceptance. And so I have suffered through it, fighting it every step. It broke me, crushed my spirit, and took my heart. And as the years have gone on, any deviation from the end goal only caused me more heartache because I’ve been so focused on getting out my current situation. And yet still I’ve refused to surrender. (Stubborn. Who? Not me…)

In the time since my last blog post over a year ago, I’ve had several more surgeries. That brings me to 16 now. Surgery in Sept. 2021 to attempt a final nerve repair/grafting effort in my heel area and a month later due to infection that followed. Unfortunately, healing complications continued. Let’s just say me, my shower bag, wound vac, and IV antibiotics became really good friends. Rough times for sure. Due to vascular issues, I underwent a repair of the tibial artery in February and March of this year, which thankfully restored blood flow and helped with the healing. Unfortunately, my CRPS took a hit with these challenges and I’ve undergone many more nerve blocks, treatments and trials of different medications. Through it all, I’ve had to learn to surrender to the fact that as much I wish my leg was in a better place, this is where I’m at for today. Have I mastered this mentality? Negatory, it’s something I have to work at every day. But I remind myself that accepting doesn’t have to mean I’m okay with it, which I think is part of my resistance to the word, but instead I try to acknowledge the reality of the struggle without wishing for it to be different. And in the times when I able to do this, I feel less frustration and find more peace, even if it’s just for that moment.

When you write with a black pen, it’s going to write in black whether you like it or not. We accept that without question. What then if the black pen began to write in purple. Would you be okay with that? You probably wouldn’t be too upset with this (I might actually like if it did that 😊), but why then is it so much harder when we expect life to go one way (in black like we thought) and instead it goes purple? Partly because the impact is felt deeper when it is happening to us and it’s also harder to accept things we don’t like. It’s not always easy to surrender to life, but nature does this without thought. I’ve spent a lot of time this year looking out the window at the trees and they never fight the change in season. They just go with the flow. In essence, they surrender. In this same way, we can do the same. It’s not easy, but when we learn to accept the realities of today without wishing for them to be different, we find strength for this moment and we reduce the burden we’re carrying on our backs. Sure, I wish I was off crutches, I wish I wasn’t in pain, I wish I was running, I wish I was hiking mountains and traveling the world, I wish I could put my ExoSym back on right now. There are a lot of things I wish I could be doing, but that is not where I am today and I’m learning to surrender to that. Not in the way of giving up, being complacent or saying this is how things will always be, but in facing this moment for what it is right now. When we accept our experience, we release our resistance to life, and to me, that is the true act of surrendering and that is how we keep going.

To sit in a sunrise and appreciate the beauty (whether it’s rain or shine) without wishing for anything to be different teaches us acceptance and it’s a lesson we can come back to every day. Sending strength, peace, hope and light to you all. Keep moving forward and find the grace to face life as it is, not as you wish for it to be. I’m working on it too. XO


  1. My friend, I was so thrilled to see this blog post from you today. I think about you quite often and pray for you. You are becoming stronger and stronger every day. I know it. 

    I love the picture you posted. How is your due friend doing? Such an awesome dog. 


    div>Love you kiddo. Sending you lotsa hugs. Let’s get a phone ch

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eric, thank you for always supporting and cheering me on. You have been a great friend over the years and I’m thankful to know you. We’ll have to catch up in the new year. Sending all my best to you and Victoria. -Beth (& Duke)


  2. Wow Beth! You have no idea how much I needed to read this today. I am home recovering from my 14th ankle surgery, you had me beat. I had to have my ankle replacement removed and they fused my ankle. I had my surgery August 30th, and I’m still not walking…it is frustrating…but sppati need to surrender to where I am. Thanks Beth for sharing your thoughts with us! I pray for healing for your uncle as well. Have a blessed day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I need to learn to proofread before I hit the word send, that’s supposed to say, you have me beat, and I suppose I need to surrender to where I am. I’m praying for healing for your ankle, I don’t know how to edit this post or I would have 🤗


  4. Thank you for this Beth. You are so right. The way forward is through what is. There is no escaping our reality and when we try we only make things worse. When something unwanted happens in our lives, it’s appropriate to grieve. It’s good to take time to mourn unwanted events but in time, sooner rather than later, we have to get up and as much as we don’t like our reality we have to go up to it and give it a big hug. Only as we accept what is can we find the way forward because the way forward is through what is, not what we had wished for. Even in the midst of unwanted realities we can find goodness. If I am only going to accept life on my terms, if I’m only going to look for the gifts life has for me when life is served up to me on my terms, then I’m not going to come close to living fully. I think that passage in the Bible that says “In all things give thanks” is speaking to this. Thank you for this post. I think of you often, keep you in my prayers. Your resilient spirit is infectious. The example that you show on how to keep life alive, how to find meaning, purpose and goodness in the face of monumental challenges, is inspiration to all of us with whom you share. Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paul, your words are always so powerful. Thank you for taking the time to share this. It really means a lot. “In all things give thanks.” Thank you for reminding me of that passage. I will refer back to it often. Wishing you all the best in the new year. Your friend, Beth


    1. Thank you Carol! I appreciate your sharing your thoughts – it means a lot that you took time to do that and I’m glad to know the post was helpful. Sending all the best to you in the new year. #nevergiveup -Beth


  5. Thanks Beth,

    I needed to hear this today for a variety of reasons. Thank you for your thoughtful words and vulnerability, it hit home for me.

    Here’s to hoping to see you back in that ExoSym again soon.

    All the best, and Merry Christmas,

    Luke – (fellow Exo)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luke, thank you so much for reaching out to share this. It made me feel good knowing the blog post was helpful to you. Sending all the best to you in the new year. Thank you again — keep going! Sincerely, Beth


  6. Beth, I felt like I was reading my life story through your blog. I was just thinking about you the other day, wondering what was happening with you. Thank you for sharing. It really spoke to me.

    Surrender is a heavy word but the time does come, if we want to be truly happy & content, surrender we must. Never stop believing for your miracle. We have a pretty big God .We don’t always understand his ways or why has this happened to us but I will never stop believing that today could be the day. I wake up every day thinking, maybe it will happen today. If not, I will still be content & will never stop trusting & believing.

    God bless you Beth. You have no idea how many people you have helped along the way with your blogs. Me being one of them. This latest one was the most powerful for me.

    Merry Christmas & never stop sharing your story. The world needs to hear it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barb, thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your thoughts. I am grateful to know that in some way this blog is still helping others, even if it has morphed over time. I pray you will continue to find the strength in your challenges and acceptance along the way. Never stop believing too! Thank you again – your words meant a lot. Keep going! Sincerely, Beth


  7. Hi Beth, as a physical therapist that specializes in CRPS that also intermittently wears an exosym I can tell you acceptance is really hard. I had a AVN in my talus after my second surgery and it was very painful but no where near as painful as CRPS. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through with 17 surgeries. I hit a level of acceptance after I realized the exosym wasn’t going to work for me until I had another surgery. I had to wait to change insurances and find another surgeon. This was a year and a half ago from when I hit rock bottom and I can say I’m on the mend from my third surgery a talus allograft and day to day walking without the exosym(still use it for hiking, running and long stuff). I teach acceptance to my patients and have for over 10 years. Even still it took a ankle fracture and 2 surgeries before I was doing it myself. Its incredibly helpful but very very challenging.

    When I found acceptance in my own life I started to learn to play guitar(never played before), I took my knee scooter down the boardwalk(racing down the bike path), spent time in the park, did a week long meditation retreat and worked on self compassion. I was still working for the next 4 months leading up to my third(and hopefully last surgery) as a PT on a knee scooter and life wasn’t easy but I relaxed around the pain and struggle a little.

    I have not been through nearly as much as you have been through and was hesitant to even comment on this. But if you’re struggling with acceptance that’s normal. Acceptance isn’t about giving up its about embracing the sunset, watching the trees and seeing the little joys you have right now. Keep fighting to hold on to the present moment, finding joy in new things and the small things in life. Hopefully you can maintain the balance of acceptance and joy in the present moment and having hope for a brighter future. You’ve been through a lot. Your courage and bravery through all of this is an inspiration to others!! Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jim, thank you so much for sharing about your journey and perspective. I’m really glad you did. Sending you strength, peace, hope, and acceptance along you way. Thank you again for reaching out – it means a lot! -Beth


  8. Beth, thank you for sharing your story. I have an osteochondral defect in my ankle that severely limits my mobility. After an unsuccessful surgery, I am in pain daily and I am in the process of accepting that this is potentially just the beginning of multiple surgeries. You sharing your story means a lot to readers like me. I see you haven’t posted since December. Hoping you are recovering the complications and staying mentally healthy as well. Sue


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