I sit straight in front of my ingeniously cobbled-together temporary desk. The laptop rests on a stack of books that will be read someday and my toes are just touching the floor. That’s how it feels comfortable. At least, for now. It has not been really comfortable for more than a week, but hey, a person becomes inventive when necessary. Because when resources and possibilities are scarce, you are easily satisfied with what is, because it is. And that’s exactly what I struggle with the most. Perhaps therein lies the key? Looking for surrender.

Busy in my head

My head is working overtime and jumping from on to off. Images alternate. And just like television with an abundance of viewing hours, it sometimes seems as if only the test image still works. Zap from channel to channel while the remote is out of my reach. I feel totally surrendered. Everything is out of my reach.

Accumulations here and there act as a stand for my daily necessities. On my shuffle route, I can then pick up my cup of tea or the mobile phone with a bend in the knee. While taking into account not to kink too far and too deeply to prevent the kink from turning into a kink. Not in the knees that is, in the back. Bottom to be exact. Where it always starts.

Unbearable pain

I have howled and screamed, screamed, squirmed, fought, and battled. That’s what I always did and now it is. It’s like it’s programmed that way and you can’t influence it. It feels like and therefore not real. I remember the words of a wise woman:

‘You can handle whatever presents itself’.

I realize that I almost immediately reject whatever presents itself. Yes, the pain is almost unbearable and no, it is indescribable. Still, I try. Anyone who has ever dealt with depressed vertebrae knows what I am talking about. In the old Dutch way it is called spit. And that spit has something to tell me.



Before I saw the magical book by Christiane Beerlandt, I took a moment to listen to my body. That moment arose in a moment of surrender. So there was no escape anymore. As I roll onto my side, puffing and panting to get out of bed, I beg for mercy. My legs look like concrete, there is hardly any movement in them.

When they finally hang over the edge of the bed, I seriously wonder how on earth I can raise my torso. The pain in my back cuts through my pelvis. It’s like having screwdrivers sticking into my vertebrae and spinning them at full throttle as soon as I move a bit. The signal for them to take action. Hurt and humiliate.

Divided Consciousness

The otherwise wonderful Tempur mattress is now really an obstacle and hardly provides anything to hold on to. Surrendered and no hold. That is the response to my pleading prayers of mercy. No mercy comes, insights follow. The feeling is the same. I’m experiencing it now.

Still, I know it was then but I can’t get it around on the television image in my head. The image of today is clouded by the image of my early childhood. I don’t see it clearly anymore. It is clear that this is a divided consciousness, I move into my child’s consciousness and see and experience what I was exposed to as a small child. Hurt, humiliate, handed over, and no hold.

True surrender: self-compassion


When I read how Beerlandt interprets low back pain from the perspective of psychosomatics in her book The Key to Self-liberation the tears flow. I get the message and my body has already told me. Then I also understand my immediately arising repetitive thought that I ‘have fallen into the trap again’ and how just after that a wave of self-compassion arises by itself. This is about the innocent child that I was.

For the unmet need and how great it was. This is about the mature woman that I am and her great self-healing ability. A new kind of surrender descends on me. The fierce battle is over and this is the triumph. And no, the victory of this surrender does not feel sweet. Is not accompanied by a cacophony of relieved and dominating thoughts of power and superiority. Because it is.


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