“The moment of surrender is not at the end of life, but at the beginning.” - Marianne Williamson
Most people have experienced a situation that has rocked their world to the core. The core of who they are and what they can bear. It mostly centers around loss. Loss of loved ones, jobs, businesses, financial status, or relationships. The situation brings the power of overwhelm which can drop you to your knees – changing who you are. Your mind works hard to control everything it touches. Your mind’s goal is to do whatever it can to keep you safe and happy to make your life better. It will reject, ignore, push against, and manoeuvre to change situations you do not like. But when your situation or loss happens, fighting can become too painful, you know in your soul that fighting is futile, and you need insight into another ‘unknown’ path to achieve success. You do not know which direction to turn, what to do now, or next. Have you ever been in this place of not knowing what to do and tired of fighting what seems like a never-ending battle or an initial devastating battle? This is where ending the battle to control everything begins your surrender with no more strategies because the ones used failed, and you are out of ideas on what to do.
What is the meaning of surrender? According to dictionary definitions, when you surrender, you are to stop fighting and admit defeat, stop trying to prevent or control an experience or emotion, give something that is yours to someone else because you were forced to surrender, or it is necessary to do so. According to the spiritual and religious meaning, as a believer you completely give up your own will and subject your thoughts, ideas, and deeds to the will and teachings of a higher power. Surrendering is a willful acceptance and yielding to a dominating force and their will.
Surrendering does not mean inaction, you are a failure, a state you will yourself into, or a decision to be comfortable with the way life is. Surrender only happens when you know that you do not know. You cannot see or think your way out of it. You do not know if what will happen will be better or worse if you surrender. But you do know that you cannot continue operating in the same way.
Surrender means different things to different people, at various times in their lives. Your surrender might mean to embrace what is, to let go of resistance, or to attach yourself to the unknown and detach yourself from potential outcomes. You must relax more to release the tension that keeps you from being in the present moment.
To whom are you surrendering? In a relationship, to surrender means unconditional acceptance and total commitment. Most people find the thought of unconditional surrender to another person frightening even though most would like to be vulnerable to another. No one wants to be hurt or taken advantage of by anyone. When deciding to surrender to another person, you must allow yourself to be open, but in a way that shows good judgment. If your judgment is poor and you surrender to anyone and everyone, you have good reason to be frightened. You are much too vulnerable. If you have no boundaries in your life, then you have no security.
When surrender is inappropriate, you should be able to replace it with feelings that are more appropriate to the situation. Proper judgement and focused surrender are the type of surrendering models to strive for in your relationships. What happens when you do surrender to the wisdom of someone worthy or spiritually? When you surrender you give up, but not in the way you think. You do not give up to or on the situation. You give up the notion that you should be able to or can manage the situation. You give up believing you can control any of it. You give up the belief that you can make reality different than what it is.
Were you taught to never give up? Giving up the wrong belief that you are in charge is liberating. You let go of the results of your actions when you surrender. You accept that you can do everything right and well, and still not reach the goal you had set out to achieve. Turning your results over grants you access to the present moment in a new way. When everything you are doing, saying, and making is not aimed at controlling the future, at producing a certain result, you can drop into the present moment and experience it as is. Surrendering the results of your actions puts your attention on how you are in this moment, what it is now. You accept that you only have any real say about the present moment and you might as well pay attention to what matters – the now.
Your life comes alive with surprise and mystery. You are not in charge of an imagined future you may or may not achieve. And you stay out of other people’s business in which you have no real control.
Collette Lafia offers seven ways to practice surrender
1. Be patient and release the pressure on yourself and the situation now.
2. Be in small moments of solitude and silence.
3. Be non-judgmental of yourself and others
4. Be in a relaxed physically and notice the position of your body.
5. Be grateful for all the insignificant things.
6. Be in the present moment.
7. Be aware of your resistance and offer your surrender to it.
“Surrender is like a fish finding the current and going with it.” -Mark Nepo.
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Article by: Gladys Agwai