To surrender, or give up, has the several meanings. One is to give up in resignation, with a sense of failure perhaps, or defeat. Another is to give up to a higher possibility.
Take my 92 year young friend, Trixie at the end of last week. Her television faltered and the man who had installed it was away on holiday for three weeks. Living on her own, a television is a valuable source of entertainment and information for her. She was distressed at the loss and depressed with herself for being so dependent on the television.
Trixie is a firm believer in God, so I suggested we place the situation in God’s hands and not be too concerned about it. A solution came about in a sweet way through my hairdresser and an expert Polish electrician she knows. By Sunday evening, the television was working again and we enjoyed a glass of wine and cheese toast as we watched it.
The point here is that it was easy for me to remind Trixie to put the situation in God’s hands, to surrender it, and not to worry. Do you ever find yourself telling others what you need to hear yourself? When I was contemplating what to write this week, the word “surrender” came to mind. I rejected it. What on earth can I say about surrender? Then I surrendered that thought, and here I am.
Do you tend to worry, or do you have faith and trust in things working out well? What would it take for you to surrender anxiety and concern to be more at peace and ease with things as they are? My experience has been that in surrendering, or letting go of fear, I allow a space for fresh input, inspiration and clarity that I would otherwise have missed. Fear is often about the unknown. In the openness of surrender comes information and possibility.
Why would anyone resist the letting go? In surrender, the space that opens is immense and rich, not limited by the finite mind and emotions of the ego; those feelings of being in control and powerful. What if there were greater “control” by co-operating with what is immediately present, and not having to provide answers ahead of time?
It is possible to not surrender an objective, goal or intention while surrendering to a higher source, life or the universe for how to go about achieving it. Have you ever surrendered an issue or problem last thing at night, and surrendered it to sleep? Then woken up with an answer that you could act upon?
On Monday, a friend passed me a book: Joy-Full Holistic Remedies. How to experience your natural ability to heal by Georgie Holbrook. Georgie tells her inspiring and courageous story of healing the painful and disfiguring facial condition of rosacea. She was told by doctors she would never be healed. She surrendered the limiting views of others, held to her intention of healing and surrendered to her intuitive guidance for the steps she could take to achieve her result.
Surrendering might involve lifting above the differences that divide, into the greater field of love that connects and unites us. What do I mean by that? Four members of the same family could each have a point of view about a question. Emotions could run high, each defending the need to be right. Through communication and listening, each one could be heard while surrendering their attachment to personal opinions. Talking, listening and being heard is one way that love is expressed.
As the saying goes, would you rather be right, or happy? Most of us might opt for the happiness that loving brings. For “family”, you could also read team at work, community council, government agency or any enterprise where people get together for a joint purpose.
Do you ever take things personally in an argument, or can you surrender to a larger picture which embraces the common ground for all concerned? When things are not going the way you want, you may miss the value or hidden meaning available in looking beyond the way you normally view events.
Do you resist change, or do you surrender to and welcome it? Moment by moment, nothing is quite the same. Life is constantly evolving, now more rapidly than ever. You can resist it, or move with it. Your choice.
What could it mean: to surrender to love? Could you imagine awakening to more of the beauty inherent in all life, and in you; to appreciate the beauty in the person waiting in line with you; to notice the sweetness of intent behind misunderstandings or disappointments; to touch to the empathy of common feeling with those who struggle; to witness the joy in a child?
Could you surrender the need to be seen to be successful in the eyes of the world, to take pressures off and to enjoy more fully your life as it unfolds towards you? Could you surrender a pattern of comparing yourself to others – the size or shape of your body for example? None of us is exactly the same. How wonderful to be simply and gracefully who you are, no more no less.
The most difficult times we encounter can lead us to greater understanding and wisdom. What is the value in surrendering to them? We relax. We are grow at peace with ourselves. Life flows better. We are more fulfilled with things the way they are, less demanding and complaining.
Surrender is a powerful choice that opens a door to unseen treasures. It is not to give up on your heartfelt dreams and intentions, but to awaken to more of the astonishing ways of fulfilling them.
A friend sent me the following, which spoke to me of people who surrender:
There are people whose expectations are different than most of ours. These are people who have made the transition to adulthood and not lost the innocence, joy and power of childhood. They are rare but perhaps you have been fortunate enough to know one of them. These exceptional people are content as they are–where they are. They are more responsive to beauty. They are less driven by egocentric needs and more helpful and responsive to the needs of others. They are less fearful. They are creative, innovative, and playful. They are lovable and have an impish sense of humor. You may find yourself being drawn to them and perhaps thinking, “This is a wonderful human being. If we could all be like her our world would be a safe and beautiful place.” Abraham Maslow calls these people “Transcenders.” From Beyond Happiness by Frank J. Kinslow
Have you ever found it hard to surrender? What does surrender mean for you? How has surrendering benefitted you in the past?
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Originally published in 2010