I’ve been thinking a lot about surrender lately. In our modern society, this term has so many negative connotations. It’s synonymous with yielding power over to another, with giving up and with losing battles. To surrender is to yield control – and this is never an acceptable outcome. It is frowned upon as a sign of weakness.
But is it really? In terms of spirituality when we talk about “surrender” we speak of letting go of the need to control that which is out of our control. It’s about yielding to a greater power to bring that which we desire to us. It’s about flowing with life and releasing the anxiety that comes with trying to control every aspect in the big scheme of things.
For example, think of your body. This magnificent creation that regulates it’s own temperature, it’s own heart beat, it’s own breathing. The chemical impulses that fire rapidly through the synapses in your brains which makes it possible for you to breathe, and function and survive. You control none of this, and you wouldn’t think of wanting to regulate every function consciously in your body that allows you to survive. Imagine the anxiety that would go with consciously trying to control all of that? It would be impossible.
The same goes when we speak of surrendering in terms of life. Sometimes we want something so much – like the perfect relationship, the perfect job, the perfect idea of what our life should look like – that we struggle, and effort and try to control the hows of what we wish to manifest, driving ourselves into the depths of anxiety and despair when things don’t turn out the way we wish them to.
What if we stopped trying to control every minuscule aspect of our desires? What if we stopped trying to force the people in our lives, the situation in our lives, to be what we want them to be, and allow them to be what they are? What if, instead we surrendered the need to control, and trusted in something bigger than us to bring our desires into manifestation?
This doesn’t mean we give up on our desires, or that we surrender our hopes and dreams…instead it means a surrender of the “how” part of this journey. It means we trust that we will get what we want, or something better, but that it might not be with the person, the company, we imagine that it will be with. It’s an acknowledgement that there is a higher power that understands the incredible, intricate web of ourselves and who can bring all the cooperative, perfect components of what we want to us, if we let go of the need to control how this happens.
We’ve all experienced, in one form or another the magic of surrender. At the height of your pain, have you ever given up and just let go? I know I have. There was a time when I knew exactly what I wanted and I thought I knew the perfect person who could give it to me. So I struggled, and efforted and drove myself to exhaustion, mentally, physically and emotionally, trying to make this person into the lover I wanted him to be, and trying to fit the mould of what he wanted me to be. Neither of us were happy, and my effort to control only brought more pain to both of us. When I let go of the need to control the how and the what and the way my desires were to manifest…when I stopped trying to make things work and allowed the Universe instead to yield to me the desires that I had – everything began to change. Letting go of the focus on the outcome, and focusing instead on the feelings I hoped to experience I discovered deeper love, deeper companionship, deeper fulfilment than I ever could with the person I had tried to mould into the image of my perfect partner.
Did the person I thought was perfect stay and change into the person I wanted? No. Did it hurt to lose him? Yes, but not nearly as much as it hurt to stay and try to fit ourselves into the version we wanted each other to be. Sometimes letting go is painful, and surrender feels like darkness. But it is also liberating. By letting go of the way I wanted things to be, I received more blessings than I had ever imagined. I was able to work through painful childhood patterns of abandonment, I was able to release the need to please everyone in order to feel loved and instead realised that it is not our job to make other people happy.
I found empowerment and strength in my surrender. When I allowed myself to surrender, I released old patterns of thought and behaviours that allowed more of what I wanted into my life. When I let go of the need to control the how, and focused instead on the what, the various components in my life began to shift so that all the things I desired came into being – and all the things that no longer served me were released. Instead of conditional love, I learned unconditional love. Instead of control, I learned surrender. And I also learned how powerfully the Universe can work on our behalf when we have a little faith and let go.