“Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.” ~Sonia Ricotti
Image: Serendipity by Leo Grübler
In our society surrendering is usually equated with two things battles and religion. When we use it in our personal lives surrendering can teach us important lessons about ourselves and what we hold on to. Surrender has to do with knowing when it is time to throw in the towel and stop forcing things. It shows a person how to practice humility. Surrender allows us to be willing to have a new outcome and be open to what that will be. Here are 5 ways to learn how surrendering can help you to find more calm in your life:
1) Surrender is not about defeat it is about being free.
The definition of surrender according to Merriam- Webster is: to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed. What this definition misses is that surrender allows you to let go and be free of the weight you are carrying. Surrender is learning the moral of the greek myth of Sisyphus, which is we create our own personal hell when we try change something that will never be different. When continue trying to push a boulder up hill that will just roll back down again we are engaging in crazy making. Maybe it is time to stop pushing the boulder up and hill and find a different way of doing things. When we stop engaging in controlling behavior and we stop feeling crazy. Releasing control allows one to be free.
2) Surrender teaches acceptance.
When we cease fighting the circumstances in our lives we get to learn the gift of acceptance. Acceptance allows us to just be be where we are with out judgement and see life with eyes of equanimity. Practicing surrender and acceptance allows us to let go of expectation and be open to the process of life. Even if things are not going as we want them to currently, by being open to the process we can find joy and peace in the practice of accepting what is. Acceptance is about pausing and letting things unfold.
3) Surrender keeps our ego from ruling us.
In our daily lives most humans struggle with their egos. Our egos determine much of what we do, how we interact and how we react to others. Our egos want us to be right, to win and not to be right sized. They are the part of us that is the perpetual child that needs love and attention and recognition. When our ego rules how we live our lives we have difficulty with surrender because that means defeat.
But we are the master of our egos, we can live more authentically. We can learn to quiet our ego is by practicing gift of surrender. Surrender this allows us to be vulnerable, admit our failures and learn to ask for help from others. This act of surrender makes us more connected and allows us to feel supported, melting the isolation that living in ego creates.
“Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. the world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.”
― Marianne Williamson
4) Surrendering is choosing not to suffer.
When we are engaging in controlling and manipulative behavior we are creating more stress for ourselves which leads to us suffering. If we have the awareness that our need for a specific out come is controlling how we behave we can change our relationship with it by letting it go.
Try this exercise, clench your fists as tightly as you can hold it for 5 to 10 seconds, then release them. Notice the relief you feel when you stop clenching your fists. Clenching your fists is what happens when you are practicing controlling behavior, the opening your palms is surrendering. So you have a choice do you want be tense and suffer or do you want to release your palms to and feel relaxed from surrendering? We create our own suffering every time we choose to try to control things. What will you choose?
5) Surrendering is letting go of old baggage.
Surrender is the ultimate act of letting go. When we are stuck in the past, resentment and anger we have difficult moving forward. I like to think of these feeling states as baggage we carry around with us. The question is, how much longer do you want to carry all that luggage around for? If you feel like you might what to start releasing it, please remember it is a process. Learning to let go that takes time and effort but in the end is worth it. I suggest getting help from a support group or going to a mental health profession so that you can get the support that you need to start your process.
Try this exercise to begin this process, think of one thing you would like to release, breathing deeply and pressing the L1 points on your body to help begin facilitating change. The L1 point is located where the clavicle and the shoulder meet, hold this point for two minutes. See how you feel afterward.
Let go of what no longer serves you
Surrender all things you no longer need, all those things that serve you no more.
In doing this you will allow yourself to grow. You will find new things to give you pleasure, to enhance your life, to give you the growth that you need and to allow you to move on.
~Kay Meade and Peter Ashley
What are your experiences with Surrender? If you have any comments or questions please write them below or contact me.
Have a lovely week!