I was reading Caroline Myss’ book Defy Gravity the other day and I came upon the word surrender. For some reason it gave me pause, and immediately I decided that it would be the subject of my next article. What is it about the word surrender? Why did it seem to be something I needed to give more thought to?
When I first ponder what the word surrender means, I picture someone waving a white flag. Growing up, surrender meant saying “uncle” if your friend or family member was testing a new wrestling move they learned (I was a bit of a tomboy). Essentially it meant giving up. My first thoughts about the word surrender are definitely not positive ones. To me, giving up meant losing, it also meant admitting weakness. These are two concepts that tend to be generally frowned upon. It’s amazing to me that one word can have such negative connotations from one perspective, and yet mean something completely different from another point of view.
My reading of spiritual books and listening to the thoughts and teachings of enlightened leaders, surrender is a necessity. From their point of view it is essential to living a life of peace and grace. To let go and let God is the greatest surrender there is. It means admitting that there is something greater that we are all a part of. Instead of surrender referring to weakness, or losing; it means accepting that you have the strength of the creator within and that worry and stress are completely unnecessary.
For me, this realization has meant a total paradigm shift. It meant shifting my beliefs from being fear-based to faith-based. Granted, it hasn’t always been easy, but the knowledge has lifted a great weight off my shoulders. To know that my fears, my “what ifs” are not needed, is quite a comfort. All I have to do is believe that nothing happens without purpose. Even those experiences that didn’t seem favourable at the time happened for a reason, whether it was to provide insight, or to prevent an even larger tragedy from happening.
To that end, Caroline Myss shares that surrender also means giving up the need to know why things happen as they do. Wondering why you didn’t get that job, or why your last relationship ended, isn’t going to change the fact that those things happened. What it is going to do is drive you crazy thinking about all of those “what ifs” that really don’t matter in the great scheme of things. You will end up stuck in the past, unable to enjoy the present moment, which is really all there is. Doesn’t sound like an effective use of time, does it?
Surrendering to the flow of the universe is a conscious choice that one makes in order to release fear and stress from their lives. No one can make you surrender, and it isn’t going to happen as long as you continue to resist or try to control things that you simply can’t such as the past.
Every time I need a reminder to let go and let God, I am reminded of a part of the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference”. My surrender doesn’t mean that I am weak or a quitter, it means that I am, to quote Marianne Williamson “powerful beyond measure”, and that is empowering knowledge! ♥