Throughout life we are presented with struggles and our minds do everything in their power to avoid them. We ignore, fight, numb, and reject the things we don’t want in our lives; the situations that are unpleasant. At some point, in the midst of our struggles, there comes a moment in which we simply cannot continue fighting. It can be something we’ve battled all our lives or a recent event the rocks the very foundation upon which we stand. It’s in this moment that effort ends and surrender begins.
Life is a balancing act between effort and surrender. Effort requires work, it is the doing part of our existence. It comes naturally to us as it is the area in our lives in which we are able to exert control.
Surrender, on the other hand, despite being an integral part of any spiritual path, is something we all struggle with. Surrender is about being. It is the acceptance of not knowing and the realization that there is nothing more to do - we can no longer exert control. The trouble is we spend our time trying to do surrender, much like we try to do everything else.
It is in our nature to try and control everything in our lives. You can try to fight reality, but sooner or later you will lose. Surrender is what happens when we let go of the notion that we “should” be able to manage and control our situation. It happens when we release the belief that things should be any different to how they are. We let go of our thoughts of the future and allow ourselves to be fully rooted in the present moment.
The path to surrender is not easy, but we get there when we are ready. We fear surrender because we are scared of losing control as we face the unknown. It forces us to pay attention. It takes courage and vulnerability, to show up even when we have no control over the outcome. The goal is to learn to live between what we can control and what we cannot.
Surrendering the outcome of our actions allows us to be present in the moment in a way we cannot be when we try to control. We can clearly see what’s in front of us, in the present moment - the only moment guaranteed to us.
- Can you allow yourself to be comfortable with not knowing?
- Can you meet life, as it is?
- Can you let go of the outcome and trust the universe has your back?
Surrender isn’t about being passive, but being open. Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.
Sometimes it’s the fight that causes us to drown. When we stop struggling, we float.