A friend once told me a story. Someone that he knew was learning to rock climb. Through his fear, this man was holding onto the security rope very tightly. He didn’t want to let go. He realised though that by holding on to the rope, he was unable to progress any further; his hands weren’t free to pull himself up the rock face. He was stuck. To let go he needed to trust that he would be ok. In certain situations there are elements that are beyond or out of our control. This man knew that if he let go of the rope, he could either fall or he would progress.
Sometimes, we have to take the chance of failing, we can only take responsibility for being as sufficiently equipped as we are at that point in time; we can only do our best and that should be enough. Beyond that point there is nothing else that we can do. We have to let go. We may be hurting through the actions of others, but it is rare that we can change the actions of others unless they too are willing to take responsibility. We can however change our response to the actions of others, as Gandhi said “We have to be the change that we want to see in the world”.
Through surrender we open the doorway to the experience of a force that is probably greater than anything we have previously encountered in our lives before; an infinite limitless power that is available to us, and it heals. Surrender lays us bare, opening us up and because of that allows the Divine in – something that many people may experience when they have reached their rock bottom. It is essentially turning our will over to a Higher Power, placing trust in the Universe or God that we do not have the individual power or means to overcome a situation alone, that we need help and with humility we thus let go.
Some may take surrender to mean the shame of giving up and giving in. Who is the stronger man, one that stays and fights until he himself is lost or the one that is wise enough to know when to step aside and regroup for the time being? Surrender means giving up our control, realising that we don’t know best, stepping aside from our ego and the things that we think `we know’, and through this we acknowledge and open up to our readiness to heal. We become more open in general to other possibilities. We are able to talk more easily about our fears. When we desperately try to manipulate or control our present circumstances and despite our best endeavours it just ‘isn’t happening’, it can be that we are holding on too tightly to certain things and interrupting a very natural flow of energy. We may put up obstacles, and have our defences so that we can continuously try to “prevent, prevent”.
We may feel that surrendering is a ‘cop out’, that we get out of life what we put into it, that we are the conscious creators of our reality, but sometimes wanting too much and too `specifically’ and trying too hard erects a barrier to the myriad of eventualities that miracles can appear in. Sometimes during surrender, perceived obstacles or delays don’t necessarily mean that they won’t happen, but it’s just not the right time as something else in the equation has to happen first. When we feel a need to control the outcome, we push. Perhaps we feel a need to make countless phone calls, or make constant demands on others, pushing up against unseen hidden barriers which seem to be in our way and blocking us. We may find ourselves getting stressed irritable and angry, rather than accepting that things will unfold in due course and trusting that there is an easier way, with far less energy expenditure, stress and grief involved. And delays that we encounter as things unfold, we find can have a silver lining, whereas when we’ve pushed we might end up with something that we don’t really want after all.
Surrender encourages us to face our fears by embracing them and moving through them, handing our fears over to a Higher Power which is working always for our Highest Good, whether we fully understand what that is or not. Control only keeps us running from our fears and hiding from ourselves.
Sometimes we find ourselves battling with ourselves within or with others, beating ourselves up mentally and emotionally. By practising surrender, by accepting circumstances as they are for now – and knowing that things change – can bring relief, taking each day as it comes for what it is and what it brings. Sometimes we might not want to be in the place that we are in but by accepting that this is where we are at present it can open things up and bring new things in, and one day we might be able to make sense of why we were in this place. We will be able to see the reason and what we can learn from having been there. If we keep our eyes open to the present we might even be able to see why it is so that we are in that place, in that moment and find the answers that we seek in order to progress. The Universe loves a voids and always seeks to fill it, so if we can let go of the inner battles which restrict us, it allows new energy to flow in which can often resolve and regenerate situations.
Sometimes the fear which can result from looking too far ahead into the future and wondering how we are ever going to reach that place of wellbeing or security, can be self-limiting or off putting. It may seem too huge a goal to be achieved. It can feel threatening and overwhelming. See what today brings, with each present moment as it unfolds and keep an open mind for tomorrow, trusting that the powers that be are working in the background to come up with an easier plan or a solution for us — hand it over to them, often they are far more inventive with outcomes than we could ever be. We don’t always know what is round the next corner. Stay focused on the present and we see the opportunities that come as signs to point the directions clearly to us, as to how we would best progress.
Leave mistakes in the past by re-framing them as ‘experiences’ from which we have now gathered more understanding in our box of tools — a piece of the jigsaw which didn’t quite fit, only by trying do we see that it isn’t the one that we want. If you can do nothing else, Let Go and Let God. It makes things easier to accept as we go with the flow and deal with the good and the bad as it is present(ed).
When we are unable to relinquish our control perhaps we can ask ourselves what we are gaining from holding on so tightly. What keeps us in this place, and how do we benefit from this situation, what’s the pay-off for us hanging on? What fears do our efforts to control, mask? Can we surrender our fear of surrender! What do we achieve from being in this place, that we would lose if we are to let go, and why is letting go perceived as a loss when we could gain more by progressing? There is often a pay-off and sometimes that seems to be that we haven’t reached the culmination of an experience and are still caught up in the illusion of that experience, we’re still learning and that’s ok if we’re not ready to let go yet. Perhaps then, we can be easier upon ourselves by being aware that we aren’t quite ready to let go yet and take that leap of faith, so just enjoy the scenery whilst we’re hanging around. Sometimes we might have to get to a place where we’re so bored and tired of the scenery, that we do want a change. The timing is perfect and we find that when we do surrender it is so liberating and joyful and we find that the doorway that surrender opens leads to the path of freedom.
How Do We Surrender?
The Serenity Prayer demonstrates the act of surrender: “God grant me the wisdom to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference”. This prayer has been a deeply comforting illustration of the process of Surrender for many people. It is usually those things that we can do nothing about in the moment, the things that have become outside of our understanding and control, such as worrying about how we will pay a bill in the future when we do not have enough to pay it at the moment and have exhausted all means of generating further income in the meantime. In this situation we would hand over our ‘problem’ and ask God, the Angels or a Higher Power to deal with the finer details of ‘how’ this will be resolved and paid and then be open to recognising the opportunities that present themselves to us as a response to our situation.
We may be able to call on a situation that we have encountered where something that we have been worrying about has been smoothed over by an occurrence which changes everything, at the eleventh hour. Perhaps in the past we have over-paid a bill and received money-back and it has just been enough to cover what we owe to another — if it’s happened before, it can happen again – trust. We can surrender the outcome, perhaps asking for a sign that would point us in the direction that is most beneficial for us at this time. By handing it over, we then focus on the priorities in the present — sit back, wait and see. We have surrendered our worry and the finer details and can get on with what needs to be attended to in the present and watch how it unfolds. Once this process has unfolded successfully several times, we then begin to cultivate a deeper sense of Faith and Trust which strengthens into an experiential Knowing of the Divine rather than a mere belief. We can then see what other issues and ‘problems’ we can hand over as we begin to place more and more trust and faith in the Universe. At some point we may then begin to see how we can co-create our realities with God, and work towards manifesting our own realities — what hopes and dreams do we have that we would like to become a reality? Surrender is a real faith builder — the re-cycling system of the Universe. When we re-lease something for surrender, we are then putting it out to the Universe with the trust that the outcome will be for the Highest Good of all concerned, rather than what we ‘think’ it should be. We literally re-lease it, handing it over and waiting for the Divine to come in, with the comforting energy of bliss and peace, often renewing the most testing of situations with a new lease of life.