Thursday, October 8, 2009

How to Surrender

I've noticed lately that many people are blogging and tweeting about surrender. What is surrender, though? Is it giving up? Is it shrugging your shoulders and admitting that we have no control over the events which will come at us moment by moment? Is it having faith? All of these options sound difficult from where I'm standing, and some of them don't sound like a good way to live.

Let's talk about the first thing I mentioned - giving up. That couldn't be a good thing. It implies a feeling of hopelessness - like there's nothing I can do so why try? If one who is without a job gives up, there is no job search, there is just wallowing in misery. I don't think this is the way to go.

Then there's the "shrugging one's shoulders and admitting one isn't in control" method. Saying "this is out of my hands" is difficult for one who likes to make things happen with action. But there comes a time when one has done all she can and the rest is waiting. I think when one gets to this point, it takes patience to get through it. Patience is my lesson these days, and the Universe is handing me abundant opportunities to practice. Is this a good form of surrender? Well, I think it's part of the process, so whether it's good or bad to shrug and give in, it is probably necessary.

So then there's having faith. This is the next step, after shrugging, I think. This is the part for me takes a lot of effort, but many people advocate this. Just believe that everything will turn out for the best. The Universe, Source, Powers that Be, has your best interest in mind and is steering the world in the right direction for you. Things will work out. That's a common phrase people say to reassure themselves when things seem out of their hands. How does one go about having faith? Is it a decision? Is it an effort? I think that for me, it's both.

Deciding that I'll take the attitude of "I've done all I can, so now I'll wait" is part of it. The rest is letting go of worry that things will go this way or that way, or not work out after all the effort put in. That's the faith part, and it's also surrender in action. The act of surrender is giving up the worry - just letting it go and staying in this moment, not the place of "what if."

It's easy for me to think of all of the possible outcomes of the situation and what I would do to handle each. That's the control freak in me, I think. It also puts me in a place of anxious waiting, rather than calm. One would think that planning for every possible outcome would make me feel secure, and I know that's why I try to do it. But actually, it makes me live on the edge of my seat, waiting to see which outcome seems to be materializing so I can jump into action.

Things in my life have been in flux lately as my husband attends some important job interviews which may lead to us moving out of state. Moving is a big deal, as I've mentioned, but I'm not against the idea. It just involves rising to the occasion and taking care of a lot of details, including a period of time where my husband would move ahead of us and I'd be in charge of all of our day to day business with the kids, school, meals, cleaning, and selling the house. Breathe, Alice, breathe! Okay, I'm breathing.

So this idea of "surrender" is a tough one for me, as is patience, while we wait to see what will transpire. It's good - getting a job is a good thing - for sure. But it's also possible to get lost in the details, and the wondering how we'll manage to accomplish it. I reassure myself that people do this, even with big families such as ours, and we can too. That's a kind of faith/ surrender too I suppose.

There is also Reiki. Of course, Reiki! I can send Reiki to the intention for the best possible outcome for our family, and knowing that positive energy is flowing in that direction is reassuring in itself. In fact, the more I do this, the more I feel I'm doing something that makes a difference, and that feels pretty good.

I'm breathing, grounding, and doing all I can to stay in the moment instead of going to that place of "what if" and "how will I do such-and-such" and man, what an effort! I never knew surrender could be so much work. Nobody talks about how much work surrender actually is, and instead people say that they make the decision to "let it go" and poof! they feel so much better instantly. For me, it's a process. I constantly remind myself to breathe. I often bring myself back to the present. It's an ongoing thing. My mind is like a toddler who is intent on having her way. I have to be the mom who goes over and repeatedly picks her up and brings her back to this room. Then a few seconds later, off she goes again!

But I know also that there is an end in sight. There will be a decision, a resolution, soon, and I'll be able to make lists of what needs to be done and get organized. In many ways, that will be a relief. In others, it will be overwhelming. For now, the list has one thing on it: wait. That in itself is hard enough. Later, the list will have many things, but at the end of the day, whatever I've gotten done is progress, and I can be okay with that.

So this blog post is about How to Surrender, and the recipe includes shrugs, faith, breathing, Reiki, and of course, patience. No surprises there, right? Tell me something, is surrender a struggle for you too? Do you have a different recipe?



Trish said...

I have also blogged on this point from a different point of view in Relaxed Conscious Creation. It includes my recipe :) I hope you will take a look.*Relaxed+Conscious+Creation

Catalyst Yogi said...

Sat Nam, (reverent greetings)

Great Post.

The ancient yogis say that only 20% is known to us and 80% is Unknown. Suffering (stress etc) is caused when we resist the Truth that we are not in charge of everything in our life. This is the path of the ego.

To truly surrender to the Divine can be a huge relief.

To realize that you are not in charge of everything in your life is to give yourself permission to let go of the fears, anxieties and worries you have been carrying. This in turn can free up a lot of mental energy that can now be directed toward fulfilling your dreams.

Peace and Love to All,

Catalyst Yogi

Alice Langholt said...


Thanks for your comment and I enjoyed reading your recipe as well! I like your simple and spiritual approach, and plan to give it a try.

Catalyst Yogi,

Thanks for your comment. I agree that letting go of worry will free up lots of mental energy. I am working on that right now! Thanks for verifying that the idea has ancient yogic origins and great benefits.


Roni said...

I wish I could say, surrendering my fears to that which I BEleive, that which I KNOW to be TRUE was as easy as baking DOes require CONSTANT Nurturing.....those amongst us whom TEACH this patient promenade do so within and BEcause of the aware consciousness of just how much patience and nurturing ~within this current earth school upon which we all live,~ is required....

we live in a world that, unless you are completely isolated from all that is, negativities, doubts and fears abound.....

even when we KNOW TRUTH, KNOW the "laws of energy" the simple facts~ we still run around like rats in a cage, chasing after our dreams instead of surrendering to the knowledge and trusting that we are taken care of, that we have done the work~sent forth our own infinite energy that is one with all that is and therefore divine and capable of ALL~ that is required to manifest that which is desired, and thus shall it be, delivered, manifest for we.

ahhhhhhhh to just DO that which we are HERE to actually DO.......
AMUSE our SELVes, ENTERTAIN our SELVes, enJOY the experience of BEingness without a worry, stress, strain or anxious feeling in just let go and SURRENDER to the GIFT of our Miraculous BEingness and BE.........just BE, DOing and BEing ALL that we sooooo LOVE to DO and BE in complete and utter abandon to JOYFull Frivality, BlissFull DeLIGHT and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE......

Patience.........for coming this age of Aquarius, this awakened consciousness, this resource based community living IS!
Blessedly BE Sweet Angel
Thank YOU so very much for sharing in YOUr journeys of LOVE's Light with ALL of WE!
Radiate Soul Light
Rhonda Sheryl Lipstein/roni

Energetic Healing said...

letting go and feeling relieved is the best way to calm the body.have to work hard and do our best and then let go of the bit that is not that what you mean here?

Alice Langholt said...

Energetic Healing,

Thanks for your comment & question. Surrender is a complicated sort of concept, somewhere between trust and letting go of the attachment to the result. It takes practice and isn't easy for those of us who tend to be control freaks (or some variation on that!) It's something I've been working toward, and I'm finally seeing the positive results of doing so. So yes, you work toward a goal, and have trust that your efforts will bring forth the desired result, while being open to opportunities that come to you. I think you have the right idea.