If you have been involved in personal development and spiritual growth you have probably heard someone talk about surrender. Surrender can be different things to different people. When you see a movie and character surrender to the enemy it means giving up. That is the perspective from one level of consciousness. You either fight and win or quit and lose.
If you don’t know another viewpoint exists and you’re not looking at the larger spiritual picture, you might say, “Why would I want to surrender?”
WHAT IS SURRENDER?
From a spiritual perspective surrender is allowing “what is” to just be, or being with life “as it is” in this present moment. This kind of surrender doesn’t mean to give up or quit on yourself or life. Instead, it is more closely related to the saying, “Let go and let God” or let Spirit be your guide.
There are layers to understanding and experiencing surrender. Often times, we feel like we have surrendered when we are aware of being stuck and we finally decide to stop banging our heads against the wall. To surrender, in this sense, means letting go enough to be able to look at all of the elements in a situation that may be keeping you from moving in the desired direction. Meaning, you have relaxed your fixed thinking adequately and can allow deeper wisdom to inform your direction.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SURRENDER
Other times we become so fixated on a certain end result we keep fighting the cues that life gives us and probably feel stressed most of the time.
Perhaps we forget to look at what is necessary to do, or let go, in our lives in order to be moving with the flow of life. This flow allows for more peace and happiness and takes us ultimately to our True Self, where we really feel at home. Surrender can continue going even deeper to what some refer to as the ultimate surrender. The great spiritual teachers explain this as being completely one with life.
How do I begin to surrender like this and allow what is?
In order to do that you, would have to let go of your tightly held ideas of what you think must be. This would mean loosening and transforming the attachments that are connected to your personal Will in order to move with and relax into Divine Will. This profound movement towards surrender gives a sense of releasing into something bigger than us and our own personal agendas. One could even say that you were moving with the flow of your life and you can experience being held by life.
Now this doesn’t mean that we ask for divine wisdom to make our morning cup of coffee or wash the dishes while we lie in bed. We definitely set our own goals and intentions in order to co-create our lives. But as life moves on and some “things don’t work out” with our own ideas about how life is supposed to be, we use these failures as guides and lessons. They can lead us to a greater alignment with our life’s purpose and meaning. And though it might not always seems so at the time, Our Divine purpose will always be for the good of all.
HOW WILL I KNOW I AM READY TO SURRENDER?
We can begin by noticing when we feel extreme stress towards a certain life situation or event and then look at where we might be trying to push the river, so to speak. When you are pushing the river and going against the current you often feel body tensions, adrenaline exhaustion and other kinds of physical ailments, along with emotional angst.
Once you observe that you are pushing so hard, then you can examine the deeper meaning of this difficult challenge. Is it simply that we need to stay steady and push past our limited feelings and belief systems? Is it to push ourselves to another level of consciousness? Or on the other hand, are we stuck in the mud about wanting what we want when we want it? Is it some form of an uninformed child-self that won’t let go?
We’ll want to examine our willingness to change and our limited belief systems that arise as we study the situation. It is important to observe the how and why we do whatever it is that is holding us back, so as not to keep repeating the pattern. Having greater consciousness around this situation allows us to be more deeply aligned with our divine purpose and the meaning of our individual existence and impact in life.
I would love to hear your thoughts about surrender....
Dr. Howard is a licensed psychotherapist, healer, author, & professional speaker with more than 20 years of experience in helping people make changes in their lives. She has offices in Long Island, NY, and NYC, & has appeared on numerous national network TV.
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