Do you understand what this word means? I know I thought I knew what it meant at one time in my life. Being brought up in a very strict, conservative Christian home, I had a strong legalistic understanding of what I thought it meant. I thought it was doing what you were told, without question, with fear & trepidation, and much shame attached to it if I didn’t.
Being a competitive person most of my life, the reality was that surrender wasn’t easy for me. The word itself seemed easy to get lost in. I used to struggle with surrender because it symbolized “losing”, not being the best, not taking home the prize.
What I have come to realize and understand is that surrender is quite the opposite. Surrender is the opposite of resistance. Your greatest strength comes when you are in a place of total surrender. It may be easier to talk about resistance first.
Resistance – a mentor of mine, Brian Klemmer, used to say “What you resist persists.” Let that one set a moment. Now think of how resistance affects your everyday life. Let me throw out some possibilities: fighting traffic, a cluttered garage, missing a job promotion, going to the in-laws for a visit, eating your least favorite food, chores, a teenager who pushes your buttons….the list could go on and look much differently for you. Have you ever noticed that if you have it, think it, feel it, it does some unpleasant things to your body. Some people sweat, for others their heart starts racing, and for others they get a furrowed brow, these physiological changes to the body can have negative effects on your health.
Letting go of resistance is not simply “resigning”. (Why try? What’s the use?) When you make the choice to surrender to whatever the circumstance is and find a way of non-resistance, you start to open up the flood gates of possibilities. Use whatever is going on to move yourself forward. Go around the roadblocks instead of stopping and becoming stuck.
Think about it. How much time and energy are you spending on resisting what you can’t change? The way of surrender is being satisfied and at peace in whatever circumstance you find yourself in. Happiness and satisfaction may or may not reside in the same circumstance. It’s your choice. You’ve heard the expression “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. It is what it is. Make the best of it. Choose to surrender. Be open to the possibilities out there.