v. to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed
: to give the control or use of (something) to someone else.
I have been thinking about the concept of surrendering. Over the past month it has felt like my personal, professional, and family life situations were a small hurricane that I was caught in the middle of. As I experienced the feelings associated with being “out of control” (as one might feel in a natural disaster) I realized my desire for control intensified. Allowing myself to control situations allows me to predict my future, so it makes sense that I have an inclination to control as much as I can. The only trouble is, there is so much of life that we cannot control!
Many of us are “problem solvers” so when we experience a “personal storm” (family drama, relationship trouble, health issues, job challenges) we immediately want to take action. For many situations, “problem solvers” are great! We sweep in, we identify the challenge, we remove the obstacle, and presto! Problem solved. But what to do when our efforts don’t seem to be working? What can we do when it feels like we are spinning our wheels? When we can’t identify the real challenge, we can’t remove the real obstacle.
This is where a spiritual practice comes into place. I am not saying that you need to believe in religion or a GD in the heavens above. I am saying that realizing that there are forces (other people’s energy, nature, etc…) other than yourself that are out there that can be relied on. Relying on a force other than our self is probably the scariest concept imaginable, particularly for a “problem solver” type. I know it’s terrifying to me. But sometimes I realize it no longer behooves me to react, I need time to gain clarity on what my next move might be, all I can do for now is sit and breath, and trust. Trust what exactly? I think I can trust that there is an agenda greater than my own. I can trust that all the personal vigilance in the world is still less powerful than the will of “the Universe” or of “collective people-hood” or something else. What some call G-d others call the forest and others call science. Either way, I don’t have to be in charge…not all the time. I can surrender, and wait out the storm.
When to Act & When to Surrender:
Act: when your challenge is clear, you know in your gut what the problem is and how to remove any obstacles.
Surrender: when you know you feel challenged, but you don’t know why and you don’t know what the obstacles are. You might feel emotionally dizzy and this is a time you can wait out the storm for the sake of greater clarity in the aftermath.
What does surrendering look like?
Surrendering looks like a pause. It looks like taking a walk. It looks like crawling inside yourself. It looks like acceptance. It looks like waiting. It looks like being unproductive for a little bit. It looks like doing an art project spontaneously. It looks like abandoning a plan…just for now.
Thank you so much for reading,