Life’s a dance between making it happen and letting it happen.
Every day, we try to control our ever-changing lives.
We make lists.
We make plans.
We blindly play out our routines.
We fight for what feels like love.
And we resist what doesn’t.
But life keeps doing what it does.
You know. Change.
Things don’t happen how we want them to.
People don’t do what we want them to.
We get stressed.
We get angry.
We fight what’s happening.
We lash out.
We try to make the world what we want it to be.
And we suffer because of it. Ugh. 🙄
When you want your life to flow, surrender is a simple way to get there. BUT … it’s not always easy.
You might say, “Surrender seems like I’m giving up or losing. Ya know … raising the white flag.” 🏳
But really, it’s the opposite. It empowers you.
As poet and spiritual advisor Mark Nepo says, “Surrender is like a fish finding the current and going with it.”
When you surrender:
- You’re letting go of pretending you’re in control.
- You can get curious, put on your Sherlock Holmes super sleuthing hat, and lean into:
- What, if anything, is up for you to heal (what’s triggering you)?
- What’s up for you to learn about yourself?
- What are you doing or not doing? And does it feel good?
- You release judgments. When you judge others, you’re revealing more about your judgement of yourself then that of the other person.
Growing up, I wanted my dad to be different. He wasn’t. I was fighting reality.
My dad’s anger and rage was agonizing to live with. Our whole family walked on eggshells to avoid making him angry. But dad was a loose cannon who would get enraged no matter what we did or didn’t do.
I was obsessed with trying to figure out why he wasn’t kinder. It was painful, frustrating and disappointing that he couldn’t see me, love me, and appreciate me. I vowed to try harder. It never worked.
As an adult, I learned more about my dad’s shitty childhood. Considering how he was abused as a child, his episodes of throwing pain at others was completely understandable. His M.O. became pushing away the people he was closest to before they could hurt him.
Dad never learned how to do his work, to move through the pain and trauma from his past. So he projected that shit onto those closest to him.
When I started doing my work, I FINALLY saw the patterns of abuse, self hatred, disappointment in life, and his inability to feel safe, loved, and chosen.
Once I learned about the secret sauce of surrender, everything changed.
Surrender and acceptance frees you from the pain.
You don’t have to like what’s happening.
You don’t have to approve of what’s happening.
But saying whatever you’re experiencing shouldn’t be happening is deception at its finest. It’s like saying the blue sky should be green. It’s ridiculous. It’s a lie. And trying to uphold a lie causes so much unnecessary pain. The truth will NEVER hurt you. It’s your resistance to the truth that kicks your ass, every time.
Surrender means that you stop fighting and accept your life exactly as it is. That’s it. Just see the truth and don’t deny it. With that clarity, you can figure out what your next step is.
I was devastated when my 9-day-old daughter Amy died.
I didn’t want my daughter to be dead. I felt that if I accepted her death, it would mean that I was okay with it.
I wasn’t okay with it and I didn’t want to be okay with it.
The time I spent thinking that Amy “shouldn’t have died,” just kept me held in grief, locked in denial, and fighting reality. My false belief wasn’t helpful.
It was sad that Amy died. But it happened. Believing that Amy’s death was wrong slowed down my healing journey. In fact, whenever I fight what’s going on in my life I end up suffering. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
When I finally surrendered to the truth that Amy was dead and released the notion that her death was wrong and shouldn’t have happened, then – and only then – was I able to move through the all-consuming burden of grief I carried.
Once I surrendered to the reality that my daughter had died, I began to heal.
Accepting your life, no matter how shitty it is, is essential to YOUR peace.
Here are some ways you can practice surrender:
Whenever you’re feeling afraid, angry, impatient, or out of control:
- Stop and drop into your body.
- Notice what you’re feeling. Fear? Anxiety? Uncertainty?
- What are the sensations happening in you and around you?
- Stay with it. Feel into it.
- What’s the bullshit story you’re telling yourself that isn’t true?
- Are you telling yourself, “I’m fine” and you’re not?
- Are you telling yourself that the other person should change?
- Are you telling yourself this situation should be different than it is?
- What’s the lie? What’s the truth?
- Then ask yourself, “How can I bring love to this situation and to myself in this moment?”
This can help you understand and embrace this moment and the past. You stop clinging to control.
Are you playing out explosive emotions and triggering stored trauma in your body? Of course you are until those old patterns and emotional charges get released.
As you surrender and accept your past, you don’t need to analyze it, regret it, or worry about it. The past is over. You can keep the lesson. And you can let go of the held emotional pain and struggle. Ahh.
But wait. Sometimes you don’t want to let go of things that you’re used to, even if those things are painful.
As a part of my healing, I needed to face emotional pain that was stored in my body. I didn’t even know it was there! Once I could see it, I had to surrender and release all that past trauma, fear, and blocks to loving myself.
Only then could I stop chasing and trying to convince emotionally unavailable men to love me (just like I had done with my dad).
Ask yourself what your life would look like if you stopped trying to change things and just accept the present. When you let your life happen instead of trying to control it, amazing things happen.
A whisper, a shout,
a mind filled with doubt.
Waiting for clarity,
filled with disparity.
Disconnected from truth,
wanting some proof.
Turn to surrender,
it’s time to remember.
Let go of pain,
realize the gain.
You get to be you.
To thine own soul be true.
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