The Soul-Shaking Practice of Surrender
I usually save extra notes and other news for the end of the post, but today I want to begin with a note of heartfelt thanks. You make what I do possible (and so much fun). You give me permission to do work I love and then support it enthusiastically. I am so grateful. (especially for the following recent news)
Thank you for being an active part of this community. If you are new to Be More with Less, jump in and say hello. We are having a blast living with less stuff and more purpose and intention.
This word keeps appearing in my life. The world surrender started whispering in my ear in yoga, then spoke a little louder at church and now sings out loud in books I’m reading and through conversations with friends. It is my inherent nature to resist as opposed to surrender.
When you think about surrender, you might think of it as letting go, or giving up. Surrender does means to relinquish control or yield to power, and as scary as that may sound, it’s exactly what has to happen before going all in. Before effective action or long-lasting change comes soul-shaking surrender.
Surrender is …
- committing to something so fully it becomes part of your constitution
- loving someone so deeply that their happiness comes before yours
- leading by example by being as true to the world as you are to yourself
- saying things like “I need help” and “please forgive me”
- accepting people for who they are and for exactly where they are
- fully embracing the present moment just as it is without judgement
It seems we are often in a state of flux, wishing for permanence and consistency. As soon as we reach that place, things change and shift again. Perhaps we need to surrender to transformation and transition. In a moment of surrender, your story can begin to unfold.
I started to write this post about myself and a project I’m working on. Then, it came up in conversations during simplicity sessions and I found it was a helpful concept for clients too.
Earlier this week, these words about surrender took on a whole new meaning.
My brother-in-law, an avid cyclist was in a cycling accident this week. He fractured his hip and shoulder. He is pinned and plated, bruised and broken, but with his strong will and committed, loving family he will recover. He will fight and work to regain everything he lost in this accident.
My sister has been fighting for him since the crash. They live in a foreign country and it’s been up to her to navigate the health care system and make sure he is receiving the best possible care while keeping her children calm and daily life afloat.
Their life has been turned upside down. Soon, they will have to surrender.
I invite you to surrender too
- Surrender to being lost or found
- Surrender to love or loss
- Surrender to brokenness or wholeness
- Surrender to grief or joy
- Surrender to work or play
- Surrender to chaos and loneliness
Without surrender there is no engagement, lesson, embrace or deep awareness for what you are experiencing. That’s a great tool to avoid pain and disappointment, but at the same time, you are discarding, joy, grace, love and immense gratitude. You need that moment of surrender before you can fully engage and go all in.
When you find it in your heart to surrender, you stop looking for a quick fix and can make more thoughtful, intentional, purposeful decisions and actions.
With surrender, you finally understand that the things you worry about so much rarely happen, and you have little control over the things that do. In surrender you can stop thinking and plotting and planning. You can stop changing people or believing you can. Surrender allows you to trust that things in this moment are the way they should be. You are ok right where you are.
My brother-in-law and sister will have weeks and maybe months of fighting and pushing and adjusting. Today, in this moment, I pray for a moment of peace and surrender for them. I pray that they can take a deep breath and surrender to exactly where they are and know that everything will be ok. Please pray and wish that for them too. Then, pray and wish that for yourself and people you love.
The next time you fear surrender because you think it makes you look weak, choose to surrender because it will make you whole.
What do you need to surrender to right now?
Sharing in the comments may help someone struggling with something similar.
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