Lately, I’ve been wanting to gain some clarity on what surrendering really looks like.
Everyone always says, “Surrender your resistance. Surrender your life. Surrender your finances. Surrender your emotions to the Divine.”
That’s great, and I’m completely willing to do it, but every time I’ve tried to “surrender” I just felt like I didn’t know how. Do I just pray and say I’m surrendering? Do I have to meditate and breathe deeply? Do I have to follow some sort of 4-step system? How do I know if I’m doing this right?
After some contemplation, I realized what was wrong with this dilemma. It may seem like common sense, but it took me a while to get it.
The whole point of surrendering is to truly surrender, and let go of all the effort and trying. Surrendering is not trying and it does not require a ton of effort. Like many, I was running on this belief system that said I needed to work hard and struggle in order to achieve great results. However, I needed to un-learn this negative belief system in order to remove those blocks preventing me from truly letting go.
So I stopped trying to surrender in exactly the right way. Because there is no right way to surrender. You just do it in whatever way you resonate with. Whether that’s a simple prayer, meditation, deep breathing, laughing with your friends, or dancing like no one is watching! One time, while I was on vacation, me and my cousin rocked an empty dance floor by ourselves with everyone just sitting around with their drinks, too scared to be the first ones to break the ice. Yes, we were pretty self conscious at first, but after getting into the beat of the music and dancing without a care in the world, we were able to meet some amazing people we probably wouldn’t have run into otherwise. Surrendering happens in multiple ways and not one way is better than the other.
When you truly surrender, suddenly your strong desires turn into preferences. You don’t feel any strong emotion for one way or the other. Its carrying on the attitude of “If it happens, that’s okay. If it doesn’t happen, that’s okay, too”. You’ve surrendered it to the care of the Divine, who always manifests the highest good whenever we are able to let go. It suddenly becomes easier to be okay with what is. The things that are meant to happen will come to pass and those that are not will fall away, and you simply end up forgetting about it.
In addition, past experiences, emotions, and problems are given new meaning. You let go of your attachment to the old stories and in it’s place are new, better stories that uplift you. Instead of carrying around the old story of —”I’ve gotten rejected so many times in the past. I will never find love,” — the story turns into —”Those people weren’t right for me at the time. And in looking back at myself, I can see that I really wasn’t ready to be in a relationship. But now, as I continue to grow and flourish with more wisdom, I know that I am not far off from finding the perfect relationship for me.” You become more open and welcoming to the world, and the world becomes more open and welcoming to you.
Like what happened with me, its so easy to apply your perfectionist tendencies to your spiritual practices. You want to get it exactly right. You want to work hard, and sweat, and struggle. Your control grip gets tighter as you try to manipulate the outcomes. But in doing so, you miss the point completely.
The whole point of the spiritual journey is not to add another achievement onto your shiny resumé or another way to fill the void. The whole point is to subtract all the bullshit in your life that you no longer need. The whole point is to surrender, be open, be willing, and remember who you truly are.
When you let go of what you think life is, life will expand in ways you could have never imagined. Impossible things become possible. Wonderful opportunities are able to surface. Amazing relationships come out of nowhere. All because you surrendered.