Is The Act Of Surrender An Illusion?
“When you surrender to what is and so become fully present, the past ceases to have any power. You do not need it anymore. Presence is the key. Now is the key.” — Eckhart Tolle
What does the notion of surrender mean to you? Does it imply submission or giving up? Or does it involve surrendering control to allow something greater to enter your life? Have you tried surrendering and it worked out better than you imagined? Allow me to offer you another perspective. You see, surrender is a state of mind which leads to a shift in consciousness. We cannot pretend to let go of control and go about our daily life because it will show up in the way we think and act.
Surrender can only happen when we have fought long for something and lost. Therefore, we can view surrender as reaching the end of our tether and turning it over to a greater intelligence or simply not caring anymore. It needn’t involve releasing control to a higher power because you may not believe a higher power exists. In doing so, we trust the situation will take care of itself in due course. Moreover, a better solution may emerge. For instance, in my coaching and speaking work over the years, I’ve met many hundreds of people who have shared personal stories of surrendering control of their problems. For some, they struggled with addiction, relationship problems and health concerns from many years, if not decades.
Once they decided to let go, a solution emerged. It didn’t happen all the time, but a breakthrough often occurred, whether it was visible or resulted in a change in thinking. That is, by surrendering control, they perceived their situation from a different perspective. What is more, they were no longer mired in anger, resentment, and suffering. Is this something you’ve experienced? If so, what did it feel like to surrender control of your situation? What did you experience in terms of your thinking or emotions? Did it reflect in your external reality? I admit, it is difficult to surrender control because we have an inherent need to manage conditions. We believe if we don’t try to control a situation, things would fall apart.
So, in some respect, it comes down to trust. Perhaps we lack trust in ourselves and the universe to give us what we need. Perhaps we believe getting what we want at a particular time will fulfill our needs. There are many questions regarding surrender and, having explored this topic over the years, I still have many questions that remain unanswered. I have questions about whether we have free will or free choice and are we actually surrendering control, or is it an illusion? Because if we don’t believe free will exists, the notion of surrender is a deception because there is nothing to let go of.
Don’t Force Things To Happen
“Man masters nature not by force, but by understanding.” — Jacob Bronowski
Mostly, surrender is an inner acknowledgement that we are not in control. We concede there is a greater intelligence working behind the scenes, orchestrating the events of our life. I have no evidence whether or not this is true. I don’t intend to convince you that a greater force exists because it would be irresponsible of me to give you that impression. What I can tell you is the act of surrender is incredibly powerful because it calls into effect forces that alleviate our mental and emotional suffering. I’ve experienced this frequently where I clutched to how things should be. No matter how hard I tried to control aspects of my life, the situation always worked out differently to what I had in mind. I didn’t understand it, but I knew on some level I was the cause of my problems. However, as I learned to surrender and work with this universal force, my desires seemed to effortlessly materialize.
I noticed from my observations, this creative intelligence is constantly functioning in the backdrop of our lives. Similarly, we are a piece of a larger universal puzzle and if we personalize what is taking place in our life; we are inclined to believe the universe is unfair. But this is an incomplete view because we are seeing things from a limited perspective. We cannot possibly know what the future has in store for us, let alone those affected by our decisions. It is simply too big a burden and responsibility to figure it out. Therefore, we turn it over to the universe to work out the details and remove ourselves from having to do it alone. This allows us to move forward with an empowered mindset instead of a limited mindset. I believe this infinite field of intelligence knows the answers to the past, present, and future. It knows how to bring that which we desire into existence when we surrender control and co-create with it.
Now, let me be clear and state that surrender does not mean apathy or giving up because that implies we don’t care. But we do care. However, we’ve changed our limited perspective on how a particular solution should unfold and its timing. We let go of trying to control and manipulate the circumstances of our life and step back from what is unfolding. If we are called to take action, we do so from a place of non-resistance and a greater awareness. We take action from a place of inspiration instead of power or force. We don’t force anything to happen that is not supposed to happen because doing so means we are lacking in trust. Trust, in this context, is equal to love. And how do we know whether or not to act, you might think? We look to our external reality to gauge whether our actions are producing the desired outcome. If they are not and we are pushing hard to make something happen, we surrender control, even if it means 5% or 10% and observe what shows up in our reality.
So, could you do it? Could you surrender control of a situation you’ve been forcing for weeks, months, or years? Could you give up as little as 5% or 10% control and see what happens in your life? You don’t have to take my word for it, but experiment with it to see whether it works for you. Considering this, if you want to take this practice further, take a current issue and write in your diary or journal how you could surrender the situation to a higher power. Let’s take the example of trying to control your intimate partner. Could you stop trying to control this person in whatever sense and observe whether they become more open to your change of behavior? The only way to know is to try. It is possible to live a wonderful existence by surrendering control of how life should unfold. After all, surrender can only happen when we have fought hard for something and lost. Therefore, what is meant for us will effortlessly make its way into our life with little or no resistance.