What does surrendering mean to you?

This is a topic that has been brought to my attention a number of times in recent weeks.

 

The word surrender can conjour up so many different meanings for us all – depending on our experiences in life to date.

 

I can remember play fighting with my siblings as a child and having to say I surrender to be set free…..

 

For many that I have spoken to, there is a similar vein of thought that comes directly into their minds.

“Giving up” – “Giving in” are some of the frequent words that I have heard….

 

Likewise, some others have given a religious context to the word surrendering yourself to your religion or your God which ever religion that may be, surrendering your sins……

 

 

The Cambridge dictionary offered the following terms

Surrender:  Verb (accept defeat)

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More examples
The rebels ammunitions is almost finished and it is only a matter of time before they surrender
After their defeat in battle, the soldiers surrendered
They Laid down their weapons and surrendered
The troops in front of us either surrendered or offered only token resistance.
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Wikipedia offers a description when applying to religion ( it goes through various religions)
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To surrender in spirituality and religion means that a believer completely gives up his own will and subjects his thoughts, ideas, and deeds to the will and teachings of a”higher power”  It may also be contrasted with Submission . Surrender is willful acceptance and yielding to a dominating force and their will.
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Both of the above interpretations offer a defeatism of some description.

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Personally, in the context of transformation, my perception of surrender is somewhat gentler and certainly not defeat.
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Often when we are holding on to old stories, old beliefs, living in situations that we have outgrown or now have additional needs,  as we transform and evolve…..
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I believe that the prospect of change can feel so daunting that we hold on to “Better the devil you know!” and on occasions even when we know that life, a relationship, an unhealthy habit, a work situation, a conflict, a heartbreak, anger, resentment….. what ever it happens to be and in what ever area of our life….. we continue to hold on – almost strangulating the life out of it – even though we know that it is stopping us, keeping us stuck – we continue to hold on with every ounce of energy that we have.
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So, to surrender – is to simply let go of that tight grip – to simply let go of the control – to simply let it be and for it to transform in the way that it is meant to…..
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This does not mean in any way that what ever you let go of will disappear out of your life….. it may do – but it may not – it may just feel better, what ever the conflict is around that area, may just heal or rectify itself simply because you have put it down and stopped trying to control and manipulate something that needs to change in some way and your grip is stopping it being able to do so.
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In some ways, you have to let go of things for them to be able to change.  I am sure if you think back to some experiences in the past – when you “gave up” “surrendered” “released your grip” it all seemed to sort itself out and is ok now…….
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And although you are releasing and letting go – although initially it can feel in some situations as quite scary – out of your comfort zone, a sense of being naked and showing your vulnerabilities – its also courageous and brave and it actually empowers you more!
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I mentioned earlier that I seem to be coming across this a lot in recent weeks ………..

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Firstly in a social media post – someone talking about how much they have struggled on their path but trying to continue no matter what it took – hanging on to their business with both hands as tight as they could….. and when the energy ran out – they surrendered with the thoughts of let whatever needs to happen happen….. They let go of holding on – let go of their tight grip……..

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A few days later they received a job offer that not only had they not  applied for, in honesty they probably wouldn’t have done…. It turns out, it was the best thing that could have happened.

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A second occasion,

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This one was a little more difficult for the individual – it involved letting go of a toxic family relationship. They knew that this relationship had been destroying them for years and yet could not help themselves returning over and over again knowing that they would be verbally and sometimes physically abused. They knew in their heart it was time to change the relationship one way or other and it was only them that could do this.

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This is still in process – the intention has been set to let go of the tight grip, to say no to any type of abuse and to communicate the behaviour that they will and will not tolerate ….. this surrendering feels heartbreaking and yet rejuvenating at the same time – it has the possibility of losing an age old relationship but in return give them a sense of empowerment, a freedom to be themselves and a right to be respected which is starting with self respect.

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Another example is a little less harrowing – it was someone who has taken a comment about them in their childhood throughout their whole life.  They have lived their life in a self limiting way because they were told that they wouldn’t ever amount to much…. so they have fulfilled those words….. In actual fact this person radiates at all times – they simply shine and my perception was that they were a high achiever in life and also very compassionate tin to the bargain  – however they can not see anything good about themselves at all.

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I think most people can identify with this one on some level.

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So How do you do this?

Lets just start with the first step………

 

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The first step in all of this and for any transformation, is of course awareness.  Raising our own awareness of our thoughts, our feelings and our behaviours is a definite must – you can’t change something that you are not aware of!

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Get curious – ask yourself questions – how do you really feel about this or that?  There are a number of ways that you can do this – mindfulness, mediations, journalling – when I say journalling – this can be in any type of journalling format that suits you – written, audio, art, drawing, colour – what every way you express yourself the easiest and fullest.

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As you explore your curiosity – notice what you have resistance to – and you will!

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When we get closer and closer to the areas of concern, that raise our emotions to the surface – we can resist ourselves at questioning and we naturally will use all sorts of distraction techniques – become unsettled, start doing something else, think about something completely different – decide not to do this work today……..

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Once you start recognising your behaviours through exploration – bringing more present moment awareness into your life (mindfulness) will enable you to recognise how you respond and how you feel about situations as they are happening – it will give you the opportunity of stepping back and observing the situation and then choosing how you want to respond to it – instead of always reacting in the same old ways that you have always down.

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We run a lot of our life on automatic pilot – which we do need – our autonomic systems within our body do not need our attention – our body works – it pumps our blood around our body, it allows us to breathe without thought….. however there are elements of this that we do need to make choices on…..

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Living more consciously in the present moment – gives you the choice of how you want to respond.

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Start with this awareness, meditations, mindful living and journalling and see how much you start connecting with yourself and your own inner thoughts and feelings.

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For a short introduction to mindfulness course ( 6 weeks with recordings to follow just £15)  CLICK HERE

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Till next time

Best wishes

Maria ~♥~

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