Lots is said in spiritual circles and 12-step programs about “surrender.” Most of us like to ignore it or interpret it in such a way that we can avoid the call.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “surrender”? Do you perhaps think of a vanquished army, wounded and dying, giving up, ready to accept enslavement only to avoid death? This is usually what the Ego thinks of, anyway.
In spiritual terms – when we are dealing with surrender to the Universe – it has nothing to do with giving in to a hateful enemy. Instead, it is about giving up what does not work, in favor of what does work.
To use a mechanical metaphor, a car’s brakes work to keep a car stopped when it needs to be stopped. The car must surrender to the brakes in order to avoid harm. However, when it is time to move, the brakes must surrender to the car, or else the car will be useless.
The average human being (and that includes me) spends far too much time stopped by fear. Our fears keep us from being useful, by not allowing us to move forward when we need to. To realize our full potential, and to experience all the joy that life has to offer, we need to surrender to the flow, and give up our fears.
A train is most at ease when it surrenders to the tracks. A tap is living its life mission when it turns on and surrenders to the flow of water. And we are most at ease when we surrender to the flow of divine energy that is available to us at all times.
I have tried living alone, in fear, unable to surrender to divine guidance and energy. And I have tried allowing that spiritual energy to flow through me and fill me with peace, wisdom and compassion. Let me tell you, surrendering to that flow feels a lot better than the alternative.
When I surrender to divine flow, I find healing, inner peace and inspiration. I find that life feels easier. I don’t have to do it alone – I have strength given to me. Surrendering is like plugging in to the Universe and accepting the power that comes through that connection.
When I unplug, it’s like locking myself in a darkened spiritual basement, afraid of what might happen if I ascend the stairs and live in the light. Who are those people living upstairs? What do they want of me? Will they make me do things I don’t want to do? Universal Spirit stands at the top of the stairs, inviting me to rise up and live a greater life. To do this, I must surrender to the call, and accept that the life above is one of connection, joy and power, and that the life I fear is actually the life lived in isolation – the life I’m afraid to give up.
One last note: Surrender is not something you do once, and then never have to worry about again, like how some preachers talk about being “born again.” It is a daily practice of allowing divine compassion to flow through us into our lives and the lives of those around us. It is a moment-by-moment discipline of giving up fearful, hurtful thoughts and accepting creative, compassionate thoughts instead. Surrender is a decision that must be made continually.
At least it is for me.