What is Surrender?
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of surrender is “to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.” The art of surrender is moving through this process and the feelings it brings forth successfully.
I hate the concept of surrendering. Even though my past teaches me that everything will work out, I still initially hate letting go.
Let Go or Be Dragged
It’s one thing to choose to surrender to something. It’s quite another to have to surrender something you’re not ready to let go of. Mastering the art of surrender is a process and takes practice.
Last year, I was told that my apartment would no longer renew my lease. Due to renovations, I would be forced to move. My initial reaction was horror. I felt like I’d been thrown out of a plane without a parachute.
I was not ready to surrender my home. If you’ve heard of the adage, “Let Go or Be Dragged“, then you’ll understand me when I say I’m usually dragged before I let go.
As I’ve moved through the uncertainty of this past year, I went from being dragged to full-on surrender. It took work and focus to stop feeling dragged, but I knew the path to freedom was in the surrender.
While some days were difficult, I eventually found my way back to terra firma.
Here are the coping tools I employed:
1. Surrender to Reality
Acceptance. It’s a thing.
Denial accomplishes nothing. The first step in surrender is to let the new reality and new hurdle sink in.
I cannot change what I refuse to acknowledge. So, acknowledge it I did. I allowed myself to feel every emotion my changing reality evoked. Then, I accepted it fully.
2. Surrender Powerfully by Planning
Plan ahead and set yourself up for success.
I had the gift of time. I didn’t need to move for a year. That gave me plenty of time to plan for multiple outcomes.
Obviously, finances were an issue. I was going to have to pay more money per month and needed to find creative ways to save money. I created a spreadsheet of all my expenses to visually see where I could make changes that would set me up for financial success
I only had to surrender my living arrangements. I didn’t have to let go of my ability to plan for the best future possible. Planning ahead removed feelings of powerlessness and gave me the facts I needed to move forward with confidence.
3. Surrender What You Must, But Hold Fast to Your Dreams
Believe in possibilities.
There is no need to surrender EVERYTHING. Letting go of one thing does not mean we should surrender our dreams or goals.
I didn’t want to move, but I did dream of a better home. I gave myself permission to believe that an uncertain future could equal a happy one. This is IMPORTANT. Had I not allowed myself to dream, I would not have even looked at apartments that included everything on my wish list.
I didn’t need to know that I would get everything I wanted. I only needed to surrender to the idea that I could.
4. Do Not Surrender to Fear
Fear and reality are often different.
The dreaded fear factor. It is ok to feel fear. It is a natural emotion and there were days I was filled with it. I even had a pity party or two. What I did not do, was become paralyzed by it.
I understood that inaction would put me in a more desperate situation. So I surrendered to the fear and walked through it knowing that my worst fears were likely never going to come to actual fruition.
Walking through fear is empowering. Every day that I took an action toward finding myself a new place to live, I took a little control back – and, it turns out, fear hates when we feel empowered.
4. Embrace Your Spirituality
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
It doesn’t matter what you believe in. If you are religious or simply believe in karma, surrender to a force of good that is stronger than you.
Prayer works for me, but so does the idea that the world is intrinsically good. I truly believe that acts of kindness find their way back to us.
Surrender to goodness. Do good works for the sake of doing them.
When I do good, kind things in the face of fear, I feel better. Making the world a better place is its own reward and is the strongest spiritual growth builder there is. It connects me to the world and makes me a part of it. When I am an active participant, the benevolence that I see in the world becomes a possibility for me as well.
5. Surrender to THE Moment
Seize the day!
Eventually, the long hallway of the unknown will end and a door will open. Keep your eyes open and wait for it.
One day, I just got a feeling that my moment had arrived. On a whim, I walked into my leasing office and started asking questions. Voila. The apartment I allowed myself to dream of became mine.
As I write this, I consider the art of surrender and know that it will challenge me again.
Now, though, I have a year-long process that ended well to look back on. Next time, I feel pushed from a plane without a parachute, I will do it with a little more faith.