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Surrender... what does it mean?

March 25th, 2013

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Lately I have been reflecting on the idea of surrender, what exactly does it mean in the context of spiritual and personal growth?


For a long time, I did not like the idea of surrender very much, I resisted it because to me it meant: giving up, loosing, and ultimately weakness. However, with time I have come to understand that the idea conveys a totally different scenario that is in fact empowering, liberating and exciting.

I see surrender under a totally different light now, and just like everything else, the real meaning is in how we perceive it, so, if your perception changes, so does the meaning. In fact, we give meaning to everything! Isn't that something!?

Anyway, to go back to the idea of surrender (as I see it now,) it is a wonderful capacity that can make your life a LOT easier. By surrendering, you let go of what doesn't serve you any more, you free yourself from the attachments that hold you prisoner, and you let go of resistance in order to start living a life of harmony and flow.

Surrendering is simply letting go of control, or rather letting go of the illusion of control.

We go around in life trying to control everything and everybody to suit our idea of what's right, our desires, our needs, etc. but the ultimate truth is: we have NO control over anything nor anybody, except for our own self, and even then, we do not really have control of our self until we fully recognize we do.

What I mean by the last point is, we often let the external world dictate our beliefs, our values, our goals, etc. Therefore our thoughts are not really under our control, and those thoughts determine our emotions and our actions; so we have no real control over those either. Most of this happens without us even realizing it, we are trapped in our ego and don't know it.

However, as we become more aware and conscious, we are able to take a step back and witness our mind, we can then detach from our ego and connect to our higher self, at that moment we realize we can take control of our thoughts/emotions/actions. This realization is incredibly powerful and liberating.

At this point, we start to surrender false beliefs, set ideas and other references that were keeping us in the dark, this is to me the first phase of surrendering and it is wonderful, as it gives us freedom to be who we are really meant to be.

Once we realize the power we have over ourselves, we can shape our thoughts/emotions/actions and we can bring them in line with our true values and desires. But then, we need to surrender, yet again, to the outcome of our actions, for even if we take the appropriate actions towards a desired outcome, we have no control over the outcome itself. So, the next phase of surrendering is to let go of desired outcomes.

This second phase of surrender means we just accept that everything comes when it should and how it should, and we can't attach ourselves to the how and when because it is not in our control. By letting go of outcomes we are not giving up on them, instead, we are entering the flow of life and finding harmony in every moment.

By entering the flow of life, we can be totally present and have no limiting ties to our past or future. Living in the present means living with ease and harmony. By living fully in the present, we are able to seize the real opportunities and magical moments that are guiding us, teaching us, helping us.

By surrendering you no longer resist the flow of life. Resisting is the non-acceptance of what is.
For instance, a simple example, if the traffic is really bad and you are late, you have two choices:

  1. you can surrender to the moment and let go of resistance (be in the flow), or
  2. you can resist what is, which will make you feel angry, frustrated and anxious and act on those feelings.
Which one would you choose?

By surrendering, you find peace, calm and also the clarity to find solutions. For instance, if you are in the flow, you are much more likely to remember a shortcut that might get you out of the bad traffic.

Surrendering does not mean giving up! You should always take actions towards your goals. If your actions come from a place of awareness, they will bear their fruit, but you have to focus on the journey and not the destination, for the journey is a learning space, full of surprises.

Part of the beauty of life is precisely not knowing what comes, this can be a great excitement. If you have your future all "figured out" so to speak, you loose all the beauty of the present moment, and that is the wonder of life.

Our life journey is a continuum of growing and learning, we can't possibly try to figure it all out at once! Life is a never ending flow of changes, but each one of them comes to us for a reason. Surrender allows us to enter the flow of life, we can then be surprised every moment and find the wonder and excitement of a small child! For every step is there for a reason and we can't skip it.

True surrender requires great faith, faith that you will have what you need when you need it, not before, nor after.

The essential surrender happens within you, it has nothing to do with anybody outside you. The basic surrender is a relaxation, a trust - so don’t be misguided by the word. Linguistically, surrender means to surrender to somebody, but in a spiritual sense, surrender simply means trust, relaxing. It is an attitude rather than an act: you live through trust. - Osho

So surrender your resistance and get in the flow of life!

Have a great week!



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