“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” ~Proverb
Learning to surrender to any struggle in life, my experience is with infertility and RPL, is difficult. It’s not something that you just do, it’s a technique that has to learned. As I blogged yesterday, I’m not really sure how or when I learned to surrender but it was a long process and one that once I understood how to do it, it became easier and easier to go through the steps and enable myself to surrender. Surrendering is something I need to remind myself of daily, being a complete control freak, I need to constantly remind myself to relinquish control, surrender and let go and let God whenever I’m faced with a challenge because it goes against my natural instinct to surrender. Whenever I’m faced with a crisis my knee jerk reaction is to always grab the reigns of the horse and try and steer and control my path. But there will be challenges and circumstances where I simply cannot control the outcome or the process.
I wanted to document, for myself and for anyone else struggling with surrender, the steps to surrendering so that I can remind myself of the process the next time I find myself grabbing hold of the reins, so I set about googling the topic of surrender. It amazed me that surrendering appears to be prevalent in every single religion. I found literally hundreds of articles about how to surrender and they ranged from Christian, Buddhism, to new age mystic and energy healings. And the steps to surrender were pretty much the same for all religions, so here is the gist of what I found:
1. We try to control things because of what we think will happen if we don’t.
In other words, control is rooted in fear.
2.Control is also a result of being attached to a specific outcome—an outcome we’re sure is best for us, as if we always know what’s best.
When we trust that we’re okay no matter what circumstances come our way, we don’t need to micro-manage the universe. We let go. And we open ourselves to all sorts of wonderful possibilities that aren’t there when we’re attached to one “right” path.
3. The energy of surrender accomplishes much more than the energy of control.
I suspect it’s slightly different for everyone, but here’s what ‘control mode’ looks and feels like for me: My vision gets very narrow and focused, my breath is shallow, adrenaline is pumping and my heart rate increases.
My mind shifts from topic to topic and from past to future very quickly, and I have little concentration, poor memory, and almost no present-moment awareness.
In surrender mode, I’m calm, peaceful. Breathing deeply, present in the moment. I see clearly and my vision extends out around me, allowing me to (literally) see the bigger picture.
So the great irony is that attempting to control things actually feels less in control.When I’m micro-managing and obsessing over details, I know I’m in my own way.
The Art of Surrender
Surrender literally means to stop fighting. Stop fighting with yourself. Stop fighting the universe and the natural flow of things. Stop resisting and pushing against reality.
Surrender = Complete acceptance of what is + Faith that all is well, even without my input.
It’s not about inaction. It’s about taking action from that that place of surrender energy.
If letting go of control and surrendering not only feel better, but actually produce better results, how do we do that?
Sometimes it’s as easy as noticing that you’re in control mode and choosing to let go—consciously and deliberately shifting into surrender energy.
For example, when I become aware that I’m in control mode, I imagine that I’m in a small canoe paddling upstream, against the current. It’s hard. It’s a fight. That’s what control mode feels like to me.
When I choose to let go and surrender, I visualize the boat turning around, me dropping the oars, and floating downstream.
I’m being gently pulled, no effort necessary on my part. Simply breathing and saying, “Let go of the oars” is usually enough to get me there.
Even just reading the above, I have an immediate sense of calm come over me, and God knows I need it today.
Surrendering is not without pain either. During my own journey with infertility and RPL, I had to learn to not give into fear but to rather allow myself to be immersed in my emotional pain and to really feel and experience my grief. My natural instinct was to always fight those feelings off, to fight off grief, to try not to feel it or immerse myself in it. But the more I fought the more painful the situation became. Immersing myself in my feelings of pain and grief was hard, there were times that I thought those feelings would suck the very life out of me, but you know what, when I allowed myself to really feel and experience those feelings, they washed over and surrounded me and moved on so much faster than when I was fighting to stave them off.
When I learned to let go & let God, I found myself surrounded by peace and calm and confidence that everything would be all right in the end and it if wasn’t all right, it wasn’t the end! And when I learned to accept that, I learned to live with confidence and not with fear.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
image & content – Tiny Buddah