It wasn’t until the bitter end, when the wounded and dying numbers were too great, all hope had been dashed and despair set in, that the defeated army would put up the white flag on the battlefield to signal Surrender.
We’ve all seen this so many times in so many movies that it has gotten embedded into our subconscious mind that surrender means defeat, giving up, a terrible failure. Even the dictionary says so:
1sur·ren·der verb \sə-ˈren-dər\
: to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed
: to give the control or use of (something) to someone else
“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.”
None of these sound particularly appealing, do they? Even the “spiritual” definition is a little creepy.
And yet, if we can just loosen our grip on our old ideas about surrender, a whole field of possibilities opens up.
One memorable example of surrender for me was when I suddenly started my spiritual “opening” in 1994. I was very resistant. For that entire year, very strange things happened to me that I did not understand, and therefore did not like, and did not even think were possible.
And yet, by the end of the year, worn down by the sheer preponderance of seemingly impossible events, I had given up trying to make sense of it all, I’d given up trying to regain some semblance of control, I’d given up trying to look “normal.” In other words, I’d surrendered to what was happening to me.
The antonym for surrender is “resist.” My resistance had kept me in a state of agitation, focusing on the irrational and somewhat debilitating aspects of the events rather than the extraordinary and delightful aspects.
And what happens in your body when you are in resistance? An overall contraction takes place. That contraction restricts blood flow so that your mental processes and digestion are slower and less efficient.
Rather than surrender being simply, “to the will and teachings of a higher power” as suggested in Wikipedia and promulgated freely elsewhere, the very first thing that happens is the release of this contraction in your body. Not only does that promote circulation in your physical body, but it frees up circulation in your energetic body as well. This means greater access to inner Guidance (Yay!), whether you recognize it as such or not.
Over the years I have finally made peace with my resistance. This has been so freeing. I have come to recognize it in my speech before I can even feel its effects in my body.
Being the Observer of myself, when I hear myself saying, “But…blah, blah,” I know I am in resistance. When I hear myself explaining in response to something someone has said, I know I’m in resistance.
At that point, I have a choice. I can persist in my explanations and brush off whatever the person was saying, or the significance of an event that was happening…or I can surrender to the moment. I can just stop and listen without protecting my image.
One of my mentors once said to me, “Cari, are you willing to be coachable?” That’s what he meant, could l stop defending my position long enough to hear the coaching, which I could later decide if I felt was valuable or not.
I’m noticing a similarity with forgiveness. When you forgive someone, you’re not saying what they did was ok. It involves a surrendering, yes, a giving up, of your contracted state, of your focus on how “wronged” you were, how “right” you are, in favor of choosing to stop poisoning yourself with your own emotions.
So when we surrender to what is happening in our lives, what we’re giving up is our judgment that it’s not ok the way it is, that it would be better if it were some other way. And then contraction releases and we can maintain health.
Notice how there’s no fine dividing line. All of a sudden we’re really talking about Trust. And Trust involves giving up control. It’s all one big emotional morass.
And surrendering melts us out of that seething ball.
BUT…does that mean that failure or defeat (cringe) is really what surrender is about? Not if you’re willing to take a larger view. What will open up to you in your life from this surrender?
Ah, no way to know…but that you did know, yes?
In truth, surrender opens the door to whatever’s next. To be honest, I have to keep remembering this myself. After my initial awakening experiences, when I finally began to surrender, deeper levels of awakening came.
Part of me says, “If only I could know I’d really be safe, then I could let go of my fear, then I could trust and surrender.”
But it’s the process you go through to find that place of surrender that is more valuable than the surrender itself. Because it’s hard, it pries open some part of you that has remained closed.
Let’s all hold hands and make the leap together. I’ll see you in mid-air.
In conjunction with this issue
The remarkable Amari Gold will be offering a concert singing transformational Surrender Codes.
For more information or to register, please visit:
To hear Amari singing healing codes now, you can visit her on my website:
To hear my interview with Amari: