Friday, January 15, 2010

“I Surrender”

By Amy Phillips-Gary

If you were a warrior on a battlefield or even playing chess or another board game, uttering the words “I surrender” would probably not be a desirable thing to do.

There is a definite association between surrendering and failure or weakness in predominant understandings of the concept.

Nobody wants to be considered weak or a loser.

In order to allow the kind of life and success that you want, however, surrender may be the key.

When conditions in your body, your relationships, your job, your bank account-- your life-- start to feel out of control and are not what you had in mind, you may try to force things back into“line.”

This is what I tend to do.

I find myself pushing against unseen forces that appear to be moving me in a direction that I do not want to go. Or, conversely, I attempt to wrestle my life along if what I want is not happening as quickly as I'd like it to-- or at all.

Just about every time that I've found myself in this “I will force my life to be the way I want it to be” mode, I become worn out and frustrated. This tactic simply does not work.

Many times, in fact, it only gets worse because of my pushing.

When I was taught to drive a car in snow and ice as a teenager, I learned a valuable, even life-saving, lesson. What my father made certain I understood was this: If the car that I'm driving begins to slip and slide, do NOT slam on the brakes and jerk the steering wheel in the opposite direction.

You were possibly taught this same winter driving lesson as well.

Instead, my father made me practice taking my foot off the gas, easing on the brake and gently steering in the direction my car is sliding. From there, the car can more effectively be re-directed back to the road or lane.

Thankfully, the other night when another car came donut-ing out of control into my lane on the highway, those ingrained lessons kicked in. I avoided an accident and didn't even skid or spin.

When you surrender, you release resistance.

You may feel like you slam on the symbolic breaks in your life when conditions feel frightening or unpleasant. Or, you might feel like you ram anything and everything out of your way at full speed trying to force movement when all feels stagnated.

In both cases, you are causing resistance.

Perhaps you butt heads with a person at work with whom you have to complete a project. You might storm around, sigh loudly or silently simmer about this entire situation.

Maybe you are concerned that, because the two of you are such a miserable team, the project will turn out poorly and this will reflect negatively on you. You are wanting to succeed and move up at work and this does not seem to be helping with that goal.

As you can guess, resisting where you are is not going usher in the improvements that you seek.

On the other hand, when you surrender, you release resistance in the form of all of those worries, limiting beliefs, fears and low expectations. You are no longer attempting to force anything at all about this situation.

The beauty and even magic is that it is almost always at this moment of surrender, that unexpected breakthrough moments happen. As you symbolically throw up your hands and let yourself go with the flow, it all-- somehow-- turns out.

Quite often, it all turns out even better than you expected.

Life can come together for you when you stop pushing against. Your dreams can manifest when you no longer force them and, instead, allow them to happen.

When you surrender, you place trust in the Universe.

Ok, so does surrendering to the flow of life mean that we should all just sit around and do nothing?

Of course not.

There is a huge difference between surrender and ambivalence. You can have a very clear and defined focus about where you'd like to go and what you'd like to do with your life.

Rev up your excitement about whatever makes your heart sing. Dream your dreams in high-color and vivid detail.

Then it's time to turn it all over to the Universe.

Whether you look to God, Goddess, Allah, the Universe, Source, Great Spirit or another higher power, allow that presence to provide. Create space so that you can listen for guidance and cues about when it's time to act and when it's time to wait and be patient.

I know, this isn't always the easiest thing to do because it requires trust. It also requires an inner assertion that you are worthy of what you seek-- whether it's happiness, a sense of fulfillment, health and vitality or love.

Give yourself those gifts of trust and worthiness and, as you do, surrender to what life has in store for you. It may surprise and delight you-- if you let it.


  1. I love this entry, so heartfelt and true. Seems to be true of your entire blog, as well. I'll be back to visit again.

    Surrender is highly underrated, and it's so freeing to the mind and spirit. By the way, the learning to drive comparison was very effective at driving the point home. Incidentally, it made me stop and think how ironic it was that I am about to buy my 17 year old her first car in the next month - talk about needing to practice the art of surrender!

    I'm following now, and would love to become friends with other likeminded people, like you, who also seem to enjoy blogging.

    My blog is at, just in case you'd like to stop by.

    Missy :)

  2. Good words for me right now. Thanks!

  3. Missy-- Thanks! I am following you as well now. Best wishes as you take that leap with your 17 yr. old. I have another year (at least) until we meet up with that kind of surrender in my family.

    Alissa-- Love to you. I'm glad that you enjoyed this entry.