“The concept of surrender is foreign to me. The idea of giving up control, of ceasing to be myself; of turning my autonomy over to someone else – regardless of how wise or powerful is anathema. It is only when I remember who and what I really am that I realize that there is only one person to whom I ever need surrender, and that is myself.” ~ SSHenry
If you are anything like me the idea of surrender; of surrendering control of your decisions or your life to anyone or anything else is intolerable. Seriously, you can quote Bible verses at me until you turn blue in the face, but the fact remains that the majority of us will cringe and squirm every time that the word is used.
Perhaps the reason that we dislike the word ‘surrender’ so much is because of what it has come to mean in our own culture. Think about it. The English word ‘surrender’ has come to be inevitably tied up with phrases of war; with the ideas of admitting defeat, of laying down your weapons. Even when it is not used in a military reference, we see it as an admission of giving in or giving up and admitting that there was something you could not do or someone who was better than you.
Even the mildest meaning of the word “to submit or yield” puts our teeth on edge. Why? Because it by surrendering we let someone else get ahead of us; that we let someone else take the lead; that we weren’t good enough or fast enough or brave enough to remain in the lead. And that is the real problem, isn’t it? We weren’t enough.
To surrender means admitting that, somehow, we weren’t enough. We didn’t have what it took to get the job done.
Blame it on the early American settlers if you will; on the spirit of survival that came from knowing that there was no one else that you could depend on; no one to turn to if things went wrong. Once you landed on these shores, you were on your own. There was no infrastructure or support system to catch you if you fell. You had to succeed or you died. Later the pioneers who headed west encountered the same mindset; it was all or nothing.
Maybe it’s ingrained in our DNA or something, but it is definitely ingrained in our culture. You never admit defeat and you never give up. This is probably why, even when the term “surrender” is used in a religious context it is viewed with not a little skepticism and definitely some raised eyebrows. In Judeo/Christian based religions you admit that you are not “good enough” to be saved. You don’t have what it takes (you CAN’T have what it takes) and so you “surrender” to someone who can make up the difference; someone who can ‘save’ you from your sins; who can serve as the go-between with divinity and plead your case like some sort of cosmic lawyer.
This view, however; this need to ‘surrender’ to a higher power; to admit defeat and to give up control over our own lives and actions to them depends on a person’s believing that ‘God’ as a being that is ‘above and beyond’ so to speak; a completely separate entity from us. But what if you believe that you ARE divinity (or at least a manifestation of divinity here on earth)?
If you believe that you ARE God, or at least a manifestation of God (or your higher self) here on earth; then the concept of surrender becomes something far different than what is traditionally (at least in western traditions) seen as an admission of ‘not being enough.’
I personally stumbled across this not so long ago. I found myself at an impasse. I had reached a point where there was nothing else that I could do in a particular situation. Indeed, I had reached a point where no matter what I did or decided I was simply making the situation worse. But somehow, the idea of surrender – even to my higher self and my knowledge that she knows exactly what needs to be done in order to bring things back into alignment – still grated on my sensibilities. “Why should I give up?” I asked myself – and then sat back and started laughing uncontrollably.
You see, I was attributing the cultural definition of “surrender” to my particular situation. I was raised in a western society and within a traditional Christian religion within that society, it was only instinctive that my first impulse on hearing the word surrender would be to assume that I had somehow fallen short; that I hadn’t been ‘good enough’ to do it on my own. But that isn’t the case, is it?
You see, I AM good enough. I am strong enough. I am powerful enough and wise enough to do anything; to BE anything. I have the understanding to make anything happen; to bring any set of circumstances into being; to manifest whatever sort of life my heart truly desires. There is just one problem; I end up getting in my own way.
Yes, while I (my soul – my higher self) may be all powerful; all knowing; all compassionate and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, she’s sort of limited by the fact that she is, at least in this particular physical reality, dealing with (and through) a physical human body with all that entails.
These bodies are not only limited by the laws of physics and biology; by chemical impulses and fight or flight instinct, they are also limited by the overwhelming emotional responses triggered by all of these; responses that can cause us to believe things and do things that interfere with the higher self’s goals and purposes.
And sometimes it takes doing something stupid to remind myself of this. ” You react or respond in spite of yourself; instinctively as urged by the body; gumming up the works and making things far more complicated than they needed to be. It is then, when I’m standing there feeling ridiculous at how complicated I have just made things or wondering how the devil I got this particular foot all the way up into my mouth, that I remember that the concept of surrender is not as bad as all of that.
You see, when I finally understood that it really is me who is in charge of my own destiny (albeit ‘me’ on a level that I’m usually not actively thinking about) I understand that by surrendering to my higher self I’m not surrendering to someone or something outside of myself at all. “I” am still in charge, I’m simply getting out of my higher self’s way as an expression of trust that she really does know what she is doing and will do whatever it takes to bring my life and soul purpose into alignment.