Of all the teachings that have come my way over many years of working with human consciousness, and mostly my own, the greatest teaching is that of surrender. It is a golden key. It unlocks the door to happiness, peace, and non-attachment. It is empowering. As you practise surrender you are able to let go tension, stress and habitual reactions. It is hugely beneficial for every level of your being.
So what is surrender? Surrender is allowing and accepting people, experiences and situations exactly as they are, letting go any desire to change or control them. We allow the truth of what is happening or who we are engaged with, free of projections, judgement, expectations, defences, reactions and so on. By being unaffected we are able to maintain connection with our inner self. There is an inner knowing that what life presents us in the moment is perfect and we would not want it any other way for there is purpose behind it. We start to trust the indescribable intelligence and love of the great creative force in which we live and move and have our being. We allow it to hold, nurture, guide and support us as we let go into the flow of life itself, the dance of yin and yang, the Tao (the Way), Divine Will, whilst the real, immortal and substantial part of ourselves, our soul, remains unshakable in all weathers.
Having spent much of my life resistant, resigned and reactive to whatever was going on around me, I have discovered priceless jewels of wisdom in a deepening understanding of the meaning of surrender, its application and the resultant rewards. Let me share these with you. So much of our energy is caught up in what we can do nothing about. For instance, queuing, being stuck in traffic, the door bell ringing, the unwanted phone call, interruptions, the beggar at the car window or the front door, the bungling tediousness of bureaucracy, breaking of agreements (“The plumber promised he would come yesterday morning …”), the individual we just don’t like, the house guest you don‘t really want, the irksome hard-drinking relative, the smoker, are just a few examples. These are life’s offerings which, by reacting we make ourselves unhappy, miserable, irritated, resentful and stressed out. As a child I recall sitting in the car next to my much loved and feared father. As he drove towards a set of traffic lights they turned red and he exclaimed vociferously, “Everything is against us!” I remember thinking “But it’s only the traffic lights!”
When my husband reconnected with his family in England after several decades, he discovered an aunt and an uncle were still not on speaking terms. He asked his uncle what it had been about and his uncle could not remember. We waste days, nights, months, years leaking our energy onto trivial events. People carry wounds which leave marks on their soul because the teacher called them an idiot or their mother looked at them in a certain way.
The problem with attachment to events is that we create so much pressure for ourselves. The law of attraction, as explored in the film The Secret, explains that “What we resist, persists.” One thing goes ‘wrong’. We get tied into it, perhaps our inner critic is saying “Isn’t life hard? Why do I have to struggle so?” and this mantra becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The next event goes wrong, and the next and the next. And you know what? We are powerless. Why not surrender first and go the way of wisdom and ease? In doing so we literally shift from the past and the future into the perfect present, the sacred moment, the only one there is.
The ego, we know, is based in fear. Its numerous agendas, such as being addicted to achievement, perfectionism, martyrdom, self-pity, to name but a few, always have their counterpoints. For instance, submerged under the achiever’s modus operandilies an unconscious fear of being un-acknowledged or unnoticed. The subliminal fear of the perfectionist is of criticism, judgement and being unloved. The poor victim feels not good enough and undeserving.
The most common pattern is control. Consciously or unconsciously, the ego says, “I want things my way – my way is right”. Under this behaviour lies a deep fear of chaos, disorganisation, fragmentation, even resistance to allowing the expression of feeling in case they overwhelm and the person cannot cope. Letting go of control has been called ‘the last act of the spiritual warrior‘.
A most moving example of surrender is described in the biography of the Sufi Master, HazralInayat Khan, whose task it was to bring the Sufi message to the west to unite east and west in the early 20th Century. He brought love and wisdom into every situation in every country he visited. People were awed by his presence. One child even said, “Look, there is God!” He was also approached by many who were arrogant, bigoted, argumentative, antagonistic. He fielded these with complete humility, humour and wit, always maintaining an open heart. One woman confided that when she had an interview with him she always arrived “with a thousand complaints”. She asked, “Why is it that the power of your presence disarms me?” and he replied, “Because I have disarmed myself.” This well-illustrated the power of love and surrender.
Whether we talk about a life of surrender or a life of addiction to our ego patterns developed though childhood woundings, all experience is based in polarities. We cannot have joy without sadness, clarity without confusion, progress without stagnation, connection without disassociation, to name but a few. Evolution moves forward through the dance of these polarities, whether in daily life or in a relationship. As someone said, “The human has the same struggle as the amoeba”! The question is do we want to fight this with resistance and reaction or do we choose the path of surrender, resting in the moment of challenge, connected with that which is real, eternal and loving within us?
Resignation or giving up is not the same as surrendering. Resignation leads to loss of inspiration and will; it creates a sense of powerlessness, psychological heaviness and alienation.
The Way, the Tao, has been referred to as a doorway. “A doorway to what?” you may ask. When in London I heard a talk given by a man who had been through this exact doorway. As he came into the room he appeared to gather himself and make an inner connection. His audience of about 40 were immediately enveloped in profound peace, stillness and love. It was an unusual, if not extraordinary and memorable experience. He then proceeded to describe the journey which led him through the doorway into a great ocean of consciousness in which ‘we live and move and have our being’. He had been walking in a London park, weighed down with anxiety, sadness and stress. His business was in trouble, his marriage collapsing, one of his children heavily into drugs and he had no money. Uselessly and unceasingly his mind was engaged with these issues.
He decided to let go his thoughts and feelings and simply experience the walk. He concentrated on the sound of his footsteps and noticed each one was different, unique. This continued for a while, and then, quite suddenly, he went through the doorway. He entered the ocean of consciousness. He experienced children playing, people walking, dogs, trees, grass, flowers, distant traffic, all held in the vast ocean of light, love, peace and bliss.
Although increasing numbers of us are having experiences of this nature, they are often momentary. The difference here was this man has sustained his connection to the field. What was the key? Complete and total surrender. He gave up everything to simply be present. He told us we could all do it. “The light and love is there for you. It’s already holding you. It’s all around you and within you. All you have to do is to let go.”
He said he had not been living a ‘good’ life at the time, meaning he was not meditating, doing any practices, praying, taking care of himself. His words point to the fact that this experience, this connection to the Divine, is available to each one of us at all times.
With surrender we initiate a different life experience. We move into the light of ourselves and receive positive feedback. We have a relationship with the unified field, or whatever you choose to call All That Is, so we can be increasingly assisted on our journey. To say that this assistance would come from angels who tend to us, is no idle, flaky statement. Just as we have hands that work for us, so angels are the hands of God. Serendipitous experiences become so commonplace they appear normal and, as we journey we are profoundly transforming our consciousness, letting go denser vibratory states.
Living the surrendered life is living in a feminine way for we rest in the flow and the present moment. Because life is duality and requires balance, we do not ignore the male dynamic. This is expressed by setting clear intentions but letting go expectation of the way, form or time in which they will manifest. This we leave to the infinite intelligence of the universe. Let us use the example of a relationship. Let us say you desperately want a relationship. You are continually looking for the right person with whom you have a magic affinity. You get seen in the right places and really structure your life to create the opportunity to meet the right person. They must be tall, dark and handsome, but oh my, you are pushing the river! And over the horizon he arrives and this is definitely your soul mate. Let me not underestimate this, I mean SOUL MATE … for four months only. Then the cracks appear and the shadows start to rear their heads.
In the way of wisdom, you hold to your intention with complete trust. You do not push the river. You know the right person will come along, after all, the universe is not deaf but you understand that perhaps there is a deeper reason for the delay. Perhaps you have some inner healing to do, to repair some wounding of self-image, or to learn to communicate free of fear. It could be anything, but when you have mastered it you have every possibility of a mature, deeply loving relationship. Surrender is a shamanic journey where we hold true to our intention without rigid adherence to a fixed plan. We allow things to unfold, knowing and trusting that our intention will be fulfilled at the right time and in the right manner.
In my own journey surrender has become the path of amazing grace. It is a skill and requires practice, but the rewards encourage me on and I am learning to be in the world in a different way, without struggle and stress, growing in trust of life.
Ego patterns make lives of doing, stress and hardship. With surrender we live with love, ease, grace and being. We have more energy, inspiration, creativity and flow, we develop a relationship with the unified field (God) and become aware that we are co-creators. We let go fears and concerns, the mundane no longer bothers us and we are able to be fully present in every moment, light-hearted and joyful. This is our true inheritance. The Grand Plan is manifested and spirit expresses itself through us.
Start with making a choice to practice total surrender for one day. Whatever happens during this time you will not get hooked in, mentally or emotionally. If you are late for work, someone insults you, you see dangerous driving, your shoe repairs are not ready and you went out of your way to collect them, you are kept waiting, you can’t sleep – just surrender, let go, allow. Whatever happens you are not going to blame, judge, criticise, react or reject but just accept ‘what is’.
Keep breathing! Breathe deeply and exhale any feeling or thought that keeps you trapped. If you feel hooked into one particular area of your life, for instance a relationship, make the intention to surrender in this challenging area and ask for spirit’s help.
At the end of the day acknowledge where you were successful and what the benefit was for you. You might find it helpful to record this in your journal.
Once you are in the habit of surrendering your life will be very different. You will feel energy flowing in you which you haven’t experienced before and you will be at peace. You realise nobody can upset you except you!
Let go all desire for outcome. This is the truth of surrender.
It is an infallible means of deliverance for by practising this method
you well become free. And from what are you freed? You are freed from illusion
Related sections in this book: Expecting the Worst, Releasing the Past, Trust &Letting Go Control, Working your Charges Ray GriggThe Tao of Being, A Think and Do Workbook, Wildwood House, 1989 ISBN 0-7045-0632-7