A life of surrender: simply allowing growth and transformation
As this year ends and we look forward to 2022, I recognise how much growth and change has happened due to the hardships we’ve faced around the world in these last 24 months.
I’ve had an ongoing joke all year with my best friend that the Divine is asking me to TRUST.
And if there’s one thing I struggle with, it’s trust!
But I say that I will surrender once I trust. As we got together to discuss the lessons of this year, Vikki suggested that perhaps the problem was that we had it backwards: surrender is necessary before we can trust!
Sai Baba says:
“Give up all bad qualities in you, banish the ego and develop the spirit of surrender.”
What does it mean to surrender?
Surrender isn’t giving up — it’s acceptance of things as they are. Not as I want or wish them to be. But simply a recognition of “this is the reality that is here and now”.
I regularly hear “what we resist persists” in the coaching world. We fight against things as they are, failing to accept the situation as it exists at this moment in time.
Worse yet, we fail to accept people as they are, wanting them to be the best version of themselves that we have created in our imagination, and then being disappointed when they fail to live up to our expectations!
And our worst enemy in all of this: our inner critic! That dogged voice that fails to accept our failures and continues to strive and push against the reality of our current situation.
When we finally surrender: we open our eyes and see life as it is. We look within and see what we are truly made of. We look at our relationships and the people in our lives and see precisely where they are at, accepting them (and loving them) as they are.
Resisting the reality of 2021
I found myself at multiple times of 2021 wishing for a different reality:
- I want to get back to the freedom of travel without any restrictions
- I wish life would go back to being easygoing and without worries
- I don’t want the uncertainty of whether or not 2022 will be online schooling or whether little miss will go back to school in person.
Wishful thinking does not move me forward in life, nor does it allow me to address life’s challenges.
A life of surrender: staying present
At some moment, you accept things exactly as they are. Perhaps you take an inventory of what is.
Only then can you make a list of what things are within your control to change and those that are genuinely beyond your control.
The growth and the transformation happen when you tackle the areas of your life over which you have an influence:
- your habits,
- scheduling and priorities,
- personal growth and learning, and
- your diet and relationship with food, to name but a few.
The rest: the economy, the weather, world politics, whether or not your boss is having a good day, and if the supermarket ran out of toilet paper — all of that gets thrown into your box of surrender and acceptance.
When we choose to take it a step further, we recognise that there is Divine guidance in the direction of our growth — and we stop resisting the lessons that life sends our way.
C.S. Lewis said:
There are two kinds of people:
those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and
those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way”.
What I’ve discovered in the past twenty-four months is the truth of what CS Lewis said about my resistance to growth and change:
We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are just wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.
I have held on — grasping — to so much that I could have let go of two years ago. Trying to keep the life that was, rather than accepting and surrendering to what is. It has been painful — both to hold on and let go.
What do you need to let go of as 2021 comes to an end?
What reality do you need to accept as it is, rather than how you wish it would be?