Surrender: Trust in Life

SURRENDER – I used to think, that that’s something only people in the movies would say to a villain, with a gun in their hand, pointing, ready to shoot: “Surrender!”

Now this word has a totally different effect on me. It takes me by the hand and says: “It’s okay, you can let-go now.” And my big plans, my rigidness, my learned tightness in the body and my fearful chest-breathing turn into relaxation and a slow but steady opening. I just have to surrender. Nothing more.

 Sounds easy, right? But it is so hard at times. So, so hard!

It gets easier it seems though, like all things, with practice. And for somebody like me, who needed control to make sure, that I’d never ever had anyone else take the reins ever again, there also needed to be a lot of practice. And still does.

Sometimes I practice willingly. Sometimes it was literally as if life was putting a gun to my head and whispered: “Surrender!”

What does surrender mean?

Surrender is the trust in the flow of life, the truth of love and the wisdom of the universe. As opposed to thinking, you need to figure life out all by yourself, with surrender you learn to trust:

  • that things come to you in their own time
  • that you will always find what you really need right here and now
  • that you are doing the best you can to honor this connection to life
  • that that’s enough, you are enough, always.

Control, let-go, surrender!

I worked on letting-go for some years now. I saw how my need for control was not only harming others but was consistently exhausting me and pretty much sucking the life out of me. Try controlling everything. It’s ridiculously impossible. We can’t even control ourselves and most definitely not others.

So I worked on letting go and putting expectations aside. Instead of trying to hold everything in my clenched fists, I held my hands open wide, having life pass through them, as best as I could. As Jack Kornfield says: When you hold on tight, you’ll get rope burn.

But it’s hard. (So hard, that I need to mention it multiple times, apparently.) Nature and nurture have made expectations and control seem like the safer bet. Especially when fear comes up, the promise of safety is time and time again as loud as ever.

You can’t just trust in nothing – you need something

I recently realized how trust and surrender are the missing links in all of this. It makes so much sense. You can’t just trust in nothing. There has to be an idea, a feeling and a connection to something else, that you can trust in, that you can let go into and feel safe with.

Words are really difficult for this concept because it is purely experiential. Trust in life, love, God, the universe, call it what you will, it’s not logical. It is an experience that you dare or you don’t. But if you do, you can be sure, that a very heavy burden, you thought you need to carry all alone through life, is going to be lifted off your shoulder, a little more, each time you connect deeper to this experience, that which is so ineffable.

And there you go. That’s already it. Trusting deeply in life, that’s all. That’s surrender! And then again, it’s sometimes so hard to do…But with time, with patience, with trusting that you can learn to trust, surrendering to surrender, you’ll get there. Step by step. <3

Have you ever tried to trust in love, to surrender to life? If you have not, what’s stopping you?


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