The Art of SurrenderingSep 13, 2021
I will be honest. I don't like leaving my results up to chance. I'm a competitive person. Specially with myself. I like excelling at what I do. Maybe because of my history with sports or maybe it's just my personality, but I take great pride in preparing myself ahead of time to make sure I succeed. And while this all sounds great, the truth is it can be mentally challenging for goal driven people to take things lightly and to not let expectations dictate the way they feel in their day to day.
In other words, the need to control each and every detail can rob us from living more spontaneously in the present moment. We want so much things to go a certain way that we raise our chances of being frustrated, anxious and disappointed. Specially when we attempt to control things that are obviously outside of our control. Like the result of a competition. The weather. The traffic. Your toddler's nap time. How the party is going to go. You name it. You can spend a lot of energy going over how you want things to unfold to then be disappointed when they happen in a different way, which makes us oblivious to the teachings and blessings of an unexpected result.
If you are a bit of a control freak, this is a friendly reminder that the only thing you can you is your part. The rest is up to the forever changing circumstances life present us with. Have you ever noticed things go much more smoothly when you instead 'go with the flow'? Giving up control is pretty much giving up stress. Control in rooted in fear. We try to control things because of what we think will happen if wed don't. But what raises our chances of succeeding is the work we have already done. Our focus and determination. Stressing out about it doesn't get us closer to anything.
The energy of surrender accomplishes much more than the energy of control.
When we are in control mode, our vision gets narrow and our mind shifts from topic to topic and from past to future very quickly, leaving limited space for present-moment awareness.
In surrender mode, we are calm and centred. We breathe more deeply and our vision extends out around, allowing us to (literally) see the bigger picture. So the great irony is that when we attempt to control things, we actually feel less in control. When we micro-manage and obsess over details and particular outcomes, we stand in our own way.
It's important to remember that surrendering is not about inaction. It doesn't mean not going hard for what you want and just waiting to see. That's being complacent, naïve, uninterested. Letting go of control is about taking action, doing what it takes, applying your absolutely best in what you do but without stressing about the result. You plan a trip to the coast but don't let raining days cancel out your fun. You plan a special dinner, but don't ruin bonding with your family because somebody didn't bring the right ingredient. You have children, but don't be disappointed if they never want to learn chess or take up your place in your business when you get old. You act from a place of surrender – a complete acceptance of what is, trusting that all is well even without your input. You do your part and allow life to do its thing.
When we stop planing life around everything that could possibly go wrong, we free up our mind to enjoy everything that is right. When we trust that we are okay no matter what circumstances come our way, we don’t need to micromanage the universe, we are free!We let go. And we open ourselves to all sorts of wonderful possibilities that aren’t there when we’re attached to one “right” path.