Surrender means to stop fighting the world and to start loving it instead. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
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Living in a place of surrender. What exactly does this mean? I often heard this phrase used in lectures and talks about spirituality. It was baffling to me. I wondered, why would anyone want to live like that? How is it even possible to be in ‘surrender’ all of the time? I did not understand the concept, until it happened to me and changed life as I knew it.
Over the past year my thinking about surrender has totally evolved. In fact, I now embrace a lifestyle of, ‘living in a place of surrender’. The first thing I do every morning, when I open my eyes or shortly thereafter, is release my life situation to the powers that be. How did it come to this?
Over the past year, I came to the inner realization that life itself is not for me to control. Up to that point, I lived my life by controlling/willing everything to happen. When I was growing up in the Caribbean I longed to come to America. I enjoyed watching the American tourists traipsing through our small city taking pictures of everything, which moved or stood still. They seemed free, smelling of sun tan lotion: bedecked in sandals and colorful island costumes. I longed to return with them, on the massive cruisers that brought them to our shores.
America beckoned to me through their stories and through my television screen. Longing to be there rather than in my own unhappy life situation, I often stood on the water’s edge of my favorite beach, willing my spirit across the choppy, azure, island waters to America. However, the moment was anticlimactic when it finally came. In this way, I came to deeply believe I could control my life if I wished hard enough for it to go my way.
Unfortunately, this was an illusion.
Nevertheless and fortunately, this magical thinking came to a stop over the last year when I became ill. In fighting to heal myself I found I had to release willful thinking and pseudo control. At first I fought to take charge of the situation by using my old survival tactics. However, none of them worked. I finally surrendered all of the power, I thought I had, letting go to the natural workings of life. In so doing, I was able to rise above the many crisis, which unfolded because of my health problem. Today, living in a place of surrender is allowing me to reshape my life in positive.
Consequently, the first thing I do in my morning routine is to surrender my life situation to the powers that be. This is not an easy path to take, and it might not be a path most would follow, but it is working for me. It takes enormous self discipline and consistent practice. One has to be relaxed enough to live in constant state of letting go no matter the situation that presents itself. It is a resetting of the mind and some days are extremely difficult. However, instead of fighting those tough moments you learn to go into and with them instead of fighting or resisting them. In this way I am learning to rise above and become bigger than the situations at hand.
Living a in a place of surrender does not mean giving up on life. It means you come to terms with life accepting it as it is at any given moment. This does not mean one is not afraid: sometimes the fear can be overwhelming and paralyzing. However, you are strengthened from the inside out each time you overcome a situation by applying this method. As time goes by, an amazing since of deep, inner calm and peace washes over you even in the midst of or under the most horrendous conditions.
“Surrender means to stop fighting the world and to start loving it instead.” This quote by Marianne Williamson perfectly illustrates what I have come to understand about living in a place of surrender. When I stopped, “fighting the world” and started “loving it” and myself I came to a place of surrender. In so doing, I am finding a path forward in self-healing that works for me. By letting go and surrendering I am finding clarity, inner truth, deeper meaning and peace in daily life.
Cheryl is working on her Memoir, “Standing in the Light: my personal journey through the darkness”. A survival story about faith, spiritual fortitude and personal redemption
See Cheryl’s art and more of her writing here
Originally published at medium.com