I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now. The topic of surrender is one that I embrace each and every day. And while some days I’m better at it than others, I recently had an experience that made me remember how there isn’t one problem that faith will not solve and that, no matter how I want to hold on to something, all I need to do is surrender, let go, and give it to God.
We are all at different stages and places in our lives, and that’s okay. For many years I looked at my brother and saw how he did everything in the time and manner that he said he would. On the other hand, I did everything in the time and manner that I just felt like doing it. Although my parents never feared that success would be on my horizon, their stress was always latent as my life felt as if it followed the beat of the ‘Whiplash’ jazz drummer. But just as on the surface it may seem arrhythmic to the common ear, deep down in my heart I always knew I followed the syncopated rhythm of God’s plan for me.
In music, syncopation involves a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected, making part or all of a tune or piece of music off-beat.
It took me a long time to understand that it was perfectly fine for me to move at my own pace. Constantly struggling to make up for what appeared to be my shortcomings, I felt pressured and I struggled to win and be successful at most everything I endeavored. This sort of stress can take a toll on anyone’s self esteem, creating feelings of anxiety and never feeling good enough no matter how successful you may seem on the outside. But it wasn’t until I let go of other’s perceptions of my success and surrendered my will to the will of God that I finally felt free. Free to laugh at my mistakes, free to embrace my sorrows, and free to fully enjoy my progress.
Surrender is not a word people want to hear every day. Surrender is not a concept that most people can grasp without judgement or discrimination. In today’s vocabulary, surrender means giving up and handing yourself over to a more powerful force. What a terrible thought, to accept one’s lack of power over ourselves. But a Course In Miracles teaches that surrender is precisely giving up our attachment to the results and handing control over to God, who knows what He is doing.
When we decide to stop trying to control events and surrender to something bigger than ourselves we let things fall into a natural order. This doesn’t make us weak. It takes much more courage and strength to acknowledge that we are not 100% in control and that we can allow the same force that makes the planets and the sun function in a perfect and natural order to direct our lives. Surrender is simply not applying resistance to this force so it may give birth to our higher self.
“When we surrender to God, we let go of our attachment to how things happen on the outside and we become more concerned with what happens on the inside.”A Return to Love | Marianne Williamson
To relax and surrender to God is something I work on every day. The Course teaches us that only love is real, everything else (fear) is an illusion. When we carry ourselves with only the love within us, we walk into the events and lives of the people around us with the energy that will bring only the highest level of good to every situation. When we give up all resistance to love, we let Him lead and we have faith that He knows the way.
My ego will let me think that I can control everything. It’ll make me believe that I can hold on to the outcome of my relationships and situations. But I need only to return to Him to remember that every encounter and every circumstance is used by Him for His purposes. I need only to take responsibility for my thoughts and shift my perception to only the highest loving thoughts.
Please help me. Heal my mind. Whenever my thoughts have strayed from love – if I’ve been controlling, manipulative, greedy, ambitious for myself – whatever it is, I’m willing to see this differently.