In the past when I heard the word ‘surrender’ I envisaged white flags and lost battles. A part of me always felt that those who surrendered in war were simply willing to end the madness. I also noticed that for most people, surrender meant admitting defeat and handing yourself over to another.
Indeed the Oxford dictionary provides various definitions including: “Stop resisting to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority”(1). Dictionary definitions aside, an experience I had while going for a morning walk recently showed me that there can be great power in surrender.
I left my home early in the morning. The sun was shining sideways with a pale yellow glow and I was surprised and enchanted by seven colourful hot air balloons floating above me: it was a truly glorious morning. I felt deep appreciation for my decision to ‘walk myself’ and continued on towards the local shared bike and walking track.
The early morning sun belied the fact that it was very cold and I could feel myself bracing against the chilly air despite the fact that I was dressed in very warm clothing. I stepped up my pace, hoping that this would help me to warm up.
All the while I couldn’t help but notice that the people I shared the path with were wearing much less clothing than I was. I felt like I stood out in my puffy, furry jacket and decided that perhaps I was imagining it to be colder than it was. Even though I was still feeling chilled, I chose to leave my jacket open.
This particular path is very popular with families, walkers, joggers and cyclists and that morning it was very busy and bustling. Cyclists were ‘dinging’ their bells and joggers were pounding the track.
I enjoyed observing it all and felt the huge contrast of the natural beauty of the path and the activity of the humans on the track. I didn’t get very far before I noticed that my arms felt extremely hard and tense and my hands were balled into fists in my pockets. It felt awful. I decided it was time to zip up my jacket and pull up the hood. Fitting in was not worth sacrificing the beauty of my walk and the easy grace in my body.
As I walked I was enveloped by the word ’surrender’ and I allowed my arms to let go of the tension they held. I saw a stunning tree off the main track and allowed myself to walk towards it and admire its beauty for a few moments. All the while I asked my body to surrender and with each breath I could feel it let go of another layer of hardness and protection. I was now ready to take my hands from my pockets and my body had warmed up enough to allow this without interrupting my ability to surrender to me.
I felt such a grace and lightness in my body as I walked. The surrender I had allowed in my arms radiated through my whole body and I felt incredibly aware of every movement. Each time I felt tension in my body I allowed it to release.
After 10 minutes or so I began to appreciate how still and supportive my walk had become. The path was still extremely busy but the quality of everyone around me had changed. Several bikes whizzed past but incredibly not a single cyclist chose to ring their bell or yell ‘passing!’ as almost all of them had done just moments before. It was as though the path had become sacred and there was a trust and a knowing between us that transcended the need to yell or ‘ding’ a bell.
This extraordinary ordinary walk left me in no doubt of the power of true surrender. I could feel that this surrender is not a giving up or a giving away. I was able to see that I allow myself to surrender to my own divine essence when I listen to and support my body.
Surrender begins when I accept my own loveliness, act on my awareness and choose to trust in the fact that I am divine.I can now see that disregarding my body and the way I feel makes it impossible to surrender to myself. How amazing can life be if I stop resisting my natural way of being (surrender) and submit to the authority of my own body?
I have felt just how powerful surrender is and my walk has inspired me to keep choosing wisely.
- Oxford Dictionaries: Language Matters, retrieved from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/surrender
by Leonne Sharkey, Melbourne
Choices and the Power of Now
The Mirror Never Lies – The Power of reflection
1,017 thoughts on “The Power of True Surrender”
I loved how you pointed out the different versions of surrender, the white flag and the version that has a lasting effect on our bodies. Most people will also think that surrender is also a giving up, but when we feel the quality of it, it is so much different to this.
The true surrender allows you to connect, feel what is going on and then allows you that realisation that you are more than this, and more is and can be given or offered to you.
“And with each breath I could feel it let go of another layer of hardness and protection”, is a great reminder that it is simple to settle into our bodies and allow each moment to unfold. It is a matter of letting go more that whatever we are feeling can pass through us.
A simple walk can reveal so much about ourselves and that simple walk could be as we walk to work, or to the shops and a great check in to see where we are in ourselves and our bodies.
It is so important to include how we move is not just in our walk to anywhere, it is in everywhere and everything we do and be. We are just more than our movements of our arms or legs, the rippling effect goes further than the eyes and mind can see…
Thank you Leonne – I have just re-read your blog and enjoyed reflecting on the fact that the real question we should be asking is ‘What are we surrendering to?’ Perhaps we are surrendering to the pull of having a beer or alcoholic beverage? Or surrendering to pounding our feet on the pavement to go for a run to deal with the stress we are feeling….Or are we surrendering to the true beauty and quality that we hold deep within, the steadiness and the warmth which at times can be challenging to feel? I am having fun with this, but the truth is that there are different things we can ‘surrender’ to which will each make our body feel very different…hence why it is worth asking what we are actually surrendering to.
I like your comment Henrietta, what are we surrendering too? One will give us the tightness and pain, the other will not. There is only two types we give our power away to, it is that simple.
Surrendering is powerful, ‘How amazing can life be if I stop resisting my natural way of being (surrender) and submit to the authority of my own body?’
When we surrender to the power within, then we really do feel the difference in the body. The body cannot be in fight mode to surrender to the power within, hence letting go and embracing what we know to be true remodels our body and our movements.
The most powerful surrender that we can give ourselves permission for is the surrender to the grandness within each one of us.
Interesting to realise that the word surrender has been bastardised to mean something it is not. Surrender only means surrendering to something we know to be true and never to something that holds an imposition on you.
That dictionary definition stood out today, namely the ‘enemy or opponent’ part. The Soul is not the enemy or an opponent. It takes the honesty of the body to show us that. Surrender is access to settlement and joy, not subjugation, we have enough of that already.
Listening to and honouring our bodies supports us to surrender, ‘This extraordinary ordinary walk left me in no doubt of the power of true surrender. I could feel that this surrender is not a giving up or a giving away. I was able to see that I allow myself to surrender to my own divine essence when I listen to and support my body.’
“surrender is not a giving up or a giving away” it is “to surrender to my own divine essence” Surrender, like many words has lost its meaning or been bastardised. We have to re-claim the true meaning of words as you have done here Leonne. Instead of something to withdraw from, surrendering to our own exquisite essence is to be embraced,
“Fitting in was not worth sacrificing the beauty of my walk and the easy grace in my body” – I totally agree, and this reminds me of how often we hear people say ‘happy to go with a flow’ to mean that they would agree with the majority’s opinion, as if to say that we have no resistance and are surrendering, but the question is to what are we saying we are happy to go along with? We do not realise what we are in-truth resisting when we do that.
So, surrendering is to stop resisting, and to resist, it is the enemy, the opponent that we are facing. How fascinating is that we are able to make that shift from holding something as an enemy and then as an authority, and we do that with ourselves, and it really makes sense that we have to be separate from ourselves to be fighting with ourselves and in that posture there cannot be truth.
Surrendering is to connect to our essence and the energy of love is in every move we make.
Connecting to our essence, our divineness, supports us to surrender, ‘Surrender begins when I accept my own loveliness, act on my awareness and choose to trust in the fact that I am divine.I can now see that disregarding my body and the way I feel makes it impossible to surrender to myself.’
“I can now see that disregarding my body and the way I feel makes it impossible to surrender to myself. How amazing can life be if I stop resisting my natural way of being (surrender) and submit to the authority of my own body?” So true Leonne. Truly listening to what our body wants and honouring that doesn’t then allow for disregard.
‘I could feel that this surrender is not a giving up or a giving away. I was able to see that I allow myself to surrender to my own divine essence when I listen to and support my body.’ There is a huge difference between giving up or giving in and connecting to our divine essence. We can be co-creators in life, co-creators with our soul, with God.
I was really shocked to read how negative the dictionary depicted surrender and realise that this is clearly why we have such a negative opinion of it and clearly resist it! Yes surrendering to the relationship with our own body and the rhythm and flow of us in the space around us, well surely that would feel amazing not a danger? My body relaxed some more as I contemplated the potential.
Spot on Lucy, the dictionary defines surrender as a weakness and a giving up and giving your power away to someone or something outside of you – so no wonder people are not wanting to do that kind of surrender and continue to fight. I love how Leonne has helped bring back the true meaning of surrender.
I love this Leonne “Surrender begins when I accept my own loveliness, act on my awareness and choose to trust in the fact that I am divine.” I have noticed this more and more lately, when I trust I am divine, magic and miracles naturally happen.
We could see surrender as submitting to our own authority – the authority of love.
‘In the past when I heard the word ‘surrender’ I envisaged white flags and lost battles.’ Yes, I have associated surrender with loss, remorse and having to give up something I prized. In all it was about grief and pain. I’ve been coming to understand that actually surrender is about letting down the barriers to then receive what is there waiting for us from our Soul and God. I’m fighting it less now I understand this more and am willing to see responsibility of beholding what is given is a joy not a chore.