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The lesson of Surrender

An often recurring theme in many sessions and in my own life is fighting vs. surrender. What do I mean by fighting? Imagine a day where you aren’t feeling well. You don’t actually have the energy to work hard and you know that in the end you will achieve much more if you allow yourself some rest to meditate or take a short walk. Will you surrender and heed those signals? Or resist and tell yourself to just push through and it should be alright?

An example from my personal life: when I was still very ill, there was an extended period where I could not actually cook or run errands myself, among other things. Still, I continued to do these things, even though this aggravated my complaints time after time. I only stopped when my legs literally gave way below me and I quite literally fell to the ground, or when I could no longer speak, etc. I fought against what my body told me. I did not want to surrender to the situation at all, because I felt like that would mean accepting that I was ill and I did not accept that at all. 

I know now that surrender and acceptance does not have to be the same as resignation. Surrendering to a situation is finding peace in how it is now, and in that sense acceptance of the present. But you can also do this knowing or hoping that it will get better in the future. It is stopping to fight against what is, so that you create space for what is and for what is allowed to be. The peace that surrendering to a situation brings gives you time to recover. You see your needs and honour them. That is often a big part of the solution. 

When it comes to illness or not feeling well for a day, I have taught myself to surrender completely to what occurs, knowing it will pass. The more I fight, get frustrated about the fact that I want to do more, the more energy I lose and the longer it takes to recover. In surrender, I find the rest to recover quickly and it feels less heavy. With the flow, rather than against the current.

The example I described above is about the lesson of surrender when it comes to illness and health, but most of us have areas where we swim against the current rather than with the flow when it comes to relationships or work as well. This can be strongly related to certain beliefs and patterns that are activated automatically in certain situations, and it can be quite a challenge to become aware of these.

A beautiful example of this that many people will recognise is the image of the first Harry Potter movie, when Harry, Ron and Hermione have jumped past Fluffy the three-headed dog and landed in a tangle of vines. The harder they try to fight these vines, the tighter their grip becomes. Hermione realises that by relaxing and surrendering to the vines, the vines stop blocking her way and she can go on.

I dive deeper into a related subject - limiting beliefs - in another blog. Click here to read that blog. For now, you can start by asking yourself the following question: where are you still swimming against the current/fighting something, while you would do yourself a favour by surrendering to it?

This article was previously published in the Ikitribe. Click here to read more about the tribe.

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