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Spiritual Surrender: Opening Yourself to the Possibility of Greatness
Posted: 4/15/2010 | Spiritual Growth Comments
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If you have been involved in personal development and spiritual growth you have probably heard someone talk about surrender. Surrender can be different things to different people. When you see a movie and character surrender to the enemy it means giving up. That is the perspective from one level of consciousness. You either fight and win or quit and lose.

If you don’t know another viewpoint exists and you’re not looking at the larger spiritual picture, you might say, “Why would I want to surrender?”

What Is Surrender?

From a spiritual perspective surrender is allowing “what is” to just be, or being with life “as it is” in this present moment. This kind of surrender doesn’t mean to give up or quit on yourself or life. Instead, it is more closely related to the saying, “Let go and let God” or let Spirit be your guide.

There are layers to understanding and experiencing surrender. Often times, we feel like we have surrendered when we are aware of being stuck and we finally decide to stop banging our heads against the wall. To surrender, in this sense, means letting go enough to be able to look at all of the elements in a situation that may be keeping you from moving in the desired direction. Meaning, you have relaxed your fixed thinking adequately and can allow deeper wisdom to inform your direction.

The Importance of Surrender

Other times we become so fixated on a certain end result we keep fighting the cues that life gives us and probably feel stressed most of the time.

Perhaps we forget to look at what is necessary to do, or let go, in our lives in order to be moving with the flow of life. This flow allows for more peace and happiness and takes us ultimately to our True Self, where we really feel at home. Surrender can continue going even deeper to what some refer to as the ultimate surrender.  The great spiritual teachers explain this as being completely one with life. 

How do I begin to surrender like this and allow what is?

In order to do that you, would have to let go of your tightly held ideas of what you think must be. This would mean loosening and transforming the attachments that are connected to your personal Will in order to move with and relax into Divine Will. This profound movement towards surrender gives a sense of releasing into something bigger than us and our own personal agendas. One could even say that you were moving with the flow of your life and you can experience being held by life.

Now this doesn’t mean that we ask for divine wisdom to make our morning cup of coffee or wash the dishes while we lie in bed. We definitely set our own goals and intentions in order to co-create our lives. But as life moves on and some “things don’t work out” with our own ideas about how life is supposed to be, we use these failures as guides and lessons. They can lead us to a greater alignment with our life’s purpose and meaning. And though it might not always seems so at the time, Our Divine purpose will always be for the good of all.

How Will I Know If I Am Ready To Surrender?

For many of us there comes a point in personal development and spiritual growth in which the wisest next step can only be to surrender. We’ve been wrestled to the ground by life.

We can begin by noticing when we feel extreme stress towards a certain life situation or event and then look at where we might be trying to push the river, so to speak. When you are pushing the river and going against the current you often feel body tensions, adrenaline exhaustion and other kinds of physical ailments, along with emotional angst.

Once you observe that you are pushing so hard, then you can examine the deeper meaning of this difficult challenge. Is it simply that we need to stay steady and push past our limited feelings and belief systems? Is it to push ourselves to another level of consciousness? Or on the other hand, are we stuck in the mud about wanting what we want when we want it? Is it some form of an uninformed child-self that won’t let go?

We’ll want to examine our willingness to change and our limited belief systems that arise as we study the situation. It is important to observe the how and why we do whatever it is that is holding us back, so as not to keep repeating the pattern. Having greater consciousness around this situation allows us to be more deeply aligned with our divine purpose and the meaning of our individual existence and impact in life.

I would love to hear your thoughts about surrender…



CL SHOES       Posted: 6/11/2010 12:02:53 PM

Thank you for your great


Best Registry Cleaner       Posted: 6/13/2010 2:56:10 PM

A good article Thank you!

David       Posted: 7/1/2010 2:16:26 PM

If dusty memory serves, despite differences and variations, Hinduism and Buddhism generally share a view that suffering and reincarnation (the latter being thought a bad or sad thing rather than as a "cool" thing) are rooted in human desire--although desire itself may be differently conceived (such as the desire to shed caste duties or the desire for a separate existence).

As a Christian, I cannot help thinking immediately of what may be the central ethical motif of Jesus'' teaching: "Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me."

The antecedent and apostolic theology surrounding this motif is too well developed even to summarize well here, but note two related dominical sayings: (1) If you hand causes you to sin, cut it off ..., and (2) Sell your possessions, give to the poor, and come, follow me.

To many of Jesus'' ethical teachings, interpretation as I understand it lies between equivocation and bald literalism. No rational Jew would so defile the body as to cut off a hand. And the people of the land would not wish to abandon stewardship of the family property or cut off their children from the land of the temple.

Of course in a sense Jesus'' demands are radical. Cutting off and selling all are radical demands, showing the severity of self-will. But it is not just the hand that need to be cut off, not just the eye that needs plucking out. Sin and self-will pervades the body. The whole body needs cutting off.

On the other hand, cutting off every member of the body would not accomplish the purging of the self or the soul. Nor is acceptance with God obtained by the mere total absence of food, water, clothing, and property.

In short, the surrender of the self to God is beyond human capacity ... which I think is part of the conclusion Jesus intends for his hearers.

And yet disciples of Jesus came to be, "for nothing is impossible with God." As the theology is subsequently developed, identification with the cross and resurrection of Christ empowers self-denial and surrender to God. Death to self, life to God. "He who loses his life for my (Jesus'') sake will find it."

Or switching gears, surrender in a secular entrepreneurial setting is described for example in Seth Godin''s The Dip--know where to quit early and where to keep going. Or in a counseling setting, one can surrender anger and replace it with forgiveness, or surrender fear and replace it with an even-handed and rational evaluation.

In the secular west, such acts of surrender are often conceived as removed from sacred or religious commitments, although I would argue the divorce cannot be entirely achieved.

Perhaps partly by way of summary, differences remain concerning both what is surrendered (the "from" part, if you will), and what is adopted in its place (the "to" part). And thus your post, I agree, describes a theme common to many genre of human existence.

My Goals Buddy       Posted: 7/13/2010 11:07:15 AM

Really enjoyed reading the article on surrender. It provides a fascinating and helpful insight.

Look forward to more.

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Shawn       Posted: 2/6/2011 1:35:46 AM

Well since you want to hear our thoughts. lol...All I know is that i was in the middle of i think thee most stressful time in my life and prior to this point i was not much into any religion really and felt the only power i had to deal with things would have to come from me and only me. That way of living wasn''t getting me any where and the stress never seamed to let up. So one night i asked a higher power, god whom ever you think that to be to help share in my issues and help alleviate some of this burden. I felt a little guilty at first reaching out to something else to handle my issues being that i thought i was responsible for them to begin with with how i reacted to external "stimuli" but i had no other options really except to let go surrender and have faith. I was literally forced into faith really now that i think of it. By sharing my issues with something outside or inside of me that was greater than me and surrendering the world responded the next morning. Things calmed down reality was slower and sharper and i felt i was whisked away to a new place. Then things started happening concerning meditation success i seamed to want to meditate more and i felt something that was behind all the stresses that was really special. My dreams starting rapidly changing and really have had a positive impact of my life. There was just so much difference from the night before to the next day that i could literally write a book about it. I felt like i was turned on or activated to experience life in a total different way. It has been lasting too not some type of one minute fix where the next days things went back to that ugly stress plane. The biggest thing from that day i feel has changed was my nervous system. It felt like someone gave me a new nervous system. Its weird and hard to explain but those who have had this experience will know exactly what i am talking about. Interesting things keep on happening from time to time since them to bring me to a higher well balanced place as well. This i believe all happened because in the midst of some intense stuff i just surrendered to it and stopped fighting back which has helped so me so very much. I am a believer now without a doubt that surrender can be key in ones life

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