Surrendering In Totum

This week the only thing I can talk about is surrender. I know I’ve written about surrender many times before but this week is the first time I think I really got it.

In the past when I spoke of surrender it was usually in the context of a last-ditch effort. As in, “Well, nothing else has worked, so I’ll give this surrender thing a shot.” In the past I’ve been willing to surrender certain things but not others. It’s as if I said to the Universe, “I’ll surrender the job piece but the relationship part? I’ve got it covered.” Some things felt too important to give up, to release control of. Because if I gave up control that means it wouldn’t come true! How could I trust anyone other than me with something so precious?!? (But I’ve also learned this is not the case and invariably my dreams are ant-sized compared to what God has in store for me.)

So I’ve been approaching surrender in a piecemeal way and usually surrendering because I made myself so crazy I couldn’t do anything else. Surrender in some ways became synonymous with giving up. “Lord, I can’t take this anymore so I’m just giving it to you.” It’s only when I reached my breaking point that I would let go. I had been surrendering out of frustration.

This week I took a step beyond that. Now I’m surrendering not because I’m frustrated or have reached a breaking point or I’m expecting the Lord to handle things but because I want peace. I don’t know how everyone else’s mind works but I know for me when I’m not surrendering it’s like a giant game of Risk. “If I do this, then this will happen.” My mind becomes a whirlwind of ceaseless chatter and strategizing. I get incredibly controlling and obsessive because my mind keeps circling on the same things over and over again. This week I’m surrendering because I want the chatter to end. I want to feel at peace. I’m turning my will and my life over to the care of God because I’d rather live in a state of peace and serenity than manipulation and noise.

Now that I’m letting go of more my ego is flipping out. The ego, my “me-ness” is all about control and fear and manipulation. My ego is all about separation and division so when I start talking about all being love and seeing the interconnectedness of all things my ego starts to rebel. Because it knows it’s about to be obliterated. My ego knows it’s about to die so it’s freaking out. I liken true surrender to a salt doll melting in the ocean. Once it’s melted, the doll no longer exists. Once I’m completely surrendered to the universal energy that runs through all things “I” don’t really exist because everything is me and I am everything. My ego knows this about surrender and starts struggling for survival. Fear raises its ugly head.

As I contemplated this last night, contemplated my fear of losing my sense of self I realized several things. One, just because I surrender completely and totally, meaning I give my entire self to God and not just certain things and situations, it’s not like my life ends. I mean, maybe I’ll leave my physical body the very next moment but more likely when I wake up tomorrow I’ll still be here. I’ll still have to go to work. I’ll still have to intake air and food and water. In all likelihood my exterior life won’t look much different. And I still have a purpose on this earth, a mission to fulfill, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. My life will continue on. The only difference is my mind. And that’s the second realization I came to.

I realized by surrendering the only thing I’m really giving up is the constant chatter in my head, my crazy scheming/planning/manipulations and my fear. I’m giving up the things I don’t enjoy anyway. I’m giving up the things that drive me to my higher power in the first place. Surrendering completely is the death of my ego but it’s not the death of me. It’s more like finally meeting the person I always knew existed inside. It’s more like letting the all-pervasive love flow through me. And in this state I feel such grace, a grace and peace I dream of for others as well.

I dream of a world where we give our higher power the reigns in our lives. A world where we choose to swim in the ocean of love knowing all is well and all is God. A world where we surrender our entire selves knowing when we do so we’ll experience utmost peace and serenity. A world where we let our bright inner lights shine unobstructed. A world where we surrender to the cosmic consciousness knowing it spells not the end for us but merely the beginning.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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2 comments… add one
  • James B Feb 11, 2010, 8:22 pm

    Some interesting points you make about surrendering. Sadly even many devout people only really surrender under duress, as you suggested. For me I find it difficult to find what seems to be a fine line. On one side you have the idea of letting God drive your actions and on the other side you can't expect God to actually do everything. What I mean is best illustrated by a story I once heard in an "alpha" class (that are run at many churches in North America and the UK) where an old woman wanted so desperately to surrender to God's will that each day when she woke up she would pray about when to sit up. She would do this for as long as it took for her to feel as though she finally had God's will to do so, sometime taking hours. Then she would pray about putting on her slippers and would wait till she felt it was God's will, also sometimes taking hours.
    Although this is clearly an extraordinary case, but it illustrates that God gives us the faculties to know when we need to get out of bed and when we need to put on a warmer jacket, and how to get to work. These are things that don't need to lay at God's feet for him to control as he has given us the ability to do these things for ourselves. For me, as I suspect it is for many people, we struggle with the realization that even these decisions are God's will for us and that we simply don't have to ask about them as they seem so obvious. Having said that I also think that most of us get carried away and try to apply this to larger and larger decisions in our daily lives until we are suddenly trying to control even the largest decisions in our lives without really wondering what input God might have, or what signs he may have given us about his will in these larger events.
    Ultimately I guess the true balance is about realizing that even in the small decisions we make we are inspired by God, and we should all (or at least I should) try to listen more closely to God's plan for us as he does indeed try to tell us in whatever way he believes we'll listen. You just have to watch for it.

  • Rebekah Feb 11, 2010, 9:53 pm

    @James: Thank you. I totally agree. As with everything in life I think it all comes down to balance. And yes, we still have to do the footwork. Also we are co-creators of our lives. We have a part to play.

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