I know I’ve written about surrendering before. I guess I’m a broken record. (Does anyone even know what “broken record” means anymore? Now that we don’t have records that get scratched and skip – and repeat the same thing over and over and over?)
Maybe I’m the opposite of a broken record, because the only reason I say surrender again and again and again is because I need to hear it again and again and again. I seem to need pretty constant reminders to remember to surrender.
What is it about holding on that appeals to me? It is old behavior. Somewhere along the line I learned that holding on meant keeping control. And that keeping control meant keeping things safe. And keeping my parents (and God) happy – or at least hopefully happy with me. Somewhere I learned that I had to fight the fights and win the battles and prove things.
Well, now I’ve learned to unlearn all that, but my go-to reflex can still be the opposite of surrender. So when my yoga instructor suggests we surrender into our pose, I remember I need to surrender into it all.
Surrender into the tough times that I’m facing, so that they become less tough. Surrender into the fear, or disappointment, or frustration, or self-blame I’m feeling, so that they relax and dissipate. Surrender into the beauty of the bird songs, or the sunshine, or the green leaves and gorgeous pink hydrangeas in my front garden, so that they soothe and inspire me.
Yes surrender. But how?
I surrender by:
- Taking a breath, and then a deeper breath, and reminding myself that “everything’s okay today and everything’s alright tonight” – just as I used to repeat to myself when I was a kid.
- Looking at the beauty surrounding me – wherever I see it – so that I can be pulled out of my own thoughts.
- Grasping my hands into tight fists, and then releasing them – literally letting go to the universe.
- Reminding myself that it’s okay to feel fear or disappointment or frustration or self-blame. And then reminding myself that it’s okay, but that I don’t have to.
- Remembering “Let Go and Let God,” “I’m exactly where I need to be,” and “I didn’t cause it; I can’t control it; I can’t cure it” as I learned in Al-Anon so many years ago.
- Or if it’s something I can control or cure – something inside me – figuring out how to do that.
- Finding a reason to laugh, or at least to smile.
- Finding someone (or something) to hug.
- Watching a funny movie, losing myself in a good book, having a cup of tea.
- Taking a breath, and then a deeper breath.
What do you do to surrender?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!