Do you like to be in control and at times freak out, when things aren’t going your way? Are you known to bang your head against the wall, in an effort to get what you want? If so, you may have noticed that the more you are trying to micromanage your life and the people around you, the stronger the fear of losing control becomes.
Often things flow more smoothly and quickly, if we give up control and allow them to happen instead of making them happen. Yet most of us have a hard time surrendering, because we liken it to defeat, giving up or powerlessness. The truth is, when we surrender we stop paddling upstream, we no longer battle ourselves and our lives, but allow life to unfold with greater ease and grace.
It is happening so quickly, that I still can’t fully wrap my mind around it. But this week I will celebrate my 50th birthday. I can vividly remember when my father turned fifty and I started to see him as an older man. Not because he looked or acted like it, but because at that age most people have fewer years left in front of them than behind them. For me aging brings up an important question– should we resist the forces of nature or should we surrender?
Whether you like to be in control and freak out when things aren’t going your way, or are known to bang your head against the wall until you break through it, surrendering may have never felt like an option for you. Personally, I believed for a long time what I was taught as a child: no matter how high the obstacles and difficult the problems, I should be able to reach my goals. And most of the times I was able to succeed, which gave me a great deal of confidence and satisfaction. However, what I didn’t consider was, whether there could have been an easier way to success or even more importantly whether my goals were worth pursuing.
Over the years I learned to let go a bit of my “dog with a bone” approach and to listen more to my wife Danielle, who has been a great proponent of the “ease and grace” approach to life. Have you ever noticed that things frequently unfold more smoothly and quickly, if we give up control and allow them to happen instead of making them happen?
To surrender isn’t defeat, giving up and admitting powerlessness. When we surrender we stop paddling upstream and no longer battle ourselves and our lives. To surrender is to let go of resistance to the circumstances we can’t and shouldn’t change, and instead focus our attention and energy towards that what flows more easily and naturally. This doesn’t mean that we should become inactive and complacent, to the contrary. As we are yielding to the flow of life, we still need to do our part to stay on course and pursue our dreams and goals. However, being in alignment with the natural current, allows us to get there faster and with much greater ease.
Hitting fifty will not stop me pursuing my passions and purpose, from working out and eating healthy. And I am sure that at times, I will still take that bone and clamber over obstacles, rather than letting the current take me around them. Yet, I am committed to practicing the art of surrender by embracing more the pause between my intentions and their manifestations; by choosing trust over control and acceptance over resistance; by cherishing more mindfully the present moment and being openly receptive to how the next 5 decades will unfold for me.
Or in the words of Joseph Campbell: “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”
Listen to my interview on empowerment radio and learn how surrender can be the greatest gift in your life.