The Powerful Difference Between Surrender And Giving Up
We have all heard the spiritual saying: “Just give in and surrender to the will of God, the situation or whatever.” This used to really piss me off when I heard someone make that remark as I interpreted it as giving up and handing my control over to an unreliable and unseen force.
It took me many years of struggling with trust and faith, that I finally understood the difference and felt the results of taking the surrender approach to any seemingly insurmountable life situation.
Surrender should be seen as a great strength and comes when we let go of trying to attain the impossible.
Most of us were raised and live in a culture that emphasizes the ideals of independence and control. The general idea is that if we are really successful it’s because we are in complete control. However, true lasting success comes only with surrender, which is the opposite of control.
Let go of trying to attain the impossible
We cannot accomplish anything truly great on our own, without any help, and the idea that we can is an illusion that causes most of us a great deal of suffering. Surrender comes when we see that illusion and let go of trying to attain the impossible. Surrender can then be seen as a great strength rather than a weakness.
Here is what giving up looks like. When you give up, you are exasperated. When you’re in the thick of a tense situation, you feel pressured and squeezed. When you give up, you feel like throwing your hands in the air and quitting any forward movement. You feel panicked and exhausted. There was no real resolution, except you are no longer dealing with the situation. You’ve tossed it to the side.
When you give up, you slam the doors shut. When you give up, you delve deeper into the depths of despair, disappointment and failure.
A weight off your shoulders
When you surrender, you feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You feel a sense of calm and peace about the situation. You turn your attention away from the mayhem, not in denial, but toward possible outcomes that you can’t see while staring at the mess and trust that even though you may not know how it will be resolved, it will.
When you surrender, doors open. When you surrender, you soar to unknown heights.
When you surrender, you move to higher states of consciousness where peace and possibilities live. These are the ways to know if you are truly surrendering a situation.
The great thing about surrender is that our goals actually then become possible, because the act of surrender is asking for the help we need. This help may come in the form of other human beings or unseen helpers such as angels or inner guides. It may also come in the form of shifting circumstances, the small miracles that we call grace.
Even small moments of surrender are powerful indicators of how different our lives could be if we would only let go. We’ve all had the experience of extending huge amounts of effort and energy to reach a particular goal only to realize that it’s just not going to happen! At the moment of letting go, realizing that we need to ask for help or simply to be able to release our agenda entirely, a profound feeling of relief may rush over us.
This warm, open sensation is the essence of surrender and if we don’t feel that, we didn’t really let go. It is never too late to let go, even of things in the past that didn’t work out the way we wanted them to, because surrender is always an option.
Susan Z’s Verdict
Having experienced both of these solutions, trust me when I say surrendering is a much kinder resolve in the long run, scary, yes but kinder. I was a 12 Step Addiction counselor for many years and the first, second and third steps in the recovery process is this: (paraphrasing) “You have come to the full realization that you have done everything humanly possible to find a solution to your addiction and are now willing to surrender it to a higher power who does know how to fix it.” Giving up is a control issue, surrendering is about having faith and trust.
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Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine.