I was having a conversation with my british bulldog Elizabeth the other day. She is named after her majesty the queen, and on occasion actually mistakes herself for the aforementioned monarch. Our conversations are profound and intelligent, as you would expect from such a regal companion, and Elizabeth often bestows her wisdom upon me before waddling off to lick the carpet. The other day, don't ask me why, the conversation turned to flags. Of course, Elizabeth set off expounding the symmetrical beauty and stately elegance of the Union Jack, but she was perplexed to hear my response when she asked what my flag would look like.
My flag would be white. But, she stammered, but white means surrender!
Exactly. My flag would be white, because I am surrendered to life. Though surrender is often perceived by us as a last resort, as the ultimate admittance of defeat, in reality surrender is the key to freedom.
But isn't surrender tantamount to passivity? Retorted Elizabeth.
We often confuse surrender with giving in, or being passive. Yet surrender comes from joy and love of self, not from subservience. Surrender is about embracing this moment, instead of fighting against our reality. In doing so, we are not admitting defeat; we are confronting life head on; fully acknowledging our present circumstances. When we surrender, love rushes in. When we fight, we simply perpetuate conflict. When love arrives, clarity comes with it. We open to see all the possible solutions to the situation we are going through, instead of stubbornly struggling for the way we think things should be. With surrender comes power; the power of love. The power of flexibility. The ability to flow with life, instead of thrashing against its currents.
Elizabeth cocks her head to one side. Hmph! But doesn't surrender mean giving up everything I stand for?
Ironically, we have this idea that when we surrender we lose our identity, but that's exactly what we have to lose in order to find true freedom. Isn't that funny?! For all of our lives, we fight to maintain our individuality, to defend our beliefs, our ideas, our convictions; we fight to be right. Why? Because we think we are fragile. We think that something can happen to us. But when we start to find freedom within, we begin to surrender. We realize that what's really important is this love, this peace, and the capacity to flow; that our ideas are just illusions, and that fighting for them only causes us to suffer. The key to consciousness is surrender, and it's the easiest thing to do. It's so much easier than fighting.
An Exercise to Try
The next time you find yourself fighting to maintain a position, let go. Just try it, and see what happens. When you do, you will experience for yourself the peace that comes. In an instant, when you choose to let go, peace envelops us. Resistance cannot bring peace. It is through surrender that calm is to be found. When you fight, you lose; when you let go, you always win. Anchor in the moment, and focus on the unconditional love, or love-consciousness, that is within you. Then ask yourself one simple question? What is wrong in this moment? Is there anything actually wrong, or am I just attaching to an idea?
I think how many years of my life I spent fighting. Fighting to be right, fighting to be approved of. Even fighting to change the world! Our society is always fighting, arguing, debating. We consider peace to be the ideal, but in reality, we feed off conflict, both in our personal lives and on a world scale.
When we experience inner completion, we relinquish our idea of what we need in order to be happy. When we stop believing in the intellect's opinions of how things are meant to be, we rediscover the magic of the unknown. Then we find ourselves standing in a room without walls, with our hearts open to receive the abundance of the universe. Finally, we have the greatest treasure of all: freedom from fear, and the innocence to perceive the perfection in everything.
My conversations with Elizabeth are often surreal, sometimes enlightening and always entertaining. But in reality, despite her regal persona, Elizabeth is the epitome of surrender. She bathes in the perfection of the moment without a second thought, and her ability to fall asleep in the most awkward positions is an admirable example of this. All animals accept their reality exactly as it is, and therein lies their incredible ability to flow with life. We could all learn a thing or two about surrender from the animals around us.
Isha's latest book and movie, "Why Walk When You Can Fly?" explains her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness. You can receive notice of her blog every week by clicking on "Become a Fan" at the top of this page.