When you think of surrender, what comes to mind? In the past, I've associated surrender with old western movies where the hero asks the villain to put his hands up and the villain is left to say "I give up." Many of us associate surrender with weakness, giving up, and losing. Think of games that you played as a child where you surrendered; that ultimately meant you lost the game. It doesn't leave a very good feeling in your body when you associate surrender with these feelings that are not as serving.
But what if surrender wasn't actually any of these things at all? What if surrender was in fact an empowering choice that you made? When you re-frame the belief that surrender is something that we choose to help give us peace or closure, it shifts your mindset from giving up and losing to letting go and succeeding. Surrender is an empowering choice. Surrender isn't giving up; it's mindfully and lovingly letting go of what isn't serving you.
Through a series of personal events, I have had to learn how to surrender. It is not easy by any means, but I would much rather risk failure and let go of the expectations and ideals that are holding me back, rather than stay imprisoned by fear. Surrender is best done through grace, which is defined as simple elegance and refinement of movement. As we take each step towards surrender, we become more and more aligned with who we truly are. Here are three steps you can take to learn to surrender with grace.
1. Choose you: Are you living a life of your choosing or are you living a life that is governed by fear? You deserve the absolute best, we all do. Yet we often forget this and put ourselves last. At the end of the day, we have a choice as to how we are going to live. We choose to stay in pain because it is so much more comfortable than stepping out into the unknown. Surrender occurs when we let everything else go, all the excuses, fears, and unfulfilled expectations and choose to live as we inherently believe we deserve to.
2. Be willing to let go of attachments: The process of surrender begins with letting go of attachments. Attachments can range from physical items that you own or expectations of what should or shouldn't be. But here is the thing... attachments can change at any time. They can be altered or even disappear. Basing our happiness or self-worth on attachments can be a slippery slope, because at the end of the day you are basing it on something you have no control over. Surrender is a process of release and when you can truly release your worries and fears than you can become truly free.
3. Trust the process: When making any change and surrendering one way of living to another, you are transitioning from one path to a completely different one. That transition is not easy; it is in fact very challenging. For some reason, we hold onto an expectation that these changes should be easier and beat ourselves up when we are experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression, and uncertainty. Trust the process as you are surrendering and that these feelings that you are experiencing are completely normal. You are exactly where you need to be. The road to change often has many pebbles along the way.
Surrender isn't easy by any means, but it is the only way that you can become truly free. Maybe it's time to let go.
Melissa E. Kirk is a life coach and teaches people how to master modern mindfulness in today's crazy world. You can catch up with her at www.melissaekirk.com or find her on Facebook for daily inspiration.