For most of my life I was a control freak. Mind you, I’m not talking about controlling other people. Rather, I liked making logical, rational decisions that resulted in predictable outcomes. In a sense, I “micro-managed” every aspect of my life.
Years ago I started hearing about the concept of surrender. To be honest, at the time I hated that word. I saw surrender as giving up, weakness, lack of perseverance, or raising the white flag. I didn’t want any part of it! Yet the concept kept showing up in one form or another, catching my attention, making me examine it further.
I now understand that surrender is not for the weak of heart. It is a position of strength, embracing uncertainty with confidence and faith that you are fully supported. Surrender requires letting go of the need to predict, to control, and to micro-manage all aspects of life. It involves doing your part, staying in the present moment, and trusting that the next step will be revealed. Surrender requires letting go of expectations and attachment to outcome.
Surrender and uncertainty go hand in hand. It’s impossible to surrender to an outcome you can control. Uncertainty rears its head in so many ways: from a loved one who is ill, to job layoffs, to college applications, to relationships. We can prepare and do our part, but in the end, some things are out of our control. Many people in moments of uncertainty seek to control more, actually micro-micro-managing all details of their life to give the illusion of control and to avoid feeling the fear of lack of control. Instead, I say be strong, embrace the uncertainty and experience true surrender. Let go. Sit with your loved one, go to work not knowing if today will be your last day, apply to a “reach” school, step out of your comfort zone in getting to know someone. Truly “be” in those moments. Examine the fear. Surrender.
Uncertainty is a beautiful gift as it allows us to truly live in the moment and experience the priceless gift of surrender if we let it. Surrender involves tremendous courage. It’s like leaping off of a cliff without a safety net, but in the process learning that you can fly.