The power of surrender
The most potent spiritual tool we have is surrender.
Inherent in it are both humility and power. Releasing our hold on the illusion of control is like letting go of an anchor that is drowning us in the waters of struggle. It's humbling when we get to that place of realizing we can't make it to the surface on our own. And yet there is a deeply calming power that overtakes us when we pray the prayer that Rumi wrote - "God, I have no hope. I am torn to shreds. You are my first and last and only refuge."
When the pain of doing the same thing over and over finally overcomes the fear of doing something different, we find ourselves at a critical moment. A spiritual crossroads.
We can choose to act within the same patterns of behavior and thinking that got us to where we are, or we can simply ask for help. Many of us choose the former because of the uncertainty that comes with stepping into unfamiliar territory.
If we have no trust in anything but our finite selves, we will inevitably continue to act on fear. Fear that masquerades as self-preservation, self-justification, and just plain old “toughing it out” so that we don’t appear weak to the rest of the world. We hide behind the camouflage of our ego, which is an incredibly fragile veil, subject to the reactions of others and the conditions of the world around us.
The choice of surrender brings with it, paradoxically, a foundational power.
The ego, our lesser self, would have us believe that surrender is defeat. On the contrary, the release of our imagined control allows us access to the province of universal Love, not defeated, but empowered. The ego has no jurisdiction in the realm of the Spirit. Surrender and an honest plea for help will always be answered with a momentary release from the trappings of anxiety.
The pitfall arises when the severity of the moment passes. Many of us will say, “Thanks God, I’ll take it from here.”
And we are back on the road of repetition and conditioned responses. It is said there are no atheists in foxholes. Who among us has not turned outside of ourselves when the world came crashing down around us and then had the experience of surviving the calamity? How many of us chose to remain living in that attitude of gratitude after that experience, and genuinely attempted to change our consciousness? An honest appraisal will show that most of us returned with haste to our familiar patterns of behavior with little regard for the divine intervention we received. Often we will even find "rational" reasons to explain away why that couldn't have been a possibility anyway. Anything to keep us in the space of believing that we understand what's going on and we are in control.
If complete surrender is divine solution in one situation, then it is by definition divine solution for every situation, for there are no holes in the fabric of divine love.
There is no loss of continuity in the stream of Universal Consciousness. Surrender, like anything, is more effective and less uncomfortable if consistently practiced.
In 12-Step programs, members are reminded that, “Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point, we asked His protection and care with complete abandon.” This is perennially the touchstone for spiritual growth. If you withhold half the sunlight from a budding seed, its growth will be stunted. If you withhold half of a man’s food, his energy stores become depleted and his body falls into disrepair. If we separate our love for our brothers and sisters into the camps of worthy and unworthy, our soul will never be at peace.
When we surrender, we must go all-in. When we let go, we can't keep grasping for wayward tethers of false security.
There is a magic alchemy that happens in the space between holding a vision and letting go of the results. It is called faith.
Set yourself to complete-release mode. Let go of the illusion of control you think you have in the physical world. Don’t seek Spirit’s assistance for a selection of the day’s hurdles and keep the remaining ones for yourself to leap. Remember what Einstein said, “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” Full effort is full victory. Don’t worry. Trust.
The universe has your back.