strength through surrender

Aug 2011 398Thinking of gaining strength through surrender must sound paradoxical.  It’s counter intuitive to think of surrender as an asset.  Yet, surrender is more than handing over one’s power.

Surrender, when invoked from deep within, inspires acceptance, creative solutions, and resolution without struggle. 

We all have gone through times of significant change.  Maybe it has manifested as a long distance move, a career change, a break up or new relationship.  Sometimes change comes crashing in as a result of a tragedy or illness. These times can be stressful, yet ripe for growth.  Knowing when and how to surrender is essential.

The first major change came in my life at age 13, with the sudden death of my older brother.  There’s no real understanding how I got through that time. The adults in my life did their best but really had no idea what I went through.  Any of us who have gone through death of a loved one  knows that we tend to drift until we find an anchor. Playing guitar was that for me.  I surrendered to the enormity of creativity.

At 21, I left my childhood home for a new beginning, over 500 miles away.  When I packed my car and took off on my new adventure, I tossed my childhood out the car window. The highway was littered with my past.  I surrendered to the compelling need to become someone new.  

Later in life, my wife and I made a decision to pack up and move across country.  We left the city life in California for country living in upstate New York.  The differences were humongous.  Septic tanks, well water, driving in snow, canning foods, hauling wood. We moved to a place where I was no longer in control. I had no job.  I had to make new friends. I needed help with everything.  I made a choice to start over.  I called it my “big surrender.”

Now, living with cancer, I have had to dig deep in myself to not spend my life in resistance.  In the words of the late Maya Angelou, ““At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.”  I know this to be true.  Surrendering to what is,  has enabled me to live each day in peace.  I have surrendered to my imperfection. I have surrendered to the need to make things happen according to plan.  I have surrendered to trusting in something bigger than myself.

Whether through choice or life’s whims, I have learned to walk through transition with the power of surrender.  Not defeat, passivity, or struggle, but surrender. Not unlike a tree, swaying to the force of the wind, I have learned to yield to life’s challenges with a posture of strength.

May we all find strength in the power of surrender.

One Response to “strength through surrender”

  1. Chaya says:

    Firstly, I love your writing!
    Secondly, I am “stealing” your metaphor of the “tree, swaying to the force of the wind” as my new image
    in my meditations..

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