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The Gift of Giving-Up

flow human spirit resillience stress well-being Oct 09, 2022
A perfectly still lake with a single leaf floating on the surface.

Surrender. I always hated that word. It grated in my ears and reverberated in my bones as hopelessness. It sounded like giving-up, giving-in, and giving-over my power; both hands in the air waving a white flag. Why surrender when I could fight, hypothesize, and speculate?


I believed only the weak surrender.


Surrender. I love this word. It’s one of my favorites now. It's given me freedom. If I’m honest, I have no control over a large part of my life; from macro global circumstances, like a pandemic, to micro daily events like traffic and the interactions I have with others. I cannot control what happens, or how others behave and think.


Surrendering is giving-up the illusion that I control those things I do not. Surrendering is giving-in to a faith that I can handle whatever comes my way and I will not break. Surrendering is realizing that I needn’t give-over my well-being to the horrific, worst-case scenarios generated and brought to life by my over-active imagination.


Surrendering my mental turmoil allows me to maneuver from a place of peace. This peace is impossible during resistance, but it is this peace that unveils the way forward. This peace is the light in the darkness: it is the thing most people seek.


It’s easy to think that with peace, there is no action. Peace sounds like sitting around doing nothing. Being at peace, being at ease, can be mistaken for not caring; but nothing could be further from the truth.


When I am at peace my mind is free. It is free from thoughts of the past and things I cannot change; it is also free from thoughts of the future and things I cannot control or predict. I have clarity and certain action follows. When I am at peace, I can be fully present for those who need my attention. I can hear past their words and listen to their hearts instead.


Giving-up the desire to know that which cannot be known allows my mind to rest easily and prepare for things which may come; without the worry, stress, and tension that accompanies resistance and speculation.


This is the greatest gift.


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