Last week while sitting in swan pose and struggling to hold my position, I heard the yoga instructor say, "Surrender to the pose."
It was epiphany time right there on the yoga mat.
"Surrender to the pose" immediately — for me, at least — extended beyond its literal meaning on the yoga mat and to a broader message about life. The word surrender kept echoing in my ears. And as I stopped resisting the pose and yielded to it, it reminded me how the concept of surrender can serve us well in so many aspects of life.
The problem is we often perceive surrender as a bad thing, as simply giving up. But surrender doesn't mean that you give everything over to chance. It doesn't mean that you have no input or that you get to be lazy. Surrender is when we do our part, complete the work and then wait for what comes next.
A few days after that yoga class, I read about approaching stress in one of two ways: swimming or floating. We can wear ourselves out by swimming against the current, or we can float along and accept the circumstances we find ourselves in. In other words, we surrender. Surrender is when we stop fighting, stop resisting and trust that things will be ok. And if it's not ok tomorrow, it may be the next day. Surrender is trust that no matter what happens, you'll be ok and you'll handle it.
Life is a series of peaks and valleys. Some spend more time on peaks while others seem to find themselves in valleys all too often. Either way, we all have our struggles. But sometimes we keep struggling and fighting against a circumstance trying to change it, and the change doesn't happen. It's frustrating. It's like swimming upstream and wearing yourself out, because you're not getting anywhere.
Maybe you've begged God to change something or make it better. You've sent out good vibes and good karma to the Universe. You've waited. You've worried. You've fretted. Still the situation hasn't changed. These are the times when it's best to surrender and know that you've done your best to change or improve the undesirable situation. Now it's up to God and the Universe to move things into place. (And I'm preaching to myself as much as anyone here.) In these situations, think of surrender as being a matter of trust — like that game featured in team-building exercises where you fall and rely on your team members to catch you.
If you've done all you can to improve a circumstance you find yourself in but the condition hasn't changed, maybe it's time to surrender. Allow God in His infinite wisdom to work out the rest. Trust that the Universe is on your side and that things will eventually work out. And if they don't work out just the way you'd hoped, trust that you will have the strength to deal with it.
Do your part, breathe a prayer and then ... surrender.
Do you find it hard to let go and surrender? Do you have advice for those trying to master the art of surrender? Please share in the comments and tell us what works for you.