Surrender in Daily Life

In continuation of my discussion of integrated psychological perspectives on Surrender, I would next like to consider how this dynamic can serve us in everyday life. If this is your first visit to the Blog, please see my previous posts to get some background information on Integrated Psychological Health & Wellbeing, the Therapeutic Lifestyle, Affective/Cognitive Integration, the Integrated Dynamics, and the introductory discussion of Surrender.

In this post I would like to consider how we can learn to apply Surrender as a willfully attained state through which we can experience greater peace and contentment within both our daily and overall lives. As always, I will approach this subject in an integrative manner by drawing from multiple sources of knowledge AND wisdom in order to honor the roles body, mind, and soul play in this, and any other human experience.

As far as the experience of Surrender goes there is much that has been said within many fields of knowing. I am particularly reminded of a saying from Zen Buddhism that states, “Relax, NOTHING is under control.” As is the case with any paradoxical Zen koan, this saying reveals great wisdom with a twist. Please allow me to explain:

The saying reveals wisdom because it is indeed quite true that we actually control very little in our lives. Within this paradigm life seems to be more about flowing with and responding to the various “happenings” that we experience, and while it is true that we do generate action/reaction via our daily choices, we also spend plenty of time responding to that which enters our lives from sources outside of ourselves. Hence, the concept of relaxing (surrendering) to this reality is actually quite wise and helpful. Imagine cutting our “worry load” in half by simply surrendering to the reality that nearly NOTHING is under our control?

Now, consider the paradox (the twist) the koan above presents. The other side of the coin is that many of us believe that there is indeed some grand scheme through which our lives are unfolding. While it is true that there are many random events, many believe there is something {GOD} that connects it all together and directs it all towards an ultimately positive outcome. In this way, we can surrender to the idea that EVERYTHING actually IS under {GOD’S} control, which assists us in surrendering the reigns and encourages us to resign our duties as “General Managers of the Universe.”

Okay, let’s close with a more contemporary philosophical saying that will help remind us to work towards a constant state of Surrender:

“The thought that we can control everything is an illusion. What we CAN control is how we choose to respond to the many ‘happenings’ in our lives. In surrendering external control, we gain internal power, and become authentically strong.”

Be Well!

Dr. Mik
Psychotherapist/Author

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