So here I sit, practicing my psychospirituality (whatever that means), wading through all of these existential thoughts, attempting to find some peace which will actually last. Which is how I found my way to “surrender.” Not really the “give up” type of surrender, but rather the “give over” type. And true to my overthinking form, it is clear that both “give up” and “give over” provide some kind of release. The only real difference between the two is our belief of the possibilities of each. So if we’re going to get anywhere in this life it’s our responsibility to figure out how we see it. Because surrender is actually what we do every day, whether we notice it or not.
Know Your Enemy
Let’s get started in one of my favorite ways. With a definition. The act of surrender means to:
Personally, I’m inclined to see this definition both in its entirety and as its individual components. The first part is to “cease resistance” to our greatest enemy and opponent – ourselves. The other part is to “submit” to our own authority. So you see, whichever way you go in this case, it’s a win-win.
The Devil is in the Details
So which way do we choose to go? Well, that’s actually not the right question. Because when you cease resisting yourself, you simultaneously submit to your own authority. And vice versa. So if you actually reach the point of embracing self-surrender, it doesn’t really matter which path you take.
The real question we should be asking ourselves is, if we are not surrendering to ourselves every day, to what or who are we surrendering? The truth for most of us is that we spend our days in a whirl of reactions to the external barrage of stimulus we receive. We get lost in the “musts” and “shoulds” of life. We chase the approval of others and strive to keep things exactly as they are, even though we tell ourselves we are working to improve our conditions.
The world is either what you make it or what you let it make you. The choice is truly yours. To choose the former gives you back your authority, which also requires you to take responsibility and start defining your experience. This will allow you to cease resistance to yourself and resolve the dissonance between your outer reality and your inner reality. The latter leaves the responsibility of your life in the hands of The Sisters Fate…and this is the path many choose. Because it’s easier. Well, maybe not quite “easier,” but requires less thought, which removes the onus of responsibility. Or so we think.
Responsibility of Choices
However you approach the world – as what you make it, or what it makes you – you are responsible for the outcome of your own life. How so? Because you made one of two choices.
Choice 1: Reactive. Choosing to let the outer reality dictate our thoughts and how we respond to our lives.
Choice 2: Proactive. Choosing to train our minds to focus and let the inner reality dictate the experience.
It’s literally that simple. The first way is how most of us do it now. So, if that’s not working out as you had hoped, perhaps you’d be willing to give the second way a try. The only catch to the second way is that it requires a commitment. It requires practice. And that’s another responsibility in itself.
The mind likes its patterns. They allow us to predict the future in a way. “If I do this, that will happen.” You prove it to yourself over and over with your daily routines. The longer you do something, the more intimidating it is to do something different. Because we reinforce the illusion of security through repetition. But we can change our patterns. Truthfully, it’s our responsibility to do so. We just need to embrace one simple fact.
Know that the mind can be easily led. And if you don’t do it, someone else will. Which is why marketing and sales are such lucrative fields. Which is also why social media is l-o-a-d-e-d with marketing. Because the people behind the people who have something to offer know that the mind will go where you lead it. Suggest something enough and be seen in enough places and *splat* you’ve got a buyer. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling. So why not take back access to your mind, and surrender to yourself?
Becoming A Responsible Mind Owner
After spending so much time uncovering layer upon layer of sh*tty ideas and expectations I allowed other people to implant in me. And then facing my darkness over and over. I realized that the way to become a responsible mind owner is to learn to focus. But you’re going to have to surrender to the idea that it will undoubtedly be a bit of a struggle, at first.
It’s worth it. It truly is. Because it’s not just life which is within our control. Our peace is within our control. Such good news, right? The only problem is we’re an impatient bunch, especially these days. Just keep in mind, when you begin to struggle, that the mind likes it’s rhythm. Injecting a change disrupts familiar patterns that people like. They’re our safety and deviation implies that there is a threat to that safety. Making matters worse is all those past experiences reminding you of how things go awry when you deviate from a pattern. But you must persevere. And I’ll tell you how to get started in two easy steps.
Surrender Step 1: Expect Nothing
This entire journey is simply one of surrender. Every single step of the way is a surrender. Each one a bigger leap of faith than the previous. But I didn’t reach the self-surrender I’m talking about in this piece – you know, the kind where you truly cease resistance and give over to your own authority – until I released my expectations for specific, physical outcomes. I struggled and fought with my mind attempting to stay focussed to create a physical result, and always fell short. In retrospect I can see how it all fits together. Starting with having to surrender myself to the darkness within. I had to understand who I was first. Only then could I surrender to myself. And that’s when things really began to change.
Keep the Goal Simple
So I can confidently say that the first step I would recommend is to NOT do any of this to reach a physical goal. Not just yet, anyway. Keep the goal simple. Let the goal be a feeling at first. This will help you persevere and help you know your true self, the “you” beneath the layers of everyone else. I say this because the more specific your physical goal at this point, the more inclined you’ll be to give up when it doesn’t appear in a certain amount of time. Release yourself to a feeling and one day soon you’ll see just how gently it seeped in.
Surrender Step 2: (A Big Responsibility) Commit to the Practice
While there are YouTube videos and people out there who will tell you it’s easy and can simply be done by listening to affirmations in your sleep, that isn’t the entire story. It’s not just one night you do this and the next morning you feel better. It’s endless repetition. It will become part of your new pattern. So don’t look for results. Surrender to the practice and let it become your new routine.
And while you’re at it, surrender to forgiveness. Forgiveness for everything, especially for the mistakes along the way. Understand that life is our responsibility to ourselves, and no one else. Do this for you and the people you feel an external responsibility to will benefit. That I promise you.
So remember that all types of surrender take practice. Which is something I think we often forget. Everything takes practice. It is our responsibility to practice. It’s the art of mastery. Surrender to the process that each idea or action requires to master. When we know the goal is more valuable than the current condition, we make forgiving the mistakes we make along the way much easier.
Do, Don’t Try…Bleh
You may remember a story I posted the other day title “Do, Don’t Try…is bad advice.” The genesis for that poem was in a conversation with a friend of twenty-five years. (He also happened to be a former lover, but that’s a different story entirely.) I took exception to something he said when I replied, “I’m trying.” He simply said, “Do. Don’t try.” This took me off guard and I replied something along the lines of, “this statement doesn’t really take all the elements of being human into consideration. Not to mention, I’m not you.” I don’t know why I was surprised by his direct and unforgiving reply. He was always a cut and dry, no nonsense kind of guy. And when I was younger, I was the same. But today is different for me. Him, not so much.
I chewed on this on and off for the day and while I realize that changing his mind isn’t my responsibility, the next morning I sent him a text.
The Responsibility of a Moral
When we commit to something we want to learn we approach it with a different kind of intention. An intention of practice. And within practice we expect to have to try and try again. Our responsibility to surrender is no different. Seek to become a master of self-surrender and you will find forgiveness and peace all along the way. Just remember that every master had to practice. And every master still practices. It is ongoing and ever evolving.
The Existential Condition
When we commit to the endless need to surrender to ourselves we uncover the exploration of not only the self, but also the human condition. When we explore the human condition within ourselves we are better able to approach the world and people around us with compassion, and dare I say it, logic. And so this is how I have come to infuse the world around me with the lessons I learn from within, including my Mr. Darcy existential erotica series.
You see, all along this psychospiritual journey, I was inclined to say that my self-surrender was the last step. But it is very clear to see that surrender is the first thing we need to do. And then we just keep doing it over and over.