Surrendering - what does that even mean?
The dictionary says surrendering is to stop fighting or trying to control or prevent something. I’ve associated it with giving up, and that not really being a good thing!
But surrendering has been something I’ve had to consciously think about recently. It gets talked about a lot in personal and spiritual development worlds, but I’ve never felt like I fully understood what it meant or how to do it, especially when it comes to dealing with negative feelings.
I’ve come to a place over the last year or so where I’m far more able to trust my intuition and follow the messages it gives me. I like to think I’m pretty good at spotting when my ego (or fear voice) is trying to take over again, maybe not always right away, but I get there eventually!
I’ve heard my fear voice far too much these last few weeks. It tells me I’m not good enough, I can’t do this, nobody cares or is interested. There’s no point to this work because it’s not going to make a difference, because it’s me doing it and who am I to do this? All because I’ve been busy working on my plans to take the skills and training I’ve had in my “day job” coaching people with chronic health problems, and using it out in the “real” world. I’ve started putting things in place to be able to do that, and the ideas just keep flowing. It fills me with absolute joy and gives me more energy than I’ve felt in a very long time. It’s helping me to heal myself, as well as helping others. So that meant the fear kicked in.
When it comes up now I’m following some tips I picked up from a podcast a few weeks ago, all about allowing the thoughts and feelings to just be, rather than trying to fight them or suppress them. It was an interview by Julie Parker on the Priestess Podcast with Niamh Cronin that changed the way I thought about surrendering. She talked about 7 steps to surrender, and something just clicked. You can listen to the interview here
Steps to surrender:
1. Define the emotion you're feeling right now. Acknowledge what's going on without any judgement of those feelings.
For me that’s fear and insecurity.
2. Think about the location of the emotion, where do you feel that emotion most in body? This grounds the emotion.
Mines in my gut and my heart, it’s a physical twisting in my gut and an increased heart rate.
3. Be present - feel that emotion, allow it, don't try to suppress it. Remember it won't last forever. Cry if you need to!
It’s not made me cry, but I feel it move through me. I notice it getting stuck in my throat, which makes complete sense when it’s really a fear of being truly seen and heard.
4. Find your centre (remember it's different for everyone) then visualise yourself there.
It’s my heart for me. Dropping my awareness down from my head into my heart brings me a sense of peace and calm.
5. Become the observer of your emotions from your centre.
I watch the light in my heart and the churning in my stomach, becoming aware that it isn’t really as strong a sensation now.
6. Breathe - slow down, this allows your body to surrender to the feelings.
Using long, slow, deep breathing in and sighing out instantly calms my body.
7. Surrender. By saying I don't know how to love this pain or feel this anger, it’s letting the soul/higher power step in and support you so you can feel the emotion and release it. Then go on to say it's at times like this I need more love/guidance - again asking for help. Asking for guidance then listening and acting on what we hear is surrendering, letting the universe take over and show us the way.
So instead of getting angry or upset by the fear I start writing down my thoughts and feelings, that this isn’t how I want to feel and that I don’t know how I should deal with it. And the answers just start writing themselves, that the fear isn’t real, it’s my ego trying to protect me from potential rejection or from becoming more successful than it thinks I deserve. My ego isn’t my true self, so feel it and let it go.
When I heard this advice, it was one of those ah-ha, lightbulb switching on type of moments. This whole time I’ve been over thinking it, and that’s the exact opposite of surrendering. The over thinking was a form of fighting, not surrendering.
By the time I’ve gone through all the steps the fear has gone and I’m back to feeling excited about what the future might hold. I will not let my fears hold me back, not when my intuition has given me so many signs and opportunities over and over again.
I learnt how to surrender my negative emotions and stop them from controlling me or deciding my action. I’m not under any illusion I’ll get it right every time, I’m human after all. But now I feel like I have the tools to be able to say to fear - “I see you. I feel you. But so what?”
How do you feel about the concept of surrender?