Why Surrender Is An Important Part Of The Healing Process
I’ve recently been discussing this subject with one of my clients and the theme of surrender is a persistent one…what does it really mean to surrender, how does this help us to heal and why is it so damn hard!? Let’s start with the basics…
What is surrendering?
Well firstly let’s thrash out what it is not!
It’s not giving up.
It’s not being weak.
It’s not giving your power to someone else.
We hear the word surrender and assume it means defeat. In the world of spiritual and personal growth it means quite the opposite. In fact in order to do it, not only must you have courage but you have to access every last ounce of faith and trust you can muster.
Because you are being led into unknown territory and that evokes fear and fear is the domain for the ego!
What does surrendering have to do with the ego?
Quite a lot actually. Ego can be responsible for the part of us that creates fear and can fuel the inner critic…
“You can’t do that! You’re not good enough. Don’t speak up, no-one will listen…”
We can all identify with some of the above right? You might have thought it or felt it, but here’s the thing - the ego is only interested in your survival and will use every trick in the book to keep you safe.
If you’re scared, nervous or worried about something - your ego sees this as a potential threat. You’re sending physiological signals to the brain that trigger it. So even when there may be no real threat - for example getting up to speak in a room full of people isn’t life threatening - your ego can’t tell the difference between that and being attacked. Please don’t take this as a literal example because it’s not, but the point is, if you feel fearful, regardless of the situation your ego will act as if there is a real threat. So by surrendering we are detaching ourselves from our ego, letting go of habitual thought patterns and defence mechanisms and opening up to our thoughts and feelings in an authentic, present and healing way.
How does surrendering help the healing process?
When we think about healing, we think about what we need to do to feel better. The focus becomes about change and transition, growth and solutions. And whilst these are all relevant we are missing the first step.
We have to accept where we are now, right now. We have to feel the feelings we buried, cry the tears we choked back and say the words we silenced within ourselves. In a recent email I sent to one of my clients, I channeled this message:
Basically, surrendering helps us to get out of our own way…
It is our denial, our defences and coping mechanisms that prevent us from dealing with emotional pain.
How do I surrender?
You have to find a neutral space within your mind where you become ‘undefended’ and don’t try to change or transform anything or shift the feeling or experience.
If you find yourself being judgemental in anyway, try to be more curious instead. This is a simple mindset technique that helps you to be more open-minded and inclusive. Don’t isolate or separate yourself, be curious about how you feel.
Trust that the experience is bringing you an important message or teaching. As a human being you will make mistakes. Every mistake you make will teach you something and arguably something you needed to know before you get it right. If you’re steering the boat in the wrong direction, you need to accept that without shame, guilt or judgement and think about what you’ve learned because of your misdirection.
Cultivate belief - as much as possible! Belief in the bigger picture. Belief in things working out in the long-run. Belief in yourself, your strengths, your path and purpose. Belief in a benevolent universe.
Allow yourself to be guided, helped, assisted and supported. Surrender is as much about recognising you need to receive help and support from others and not feel you have to do everything single-handedly. Let go where you can and take the pressure off yourself. Not only will you benefit, but those around you will too.
You’re not supposed to have all the answers all of the time. Or push, strive or forcefully act to get the results you want or to make the healing process faster. Sometimes you need to take action yes, but sometimes you need to step back and create some room for the answers to come to you.