Have you ever grappled with the concept of surrendering in love? Theoretically it sounds blissful doesn’t it?
Especially in the beginning of a relationship, it feels good to give way to something bigger than us.
But if you’ve ever had lots of conflict in your relationship, surrender can sound like a losing proposition. It implies giving in, giving up, or losing ground.
From a stance of opposition, surrender feels like giving power to your enemy and handing over everything you have been fighting for.
But if we look at surrender as an act of freeing up our energy, rather than giving up, it becomes an empowering shift in consciousness.
Surrender is only letting go of what we can’t control. It is the recognition of our own limits of power over others, and the ownership of our only true sphere of influence: Ourselves.
Looked at in this way, surrender in relationships becomes a powerful way to meet life squarely with clarity, fearlessness, and peace.
Surrender in Relationships: What it really is
When thinking about surrender as a way to cope, couples in conflict ask: Am I just supposed to accept things that are not acceptable? Just give up on everything I want in a relationship?
The answer is no. Not in the least.
Healthy, spiritually-evolved surrender is not giving up your life dreams. It is not reactive. It is not an action you take within the paradigm of “positionality.” In fact, it is not an action at all.
Surrender is a state of mind. It is a way of receiving and processing the situations that arise in your relationship. From a place of surrender, it is perfectly possible to say “no” to your partner AND be in a state of complete inner nonresistance at the same time.
You always have the power to decide what you will, or will not, engage in. And this power comes from a place of complete presence and choice.
Surrender is, most simply put, the release of the entire mental-emotional energy field inside you that is fighting for power. It is letting go of your identification with a mental position. This means letting go not only of your partner’s actions and choices, but also their perception of you.
The Benefits of Surrender
Once we get past the negative connotations of surrender that come from the paradigm of opposition and power struggles, we see that surrender has several benefits.
When we surrender, we get really good at:
Problem solving. A new space is created within our psyches to see options that we would not have seen before. It becomes easier to enter the “Us” place and work together constructively.
Releasing Judgement and Negativity. Think about it: If you cannot accept what is, you will judge, criticize, label, reject, or attempt to change your partner. And this of course only hurts your relationship.
Remaining Present. Without surrender, we turn people or encounters into a means to an end. But with surrender, we are fully present to what is. You will be open to your partner with a “beginner’s mind” and receive closeness that eluded you before.
Transcending Ego and Subconscious Programs. You will no longer react from your conditioned mind, but will respond to situations with your conscious intentions. You will not need your ego defenses any more.
Knowing our True Self. Surrender creates a deeper connection with our own true selves. This means following the guidance of our higher self, and a grounding in our life’s purpose.
Facilitating Positive Changes in the Relationship. This is the irony: transformation happens only after full acceptance.
How to Surrender in Relationships: 6 Ways to Full Acceptance without Losing Anything
Learning to surrender in relationships takes practice. It’s sort of like meditation. You can explain how to do it, but it is only learned through experience.
So take these as just pointers in the right direction, and try them out to see for yourself how it works for you!
1) Observe your defenses. Notice how defensive you become when your position is attacked. Feel the force of your own aggression as you challenge your partner’s viewpoint. Observe the attachment to your opinions and the mental-emotional energy behind your need to be right. This is your ego and will prevent surrender.
2) Drop your own reaction. Try it just to see what happens. You can view it as an experiment. What will happen if you let go of your default response? What will you lose (or gain)?
3) Give up preconceptions of your partner while still remaining committed. You may “know” your partner from experience, but try viewing them with new eyes.When you change, they may change too.
4) Be willing to be vulnerable. In truth, you have nothing to lose. There is no shame in anything you have to show. This requires acceptance and love of yourself.
5) Commit to radical acceptance. Fully embrace what is. Love whatever it is that you cannot control. Embrace it as a gift, a lesson, an opportunity to learn new ways of responding. Have trouble with this? Fake it till you make it!
6) Create space in your mind. Practice entering a place of actionless activity and alertness. Meditate. Pray. When faced with a challenge, take a stance of wondering: How will I get through this? How will this resolve? Create the space of possibility to find those answers. From a place of surrender, they will come.
This is advanced work! But once these mental shifts have been made, you are in such a strong place to exercise your power and your choices.
The benefits come from living these tenets. Once you experience true surrender, you will be able to channel the energy that would have been spent on things beyond your control.
It’s harder said than done. But worth it 🙂
I’d love to hear from you. Which of the steps above do you find most challenging? Have you found other ways to surrender that work for you? Please share, I read all comments!