Have you ever felt the turmoil and conflict within while you were trying to make a decision about an intimate relationship? You might have been struggling between the feelings of love and the thoughts of fear. You might have been asking yourself, “Is this the right relationship for me?” Is this person the “ONE”? Do I feel safe and can I trust this person to SHOW UP?”
I have coached many individuals and couples who have found themselves at this perilous position in their lives grappling with this scenario. I also faced this same dilemma many years ago.
It was April of 2008 and I was involved in an intimate relationship with a woman whom I was very much in love with. We were experiencing tremendous challenges and I knew there was something missing. As I was searching for the answer I discovered it in the words of Eckhart Toole’s book, “A New Earth.”
When I read the section about “surrender,” it all made sense to me. I knew I needed to surrender my own stuff. I had to challenge myself to be present in order to see if we could stay on the path and cross the bridge together. My decision to surrender was one of the most growth promoting and wonderfully freeing experiences of my life.
Naturally, I began my journey of understanding by seeking the advice of someone with infinite knowledge of the English language, Mr. Noah Webster. I was not a very attentive student in my English classes during my years in high school.
I learned that surrender is a transitive verb, what ever that means. Here are the definitions I discovered. “To yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand -surrendered the fort. To give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another. To give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner. To give (oneself) over to something (as an influence) intransitive verb. To give oneself up into the power of another.”
When I think about the word surrender the first image that comes to mind is a person waving a white flag. I visualize a solider with a sad, tired look on their face feeling the pain of defeat and lose. We think of surrender in a negative connotation, like failure or as the act of giving our power away or giving in to someone else.
With all due respect to Mr. Webster, I would like to add a new definition to the word surrender. This new meaning is in regards to how we SHOW UP for ourselves and others in our relationships. I believe it is critical for our growth to be flexible and strive to look at life from new perspectives. With that being said, I would like to ask you to be open, curious, reflexive and adaptive and allow me to present a new way to achieve success in your relationships.
The white flag we wave signals us surrendering to ourselves. It represents the beginning of our inner healing by changing long held disempowering beliefs. Surrendering is not an external act of giving up; it is not defeat, failure or associated with anything negative. It is simply letting go of the pain of the past and the anxiety of the future. It is making a conscious choice to adopt a new language that defines how we attach meanings in the moment.
In Part 2, I will go into depth to explain how the conscious act of surrendering can set you free to embrace the beauty of the present moment and create safely, love and joy in your relationships.