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Surrendering as Action

“Surrendering is action. Surrendering to what you can’t control is the most powerful form of action.” Time to quit

Surrender is not the same as quitting. Sometimes, quitting can be appropriate. Sometimes surrendering is appropriate. They are not, however, the same thing.

Quitting means, stopping. If I smoked and I stopped… then I quit. If I am in an unhappy relationship and I tell the person that I want to break up, I am quitting. If I’m on a diet and I decide that it’s too hard and start eating the way I did, pre-diet, then I quit my diet.

Surrender, on the other hand is an acknowledgement that my way isn’t working. That whatever I was trying to do, in the way I was trying to do it, isn’t effective. Maybe the goal was too lofty or incorrect. Maybe the goal wasn’t logical or ethical.

Surrender may led to quitting, but often, true surrender leads to an acknowledgement that MY ego, MY will, MY, MY, MY… isn’t the only way. It leads to a new way of looking at things. A new approach.

As I’ve mentioned before, my parents were alcoholics. For so long, I thought I had to be strong, smart, ‘right’. That I had to control everything (honestly… I still fight this battle). But I didn’t get the peace of mind or sense of serenity I longed for, until I surrendered. Until I learned that my will isn’t ‘right’ and my way isn’t the only way…not until then, did I find happiness.

As an example, I stayed in a job much longer than I should have. Had I surrendered, acknowledged that the job wasn’t right, I would have benefited greatly. Instead I just stayed and stayed and ultimately, was let go.

Big changes are ahead for me in the near future. I wonder if I’ve learned to surrender. I’ll let you know how it’s going.

Photo credit: I surrender, 39 days old Jessicafm

2 Responses
  • Carl Hoffman
    April 24, 2015

    You rang my bell when you mentioned the word surrender. I always called the decision for my occupation as “Surrender to Preach.” I planned to be an engineer. I prepared for that in high school and was an engineering major for my first two years in college. Looking back 45 years surrender was the right decision for me. As an engineering student I was in the slide rule days not personal computers. Many of my coleagues in college eventually left engineering and went into management. Most of my career was leading capital campaigns in churches for building projects. I was the first person to raise $100 million with churches of my denomination. They put my face on a page and a half of a national publication. After I burned out I surrendered again and quit and took 9 months off to recover and spend my remaining 7.5 years as a pastor. Now I get heart warming personal messages for my YouTube videos. I have to thank pioneers like your daughter for inspiration. Finding your wit and wisdom was a stoke of good fortune for me as I have faced retirement. Thank you for helping me adjust to my change. I hope more people would read your blog.

  • Deborah
    April 26, 2015

    It’s interesting that you wanted to be an engineer. I wonder how the engineer in you manifested itself.. then you told me. Capital campaigns for buildings!
    Go Carl Go!

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