No, I’m not talking about the white flag kind of surrender, either.
I’m talking about the spiritual kind.
I’ve been studying spiritual teachings like the Law of Attraction (LOA) and similar perspectives for a while now, and I’ve discovered some important things about the role of surrender. Surrender is all about allowing yourself to flow with the intentions of the Universe/God.
If you’re like me, you’ve spent most if not all of your life struggling, straining and striving – not surrendering.
Want a raise or promotion? Work harder and for longer hours. Want to finish that novel? Sit in front of that laptop until your butt aches, even if inspiration isn’t coming. Want straight As in school? Study so hard and reduce your sleep so much that you end up with Mono and the flu two weeks before your final exams your freshman year of college.
*clears throat* Yep, that was me.
Straining and striving is hard. Like, really hard. But many of us have been taught that it’s the only way to succeed. Even though it makes you freaking miserable and exhausted.
Yet if you subscribe to the LOA, you believe you can manifest things by focusing on them with positive energy. Of course, it’s deeper than that.
The Universe/God/Source is always trying to give us what we want. That higher power supports us at all times, loving us unconditionally no matter what we do. The thing is, we have more power than we realize. If you focus negatively or try to live your life by forcing things to happen, then that is the vibration that will be sent out into the ethers. That vibration is the one that will be mirrored back. And that vibration does not carry the happy manifestations that you want.
It just doesn’t.
Let me site a couple of surrender examples.
The first is an example from the amazing spiritual teacher, speaker, author and singer/songwriter Rikka Zimmerman. If you’ve watched Rikka’s Facebook live videos or YouTube channel, you already know that she’s a living miracle. If you haven’t checked out her website or the social media listed above, I recommend you give her a try.
Back in 2015, Rikka was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer throughout her body. She had tumors growing in several vital areas including her brain, spine, and liver. When most people receive the kind of news Rikka did, they begin to put their affairs together. They believe they have just been given a death sentence.
But, Rikka, being who she is, didn’t believe that. She believed she could heal herself.
Oh, this is one of those, ‘she healed herself stories like it was magic,’ you may be thinking.
Let me stop you right there. Because this is something different.
Yes, Rikka believed she could heal herself. But when she tried, the tumors grew larger.
Now, this is a lady who has spent much of her life devoted to her spirituality. She teaches hundreds of people how to get in touch with their spiritual side every year. She even teaches courses which enable others to become spiritual teachers themselves. So when she began to fail at healing herself, she became understandably upset.
So she tried harder. She meditated for hours each day focusing on shrinking and erasing all those tumors. She did every spiritual technique and procedure she knew of, thinking she could do it. She said, “Come on, God. We can get rid of this.”
But about two weeks in, her medical condition had only worsened. Thinking that she was going to die no matter what she did, Rikka let herself grieve. She sobbed uncontrollably for three days, and just let herself give in to her feelings. She stopped trying to heal herself by forcing herself to focus on her condition. And something magical happened.
She understood that she’d been trying to heal herself by force. By straining and striving. She realized that she needed to surrender and let God do the healing. She had to quit trying to control her circumstances. She had to release her need to do something. She had to surrender and give in.
That may sound fatalistic, but it was the key to unlocking her real power. Notice, I didn’t say Rikka gave up – I said gave in. She stopped trying to do everything and let herself be. She relaxed, which allowed inspiration and understanding to flow in. She found just the right doctor at the right time. She found one of only a handful of doctors able to do this brand new experimental treatment.
All through the power of surrender.
Was going through this cancer treatement horrible and painful?
But her tumors began to shrink. And in two months, they were gone.
That’s right. Gone!
Many medical professionals might’ve concluded that she was not going to make it. But she did. Because she gave in and went with the flow. She grieved. She felt extreme sorrow and despair. And she allowed those negative, hard and resistant energies to leave her.
When I first heard Rikka tell that story, not only did I get tears in my eyes, I got goose bumps.
Have you ever felt a zip of energy go through your body when you hear something you know – you KNOW – is the truth? It’s not always explainable, either.
The second example I’d like to site is a personal one.
Now please know in advance that I am no guru or expert. I’m still working to improve my life in many areas and will probably never claim to be completely enlightened. But I do know that miracles can happen and that the spiritual realm – while invisible, can be felt.
Several years ago – long before I was introduced to the spiritual teachings I’m now actively exploring – I had a friend who was going through a divorce. We used to work in the same office side by side, but the company we worked for at the time had asked her to run another office and promoted me to the manager of the one we’d worked in together.
I’ve never seen anyone go through a divorce and not have a hard time, but my friend really had a rough time. Everything seemed to go against her. Once in the middle of the work day the thought of her popped randomly into my mind. I had this strange cold feeling all over – and it didn’t feel good.
I’d never felt it before and haven’t felt it since, but I knew something was very wrong.
I called her to check on her and discovered that she was in a very dark place. She was wondering if life was even worth living anymore. I was able to talk to her and make her feel better, and quite a while later after getting off the phone I felt confident she wouldn’t do anything rash.
But if I hadn’t responded to that weird cold feeling and acted on it, I’m not sure what would’ve happened.
Now maybe you think I was overreacting. Maybe nothing would’ve happened. Maybe she would’ve been fine even if I hadn’t called her – I even offered to go over to her office at the time. But deep down I don’t think so.
I think allowing that feeling to guide me was my first experience with a spiritual form of surrender. And I didn’t even know it!
I think we are all connected both to the divine (God/the Universe/Source/whatever you wanna call it) and to each other.
Us being here on this planet is no accident. Hearing something and knowing that it’s the truth is no accident.
We all have intuition. We all know, if we really pay attention, when an undeniable truth is being spoken. We know it down to our bones. We know it in our gut.
I used to blow such things off or call them a coincidence. I’m now learning to surrender more to that divine guidance system. I now understand that there are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason.
That we don’t fully comprehend that reason doesn’t make it any less true.
And yes, I’ve struggled with that knowledge. Knowing something intellectually and actually believing it are often two very different things. But if we accept that our feelings can guide us, we can develop our sense of intuition more.
I personally believe that God speaks to us through our intuition. But we have to be willing to listen. We have to turn off the noise of the outer world and listen to our inner one. When something seemingly bad happens, we’ll do much better if we realize God is trying to show us clarity. There is a lesson in there for us somewhere – even if it’s painful.
Sometimes we manifest wonderful big things. Sometimes we manifest little things. And sometimes we manifest something we didn’t want at all. If we can let ourselves feel the pain, release it, and look for what that pain is there to teach us, we can have the life we really want. I truly believe that.
And I’m not saying that as someone who has achieved all their dreams. I’m struggling myself with a particular area of my own life. Yet, I know that the more I relax and know I’m supported and loved, the sooner that area – and any other areas of struggle – will be filled with a greater sense of ease. I will find my happy place, that happy life I’m after.
I just have to learn to trust God and go with the flow.
I was first introduced to the idea of surrender by Kelli Cooper’s fabulous podcast and blog. On the podcast I first heard her mention it, her husband Ryan Biddulph (who very kindly wrote a guest post right here on this blog!) was her “one and only” guest. Check out Kelli’s podcasts here and Ryan’s blog here.
Also, check out Rikka Zimmerman’s site here.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on surrender. Please leave them in the comments below! 🙂