Surrendering To Resistance

feet in stream

Surrendering is not defeat. Surrendering is not giving up. Surrendering is ‘allowing’ in
the moment. When we let go of struggle, and allow ourselves to just be where we are, we find more peace and more balance in ourselves and our lives.

Each day, and more specifically each moment, we have an opportunity to practice
the art of surrendering. Whether we are late for an appointment, waiting for a
train, feeling overwhelmed by life, or holding onto a relationship because we don’t want it to end, we have a choice. We hit a fork in the road. Can we let go of controlling everything?

Which way will we choose?
What are we resisting and wanting to hold onto?
Why does it become so hard to let it go?

I find that working with clients in my private practice, asking people to let go of what they want to hold onto most, brings up anxiety and fear. In a relationship for example, if they were to let go, would there be any relationship left? Would the other person show up? Would they even notice? Learning how to let go with grace and ease can serve us forever. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a daily, moment to moment, practice.

We can either choose to follow that impulse of frustration, aggravation, or
pushing back, or we could let go, take a conscious deep breath, and surrender.
The purpose is not to fully eliminate the aggravating or frustrating feeling,
but to slow things down and allow ourselves to feel more centered and
calm. Even if the feelings don’t go away, we have a choice in the moment to
breathe and notice or not. We don’t have to get it right or perfect.

Imagine a stream flowing down. When we imagine going WITH the current as opposed to AGAINST it, it becomes a lot easier to feel more calm and ease. So much of what we want is downstream – a teacher once told me. If we were to let go, and allow the stream to carry us, good things are waiting. If we fight it, such as working so hard to keep a relationship together (when the other person isn’t doing much) is going up stream. If we gain courage and learn to let go and surrender to the resistance, we fall back into the flow.

In my private practice, I help my clients experience that their emotional
terrain is not bad or wrong. It just is. We work together to see if we can find
a way to slow things down in the moment, so that they aren’t dragged along by
their emotional world. So many people experiencing hard feelings such as anxiety of depression, tell me that they are afraid to feel the feelings. They are afraid to feel it because if they do, it will overwhelm and consume them. What I have witnessed and experienced time and time again, is that if we allow ourselves to feel what we are experiencing, no matter how difficult, the feelings pass or shift more quickly. Letting go into our emotional world, with support and guidance, can be the path to healing.

When you hit your fork in the road, which path will you choose?

At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.” – Maya Angelou

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