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Can You Surrender Without Giving Up?

photo: Creative Ignition on flickr

photo: Creative Ignition on flickr

Dear Meli,

A word I hear a lot in spiritual circles is “surrender,” especially in relation to surrendering to a Higher Power. I have a hard time with this concept. “Surrender,” to me, sounds to me giving up. What is your experience with this?

Suspicious of Surrender


Dear Suspicious,

This is an ongoing conversation I’ve had with many a client! It’s a beautiful thing to surrender to a greater power, when it truly is surrendering. And yet, giving up is altogether is another (and far less blissful) experience!

In those conversation with clients, another topic is how much do we create our reality? If we create our whole reality, what’s to surrender? And to whom do we surrender it?

Here’s my thinking on this.

We “create our life” to a very powerful degree. Have you ever met someone who thinks they’re not worthy or good? Or someone who believes that the world is always out to get them? Ever notice how it seems like it’s true? Like the person who thinks the world is out to get them really does have more than the average share of difficulties or tragedies? I have noticed this over and again!

However, even the most confident and self-assured spiritual warrior – you know, the one who knows they deserve good and typically draw good to themselves – has had stuff happen in life. Every one of us faces challenges and difficulty. Life has pain in it. For anyone and everyone.

But it doesn’t have to have suffering! Pain and suffering are not synonymous.

I personally believe that life’s challenges are for our soul’s good. We are here to evolve and grow, and challenges help us to do this.

But when we can allow ourselves to truly surrender – to abstain from resisting what’s happening and simply allow it to be what it is – there is not suffering together with the pain.

If you’ve ever exercised and pushed yourself, you’ve experienced this phenomenon. When you set your mind with determination, the pain is something to push through rather than something to collapse into. It completely changes the experience of the pain.

My own experience of the spiritual path is that I am filled with happiness, contentment, and peace when I am able to surrender.

Giving up is letting go, unhappily, of a dream I had. I experience it as a failure, and feel sad. Surrender is leaning in to what is. I experience this as freedom, and I feel great peace from it.

My life is a continual balance between two spiritual practices:

1) Gratitude – Feeling grateful for all that I dream of being, doing, or having…as if I am already experiencing it. And…

2) Surrender – Accepting what is, in every aspect of myself and my life – right now.

For me, the dance between these two practices makes for a beautiful life, filled with grace and ever-expanding good.

May your good continue to expand!

Blessings and Love to you in all you do,

Meli

What is your experience with surrender? Share your comments below!

Have a question for Meli? Interested in a private session (in person or Skype)? Contact her at meli@ohmygodlife.com

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6 Responses to Can You Surrender Without Giving Up?

  1. Megan May 17, 2016 at 10:37 am #

    This is really good timing for me right now. Thank you!! :)

    • Melissa Phillippe May 17, 2016 at 10:54 am #

      You’re welcome! :) Good timing is always a good thing!! :)

  2. Tom May 17, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    Wow. I needed to hear this right now. I have struggled with the difference between surrender and giving up for a long time. I appreciate your take on it!

    • Melissa Phillippe May 17, 2016 at 10:53 am #

      Yay! Glad you liked it. :) The whole topic of surrender is definitely packed with all kinds of wonderful opportunities for growth. I send you love and blessings as continue to explore this rich territory! :)

  3. Sam May 17, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder that “I need to let go and surrender”. This was my second reminder of that today, so I think I will stop laughing now and simple “let go and enjoy the ride”!!!
    Peace, Sam

  4. River May 17, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

    Hi Meli,
    How about an article on HOW to surrender and NOT take it back? (Aren’t questions so revealing? LOL)
    Much love to you both,
    River

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