Each year at this time I go back and review the year that’s just ending. I’m a devoted (addicted?) journaler so I’m reading back over the journal entries I made throughout 2016. Like most of us, it felt like 2016 was a struggle for me in a lot of ways. Yet we survived – and in some areas of life, perhaps even thrived.
One of the main themes that I’ve discovered in reviewing my year is surrender.
The word surrender doesn’t have the best connotation in our go-getter, make-things-happen culture. It sounds like giving up, becoming a victim of circumstance or being weak. It brings forth images of being conquered by life and waving the white flag. But that’s not the type of surrender I’m suggesting.
Instead, think of surrender as allowing yourself to go with the flow of your life, opening yourself to Divine guidance and being flexible. Rather than feeling powerless, surrendering empowers you by getting you to set your ego aside for the moment and acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers. Nor do you have to.
When you try to control everything, to micromanage each tiny aspect of your life, it doesn’t work. Instead of becoming happier and more successful, you get stressed out. You become inflexible, raging against each little part of The Plan that doesn’t line up in tidy rows. You feel ineffective and overwhelmed.
I say this as a recovering perfectionist myself.
When I used to begin my year by setting goals and making lists and preparing to check things off, I wasn’t as happy as I am now. Now that one of my mottos is “Go with the flow,” I choose a word of the year, set some intentions, and then allow my life to unfold organically.
Yes, I still have my goals and lists of associated tasks that will potentially help me get there – but I’m not attached to them. I update my goals as time passes, adapting them to what is actually going on in my life. My focus is on aligning myself with my inner wisdom and allowing it to guide me.
I surrender to the wisdom that I really don’t have all the answers. The best thing I can do is to set my intentions, listen to my intuition and take steps that feel aligned with those intentions.
That’s all any of us need to do, truly.
Your soul’s purpose in this life can be realized in many different ways. Surrendering to what arises will help you walk your path with much more joy and meaning.
When you try to direct each aspect of your experience you’re stifling some amazing possibilities that you hadn’t even thought of yet! The Universe is a vaster and more wondrous place than your conscious mind can comprehend. By surrendering to your deeper understanding, you are able to tap into the support and connection that is your birthright.
Still feeling skeptical? Start small. This year make an intention in one area of your life that feels constricted and then step back and see what happens. Listen to your inner wisdom and take baby steps that feel aligned. Surrender your need to organize and control how you get to your goal – just in this one area. See what happens next.
Surrender doesn’t need to be a word associated with failure or weakness. Instead, surrendering is a powerful tool for accessing Divine guidance and a sense of joy and wonder that will uplift your daily experience. Let go and embrace the flow of life’s ever-changing energies. Most important of all, allow yourself to enjoy the journey!