What is Surrender?

Today’s post is an answer to a common question: What is surrender?

It makes sense that we have a hard time grasping this concept–in a culture that exalts goal-setting, progress, and success, surrender doesn’t make much sense.

Eckhart Tolle defines it this way: “Surrender is the simple yet profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life.

When we surrender, we learn to release our resistance to life, and create space for a Higher Power to flow into the reality of what is.

In this space, we gain clarity. We understand where our efforts are best served. We use our willpower to change what is ours–our own heart, will, and voice.

Surrender doesn’t mean giving up, allowing ourselves to be taken advantage of, abused, or walked over.

Rather, it means we can hold healthy boundaries from a place of integrity, because we have let go of the fears and attachments that keep us from standing up for ourselves.

We let go of our illusions, and stop contributing to the chaos. This definitive shift is the very essence of all spiritual practice.

As Eckhart Tolle says, “Until you practice surrender, the spiritual dimension is something you read about, talk about, get excited about, write books about, think about, believe in, or don’t…it makes no difference. Not until you surrender does it become a living reality in your life.

This continues to be true for me! Even as I spend much of my life teaching, writing, and learning about surrender, it is only in the actual practice applied to my own life where I experience the power of the Divine.

The body is one of my best tools of spiritual discernment. It alerts me to the fact that I am in a state of resistance. When I feel tightness, constriction, or misalignment in my body, it is an invitation to ask myself, “What am I holding on to? Is there something I need to surrender?” 

Surrender is a present-moment practice that gives us unprecedented access to the Divine.