The Spectrum of Surrender

I know most spiritual teachers talk a lot about the power of surrender – and there absolutely is a lot of truth to that.  The most compelling story I have ever heard of its power is documented in the book The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer, also author of The Untethered Soul.  He shares about making the decision in his 20’s to surrender to whatever life brings his way and the amazingly rich, prosperous scenario that brought forth (albeit not without challenges).  On a more personal front, as a long-term member of 12-step recovery, I am of course counseled to daily, even minute-by-minute “turn by will and my life over to God as I understand Him.”  I do try to do that, supported either by the 3rd step prayer or a Sufi body prayer; some days both.  My favorite line in the 3rd step prayer is “relieve me of the bondage of self.”  It’s as though my body automatically lets out a deep exhale whenever I say those words.  

But I don’t want this to sound as though I have this process down, because I don’t.  The last couple months have been challenging, largely because, for any number of reasons,  I have been forcing my own will.  The biggest ones are fear, wanting to get my way instead of being focused on service, and trying to get my needs of being seen and valued met…although rather unskillfully.  Why have I been doing this?  Largely because I haven’t been connected to and trusting God, my Higher Self, or even Universal Flow.  Somehow I think I can change those currents all by myself.  

That’s all because I haven’t been taking the time to go within.  The good thing about these last couple months, especially the last couple weeks, is they have brought enough discomfort and pain that I have finally gotten back to a regular routine of spiritual practice that at least includes daily inspirational readings and 20 minutes of meditation.  I often supplement that with my grounding exercise, prayer, and journaling as well.  It takes all of that for me to keep my center regardless of what is going on within and/or around me, which is what I believe is the greatest calling each and every one of us has.

The other thing that allows me to center is to at least move into co-creation if I can’t get to absolute surrender.  Co-creation is also known as the power of intention or the law of attraction.  It is getting clear about my needs and desires without attachment as to what form they are met in, even whether or not they are met.  It is not absolute surrender, which often is considered to not even leave space for one’s preferences or desires.  Nor is it forcing one’s will, which often has us missing out on any synchronicity or higher guidance, therefore feeling as though we are pushing a boulder uphill, alone.  I may be using this to justify that I am still not in absolute surrender, but it feels to me as though this is what the Buddha called “the middle path.”  For now, it is the one I choose to follow.