Have you noticed that life goes more smoothly when you let go of control and stop trying to micromanage everything and everyone? The moment you mentally drop to your knees and utter “I surrender” maybe even shaking your fists at the sky, the pieces suddenly come together more brilliantly than you ever could have plotted, planned or predicted. It’s those life lessons that fill me with humility and gratitude and the point was driven home for me once agin this week.
I was scheduled to be giving a workshop in Tucson this week but due to an abnormal lack of sign ups, I cancelled the trip. When not one person registered, I recognized it as a clear sign and surrendered to a higher wisdom. The reason would be revealed in time and I let go of my personal disappointment. That reason showed up two days ago in two different forms. The first, being an urgent case that couldn’t have waited and the second a hurricane named Odile. Odile, now a tropical storm is dumping torrential rain over Southern Arizona bringing flashflood warnings throughout the Tucson area. Since I would have been driving alone, well, you get the picture.
As soon as I realized that no matter how hard I pushed and tried to hammer the pieces into place the workshop was not meant to be and I surrendered. I didn’t give up, I merely laid down the hammer, realizing I would eventually see the divine wisdom at work. Giving up would involve taking it personally and deciding I was a failure and my workshop a complete flop, a monumental difference in attitude.
Learning to surrender, requires first understanding the human need for control.
We attempt to control because we tell ourselves stories about what will happen if we don’t. Fear is in control, not us. The great irony here is that the more anxious and controlling you become, the easier it is for others to perceive your insecurity.
We are attached to a specific outcome because we are sure we know what’s best for us. Oh the stories I’ve heard about the blessing of not getting what you wanted. If you’ve ever shouted “Hallelujah” regarding a job or relationship that didn’t come to pass, you know first hand the relief of missed opportunities.
We are afraid of what others think. Getting caught up in appearances and the opinions of others is the expressway to controlville. Attempting to force an outcome because of how we might appear to others isn’t worth the inordinate amount energy that goes into “saving face.”
We believe that controlling other people will keep us from getting hurt. Life hurts. Loving and letting go hurts. The only person you have actual control over is yourself.
We’ve lost trust in the divine. Planning and producing are good, as long we remember there is a wisdom far greater than ours willing to steer the ship when we let go of the wheel. Oftentimes when things seem to be falling apart, they are actually falling together.
We’re not driving in our own lane. Most of us spend too much time in business that doesn’t belong to us. Adult children, friends, spouses, siblings are walking on their own path and learning their own life lessons. I love the saying “just because someone is on a different path than you, doesn’t mean they are lost.”
The best reason to surrender is the immediate sense of relief it brings and the miracles that follow. The best part is you don’t have to wait until you’re hurting so badly surrender is the only option.