Have We Misplaced Surrender?

What is surrender?

When you hear the word, do you cringe – even a little? Surrender is often associated with humiliation. Because war is central to how we too often view life, when we think surrender, we usually think of a defeat and a humiliation. We can too often be defeated even when we are right by forces with greater power of one kind or another.

Definition Of Surrender

According to dictionary.com, surrender is

to yield (something) to the possession or power of another; deliver up possession of on demand or under duress:to surrender the fort to the enemy; to surrender the stolen goods to the police.
to give (oneself) up, as to the police.
to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.:He surrendered himself to a life of hardship.
to give up, abandon, or relinquish (comfort, hope, etc.).
to yield or resign (an office, privilege, etc.) in favor of another.
The loss we have experienced by making war central to how we view life is enormous. It is also why we cannot access real and healthy surrender. It is costing us everything.

What Have We Lost?

To function well, we need to be aware of what is happening around us, what we feel, what we think, and what the moment is asking of us. We need to be curious and open to our environment. It means that we connect to the world in the spirit of friendship and possibility, not defensiveness.

Right now, the aggression and conflict in the human world is so great that we are not able to engage in such an open and welcoming way with each other. Without being pollyannish about it, would it not serve us well to consider a friendlier approach to each other and life?

What Is Healthy Surrender?

If a war-like world makes curiosity and friendliness unhelpful, what would our lives be like if we changed that? What does it look like when we structure our world to support curiosity, friendliness, and collaboration?

Healthy surrender means that we connect with reality. When I say reality, I do not mean mindset. Reality is the natural world, circadian processes, a natural process of connecting with others and solving problems that has space for discovery, curiosity, imagination, creativity, and respect rather than the cynicism that is so prevalent. Reality is life cycles, the welcoming and accepting of differences that we know make nature so magical and rich. Perhaps we could invite some of that richness in us to the table.

Without healthy surrender, we cannot fully engage with life. As a result, we cannot work together and solve our problems together. That is a huge loss and one we have to rectify. How beautiful it would be if we did!

Photo by Yannick Apollon on Unsplash

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