The Energy of Surrender
What does it mean to surrender?
I think first of all, we need to explore what it doesn’t mean.
Surrender does not mean you have failed or given up. It’s a very different energy to that, although at the time it can perhaps feel as though you have.
Instead, to surrender is to stop resisting and find greater flow while being more present.
The word surrender has negative associations, such as historically waving a white flag to admit defeat and give yourself over to the enemy. It’s no wonder this has become a challenging energy to work with and embrace.
However, when you work with the energy of surrender, you are not giving yourself over to the enemy, but instead acknowledging where changes need to be made by limiting your resistance to a situation already playing out in front of you.
It doesn’t sound as bad when put that way, does it?
Why work with the energy of surrender?
Working with the energy of surrender can be powerful stuff. It may seem that by doing so, you are giving your power away, but in fact you are taking your power back.
To explore this further, we must look at an opposing energy - resistance.
What is resistance?
We have all felt resistance. It’s when you are pushing up against the flow and feeling the friction building up as a result.
Resistance can show up in many ways, such as:
- Avoiding what is good for you
- Reluctance to adapt to change
- Being unwilling to move or adjust
- Struggling to see the benefits of a situation
- Stubbornness and inflexibility
- Overwhelm, discomfort and frustration
When you resist, you need more energy and focus to stay where you are. It’s exhausting and draining.
Why do we resist?
If resistance is so energetically draining and bad for us, then why do we do it?
Well, it’s got a lot to do with being human.
Resistance is connected to a primitive defence mechanism designed to keep you safe.
By resisting challenge, change, new things and difficult stuff, you reduce the chance of being disappointed and dealing with the consequences if things don’t work out as planned. These are the modern day reasons for resistance, but in the past, resistance kept us away from danger, being eaten, or anything else that could lead to death. Things are not so black and white or life and death these days, and we need to fight against the primitive brain to navigate our modern world with greater ease.
Resistance is a big subject, and certainly one for another discussion, but for now let’s get back to our story of surrender.
Surrender, but don’t give up
We have all had those moments in life where we throw our hands in the air exclaiming “I give up”. . This is a version of surrender, but it’s done without any control. As a Leo Sun, I tend to gravitate towards the drama of this kind of outburst, and it has been responsible for some rash decisions in the past.
The problem is, when you ‘give up’ in this way, you hand all your power over and lose any control over the outcome of the situation. Giving up is defeat. It’s waving the white flag and waiting for the enemy.
But surrender, that’s different.
To surrender in a situation, instead, you choose to stop resisting, which is energetically draining or damaging, and instead you tune into the energy of the situation and find your flow.
How to surrender without giving up
Let’s say you have a situation in your life right now which is hard, uncomfortable, draining and potentially damaging to your mental health, wellbeing and relationships.
We have all been there, and we will all be there again. It’s part of the human experience.
There is something you always have in your favour in these situations, and that’s the power to choose how you react. It’s the one thing that no one can take away from you. Everything else is out of your control.
As you resist a situation, you push against unknown factors controlled by other people and connected to other situations which you also have no control over.
Soon, that resistance starts showing in your life as frustration and perhaps anger. It may create anxiety, overwhelm or even depression. The resistance to the situation continues to fuel and power these negative experiences, making it harder to deal with what’s really happening.
Now imagine looking at the situation and identifying the parts you have control over. By looking at only your reactions and actions, you are no longer looking at the full overwhelming series of events, but instead just one small part. The part you can deal with.
The problem or situation still exists, but now it is no longer weighing you down, as though every part is your responsibility. Instead, you are focused on the only part where you can make an impact, and that’s your reactions and actions.
This is a form of surrender.
The acceptance that you can’t control it all, that pushing against external forces won’t make a difference, and the realisation that the only thing in your control is your reactions to the situations and actions you take to deal with it.
The energy of surrender is acceptance
Learning to surrender to what you can’t control provides acceptance of a situation which may not be ideal, but will make dealing with things much easier.
Acceptance is powerful. It is when resistance is no longer in control. You have taken back your power by focusing only on what you can deal with - your reactions and actions.
Surrender takes practice
I’m not going to pretend that surrendering is easy. In fact, you will find times when you resist the process and remain as you are.
As with any skill, surrender takes practice, so start with small things and build up.
As you go through your day, notice where things come up for you that you can’t control. It can be something like the way someone spoke to you or what’s going on in the world.
Notice how you react to these situations, and consider what would be the better direction. How can you remove resistance, improve flow, and only work with the things you can control - your reactions and actions.
By practising the small stuff, you are training yourself for the bigger challenges when they come along.
My recent small surrender
Let me give you an example of a recent surrender in my life.
So, I’m an astrologer and Moon mentor. I teach people how to use the lunar cycles for personal growth and self-development.
During the recent new Moon solar eclipse in Scorpio, I had great plans to spend the day with my Tarot cards and journal, exploring the energies, setting my intentions and tuning in to the solar eclipse guidance.
On the day of the New Moon, the energy felt heavy. I’d had a bad night's sleep and crazy dreams, which left me feeling drained, unmotivated and lethargic.
Instead of fighting against the energy, trying to force myself to show up for my Moon practice while I was angry and frustrated at my lack of motivation, I surrendered.
I accepted that things were not going to happen in the way I’d planned.
I understood that the energy influencing my lethargy and desire to cocoon on the sofa wasn’t something I could control.
I made peace with the fact that my lunar practice didn’t have to happen in that moment, and that it was okay to return to it later than day or even the day after.
I surrendered to the unseen force that was influencing my abilities to do what I’d planned, and gave myself the space and time to go with the flow.
A warning about surrender
Surrender is not a get out of jail free card.
What I mean by that is that it’s not to be used as an excuse to avoid the hard stuff.
During our lives, we have to work through challenges, do difficult stuff, and spend time in periods of discomfort.
Surrender should not be confused with your comfort zone. And surrender should never be a reason to not take responsibility for the things that you need to do in your life.
So, use surrender wisely. It is a skill which can support you during challenging times, but if you use it as an excuse to avoid the tough stuff then it will eventually bite you on the ass.
Hi, I'm Sarah...
..astrologer, artist and life improvement enthusiast
I’m a big fan of using every tool available to create our best lives. It’s not always easy to see life’s challenges as opportunities, but as we learn to tune in to our own needs, explore our behaviours and make better future decisions, it becomes possible to craft an amazing journey for ourselves and those around us. My goal is to help you explore your own life, habits and behaviours in a way that can benefit you and those around you.
If you loved this article, then you’re going to love Cosmic Cuppa, my Monday morning motivational emails, where I share a peek behind the scenes of my own life and how I use astrology, at and self-development to explore ways to show up and be better every day. I also send a digest of my weekly blog articles every Thursday.