Most of us think of surrender in negative terms.  It’s associated with loss, loss of sovereignty, loss of control, loss of the goal we were striving for, possibly loss of dignity, loss of self-esteem.  Surrender is something we see mostly in terms of conflict: war, politics, rivalries, and business.  People try to dress is up when they talk about it in spiritual terms.  Any time the subject of surrender comes up it’s not about loss, it’s about release.  “Let go” of this, that or the other.  Detach and let someone else do the doing, think the thoughts, be in control.  You’re doing it wrong.  Stop doing and surrender to whatever fuzzy wuzzy is supporting you in…whatever.

But surrender isn’t that black and white.  Unless it’s in the history written by the victors or in movies/tv/novels.  Because drama needs to the contrasts heightened.  We need the good guys to wear white hats and the bad guys to were black.  Beige isn’t allowed, grey means they are a bystander, a background person to be ignored other than as a way for us to understand who we are supposed to react to what the black/white hats are doing.  It’s like the background music, the grey/beige hats tell us how to feel.

Surrender is actually an active thing.  It’s participatory and isn’t about giving up control or free will. It’s about giving up whatever action or thought or emotion we are using to keep us out of harmony with the reality around us.  Surrender asks us to stop acting against our own self-interest, to stop acting against all the things in the world that would propel us towards our best and highest self even if it doesn’t seem like that in the short term.  Surrender asks us, not to become passive and submit, but to become active in what is going on around us.  To listen actively, to set aside our preconceived notions and needs and agenda.  Surrender asks us to come alive, not lay down our lives.  It asks us to engage not disconnect.

Surrender is about being a leaf on the wind, not trying to control the forces around us, but actively participating in them.