If you’re unfamiliar with the concept or if you need a refresher, here’s Google’s definition of surrender:
abandon oneself entirely to (a powerful emotion or influence); give in to.
Surrendering is a beautiful art that requires very little thinking and a lot of feeling.
It is the act of giving in to the feels – of having the feels, whether good or bad – and allowing them to course through you.
When I am feeling or in the moment, I get cues, like goosebumps, tears or overwhelming amounts of joy.
My body responds before I can realize what I am feeling.
For me, it is like a sense of relief, like dipping my feet into ocean water for the first time; it erupts all my senses at once.
Yet, here’s the irony of surrender: for a thinker like myself, this shit is incredibly hard.
I tend to think through things before I do them.
I tend to think first, and feel last.
So, when I know I should be surrendering, I try to force myself to surrender. Then I get frustrated when I can’t surrender. Then I start thinking there’s something wrong with my surrender button.
I get stuck in the overthinking hell of, “Why can’t I surrender?”
Here are a few tips from someone who resides in “overthinking hell” on the regular… and manages to get through it on the regular.
1. Journal or talk out your thoughts. If your mind is screaming at you that you need to surrender, there’s something deeper going on. Your mind is trying to help you with whatever is waiting to come out… it’s just not doing it so constructively. It’s just like when a friend gives you bad advice, though they mean well.
Talk to yourself. Journal out your thoughts. Talk with a close confidant. Often, once we let the thoughts strew out, our truth follows.
2. Soothe your mind. Let your thoughts have the voice they deserve. Whatever they’re trying to say, even if it’s just a story to keep you from hurting or being vulnerable, ease them with reassurance and love.
Remind your mind – yourself, really – you’ve got this. Everything is going to be okay.
3. Stop trying to set the scene. As a thinker, you may be inclined to act into surrendering, as if certain actions or tasks can make you surrender.
Surrender doesn’t need to look perfect; don’t put so much pressure on yourself to do so! Whether that’s cleaning, being more organized. I’m not saying never do those things, but they’re not relevant to feeling the feels; they’re often distractions.
4. Feel the feels. If you’re a thinker or a doer, you might be inclined to try to do things to feel your feels.
While there are many practices, start by simply letting go of needing to do something to have the feels. Try laying down, taking a walk or listening to a favorite song. Don’t complete tasks during this time… just be.
See what comes up.
Once you’re in the act of surrendering, let your body do the rest.
We’re all human – even your mind needs a bit of a break sometimes.
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