Surrender, But Don't Give Up
Hello and welcome to Friday, November 19, 2021. Today is a rare and precious day that will never come again.
As we dig deeper into Mindfulness, and other areas of personal/spiritual growth, we start to see what appears to be conflicting suggestions. For instance, surrender, but don’t give up.
One can argue that to give up is to surrender. As far as I’m concerned, they would be correct. These two terms essentially mean the same thing. In other words, we can use them interchangeably. For me, surrender seems to come from a place of wisdom and intentionality whereas to give up sounds more like defeatism. So, I surrender, but I don’t give up – I do my best anyway.
Why bring this up? Because we tend to generate a tremendous amount of suffering by clinging to things that we should surrender and alternatively we often give up in areas where we should persevere. Mindfulness helps us to identify these situations and with practice, provides us with the skills to follow through.
While there are many things that we could surrender that would immediately reduce suffering, first and foremost, surrender fighting reality. As Byron Katie says, “When you argue with reality you lose, but only 100% of the time.”
Yes, we live in a messy world. Though there is an abundance of kindness and compassion, there is also injustice. We can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. Nevertheless, it’s important that we surrender to this reality so that we can move forward with a peaceful heart. When we argue with reality, we’re fighting. Though anger seems like a useful motivator, we can’t fight with a peaceful heart. In our endeavors, we’re more effective if we can proceed peacefully. So, we surrender.
On an important sidenote, when we surrender, pretty much regardless of context, it simply means that we accept the situation exactly as it is. And acceptance does not mean approval. Therefore, we don’t give up.
Though I occasionally feel pessimistic when I read the news or see people treat others unkindly, I care deeply about the world, and I aspire to see us all flourish. I’m confident that we can create a world where love, compassion, and kindness will replace the division, anger, and hatred that seem so prevalent. It’s been my experience that Mindfulness is one path to help get us there. I won’t give up. I will continue to do my best to be the change I want to see in the world and to help transform it, from the inside out.
There are countless areas where we can apply this wisdom – most in our everyday lives. It doesn’t have to be all about ridding the world of cruelty. I could have just as easily used an example of how the store was out of my favorite ice cream the other day. I surrendered to the freezer lacking Ben and Jerry’s, Cherry Garcia ice cream and simply walked peacefully to another store a block away. Had they been out of stock, well, that would have been ok too. But they weren’t!
This week’s Mindfulness support is an invitation to explore the areas in your life where you experience tension or stress - suffering. Look to see if you’re thinking about giving up on something that is meaningful to you or if there is something that can be surrendered.
As always, I’m here to help.
You are Loved by me, Unconditionally!
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