Early on in life we find ourselves hanging on to difficult childhood relationships, feelings of guilt and shame as a result of something we’ve done, disappointments in our failure to get the grades for which we’ve strived so hard in school, and so much more. Letting go of what is harmful to us is something we haven’t often experienced or learned to do. We’re frequently taught in society to keep on striving rather than to recognize when we need to disconnect before we hurt ourselves mentally and physically. However, when we truly realize the value of surrender, it’s a practice that becomes a lifelong undertaking.
For example, experience has shown me that it has an amazing range of qualities. I’ve sensed a presence while surrendering and recognized that it had always been there, as if it were waiting for the moment in which I would wake up and wise up. Also, going along patiently and without distraction, there is a feeling of deep inner peace quite unlike that I’ve felt, for instance, as a result of a solution to a problem. There is, in addition, the existence of compassion and loving kindness in this path, for they show themselves quite clearly. Moreover, there is an awareness of clarity in that if I contemplate something intensely, it reveals its nature.
The process also involves the intuitive understanding that surrender is a very moral thing to do. There is a drive to continue letting go, a will to persist in renouncing without regret. I’ve felt it and given in even more. As Chogyam Trungpa so rightly tells us, giving up hopes and expectations will march us into disappointment. However, their relinquishment has caused me to come out stronger in the long run, for surrendering them was so appropriate. It was kind of like an alcoholic or drug addict who had finally admitted his or her addiction and had begun to work towards a new and brighter future.
Besides every foregoing experience, this work has also shown me the difficulty in surrendering the obstacles in the path of this practice. For example, letting go of pride for the things for which I’ve worked so hard to achieve, sometimes quite begrudgingly. Going hand in hand with these feelings for long time achievements is the surrender of egotism in daily activities. Another is releasing the aggression I´ve felt towards other living beings, ideas, political positions, and more. This includes the letting go of apathy.
As I’ve continued to review my life in search of more to surrender, I’ve found times of self-pity and released them. Although I’ve not felt jealousy in a long while, if it were to arise, I would let it go as if it were a hot rock. Recalling the times I’ve felt hate and anger has uncovered the fears lying beneath them. Looking at the situations in which I’ve felt sloth or laziness has helped me to uncover and let go of the shame hidden there. Since this process is hard work, there is almost no excitation unless it’s involved in something I’m contemplating. Finally, I’ve felt no harm in the process of surrender because I’ve released what had the ability to injure.
Surrender, in my case, is a work in progress, one that I’m sure will continue even through the last moments I have on this planet. It seems there’s an unlimited number of things to let go of, but it gets easier. Also, I’ve found that as I’ve continued this endeavor, my will to relinquish has become stronger, for it allows me to accept life as it is. Truly, there is strength in surrender. In fact, the more I let go, the more present I become.