The goal of a committed spiritual journey is Enlightenment. To be enlightened means to live a life free of unnecessary suffering. One of the corner stones to reaching this goal is surrender.

So what does it mean to surrender?

It means to let go of control and just surrender to everything. Surrender to the good, to the bad, to the hurts, to the pain, to the confusion, to the fear, to the sadness, to the joy, to the happiness and everything else that it is to be completely human. It may seem strange when I say surrender “to the joy and to the happiness”, but there are places where we unconsciously feel we don’t deserve.

We experience all of what it is to be human, and more, and yet we try to control it all in an attempt to have more of the pleasant and less of the unpleasant. To live this way is hard. The reality is, all of this is going to happen no matter how much we try to control our lives. It is perfectly understandable to try to be in control. But if you want more out of life you could try to surrender to it all and let the control go and just flow with life.

The pattern of control, that humans have developed, is partly responsible for the stigma surrounding mental health. So it is worthwhile to gain an understanding as to why we control in the first place.

When we are born we instinctively absorb enormous amount of information. As our senses begin to activate more and we collect and store all of this in the data bank of our mind and our brain. We begin to see how the world operates. Up to about the age of four, which is the age of innocence, we are spontaneous and transparent and open in whatever we do. When we move out of this age and into the age of conformity and control, our mind takes on a dominate role. As our insecurities and fears build, the mind performs this role admirably. It does a great job and will always do that, but it is when it gets too dominate, and tries to control too much, we lose our spontaneity and innocence. Generally, the mind begins to rule or use us. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Surrendering puts you into a place where you take charge of how your life plays out. You can then make other more worthwhile conscious choices. Choices like just being more present in whatever you do. In this way you let go of the past and also the fear driven projections into the future. If you are an anxious person, being more consciously present will help with these unnecessary projected fears.

In a very fast pace modern world, trying to stay in control is getting excessive. Consciously surrendering to life might seem like you are giving in. But in surrender you begin to allow some space in your mind for the things you really want. Paradoxically the things you tried to desperately control before begin to work out smoothly, and if they do not, you just surrender to the outcome. Expect the unexpected is a good phrase to live by.

When you consciously look at life, what is important today is not as important tomorrow, so why make it important at all? So when you can’t remember something you wanted to do and get frustrated and annoyed, try a little surrender.

Control is a pattern that is hard to drop, but when you see that it gets in the way of just enjoying life and that it does not serve you, the choice of surrender becomes a real option.

Let surrender be your guide and your journey will become that much easier, that much richer.