The angels once told me, “Ann surrender is not giving up! Surrender is relaxing into the arms of the Divine.” I loved that. As a former control freak, the notion of surrender used to scare me. If I couldn’t figure something out, solve a problem, or fix someone I cared about, I was like the proverbial “dog with a bone.” I couldn’t let it go and I couldn’t find peace until the problem was resolved.
I meet so many others who feel the same – dear parents who worry about their kids, people who worry about selling their homes, finding a job, or what they’ll get in a divorce settlement. I meet people who can’t rest until they have completion, until things are in order, or until they have a certain amount in the bank. I see people stressed beyond relief (as I used to be) trying to stay on top of the million tasks that compete for our attention.
We all want completion. We all want our problems handled, our friends and family to feel wonderful, and our challenges to have clearly defined solutions. We all want to feel that our lives are in order and we are on top of our endless to-do lists.
We all know, life doesn’t work that way!
I got a good reminder two weeks ago, and a chance to see how wonderfully well things work out when I don’t pretend to be in control…
It all started when my car was behaving erratically. I couldn’t control it, so I prayed over it, and somehow it worked until I got it into the shop.
I wanted to go hiking on Sunday but couldn’t control the repair time so I let go of that too. The service manager at the shop called me the next day to tell me that he was elated the parts showed up much faster than expected and my car would be ready on Saturday!
I was thrilled, until I got the rather large bill. I took a breath, let go of worry, and gave it to God. Within a few days, a person who is a dear angel in my life insisted on helping me.
I was feeling on top of the world again, until last Sunday morning. I woke up feeling “off” in spite of the fact that I was looking forward to a day in nature. I prayed for protection and enjoyed a blissful hike until two miles from the end of the trail when suddenly my feet went out from under me and I fell really hard on my tail bone on solid stone. Stunned and sore, I tried to get up. I couldn’t move at first.
My mind started racing, attempting to control all possible terrible scenarios… “What if… What if…” I caught myself and cut it out. I sat right there on the rock and meditated upon perfect health and mobility. I breathed out the shock, and was suddenly able to get up and hike the remaining two miles! Miraculously nothing is broken. I ache but didn’t even bruise! I know if I’d kept stressing, I would have tensed up to the point of unbearable pain.
Monday, a storm ripped through Phoenix with 50-60 mph winds. I prayed for protection, and all seemed well until I realized the new tree I’d planted a few years ago had been ripped apart. I went out to survey the damage, wondering if I should get my saw and start chopping dead branches, when a swarm of ants ran up my leg and bit me! At that point I started laughing out loud. I realized something was definitely off in my energy field.
So I surrendered control once again. I didn’t let my mind go crazy. I didn’t ask, “Why me?” or “What have I done wrong?” I called the tree trimmers, washed off the ants, and then “sat, breathed, and received” as the angels have taught me. I surrendered to love.
Suddenly I felt something moving in my aura behind me! I moved to my inner vision and saw that I had a lost soul tagging along behind me the last few days, creating a bit of chaos in my energy field! I had been clearing clients last week but forgot to clear my own energy on Friday night! I helped the displaced spirit into the light and within minutes felt like myself. My life started to flow with grace and ease once again.
In the past I would have gone nuts over this string of events, blocked the universe’s ability to assist, and attracted more chaos. Now however, I strive to just handle what I can and surrender to what I can’t. I focus on the desired outcome the minute I have a problem. I trust the universe to assist.
While this story is about silly things, surrendering control works for life’s far more important challenges – when you don’t know how to heal a relationship or your own heart, when you have serious financial hardship, or when you have physical challenges.
There is an ever present stream of love attempting to help us. Control limits us only to what we know or imagine. Surrender allows the universe to assist in ways we might not even dream.
I choose surrender. Control is highly overrated!
Here are some pointers this week to help you surrender control over things and people you can’t control…
1. Place the Serenity Prayer where you can easily see it, or print out a few copies and carry them with you. Pray it often.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
– Reinhold Neibuhr
2. Imagine the Best
When you can’t control a person or situation, or you don’t know what to do, immediately ask yourself, “What is the best possible outcome? How would it feel.” Go there in your mind. Picture it. Feel it. Breathe. Remember this feeling often.
For example if you are worried about someone picture them happy, healthy, and doing fine. Imagine how you would feel knowing they are doing well. Think of this and feel it frequently. Know by your “tuning” into the best possible outcome, you are choosing that or better.
Contribute to the energy of the solution, not the energy of the problem.
3. Let Go. Enjoy the Moment. Trust.
When you don’t know what else to do and you’ve tuned into the best possible outcome, your next job is to relax, enjoy each moment and trust the universe to guide you.
When the mind acts up, reassure it, every single time. “God has our back. The universe loves us. There are solutions we can’t even imagine! It’s coming. All will be well.” That part of our soul that worries needs extra love.
It takes practice to kick the worry habit and let yourself relax in spite of things unsolved and un-done, but you can gradually shift into this amazingly peaceful reality!
While it isn’t easy to change old habits and give up control, the ensuing peace, grace, freedom, and miraculous solutions are definitely worth the effort!