Give UP and Surrender

Give UP and Surrender

I once had a teacher share that the ultimate practice in yoga is surrender. He picked up a piece of tissue between two fingers, paused for a moment, and with a little grin released his hold and it drifted to the floor. “See,” he smiled, “surrendering is easy, you just…let go.”

I felt a bit perplexed and also resistance to this idea. “Yeah right,” I thought, “if only life were that easy.” However, the ease and matter-of-factness with which he shared got me thinking. Although I felt resistance, I also felt a relief when he shared this. Yet, it somehow seemed way too, well, easy.

He continued to explain that what makes surrender feel complicated and challenging is that the mind comes in, judges, and creates a problem out of it. Our culture equates surrender to words such as despair, giving up, loss or defeat. Growing up, surrender was not prized in my world and didn’t fit into the highly valued virtues of hard work, effort and “making things happen”. Those were qualities of someone to be admired whereas one who surrenders is weak.

What is it that we’re so afraid to lose in the act of surrender?

Perhaps we are holding onto something, someone, a situation that once affirmed our aliveness in someway. Perhaps we are afraid to dismantle a belief system. Maybe the struggle to hold onto something must mean that “something” has value, and therefore our life must be valuable. Resistance to surrender is a symptom of the fear of not being in control, which can be so terrifying that we would rather swim upstream.

The great relief that follows when we finally give up, though often terrifying, is we give up wishing things were different than they are. We give up the illusion of control. We give up the struggle. Surrender is a release of the strong grip over our limited self and an opening into the expansiveness of our Soul’s greater plan.

Sur-render is to give one’s self up.
We give it UP to our High Self.

We surrender so that we can flow with the mystery and adventure of what Life has in store for us. We surrender to the unknown. And in that surrender comes great expansion, lightness and freedom.


Alice Hong

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