Very often, even at my age, I have knee-jerk reactions to people and situations that are totally controlled by my past. One would think-yea , I would think- that I had outgrown such knee-jerk responses. The people in my life now are not my parents and events are never exactly the same as when I was a child. And yet I find myself giving into these impulse reactions as if I were five.To me, this is what it means to succumb. It means giving in to something that no longer benefits us.
Just yesterday I had a reaction to someone I love as if this person were a parent. I moped and fretted, felt angry, hurt, and rejected, and even wondered if I had done something wrong-which I hadn’t. I doubted myself because of a difference in style. I raked myself over the proverbial coals for naught all because I allowed the past to dictate the present. It was a perfect waste of time and lots of emotion and I felt very foolish. I succumbed to feelings I had when I was little because a situation felt familiar but in actuality was not. I dishonored both myself and the person I felt provoked these feelings. I had been cowardly.
Surrender on the other hand, is letting go and letting be. It has nothing to do with knee-jerk reactions and giving in. It is an acceptance of things as they are. It is being clear of vision. It is allowing the flow of life through you. It is putting the ego-who is your five year old-aside and being in the moment, very present. It is a releasing of what was and has been, and becoming anew. It takes courage. And not a little wisdom. Surrender is a belief in the awesome and magic of life without needing to control everything. Surrender is saying a resounding YES! Succumbing is no.
I learned a lot yesterday. I learned that the little child inside me, that damaged part of me, has not completely healed and that there is still work to be done. There is a piece of me still in pain from things that happened long ago. I am not yet untethered. But as long as I am aware, I can be courageous enough to do the work. As long as I stay aware and DO the work, I can be free. And freedom, after all, is what true surrender really is.