Roderick sure is right when he says that “at first blush, [the power to surrender] hardly seems to be a power at all” because we popularly association surrendering with giving up and that giving up may invite others to harm us or things we care about. In magic, though, surrender is to bring your will in alliance with a universal will. It’s about letting go of preconceptions of how an action is to come to pass and allow it to occur on nature’s schedule. As Roderick puts it, “When you surrender you live in harmony with the flow of life energy; you live in accord with whatever circumstance arises. Surrendering comes from a deep understanding that life energy does not need to flow in one way or another, since that energy is what you are already.” In other words, if you can develop a level of elasticity about something, you’ll be able to ‘roll with the punches’ rather than shatter to pieces at the first obstacle.
Surrender is more, though, and I will quote Roderick in full on this:
Surrendering is also about letting go. And this sense of release manifests differently in each of our lives. It may mean releasing your physical stress and tension, it may mean letting go your emotional tension. It may mean releasing your grip, your insistence on getting your own way. It might mean leaving a job that pays you more but causes you misery. It may mean releasing your hold on a relationship that no longer functions.
I suppose this is the whole “if you love something, set it free” philosophy. Letting go and trusting in others to carry their load. Almost always, the load gets carried–if not in the way you envisioned, perhaps, but it will get carried…and sometimes better than you could have ever hoped for yourself. This joint alignment of personal will with universal will and letting go effectively ends up allowing us to mirror “nature’s nonstriving” and eventually helps us unite with nature and the divine. Too much of this, though, and individuals appear “lazy, depressed, dependent, inactive, idle, indirect, and perhaps dangerously passive or unable to act.”
As with the power to will, Roderick asks us to write down our own relationship to the power of surrendering, focusing on four questions:
- In what ways do you feel you are connected to the power to surrender?
- In what ways do you feel disconnected from the power to surrender?
- What are the dangers of surrendering?
- Would surrendering have any benefits in your life?
I wonder if my tendency to procrastinate connects to the power to surrender? Part of the procrastination makes me lazy and inactive. It promotes idleness, indirectness and can really make me depressed–and then that depression snowballs. Eventually, I’m completely unable to act if it gets really bad. I’m far more likely to take the que sera sera stance and passively stay in a situation that could be vastly improved if I took steps to get out of it. For example, there was no real reason for me to stay at that job at Stanley Chevrolet for as long as I did–it was beyond awful. It was just easier to sit back and collect that paycheck and ‘not care’. I was afraid I’d fall in love with a better job and never go grad school–that I’d get too comfortable and not want to give those comforts up–but there’s no reason I couldn’t have found an imperfect job that catered to my skill set more. I just didn’t want to apply and get rejected over and over and over again.
I think I am too connected to this power overall–I’m struggling to articulate how I feel disconnected to it. Perhaps some disconnection is a resistance to trust others to get their jobs done or to make me feel safe or to arrive at some compromised agreement that is beneficial to all. Living in the co-op where you’re forced to develop some skills in this area has been good for me, but I still resist fully letting go. My ‘shields’ are always up.
If they dropped–if I totally let go–I would be open for a world of hurt and pain, and that is probably the biggest danger I can perceive. It would also open me up to much greater satisfaction and happiness…a clear benefit.
Practice: Rebalancing Surrendering
When you notice that you have become lazy, depressed, or unable to take decisive action, take time to engage in rigorous physical activity. Go to the gym. Take a hike along a mountain path. Go running. Whatever it is you choose to do, make a commitment to do it regularly for several days. Keep your mind clear while engaging in the activity. Once you complete your activity, stop and allow yourself time to feel the vibration of the energy you raise in your own body. Feel the hum of blood as it courses through you. Feel your aliveness. Now take action in your life as needed.
A very smart exercise–harness the endorphins released from exercise to bump up your ability to get things done–the pleasure chemicals will help override nagging doubts and insecurities. I shall have to try this.