New Perspectives

Arms Down Feet Up


You might not have time to read, but know this: The good kind of surrender is knowing when to put your feet up and wait. This is a post about learning when to surrender.

Who are we to carry all that weight all the time?

I have been thinking about surrender for some time now. As a word, as an action and as a way of life; however I keep running into all the negative possible meanings linked to that action or state, which is why I feel I must color that term a little less bleakly and show you my dear reader as I show myself how precious this exercise in learning when to surrender can be.

Surrender as a verb means to

“cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.”

Surrender here stops being a soft word, it becomes a term to describe the weak, the unable and the powerless. Although surely surrender is the opposite of what one must do when faced with unfairness, injustice and threat. So fight if you must.

Why do we say “I give up” so defeatedly in our day to day life? Why do we beat ourselves up and resist so hard to stay afloat and live another day? Why is life so crushing and difficult? Why are we in constant battle? an eye for an eye, a heart for a heart. We learn that life is aggressive so we learn to become even more militant towards it. Every day becomes a struggle not just with ourselves but with those around us, everyone and everything could be an enemy; and WE NEVER SURRENDER.

I have to admit my heartbeat became faster as I wrote the lines above. My blood started to rush as I let those thoughts out of their cages and into this page. I’ve been writing about this for a long time now, and you might be expecting my next words, but ask yourself this:

“Why are you fighting?”

Who are you in battle with? and what is there to lose if you stop resisting? Is your life really constantly filled with enemies, and life threatening events? Is the world conspiring to shred you to pieces? Why you? What have you done that you feel has been so bad you cannot stop the fight? Are you a victim of your own doing?

The questions burn if one is to really consider them, but there is comfort at the end. There is something utterly gentle in nurturing a spiritual side to our lives. There is a secret, one that sometimes eludes itself, because can a secret really also be so obvious?

What if you chose to look at life as a friend, perhaps a teacher? What if you are not in battle with an opposing authority anymore? What would surrender mean then?

Imagine this for a taste in learning how to surrender.

Resisting a kiss by a beloved versus surrendering to it.

Resisting a thoughtful comment by a friend vs surrendering to it.

Resisting the urge to tell someone they are beautiful, that you love them and that you are thankful to them, vs surrendering to it.

Resisting an intellectual challenge by dismissing its wisdom vs surrendering to the conversation necessary.

See resistance is a skill. It is a strength of spirit in times of undeniable darkness and need, it is the daughter of a war mentality, an agility in survival. However, we must not allow for mindless resistance. Baseless opposition is poisonous and serving only for self punishment. If there is no war, why do you continue to resist? especially if the only one left to fight with is you.

In Arabic there is a term that says “ارحم نفسك” which directly translates to “have mercy on yourself”. That is where learning when to surrender comes in, the good kind, the soft kind that is not a matter of defeat, because it comes with an acceptance that there is no fight in the first place. There is no benefit in crushing an enemy that doesn’t exist. So surrender to the life that shows you its blessings as it shows its teeth. Learn to differentiate between lessons and battles, and train yourself to notice peacefulness wherever it presents itself. Understand your value as a warrior in the right time at the right place but not all the time.

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