by Gina Lake
Surrender is really just acceptance: You surrender to, or accept, the way things are-the way life is showing up right now. From the standpoint of the ego, surrender and acceptance seem so difficult. That’s because the ego doesn’t want to accept life, and that will never change. You will never get the ego to accept life. Resistance to acceptance is the ego’s natural state. When you are identified with it, you feel resistance to life, but when you are not, you naturally accept life. When you get in touch with the real you, accepting life just happens.
During your day, you have many experiences of being surrendered to life as it is. You may not notice those moments because you move through them so smoothly and peacefully. The moments of resistance are the ones you notice because they make you feel like you have a problem. You are taken farther out of the now as you try to fix the problem by doing something to try to feel better, such as eating, fantasizing, shopping, watching TV, or other escapist activities.
Escapist activities are ones that cause us to become unconscious of our feelings, including our feelings of resistance to life. We cope with feelings and other aspects of life that we are resisting by avoiding the experience we are having and doing something that will distract us and hopefully give us some pleasure. We seek relief from the pain of resisting life by seeking pleasure. That’s how the ego copes with life. The irony is that the ego is what creates the resistance, and therefore the suffering-not life. The ego’s solution to its own resistance is to seek pleasure. When you are identified with the ego, you are involved in this cycle of avoiding pain and seeking pleasure.
That’s one way of being in life, but there’s another way. Surrender is the way out of this cycle. When you surrender to life as it is, you experience a simple joy and fullness that’s much more satisfying than any pleasure you could experience. The simple joy of just being is complete enough. Nothing needs to be added or subtracted. The moment just flows into the next, without the need to change or fix anything about it.
Surrender allows you to experience life as it is unfolding, instead of experiencing your resistance to it. When you are identified with the ego, you aren’t experiencing life but, rather, your resistance to it. You’re actually missing the experience of the now because you’re not in the now but in your thoughts about the now-and that is a very different experience.
Your thoughts about the now are never like being in the now, even when your thoughts are pleasant. Thoughts are just one aspect of the now, and if you ignore everything else that is coming out of the now, you’ll have a very narrow-and dry-experience of life. Life can’t be replaced by thoughts about it. The only way to really experience life is to say yes to it-to surrender to what is going on right now-all of it-not just your thoughts about it. When you say no to it, you get caught up in the mind’s story about the moment and its resistance, and you suffer.
The way out of this suffering is to notice the ego’s resistance to life and ignore it. Every time that resistance arises, you notice it and then bring yourself back to the experience you are having right here and now-how your body is feeling, what you are sensing, what you are being moved to do, and what intuitions are arising. You just stay here in the now. What you discover is that the now feels good and is rich and ever-changing. From the now, life is not experienced as a problem. The mind is the only thing that makes life into a problem.
Once you see that it’s possible to relegate the mind to the background and just enjoy the moment, you will choose to do that more and more. Surrendering to life is not hard at all. It happens simply and naturally when you stop paying attention to your mind’s version of life and start paying attention to life itself as it is coming out of the now. There’s something else to do besides think! And that is to notice-to be aware of what is happening now. Look, feel, listen, sense, and you will drop into the now.
Copyright © 2008 by Gina Lake. From Embracing the Now: Finding Peace and Happiness in What Is. After having a spiritual awakening in 1999, Gina Lake has dedicated herself to helping others discover their true nature and uncover and heal whatever interferes with that through a counseling practice, through intensives, and through writing. She has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology and is also a skilled astrologer and channel, with a focus on finding and fulfilling the life purpose. Her books include: Radical Happiness, Anatomy of Desire, Return to Essence, Choosing Love, Embracing the Now, Getting Free, and Living Your Destiny. For more information about books and consultations, to read book excerpts and chapters, to listen to talks online, to sign up for a free newsletter, or to download Radiance: Experiencing Divine Presence for free, visit http://www.radicalhappiness.com.