What Constitutes Surrender?

A Few Thoughts on What Constitutes Surrender

The World Tree Takes Care of Me, Francesca De Grandis, 2012

Even for someone on the ecstatic path, it is mistake to think that surrendering to the Divine – utter immersion in the World Tree – is always an emotive moment with mystical elements. Often, surrender to the World Tree – being fully in the moment – means taking dry quantitative action, applying one of the spiritual  disciplines that may not be appealing. I am not suggesting harmful pseudo-surrender. For example, thinking oneself bad for wanting a happy romance or good sex or a satisfying career, and trying to eradicate these healthy desires, is not surrender, it is self-abuse.

The disciplines I am suggesting are too numerous to list here, but a few are:
– Looking into oneself to see where one is not the amazingly spiritual person one identities as. No self-flagellation, no invention of errors that did not happen. Just a simple appraisal of where one, right this minute, or this very day, is falling down on the job of being the kind (or thoughtful, or generous, or otherwise good to others) person one thinks oneself to be. 
 – Asking Divinity what it wants one to do right this second. Then getting quiet enough to hear an answer. Then doing what is asked. There is also the question of what the Divine wants of you over the longterm, but surrender in the immediate moment is sometimes a less spectacular experience, and the surrender that feels less glorious is the point of this musing.   
– Allowing oneself to walk away for one minute (or one hour) from work, from worry, from crisis – no matter how serious a problem – to take care of oneself, eg by taking a nap or eating one’s lunch. 
– Allowing oneself to walk away for one minute (or one hour) from work, from worry, from crisis – no matter how serious a problem – to ask Divinity for guidance.

These are examples of quiet surrenders without which the ecstatic path becomes a drug and leads to a miserable contracted state. But with these quantitative disciplines, we move toward gut experiences of Divine beauty, we find ecstatic interconnection with all the Cosmos, we achieve self-hood and self-expression, and we are filled with power to follow our dreams.

Pursuing these disciplines does not invalidate the joyfully emotive moments of surrender I mention earlier. It is only when we mistake these moments as all the surrender needed that we find trouble. 

Nor should we think emotive moments of surrender always must feel the same to be “authentic.” These moments can greatly vary. They might be transcendent, ribald, peaceful, or ecstatic, or all four, or might be something else altogether. Do not tell yourself these moments must feel one way or another, let them be what they are, surrender to them.  Surrender means being in the moment.

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8 Responses to What Constitutes Surrender?

  1. Robyn says:

    Amen to that 🙂
    I truly enjoy how you describe surrender as an ultimately empowering action (by uniting/letting in/connecting to someone larger than ourselves) instead of the sometimes-used depiction of “giving yourself up”.
    For me, surrender is giving myself to something higher, not giving myself up.
    Thank you for this text!

    • Francesca De Grandis says:

      Robyn, I’m so glad you liked the text. Thank you for letting me know because your feedback is important to me.

  2. Christina says:

    Hi, after reading this post – I feel like the questions I’ve had concerning the spiritual transmission are answered. Thank you. (also I want to apologize for not calling you – like I announced in a previous reply.)
    I hope you have a nice day, Christina

    • Francesca De Grandis says:

      Hi, no problem, I thought that you would likely figure out the answer without calling me, especially once I sent you the email that confirmed your registration for the spiritual transmission, bc it also said a bit about the transmission. No reason to apologize. Glad you figured it out!

  3. Sandra says:

    ~* sigh … Thank you.

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