Surrender was not a word in my personal vocabulary until very recently. I thought of it as giving in, giving up, a sign that I was weak. But I'd been getting the message that I needed to delve deeper into Surrender and its connection with Trust. On a weeklong camping trip with my daughter I had plenty of opportunities.
One of the things that I discovered is that Surrender is not a form of weakness, in fact you have to be strong to see when to sit back and chill.
Another insight is that surrender is another way to say accept things as they are, be ok with what is, and know where you can take action and where you can't.
While it takes a lot of strength to be ok with what is, it uses much less energy than railing against something you can't change. Or worrying about it incessantly. Or getting all bothered because you think the situation is someone else's fault.
When you toss Trust in there with Surrender it works even better. Not only can you mellow out on your reaction to the situation, you also get to relax about whether it's going to turn out ok or not. Because frankly, if you're going with this mindset, whatever way it turns out is all right.
Take the Lost Shoe Debacle, for example. After a long day of exploring and driving and hiking and exploring, my daughter realized she had lost a shoe. You might wonder how one could lose something attached to one's foot (I did), but if one goes barefoot as much as possible and just keeps shoes in the car in case there's an ice cream shop where they are mandatory, there's less concern over where those shoes are in between times.
They might even fall out of the car when you leap at the chance to pet a friendly horse. At least, that's where she thought she might have lost it. But at bedtime after a day of exploring I couldn't begin to problem solve about the lost shoe.
So despite the tears and upset from the animal-loving daughter, I chose Surrender and Trust. I decided this in the moment: I can accept what is, you are missing a shoe (and you have hiking boots to wear tomorrow) and I can let it go for now and trust that it will work out, and spend no energy worrying or wondering or berating (either myself or you).
And then, we got some sleep, for I was not about to go driving about in the dark to see if we could find footwear in the moonlight.
If you're curious about the outcome, she did find the shoe. In the morning with clear heads, we decided to get straight to our big hike for that day and to leave the shoe search for late afternoon on our way out of the area. It was, in fact, right where she hoped it would be, though the horses were not.
If you are curious about adding a new word to your vocabulary, I highly recommend Surrender, and its companion Trust. They will serve you well.
All photos ©Mary Upham 2017
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