I think it’s easy to imagine that surrender is doing nothing. Just waiting–for the time to go by, or for things to happen. But surrender is a verb: it’s an action. It’s an acceptance of what is. It’s starting where you are, not waiting until things are better, or until you’re more inspired, or until you’ve lost a few pounds, or until you have the time. It’s trust, too. It’s allowing the outcomes to arrive because you trust that you are loved and cared for and that the Universe will always move towards your highest good. It’s the line in A Course in Miracles that states, “Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety.” It’s knowing you are always worthy, you are always full of goodness and light, and that your highest healing and joy is only an arm’s length away.
Eckhart Tolle describes surrender this way: If you find that your car is stuck in the mud, you don’t just accept that and leave the car there forever. True acceptance is acknowledging that the car is stuck and going about the work of getting it free without wishing yourself somewhere else. I think about this concept so much when it comes to parenting my children. So often the task at hand is not glamorous. But those little moments do string together to build our weeks, and years, together. It’s the moments we often look back on, and wish for more of once we are well and truly past them. Rocking a baby to sleep and kissing their warm cheeks, packing lunches and tucking little notes inside, holding sticky hands as you cross the street to yet another park in the summertime. It’s what those ladies in line at the grocery are trying to convey when they say “Enjoy these moments; they don’t last.”
And very often when we are in that moment, when we’ve spent hours rocking a colicky baby, or wiping endless bums, we don’t really want them to last. We want very much instead to pour a cup of coffee and drink it while it’s still hot. But the truth is that our radical presence, our surrender into what is right in front of us, will allow us to see even these tiring moments a little differently.
This year, I have set the intention to look for more of this. To be exactly where I am. Radical presence. Accepting what is. Finding love in little moments. Staying curious when things are confusing or complex. Resisting the need to “fix.” Allowing the journey with less focus on the destination.
And it has felt so nice. It’s so easy to be happy in the present moment. Our joy is always stolen by moments in the past or the future. But here, right now, at this exact moment—everything is just fine.