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The Paradox Of Surrender In Personal Growth

Psychiatry and psychology tell us that repression is unhealthy. Yet, we often find ourselves repressing ourselves when we are resisting something new. The “funny” thing is, we resist the new even in many times where we are on the verge of having a new desire manifest in our life, or where we are about to achieve or learn something new and wonderful.

What we repress in these instances is our desire to surrender to something new and powerful that we think will make our life much better than it was before. We wish to surrender to this new wave of good fortune, let it wash over us, carry us where we want to be, where we feel we belong now.

But, we have a problem: we have been taught that only small children surrender, and they do so because they are weak and helpless or don’t know any better. We have been taught that people who surrender are defeated people–after all, if there’s a war and your side surrenders, your side lost and the enemy can impose its will on you. If you surrender all hope, you have completely given up on having or doing something that you wanted. So–if you surrender to something you are weak, or ignorant, or you have been beaten; and in all of those cases you are in danger of being harmed.

Yet, because we use “surrender” as a usually negative metaphor, we don’t see that surrendering to something really just means to stop resisting it; and if that something is good and wonderful, why shouldn’t we surrender to it? But, of course, this means we must give up our false sense of already being perfect and complete. We surrender this notion; we surrender to the good thing that is trying to tear down our walls of fearful resistance so that it can present us with its blessings.

Probably the most prominent example we have of this is falling in love. When many people are finding themselves falling in love with someone, or they meet someone who could very well be a dream (wo)man, they don’t reveal their feelings for them. As a matter of fact, how many of us actually give the person mixed or false signals? We try to deceive them; we make them think that we don’t find them to be anything special…we don’t need them…sure they’re nice and we enjoy their company but that’s the way we feel about many people, what’s so great about them?…we really hate to burst their bubble, but…they have no power over us!…

As a matter of fact, we might tell ourselves those very same lies. Why do we do these childish things when it comes to the greatest force in the world–love? We fear being hurt, that’s why. What if we surrender to our love only to find out that we aren’t good enough and don’t make them happy? What if the relationship turns bad after a few year and it all has to end? What if (s)he turns out to really be some terrible beast? What if…what if…?

“What if” can be used as a statement of new possibilities, but too many times it gets used as a statement of dread. We don’t have to dread the love that comes to find us. We can surrender to it sweetly, and let ourselves be swept away in grace and beauty, repressed and harming ourselves no more.

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