“God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” said Reinhold Niebuhr ages ago. This slogan was then used by the Alcoholics Anoynomous as a slogan to help people recover from this malaise and has travelled all over the world as the ultimate mantra to combat stress.
In my case, I have been highly inspired by the above prayer and have framed seven principles of my own to make surrender a part of my life.
- We cannot control everything.
We really do not have complete power over everything and must recognise this key principle of life. Wishing to see the whole world as we would like it to be only makes us tense and stressed. All we can do is is understand people and the situation for what it currently is. For, even if we are powerless to change a situation, we always have the power to change our own attitude.
- We need to become comfortable with uncertainty.
The fact is the only certainty in life is uncertainty. We need to always remember to ensure that we go with the flow of life and never be fixated about anything, whether it is a trip or a promotion. If we remain inflexible, we shall of course be susceptible to anger, distress, and depression. Instead, if we learn to surrender, even when an unplanned event takes place, we could happier, more lighthearted, and resilient.
- We must remember to exhale during stress.
We have two choices when things pile up at work or we’re surrounded by people who require a lot of energy to deal with. . We can get frantic, hyperventilate, shut down, and become reactive. Needless to say, these responses just make us more stressed. We need to pause, take a deep breath, and observe. Sustaining silence and circumspection are two behaviors that lead to better, healthier outcomes.
- We are powerful without trying to dominate
The most influential people in the room are not the ones who are bullies. True power comes from being respectful and listening. People who surrender know themselves and are empathetic toward others. They don’t measure themselves by how much they are liked, nor do they compete for attention. Even when they sit quietly in a room, others always seem to come to them.
- We are successful wherever we are
The drive to acquire money and power is a behavior that drains people of their passion and emotional connection to others.Whatever our designation or worldly status may be, we must learn to enjoy life, relish our personal development, and value our friends.
- We can admit when we are wrong.
People who hold on to grudges, insist on being right, and try to change other’s minds have a difficult time maintaining healthy, happy relationships. We must understand that most people do make mistakes and must learn to forgive others and our own selves.
- We are passionate and can express our emotions in a healthy way.
People who feel the need to push and control tend to keep their feelings bottled up. As a result, they get shut down or remote, and their feelings come out in twisted, unhealthy ways. They become irritable, passive-aggressive, or volatile. People who have learnt to surrender are spontaneous and playful. They love to feel and express their emotions in a positive, loving way. As a result, they look vibrant, healthy, and energetic.
Surrender is a daily practice. Sometimes it means just getting down on your knees and praying to be willing to receive guidance from a higher power. Sometimes, it means surrendering fear and surrendering to the power of love.
Ultimately, it is a process through which we feel more joy, compassion and a lightness of being in our own lives.