There are so many things in life that we cannot change. So many things over which we really have no control at all. So much of our pain and anguish in life comes from wanting things to be a certain way, or wanting people to do things we want them to do, or the way we want them done. Yet most of it is beyond our control. We have no control over other people and what they do or say, and very little or no individual control over what happens in the world.
All we can really control is what we do ourselves and how we respond to what happens in our lives. So how are we supposed to get what we want and create a fulfilling life for ourselves?
I love the Serenity Prayer…. “God grant 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.”
Whether or not you believe in God is irrelevant……the prayer is really a call to your inner self. It is calling you to be aware of how you operate in the world. It is calling you to question your attempt to control what you cannot control, and it is calling you to take action to change the things that you can change. Knowing the difference is simply about taking responsibility for your own thoughts, words and actions and not attempting to control anybody else’s. When you do this, all the angst falls away and the result is inner peace.
Developing the attribute, the mental muscle of serenity, or acceptance, is the key. If we have serenity, if we accept the things that happen beyond our control, then they will not anger, upset and destabilize us. Part of this is to surrender problems and things beyond your control.
Surrender is saying: “Your will be done”, “Live and let God”, or “What will be will be”. It is accepting that you do not have the power to resolve the problem or change the situation. You do not have the answer, you do not have the control. It is beyond your mortal capabilities. Ultimately it is saying: “I do not know” and being comfortable with that. It is being comfortable with letting life, or God, or some higher power take over. Surrender is allowing the outcome to be what it will be, without you trying to take over when you can’t, when you don’t have the control, the answer or the power.
Grace is the infinite, unconditional love, the power and the source of all life that flows around and through us all the time. It is the ultimate power of the universe that is purely focussed on the evolution of everything to reach its highest potential. It is the power that grows the acorn to the oak tree, the primal cells of the embryo to the baby, the baby to the man or woman, and it doesn’t just grow us physically, it grows us psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, if we will let it. You are programmed to be the best that you can be and you are supported by Grace to become it. It is what you are destined to be. That is the evolutionary, creative impulse of the universe and it is working in and around you always.
So when you surrender to that power, which is so much greater than your human mind (think what it has created….it has created worlds that spin in orbit and such a vast inter-dependence and connectedness of planets and forces that make the intricate workings of the human body seem like chopsticks compared to Mozart)…when you surrender your problems to that kind of power, don’t you think it might just be able to find solutions that you cannot? When you stop trying to force the issue and instead align your energy with that energy, you can see the solutions more clearly and trust that what is happening is all part of the evolutionary impulse, all part of your growth. You can trust and let go. Something bigger than you by far has got your back. You can accept the flow of life and drop all the angst of trying to control it. You can trust that it is all working out for your highest good, even though you can’t see how. You can trust and let go.
So next time you feel like you are pushing and pushing and getting nowhere, or things just aren’t working out the way you want them to, you feel frustrated, you don’t have the answers, you feel sheer angst, try this. Get into a quiet, meditative state and simply say to your inner self, God, the universe something like this:
“I surrender. I give up. I don’t have the solution. I don’t know what to do. Take this from me. I am turning this over to you. I trust that your power and knowledge are far greater than mine. You are far greater than me. I trust that you will send the perfect response to this at the perfect time and so I trust and let go. I am at peace.”
Then take that peace and go on with your life, open to and gently observing the opportunities, intuitions, and blessings. Go on inhabiting where you are in life right now in the most beautiful way that you can and trust the flow of grace to resolve everything in the best way for you.
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