Surrender and What That Means In My Life Today
When I was first getting sober I was told that I had to “Surrender to win .” Like many people who are just coming in, I didn’t have any idea what that meant. I mean it sounded nice, and I was willing to surrender if it meant that I would be free from my addiction, but I didn’t get what was being asked of me. I needed to come to a point where I admitted that my” self will had run riot” as they say and I need to be open to taking suggestions that was a big part of the process of surrender.
Then I got involved in the program. I started to read the Big Book and work my Steps and I came to learn that this initial surrender that I had to perform in order to win, was simply just allowing something greater than myself to dictate my life . It meant that I would have to give up my control of the world around me and let life unfold how it was going to.
To be honest I liked the idea and I was so broken when I first came in that I was ready to surrender. I was ready to let Alcoholics Anonymous, my sponsor, and God take control of my life, because I knew that I had lost the battle and I was ready for a change.
This idea of surrender was revolutionary for me. I was taught most of my life to never give up and that you had struggle for everything that you wanted and most of all I learned that if I wanted people to act the way I thought was best, I had to try to control them and the situations. I learned to rely on myself alone. To surrender though meant that I had to stop doing this and I had to allow people to live their lives, while I lived mine.
Learning to surrender also took a lot of pressure off of my shoulders. For so many years I felt that if I stopping trying to manage and control my life everything would fall apart and the world would cease to work. Interestingly, by attempting to manage and control everything my life fell apart anyway and it wasn’t until I surrendered that it started to come back together.
Looking back on that first year it felt pretty easy to surrender. I surrendered to being sent to another state and I surrendered to the fact that I wasn’t going to see my kids as much, and throughout it all I just surrendered to the process. But the longer that I have stayed sober I have sometimes found it more difficult to let go of things and allow them to unfold.
This has been true as of late, as I have been experiencing a somewhat turbulent time in my life. I am back home with my children and this hasn’t really played out the way that I thought it was going to. I thought that I would come back home and have a better visitation schedule with them and that maybe, just maybe my ex-husband and I would be on better terms then we are.
I have found surrendering this whole situation to God particularly difficult. There are days when I really want to. I really want to say God, just take it from me, your will not mine be done, but then I find that my mind snatches it back up and begins to mull over the situation from every angle and look at how it is unfair to me.
The thing is that at this point in my life I know that for me to find peace in any situation, I have to accept that situation for what it is and then surrender the outcomes over to God. In theory, this isn’t really difficult to do, but in practice it can be very hard.
It is strange as well because I sometimes feel like my ability to surrender should be greater at this point. I compare it to how easily I seemed to give up my alcoholism in the beginning and I wonder why I can’t do the same with everything else in my life. When I expressed this to a friend of mine, she had some good insight into the matter that really helped me. She said that I didn’t in fact surrender my alcoholism easily, but rather it took me years and years to get to the point that I could give it up. It had to wrenched from my hands under a tremendous amount of pain and only then was I able to finally capitulate.
She said that the same goes for other things in our lives as well. There are some situations that we will easily just give over to God. It is easy for us to go to a job interview, do the best we can, and then surrender the outcome, but there are other things that are a lot more difficult. Things like relationships or finances, or whatever else we hold dear and do not have the faith that we will be taken care of.
This is the case with my current situation. I want to surrender it all to God, but I am just not there yet. I still get extremely angry at the whole thing and I still struggle daily between surrendering and attempting to control. Each day I try my best to have faith that things will work out and sometimes I believe this and others times I don’t.
So, it terms in surrender and what it means in my life today—it means the difference between serenity and calamity. It means the difference between peace and hostility, and it is what keeps me from running back to a drink to deal with my life. When I stepped into the doors of that rehab a few years back I surrendered and daily I try my best to continue to do so.
Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.