Surrender Is Not Submission


From Each Day A New Beginning, July 19:

“‘At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance…’ ~Maya Angelou

We had to surrender to a power greater than ourselves to get to where we are today. And each day we have to turn to that power for strength and guidance. For us, resistance means struggle—struggle with others as well as an internal struggle.

Serenity isn’t compatible with struggle. We cannot control forces outside of ourselves…And when we choose to surrender our attempts to control, we will find peace…”

I often write about the pain of resistance. How the very word carries an aura of courage and strength. Those of us who have addicted loved ones would do anything, it seems, to save them from from such a miserable life. I spent a number of years trying to save Angie—resisting—and refusing to allow her the dignity of her own (poor)  choices. I felt courageous then, determined. I couldn’t surrender to the power of addiction; I thought it would be cowardly.

But I tried and failed to save Angie. She’s been in and out of recovery for fifteen years. And though I pray she reaches for recovery again and comes back to her family, I can’t make that choice for her. She can only save herself. And I truly believe that the addicts who recover do so because it is their own desire to get their lives back—not someone else’s.

So I’ve learned that I can only save myself. When I give up the struggle to change things I can’t control, my life is more peaceful. I find the energy to focus on gratitude for what’s good in my life.

Sometimes letting go—not resistance—takes courage.

2 thoughts on “Surrender Is Not Submission

  1. I agree that sometimes –letting go takes courage. Courage to trust and let God do His work. I am learning that lesson today (really everyday) but today cuz my son has chosen not to respond to any of my text msgs. I can only lead him to the water….but he has to drink…or choose to be lead. If that makes any darn sense. I know him, I know his procrastination to a simple situation/solution has him tied in knots. I can only let go and trust.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Bev. Letting go, particularly of our children, is very hard—even counterintuitive. But we must. We have no more power over their choices than anyone else’s. But that’s why it takes courage to recognize our powerlessness and to surrender and let God do His work. Every day I strive to accept God’s will and be at peace with it and my daughter. Blessings to you!

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