Published Last updated

Surrender. In our current Age of Individualism, where a war is constantly taking place behind the scenes for every millisecond of your attention, the idea of surrender seems to be a difficult state to consider. We seem to be very uncomfortable with the idea of letting something other than our conscious mind take the wheel, especially when we think about all the cultural, artistic or social milestones we must engage with. Free will, after all, is the only thing that separates us from "the world out there", and that chaos must be avoided... right?

Perhaps you recognise this feeling: that there are too many books you must read, that you should probably start that side-project you've had in mind for ages, that you really have to call your parent(s) (or legal guardian) to check in with them. Sometimes I notice that I can tangle myself up into knots, agonising about what I should be doing in any given moment, to the extent that I am sometimes not even sure if I enjoy doing or thinking about anything anymore. For me, this feeling is exacerbated having grown up, abandoned by my father, and as a carer to a family member with complex needs, where I had to anticipate the needs of my loved ones before they arose, otherwise disaster would strike. Disaster is always around the corner (the barbarians are always at the gates), and I must be prepared at all costs.

I have been experimenting with the concept of surrender recently. What would happen if I didn't tidy up the kitchen tonight? What if I let my body decide what it enjoys, rather than forcing it into shapes that I believe that it must like some form of punishment. What if I recognised that some books or ideas, I may simply never have the time to engage with? All of this is absolutely okay, we are human "beings" after all.

Consider surrender. It will feel uncomfortable, ceding control to the universe (or your God), but if you are overwhelmed with choices and decisions, unsure where to go or what to do next, keep surrender in mind, and let me know what happens. Of course, I'm not advocating that you fail in your required duties to feed, clothe and water yourself or your loved ones – there are some things that are truly essential to your survival, but there is many, many other matters which are not.