When to Surrender

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It’s hard not to worry when you have something to worry about. There’s always something to worry about. One thing that life will prove over and over again is that things don’t always turn out the way we would want them to. Often things will happen that turn our lives upside down and leave us feeling inside out. Things lurk on our horizons ominously. We look at possible future scenarios when something “not good or normal” starts to happen, and generally what we will immediately latch onto is the worst possible outcome. Then we worry about it. It doesn’t matter how many times we try and focus on possible great results, those little negative thoughts grow hugely regardless of how small they are when they first enter our thoughts.

It then amazes us how right we were. We tell people how we saw the whole thing coming. We knew that that mess would happen, and it did, exactly how we knew it would. We say “Bah Humbug!” to those Law of Attraction weirdoes when they tell us we brought it on ourselves with our negative thinking. How dare they add insult to injury by insinuating that we would invite such horribleness into our own lives?

Sometimes it’s true though. Notice I said sometimes. We do seem to bring it on with our beliefs.

Little children don’t attract nasty things. Do they? Those who believe in reincarnation would say it’s karma. Others would blame the sins of the fathers. Unfortunately some even blame God. The truth is that most of our trauma is caused by people. We live in societies of our own creation. Poverty, lack of guidance and education, and worry, can make for some pretty bad parenting skills. Evils from cancer causing chemicals to cruelty, torture, terrorism, and poverty are pretty much of our very own making. We learn from our parents, repeating their behaviours towards us, teaching our children what they “showed” us. Divisions are drawn between the haves and the have nots from birth. We are taught that we are superior to those whose skins are different shades and those who have to scrabble to survive, and are so stupid they wouldn’t know what caviar was if it hit them on the nose.

Funny thing is though, that no matter how much you have, you will still have things to worry about. These things might not seem to be as bad as wondering whether or not you will be warm enough sleeping under a cardboard box in a shop doorway on a snowy night, but they will consume your waking hours nevertheless. They will leave you in a state of anxiety or even terror. Your body will react in sympathy to your thoughts, and your thoughts will then react even more to the raised levels of cortisol and other dodgy chemicals that your body thinks you will need to run away from or fight the oncoming threat.

It’s almost a relief when the bad thing you knew was on its way happens. Then you can begin to react to something concrete to recover, and sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t. Then it is past, and a set of new worries present themselves for you to choose from, and you do, and so the cycle continues until you face the final great worry of whether you’re heading up or down when you depart this mortal coil, not to mention, how sore will it get before that actually happens?

How many stories do we hear of terminal cancer victims who accept their lot and decide to cash in all their retirement money and blow it all on an outrageously cool bucket list, only to find that their cancer mysteriously disappears? I’ve heard a couple. They surrender to what has been, what will be, and try to make the best of things. They stop worrying about the cancer growing and killing them painfully, and for some odd reason the cancer actually does stop growing and doesn’t kill them. They sometimes then go on to live lives that inspire others, having a ball along the way, until they finally do move on to whatever the next great adventure is for them on the other side of our unavoidable big sleep.

Surrender is not curling up into a ball and muttering “Woe is me”. Surrender is accepting what is without accepting the seemingly unavoidable outcome. The biggest mistake we make when something nasty is heading our way is to freeze and wait for it. If something seems unavoidable we shouldn’t be sitting in immobile terror until it arrives. We should surrender to the fact that it could happen, do what we can to avoid it or soften the blow, and then continue to live our lives the best way that we can. The fabulous thing about this crazy life is that sometimes there are wondrous miracles waiting on the other side of happenings that appear to be certain to completely destroy us in one way or another. And sometimes even though they appear to be heading towards us just as surely as a slow train, they simply don’t happen. Either way, worrying about them is not going to stop them if they truly are unavoidable.

It’s pretty obvious that regardless of the hands we are dealt in life, no matter what anyone or anything does to us, the purpose of our lives is to do the best that we can with what we have, in order to become the best that we can be. That thing that we are—our soul—our very I—is all that we get to take with us when the party is over, and the point is to make that thing that we are the most wonderful thing that it can be. Sometimes what we have is painful, awful, or seemingly too much to bear, but the truth is that we were built to bear hard things. They make us grow where it counts—in our hearts and souls. It’s true what they say—what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but only if you surrender without giving up.

You surrender to your reality of the sourest lemons you could imagine, hitting you in the face, and then you can see what you can make of them. You don’t waste any of your time hating them for giving you a black eye—how could that possibly help you? Never mind lemonade—you’re going to try and make the sweetest, most opulent pie on the planet with those nasty little sods that were sent your way to make you lie down and expire from the very nastiness of them. If they’re just too horrible to transform, then walk away from them if you can, and see if there are any cherry trees on the distant horizon—there usually are. Start walking, no matter how far away those trees are, no matter how sore your feet are, keep walking. Those sweet cherries will always be worth the effort.

The sooner that we learn that nobody on this planet owes us anything, and that no matter how terrible the things are that other people have done to us, we always have the choice of surrendering to what is behind us—even when it’s only one minute behind us—and deciding to take the first step to something better. Not only is it a choice, it’s a necessity. It’s why we’re here. It’s not our job to suffer, powerlessly waiting for the next blow, or worrying about the next disaster. There is nothing we can do to change what has happened or been done, but at any second we honestly can decide to stop giving our thoughts, time, life, to anything negative that can’t be changed.

No matter how tiny the step to making that sweet pie is, you will find that there are forces all around much more powerful than those nasty little ones that send you those thoughts of a terrifying future, and those good guys are just waiting for your baby step so that they can help you turn it into a mighty, unstoppable stride on the journey to your best possible future. You are the only one that can begin it though. You have to surrender all the negativity, all the thoughts of hatred of self or others—ditch the self-pity no matter how much you think you are entitled to it. Focus on those cherries and inch your foot just a tiny bit towards what you want. No matter how out of reach it might seem right now, you will be surprised when you find that when you focus with belief on whatever scrap of good you can see, it will grow faster than you can imagine, and soon you will wonder what you were worrying about in the first place. You will be amazed at your own power for good, and that the truth really is that the harder you think about something, the more likely it is to happen. Even great things.

Sometimes really, really bad things happen to people, sometimes for their whole lives. This is usually because that when they were little they learned to expect only negative outcomes. So they take these beliefs into their adult lives, and always anticipating the worst, the worst consistently shows ups in their realities. Even when they do read books or articles on the power of the positive, they just can’t do it. That’s because deep down they really don’t believe it. They feel undeserving of good things because they were educated from their first conscious thought that they truly didn’t deserve anything good, or even what the world would see as a normal human right. They probably acted out because the soul always knows that the true way of life shouldn’t be full of evil happenings. So their buried guilt from their own responses to pain just reinforces their belief that they are going to get what’s coming to them forever, and that what’s coming will always hurt them.

It’s not easy to surrender those beliefs, and sometimes even harder to surrender guilt. It’s hard to break out of a lifetime habit of anxiety and depression with a happy thought or two. So even when you do make the decision that you want better for yourself whether you “deserve” it or not, in some cases that first tiny step—that first action towards a brighter finish to your life—is much harder than running a marathon. Work is sometimes needed. The painful work of self-acceptance—self love. There is a lot of help with getting your mind healed enough to put your foot forward though. Read You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay, just about anything by Marianne Williamson, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brenė Brown, and most importantly, have a look at what you really are inside.

Dive into your own shadows within, and realise that every single one of us has to fail in order to understand what failure is. We have to feel remorse in order to know that what we have done is wrong. We have to understand that the most important thing to understand about ourselves is that it’s OK to fall. It’s normal to be damaged when people have damaged us. And it’s OK to heal ourselves and move on from anything—literally anything—negative and eventually find that we like ourselves. That warts and all we think we’re cool. We surrender all that horrible past, we give our past selves a large and loving hug, and we tell them it’s going to be OK now—we love them no matter what’s been done to them—no matter what they have done—we’re going to drive the bus from here, but they can come out for another hug whenever they want to, but without a doubt this bus is heading towards love, happiness, and the joy of acceptance of good things now. Even when dark clouds form on the horizon again—as they always do—we’re going to shift up a gear in the knowledge that sometimes dark clouds don’t mean a bad storm, and that even when the storm really does come, screeching, howling, blowing off roofs, and uprooting trees, it always passes, and sometimes there are rainbows on the other side. Always try to surrender the lemons and make a slow cherry pie instead. Sometimes one tiny baby step is all that you need to begin to make your ending fabulous.

Your life is meant for you to live it the way you choose. Giving up is a choice. Never take it. Surrender the evil behind you, or where you are now, and hold on tightly to the light ahead, even when all you can see is a tiny pinprick of it.

Rainbow

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32 thoughts on “When to Surrender

    Jack Eason said:
    December 23, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    A message from the lovely Jo 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    acflory said:
    December 23, 2017 at 9:53 am

    “…do the best that we can with what we have, in order to become the best that we can be.” Yes. -hugs-

    Liked by 2 people

      jorobinson176 responded:
      December 31, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      How wonderful to see you again! I hope all is well and happy with you? Hugs! ❤

      Like

        acflory said:
        January 1, 2018 at 1:13 am

        Hi Jo. I still lurk. 🙂 Hope you have a great start to 2018. -hugs back-

        Like

    jenanita01 said:
    December 23, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Reblogged this on anita dawes and jaye marie.

    Liked by 1 person

    jenanita01 said:
    December 23, 2017 at 11:16 am

    I am not guilty of welcoming disasters with open arms, but I think I have more than my share of stupid acceptance. Most of the time there is no point fighting anything, depending on your circumstances.
    I dream of walking away when I see trouble on the horizon, maybe in 2018 I will be able to do it…
    Best wishes, Jo…

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      December 31, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      I was brilliant at the stupid acceptance for most of my beginning too. 🙂 Some people have such terrible situations that they can’t walk away anymore. Life seems to be a whole lot tougher on the nicest people too. It’s hard to accept without being overcome, but I find it amazing how much nicer life is when you’re focusing on even tiny rainbows rather than ogres with hammers. The rainbows often suck the life right out of the ogres too. I wish you strength, and joy, and LOTS of massive rainbows for 2018! ❤ XXX

      Liked by 1 person

        jenanita01 said:
        December 31, 2017 at 1:02 pm

        Thank you so much, Jo… just for knowing. (and the tiny rainbows!)
        I have a feeling a lot of things are going to change in 2018…

        Like

    patriciaruthsusan said:
    December 23, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    Jo Robinson tells us how to survive in life.

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      December 31, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Thank you for sharing Susan! ❤ I hope you're going to have a wonderful, peaceful, and very happy 2018!

      Liked by 1 person

    Chris White said:
    December 23, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    And never hold up a white surrender flag in the snow. Your last three lines are an inspiration. Thank you Jo.
    Have a good Christmas break. Chris.

    Liked by 2 people

      jorobinson176 responded:
      December 31, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks to you Chris! And I hope that you are having a great one. These endings and beginnings can be a little stressful every year. XXX

      Like

    Alethea Kehas said:
    December 23, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    I hope you are well. Wishing you a happy Christmas and New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    IreneDesign2011 said:
    December 23, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    What a wonderful post, Jo 🙂
    I know one, who would have so much joy of your advice here, if just this one wished to listen. I have tried in many ways to change this kind of minding, but with no luck.
    If we accept the challenges, life becomes so much easier to live.

    Liked by 2 people

      jorobinson176 responded:
      December 31, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Thank you Irene – I hope you’re having a lovely season! We are are biggest enemies always unfortunately. Sometimes we need a hard bump in the road to realise that we can stop punishing ourselves. It breaks my heart when people just take the bumps and expect the next one thinking that they deserve it. I hope you find a breakthrough with your one, and that they find their strength and love. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        IreneDesign2011 said:
        December 31, 2017 at 12:43 pm

        Thank you Jo and you are right. Some people wont view longer than their own nose and then it is a huge challenge to change this minding.
        Wish you a Happy New Year.

        Like

    Cynthia Reyes said:
    December 23, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    I read your post early this morning at the very same time I had just been worrying about my friend. Thank you, Jo, for pouring your thoughts and compassion into this post. It is a very insightful post, and en-couraging too, in the true sense of giving courage. This means even more coming from you, who have endured so many trials in the last two years. My best wishes to you for 2018, my friend, and thanks for your generosity of spirit towards your readers.

    Liked by 2 people

      jorobinson176 responded:
      December 31, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      My lovely Cynthia – thanks to you! You have been my inspiration for 2017. I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone who has had to endure so much physical pain for so many years and is still a smiling, loving, kind, and gentle part of the lives of family and friends too. I’m taking a bow here by the way. I wish for a joyful and pain free year ahead for you, and I already know though, that where you are, love will always be. ❤ XXXXX

      Liked by 1 person

    Tina Frisco said:
    December 25, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Terrific post, Jo. Energy follows thought. Reminds me of John Denver’s lovely song, Sweet Surrender. Happy Holidays, my friend ❤

    Liked by 2 people

      jorobinson176 responded:
      December 31, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      I love this song! Thank you Tina! Actually, just this past week I’ve been catching up on the posts I’ve missed over the past crazy year, and I’m addicted to yours! Not many people are so good at getting such important lessons across – thank you! Wishing you the very best and brightest 2018! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        Tina Frisco said:
        January 2, 2018 at 10:43 pm

        Thank you for the lovely compliment, Jo. I hope 2018 brings many blessings and a healthy dose of serenity to you ❤

        Like

    tracikenworth said:
    December 26, 2017 at 12:10 am

    I feel like this too much of the time. I often get overwhelmed with the weather and what it’s to bring. Going through it lifts my spirits but then the next time I hear the weather report, I fear again. I try to trust in God but it’s easier to give him the reins in other areas of my life. This is something I must learn to do: let go. We’re expecting a winter storm again the next couple days and I must drive my daughter in it. Usually, I get little sleep. Tonight, I’m going to fight that dread and hopefully persevere through what’s to come.

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      December 31, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      So sorry Traci! Fear of an actual approaching event is another thing altogether. The weather is one thing that we can’t change with positive affirmations – that’s for sure! I actually understand this particular fear. I was seriously afraid of the weather when we lived on the Mozambican border because we had some seriously horrible storms. Where do you live, may I ask? With “logical” fears I found that what really helps is to turn your mind to what you can physically do that you’re not already doing to make yourself and your loved ones safer. Is it possible for you to avoid having to actually drive in the storm? It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about this either. No amount of people not being frightened of what terrifies you is going to make it better. Apart from physically trying to make whatever is coming less of a threat to you, it helps to try to turn your thoughts elsewhere – very hard – I know! We are truly protected all the time, and probably never even notice the 99 miracles that happen every day to keep us safe. I always say that fear is the devil’s favorite tool, but realising that his opposition is a whole lot stronger fear loses its power a lot when we think about how much love has brought us this far. If you fancy an email chat please zoom up above and use the Contact Me page. Stay safe and loved! XXX

      Liked by 1 person

        tracikenworth said:
        January 2, 2018 at 1:16 am

        Thanks for your kind words, Jo! I sent an email to you.

        Like

    Michelle Morrison said:
    December 31, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Reblogged this on Books and Random Fun Stuff and commented:
    This is worth reading-Some good advice for the New Year.

    Like

    Equipping said:
    January 1, 2018 at 5:05 am

    Thank you for your likes of my posts. Please know that I also write the blogs of, “Values,” and “Apocalypse And Beyond.” If you will follow Equipping, you will receive all of my posts, as they all originate on Equipping. I really like your blog. Your posts are always very good. Please have a good night, and a prosperous new year.

    Like

    literaryeyes said:
    January 10, 2018 at 5:16 am

    Briillant: Surrender is accepting what is without accepting the seemingly unavoidable outcome.

    And guilt can be so destructive. I’ve had to learn I can’t stop someone who’s making his or her own decisions, can’t live up to my own too-high expectations. I’ve learned – the hard way – to let go.

    Like

    D. Wallace Peach said:
    January 11, 2018 at 1:38 am

    What a heartfelt post, Jo. Your line “We live in societies of our own creation” struck me first. The flip side, which makes my jaw drop every time I think it, is that we can, by the same means, recreate it, choose to make something new, kinder and more beautiful. I love Louise Hay’s book and can personally attest to the significant differences it had made in my life and continues to make by whatever magic our affirmations contain. I also don’t have the answers. I also believe that all our feelings, the highs and loves, the successes and failures are okay, part of the human journey and the source of understanding and compassion between people. So much in here to ponder. Wishing you a year of acceptance, peace, and transformation. ❤

    Like

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