This second installment of my Surrender series focuses on surrendering to feelings. You can read about surrendering to resistance in my first post here.
“Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. the world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.”
― Marianne Williamson
Disconnection From Emotions
People are masters of stopping emotions in their tracks. Negative feelings are often shoved down, numbed out or otherwise avoided. You think you’ve made them go away, but really you just saved them for later… and later turns out to be an inopportune time when you find yourself exploding. Emotions can be messy and uncomfortable, and the fear is they will engulf you. They won’t. I promise. In fact, the more you surrender to them, the less overwhelming they become. Trying to control your feelings backfires and actually leads to them controlling you!
Resistance to your feelings keeps you stuck in the same emotional space. When trying to suppress negative emotions, you maintain an underlying sense of discontent. You may feel anxious or out of sorts… basically you exchange one set of feelings for another. This leaves you fearful of making a move because you don’t want to make a wrong decision. When you’re disconnected from your feelings, your head takes over and tries to control things. That is not the place from which lasting change can happen. The circumstances you’re currently in are a reflection of the feelings inside you.
Surrendering to Emotions
When you surrender to your feelings you stop those OTHER negative feelings associated with ignoring them: pain, anxiety, heaviness, limitation, etc. You can’t control which emotions you feel, selecting only the positive ones. To feel joy you have to surrender to pain and disappointment. Allowing all emotions to surface moves you out of stagnation and opens you up so you’re able to lead from your heart instead of your head. It also leads to less struggle, a clearer path forward and motivation to take action toward what you want. When you stop fighting against your feelings, you are simply more willing to take risks.
Surrendering to emotions → less struggle → clearer path → inspired actions → realizing your desires
Surrender is love-based; you have this deep trust that everything will be ok. It’s expansive, allowing for opportunities and possibilities you couldn’t have foreseen had you maintained your tight grip of control. Continuously stay aware of where you are afraid and limited. Remember it is just your head talking, not reality.
Your Inner Voice
Your inner voice is the one you were born with. It is pure and unmuddied by all the negative beliefs and patterns you developed over the years. It is always urging you toward courageous, loving actions that speak to the truth of who you are. When you surrender to that inner voice, which is done emotionally (not mentally!), things shift; your life changes. Sitting with your feelings allows that inner wisdom to speak to you, and surrendering to it will always lead you in the direction of your heart’s desire.
How I Surrender to Emotions
I do this a lot with my soon-to-be husband and it sure is challenging at times. Recently we talked about making some life changes. When he expressed his fears, it triggered me because I didn’t like what he said and the impact it would have on me. Negative feelings bubbled up inside and I had a choice: either ignore them and be left with anxious heaviness, or allow all the ugliness, including the shame underneath everything.
I chose to surrender, which meant sitting with my emotions and feeling all of them. It also meant digging deep to accept where HE was emotionally, which takes compassion. Compassion is much easier when you connect with your own emotions because you’re not focused externally on blame or angry outbursts. Once I surrendered, the shitty feelings dissipated and I was able to come from a more loving place, taking different actions than I would have by keeping it all inside. The result was an open conversation where neither one of us was made out to be the bad guy. Plus, no more negative feelings that would have surfaced later in a much less productive way.
Each day I surrender and I’m starting to see more magic happen. Things don’t have to happen the way you envisioned in order to be happy. It’s actually about experiencing happiness as you’re living, growing and challenging yourself to take daily emotional risks.
When you feel emotions bubble up, stop and sit with it. If you’re in public and you’re able to step away, go to the restroom and sit there for three minutes. You don’t have to sit forever. Even surrendering to your feelings for a few short minutes is enough. It’s breaking a pattern of ignoring them. Give them the attention they deserve. The more you surrender to ALL of your feelings—negative and positive—the less you will struggle and the more connected you will be to your inner wisdom.
Read Part 3: Surrendering to What You Want