Surrendering To What You Want

The final installment of my Surrender series focuses on surrendering to what you want. You can read about surrendering to feelings here and surrendering to resistance here.

“Dream big – dream very big. Work hard – work very hard. And after you’ve done all you can, you stand, wait and fully surrender.”

–Oprah Winfrey


Surrender Is Scary

Surrender is a commitment to yourself and what you want. It’s being ok with “I don’t know.” In your desire for safety and certainty, you will cling to what is familiar… even if the familiar makes you miserable. I see this ALL THE TIME with people in dysfunctional relationships. They believe the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. But is it? Or is that just your mind’s way of keeping you safely stuck?

The need for security and control is strong because your subconscious is trying to protect you. Same = safe. Different = scary and uncertain. The act of surrender goes against those instincts, leading you to question:

What will happen if I let go of my tight grip?
What if I can’t control the outcome?
What if things go in a direction I don’t want?
What if I lose what I have (even if what I have isn’t making me happy)?


Surrender Is A Choice

Surrender requires a level of trust that the universe will support you. If you want challenging and difficult, the universe will provide all sorts of wonderful obstacles for you to climb over. If you want ease, the universe will clear a path. You get to choose. Surrender is active in its intention, but it’s not forced. It’s not giving up, nor is it making things happen through force of will. Surrender starts with an intention. Let’s say you want a healthy partnership. Below are two paths you can choose.

Action Through Force
You sign up for multiple dating sites, methodical in who you respond to because you only want to go out with those you deem as “serious candidates.” You create a checklist in your head of what you’ll accept and start dismissing everyone who doesn’t meet those requirements. You want a relationship, after all, so you have to take this seriously. You may have strict rules around engagement… if he/she doesn’t want to meet in person after texting for a day, forget it. No time to waste. Everything feels tight; there is no opening for someone to get through. Your world stays small and controlled.

Action Through Surrender
You sign up for multiple dating sites, but instead of your approach of weeding people out, you lead with curiosity. You’re open to letting things unfold naturally, without rules or restrictions. Maybe you say yes to a date with someone who doesn’t fit your checklist simply because something in his/her profile spoke to you. After a pleasant time, you say yes to another, even if fear pulls you back. You approach it this way because you trust that every step you take is leading you toward what you want. You don’t know when or how (that’s not in your control), you just know you’re moving in that direction. Your world expands, open to possibility.


It Starts With Intention

If you aren’t clear about what you want, it makes it difficult to get. So what if you don’t KNOW what you want? You need to ask yourself some questions. What motivates you? What lights you up about life? Often your wants involve some level of fear… fear of what might happen if you get what you want (things might change!) or fear you won’t be able to handle it. Take this out of the equation. It’s just your head trying to control things. Get to your deeper wants… is it love, happiness, companionship, a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose? Get to the root of what you’re looking for so you can set a clear intention.


Take Action While Letting Go

Once you’re clear on what you want, you’ll need to take action toward it, starting with one step at a time. Get online, sign up for a pottery class, join a meet-up group, etc. Each time you take a step, let go of trying to control the outcome. It’s a journey without a map. You know you want to be “over there,” but you may have to cross rivers, veer left, walk up a hill, backtrack, etc. You won’t get there as the crow flies, but if you keep taking steps toward what you want, surrendering to whatever presents itself and trusting you’re moving toward it (even when it doesn’t feel like it), you’ll get to where you want to be.


Getting What I Wanted Through Surrender

As you may know, my wedding day is around the corner, and my husband-to-be is everything I wanted in a partner. The interesting thing is… if I hadn’t changed my approach to dating, we probably wouldn’t have gotten past a third date. He was emotionally available, something almost foreign to me. On the one hand, he was exactly what I wanted, but on the other hand, I was afraid I couldn’t handle it because that meant I needed to be open and available. Yep, fear.

I knew the universe was reflecting back what I was putting out there. If I led with fear, I’d keep dating the same men. If I led with an open heart, I’d receive something different. But that something “different” was a total unknown, which was scary. I had NO idea where surrendering would lead me, but I chose to accept those terms and venture into the unknown. I let my curiosity lead, allowing things to unfold without knowing where they were headed. When something told me to pull back early on (ahem, fear!), I let that kernel of curiosity push me forward. My intention was to have a healthy, happy, connected relationship, so I knew that my actions would eventually lead me there. I just didn’t know when or with whom. That was 18 months ago, and next month I’m getting married to the love of my life. I was clear on what I wanted, but if I hadn’t surrendered to how I got there, there is a good chance I would still be single.


Your Challenge

Take one creative action in the direction of what your heart wants, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense, it feels uncomfortable and you don’t know where it will lead. It could be reading an interesting article instead of telling yourself it’s not a priority, or working in the garden because you feel inspired. Maybe it’s going on a date with someone you’re curious about, even if you don’t think they are “right” for you. The point is to do something just because something inside nudges you in that direction, with no expectation and no agenda.


Related Podcasts

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[smart_track_player url=”” title=”Journey of Attachment: Taking Emotionally Risky Action” social_gplus=”false” social_linkedin=”true” social_pinterest=”true” social_email=”true” ]

1 Comment

  1. Surrendering to Feelings - Tracy Crossley on August 5, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    […] Read Part 3: Surrendering to What You Want […]

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