Surrender does not mean giving up.

From Abbey of the Arts Lenten Course, 2013 Mandala

I saw a question posted on someone’s FB page the other day (I can’t remember whose) that asked, “What does surrender mean to you?”

A good question.

For me, surrender is the art of letting go of holding on. It means falling into Love without fearing love will end, or not be there to catch me, or wrap me in its embrace.

It means, knowing I am safe in the embrace of the Divine simply because I am. Me.

A search of Google provides this definition from Merriam Webster online.

Definition of surrender
surrendered; surrendering
transitive verb
a : to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand surrendered the fort
b : to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another
a : to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner
b : to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)
intransitive verb
: to give oneself up into the power of another : yield

a : the action of yielding one’s person or giving up the possession of something especially into the power of another
b : the relinquishment by a patentee of rights or claims under a patent
c : the delivery of a principal into lawful custody by bail —called also surrender by bail
d : the voluntary cancellation of the legal liability of an insurance company by the insured and beneficiary for a consideration
e : the delivery of a fugitive from justice by one government to another
: an instance of surrendering

Holding onto nothing, I become that which I hold onto. In that ‘nothing’ I am everything.

Sometimes, I resist surrender (okay, maybe I should type, often I resist surrender… because surrender does not come naturally to me). I resist. I push back. I flee from surrender into that place where I convince myself to surrender is to give up, in, over to something, someone else. Like Merriam Webster’s definition, I am trapped in believing surrender means to give myself up to the power of another.

I don’t like giving myself up to the power of another.

I like to tell myself I am independent. A woman of my own making. Not dependent upon another, or a power other than my own.

Fact is, I am constantly dependent upon and interdependent with others.

In simple terms, this means that to get from A to B, if not walking, I prefer to drive. To drive, I need a car someone manufactured. To drive my car I need a road and some sort of energy to fuel my car. I need street signs and road signs to help me get where I want to go, and to help traffic flow safely. All of which I am dependent upon others to create, build and maintain.

Perhaps surrender is not about surrendering to another power, but rather, surrendering the notion that I am not dependent upon others. Perhaps it means surrendering to the truth — we are all interdependent beings. Even a hermit living in a cave in a desert needs people to stay away, making him/her dependent upon others respecting his/her desire to be cut apart from society.

What does surrender mean to you?

I ask because I’m working on No 31 of my She Persisted series, and surrender keeps popping into the frame. I don’t know yet what the quote is, but I do know that for it to appear, I must surrender my desire to believe I know what is going to appear. Because, that is the essence of creativity for me. To surrender all belief that I am in charge of the process.


16 thoughts on “Surrender does not mean giving up.

  1. How about surrendering to the idea you are NOT in control of the process – and that you don’t need to be in control? Seems to me, the earth turning and the collective power of 7.5 billion creative lives – they aren’t in control either. So, no matter who surrenders or to what, we are call here – call us surrendered, call us captive – it doesn’t matter much. We are still, all here. Is it really about surrender and about power? I’ve come to believe, when it is about giving, the other questions aren’t in play so much. Give, give everything, give your all – but never never ever ever surrender! …. Churchill never said it that way, but he wishes he did!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I very much agree Mary — my Soulful Woman card this morning is: The Unkown: I bow to the infinite intelligence of the cosmos and my next steps are revealed. — such a challenging thing to do! And I submit. Surrender and fall in Love.


  2. Surrender could be faith and trust. I surrender my belief that I’m always right if you can help me see a better way and I have faith that you will catch me when I fall. I can surrender to a true friend or a mentor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is challenging isn’t it Mark — to surrender one’s belief of being right!? At least – I find it challenging for me at times. And when I do, life flows so much more gracefully! Hugs my friend.


  3. Hi Louise… your are always thought provoking… thank you!…. probably the most favourite quote of mine popped into my head as I came to the end of your blog today….. John H Schaar, a professor out of California I think… found it many years ago on a door in Okanagan College in Vernon….

    “The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.”

    ― John H. Schaar

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh Ms Julie — what if those faults are part of your beauty — and aren’t really faults but rather, your human essence in all its beautiful mess? Surrendering could mean loving yourself freely — and then, who knows what could happen next? 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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