Giving Up Versus Surrendering – What’s the Difference?

This time of year is bittersweet for me. I always mourn the fleeting days of summer. As the days get shorter and the evenings become longer, I know the cold weather is coming and winter is just around the corner. I live in Canada and winter seems endless here. My fantasy is to live somewhere where I can have a palm tree in my backyard.

September flies by so quickly with getting my kids back to school and my work schedule ramping up. Every year I say, I can’t believe it’s October! I swear it was just August a moment ago. This September, I committed myself to be more present. I didn’t want rush through September trying to keep on schedule. I wanted to embrace the month day by day. So, I made it a point of going for walks and taking pictures and sharing my experiences on social media. I wanted to document every moment of September. It’s a month I usually don’t remember. The truth is, I am just not ready to give up summer, but I must surrender to the fact it is gone, and it is time for something new.

What is the difference between giving up and surrendering?

Giving up feels frustrating stressful and painful. There seems to be a sense of failure attached to giving up. You feel like there is no resolution. Often when I have given up, I feel a sense of anger and defeat. I just want to stop the world and get off. I can’t take it anymore! Lately, I have been feeling this way with social justice work. I feel like it’s hopeless to change the world to a place of love for all instead of a place of hate for many.

I decided to surrender my anger and frustration. As I surrender my attachment to summer to embrace fall, I see new possibilities. The surrender becomes a chance to recharge and be reborn. When you surrender, you calmly set aside the outcome. You peacefully detach from the situation. It begins to feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You can start to feel a sense of calm and peace about the entire thing you are battling. If you change your perspective on the situation, maybe it becomes an opportunity to learn. It is time to take a break and breath and see the world isn’t so hopeless. There is good here; I just needed some perspective.

To Surrender

To quote the Beatles, “Let it Be”. Surrender is not “giving up”, but rather, it is letting go. Surrender is the action of contentment and gratitude, and knowing when to surrender creates peace, well-being, and space for new experiences. Dwelling in the past does not allow you to focus on the present. Being here right now allows to be conscious, aware and connected to who you are. Surrender makes room for new possibilities and new opportunities.  As I say goodbye to summer, I look to the fall as a new adventure and a new opportunity to change the world.

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