I have declared that for me 2023 is my Year of Surrender. I have gone through most of my life trying to control just about everything, especially relationships that I love deeply. I realize, finally, in this chapter of my life, that surrendering to what is and what will be is how I want to be and continue to explore.
This realization came to me recently during a difficult breakdown with one of my adult children. If you have children, you can probably identify with the desire to have their lives work out for them and the desire for them to prosper and ‘make it’ in life. Yet, when your kids become adults, if you are still trying to control their lives, manage them, change them to who YOU want them to be – for your own self-interest or out of your own fear – it doesn’t work. That’s what I was doing.
One of the most useful pieces of advice I’ve received in this area is from podcast host Mel Robbins who urges parents “to seek connection, over correction.” That says it all. And I’m committed to mending my breakdown exactly that way – by reconnecting at a heart level, deeply listening, and surrendering to what is.
I’ve started looking at my characteristics when I am in my Controlling Self. I am reactive and impatient. My love is conditional. I have unreasonable expectations of myself and others and am judgmental. I feel competitive and am perfectionistic. I don’t listen – it’s my way or the highway.
When I am in the space of Surrendering, I am trusting of the flow of life and the unfolding of the future. I can allow it to be messy and can sit with the unknown. I am relaxed and grateful, not needing the approval of others to feel good. I bring joy and laughter to the situation at hand. Most importantly, rather than trying to fix or change what’s happening and impress my views on others, I listen.
I realize that I actually feel much more powerful when I am in my Surrendering Self than I do when I am trying to manipulate or take control. Working with Lynne Twist all these years, I have witnessed what I call her “soft power.” Lynne’s power derives from her listening, her ability to have people know they are heard and appreciated. In this Year of Surrender, when I feel myself heading back into the control lane of life, I am committed to surrendering.
As 2023 unfolds, I hope this bit of wisdom will empower your relationships – with your children if you have them, or in whatever realm you feel stuck in trying to control. May you experience the joy of letting go and trusting the flow of life to take you where you are meant to go… and surrender to what is.
With love and appreciation,