There seems to be a sort of split between two types of people in the spiritual community-the mindfulness advocates who say that we should simply be present, not believe our thoughts and surrender to the natural loving flow of the universe. On the other hand, you get the power of positivity and law of attraction lovers who are utterly convinced that you have to control every thought in your mind if you want to live a good life.
When I was in my late teens, I fell into quite an extreme depression. Every step felt like hell itself was trying to drag me down from the inside. A large cause of this depression was due to my adherence to strictly reductionist and atheistic principles.
A fear of my thoughts also contributed to this downfall. At this age, I had begun to fall into a bit of a paranoia spiral. Obviously, I didn’t tell anyone for fear of being called crazy which, to be honest, maybe I was. I became convinced that my mind could bend reality which itself seems like an empowering idea. The problem is that I was so full of fear that my mind went down into a negativity spiral, just repeating and repeating all the worst scenarios I could think of. This toppled my depression with a heavy sense of anxiety out of fear that all these terrible thoughts would manifest.
This depression lasted for about a year and I honestly saw no end to it when out of the blue a simple quote lifted me from the absolute hell I had created. This quote by David Icke simply said, “Infinite love is the only truth. Everything else is an illusion.”
At the time, I didn’t completely understand what I was reading but I didn’t have to. Something inside me just clicked as it to say, “Oh yeah I forgot about that,” and my mind, as well as all its stories, slowly began to relax. I didn’t know it at that time but this was my first experience with surrender.
A few years after this, whilst in the midst of an abusive relationship, I came across this topic of surrender. At the time complete surrender seemed like my only escape. I had exhausted myself by using every trick in the book in an attempt to leave and so, for the first time in my life, I simply ‘gave up’. I somehow then left that relationship.
The problem with this was that I had now begun to apply this to every area of my life. It became an excuse to abdicate responsibility. It was almost as if I was abandoning my abused and lonely self if I began to take the reigns. This was made crystal clear to me during an incredibly hard Ayahuasca ceremony.
Since that ceremony, I have been trying to understand how I can take responsibility or step into my power and still surrender. For some reason, I felt that I had to choose. Only recently has it begun to be more clear to me, although I am still in the process of putting the pieces together.
The way I see it, surrender is there for you to become unattached to the circumstances of your life or the game whilst your mind and its belief systems act as a sort of interface and control mechanism by which to play the game with. For example, let us pretend that the ‘oneness’ of the universe is a room and in the room is a TV with a video game on it and controls. The video game itself we could call ‘life’ or ‘the matrix of life’ whereas the remote controls we could as our mind and the character or cartoon our body.
If you are unaware that this is a game you are going to start getting really freaked out because there are monsters and deep pits to fall into. It’s going to become hard to keep your focus steady with your hands shaking and your palms all sweaty. If you put the remote control down for a second, ie: surrender and realize that there is a room around you ie: oneness it’s going to be much easier to go back into the game with concentration because you are not taking it so seriously. In all probability, you will be able to hold the remote control more steady and even if you mess up, it won’t be the biggest deal.
This is where I got stuck, you don’t simply put the remote control down. You keep on playing. You need that remote to steer you around and yes, it does influence reality but when you understand the bigger picture of oneness you steer it in service of that unconditionally loving space. You slowly begin to let go of fear as you realize it’s not going to break you completely because it’s only a game. If anything, you will be able to manifest your desires more easily because you don’t have attachment creating a fearful momentum of the opposite.
So yes, surrender is important but so is using your mind as a tool. With out surrender, you live in fear and control and end up manifesting the opposite whereas with out your mind you become disconnected from the game and well, where’s the fun in that?