We are winding down with our book on the 7 Steps to a Life of Joy. Have you been working the exercises? Are you feeling more joy?
Joy is an after-effect of working on our spiritual path. It’s really not something that is influenced by outside events like happiness.
Joy is an inside job.
So, I do hope you are working because it works if you work it.
This next step from Rev. Mark Anthony Lord is Surrender.
I know many people go right to giving up all that you are, all that you have, when you think of surrender. This is what the dictionary states: the action of yielding one’s person or giving up the possession of something especially into the power of another.
This is what we usually think of when we hear the word surrender….like
No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War, Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, one of the last Japanese-born soldiers to surrender in World War II.
Onoda had been stationed on Lubang Island in the Philippines when it was taken over by U.S. forces in February 1945. Almost all of his comrades were killed or captured, While his fellow evaders were eventually killed, Onoda held out for 29 years, dismissing every attempt to coax him out of the jungle as a trick.
His primary motivation for not surrendering was his devout belief in the Japanese military code of discipline and honor. Because of this, he had been ordered by his superiors to never leave his post until he received a specific order enabling him to do so.
In 1974, the Japanese government sent its commanding officer to Lubang to order Onoda to surrender. When Lieutenant Onoda stepped out of the jungle to accept the order, he did so in his dress uniform and sword, with his rifle still in operating condition. Even in surrender he maintained his discipline and retained his honor.
We are discussing a different meaning to surrender. Rev. Lord says it this way: “In its deepest sense, it is giving up all the fixing, figuring out, managing, and controlling that keep you bound in chronic fear and confusion.”
Quite a different definition. He continues, “Its letting go of every part of you that thinks it has to make life happen either for yourself or another. It’s trusting life so implicitly that you never question it. It’s living fully in the moment with no worry or concern for what will happen next and no expectations on how you or others are supposed to act.
That is pretty amazing.
Here it is again: “Its letting go of every part of you that thinks it has to make life happen either for yourself or another. It’s trusting life so implicitly that you never question it. It’s living fully in the moment with no worry or concern for what will happen next and no expectations on how you or others are supposed to act.”
Think on that a bit.
Have you ever done that? Do you think you could do that?
At this point in many of our lives, we are striving to do that. I pray you are achieving it at least some of the time. On this physical plane, I know it is a difficult thing…trying to control our reactions to the happenings of our daily lives.
When you surrender to the God of your understanding, you get to be who you truly are and so do the rest of us.
Wouldn’t that be amazing? No longer boxed in a corner, ruled by your internal voices telling you who you should be and how you should act and judging others by that same voice.
THIS is God’s will for us.
Many people ask; well, what exactly is God’s will?”
The simple and wonderfully easy answer, God’s will is for good for all concerned.
Our Creator’s will is for us to be happy, free, and living an amazing life.
To have your most amazing life, you, and me, must let Spirit in. We must have faith.
Faith—one of our 12 Powers. Faith—“The ability to believe, intuit, and perceive,
the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Faith is the power to create our reality by our perceptions, our beliefs, and our interpretations. Seeing is believing, and yet believing is seeing.
In “Growing Through the Four Levels of Faith” by Ellen Debenport; she tells us that Faith falls roughly into four levels.
Level 1: Hope
Hope is not as strong as faith, but sometimes it’s the best we can muster. Hope acknowledges that things might get better; it expresses a wish.
The problem with hope is that it also acknowledges things might not get better, and it stems from resistance to the way things are now. We hope things will change and be different. It’s perfectly human, but it’s low-level faith.
Level 2: Blind Faith
“Everything will be okay,” or “God will provide.”
Blind faith may be the best we can do, and it certainly feels better than despair.
However, blind faith can become magical thinking with a big dose of denial. It also doesn’t require our participation. We just wait for some kind of intervention from outside of us.
Level 3: Understanding Faith
Spiritual maturity brings about understanding faith. Just as we now understand why the sun seems to rise in the east, we have learned who we truly are and why we can trust life.
We know the ancient teachings that God is all there is, and we are part of the whole. Our thoughts have creative power, so we are key participants in life’s unfolding. We are never separate from an infinite presence, and we can act from the awareness of our spiritual identity.
All our thoughts and choices can be grounded in our understanding of spiritual principles.
Level 4: Knowing
The deepest faith is also the simplest: knowing.
We don’t struggle to adjust our thinking or believe in good instead of bad. We just know.
We know we live in a universe of abundance. We know health is our natural state. We know the universe is biased for good, and most things work out for the best, at least in the long run. Call it grace.
In faith, we focus on the good we know is present, even when we can’t see it yet.
When we surrender, we let go of the results of our actions
This is not to deny or ignore what is happening around us. It’s like focusing a camera lens on a single bud in a trampled garden. It’s noticing the first leaves on a tree while it’s still cold outside. It’s remembering all the times past when something we resisted turned out to be exactly what we needed or had asked for. It simply arrived in a package we didn’t recognize.
Surrender happens when we know that we don’t know.
Our job is: think about what you want, feel good, let God do the rest
The universe is a yes machine
Try to not make things happen but allow them to happen. Allow life to happen for you.
We are under the illusion that we control everything and everyone…all of humanity is part of this great illusion. We were never in control!
The truth is we are all vulnerable. We know our life on this planet is temporary, but instead of embracing this truth and allowing it to generate present-moment appreciation, we hide in fear by trying to control that which is uncontrollable.
For example: the moment we find a fault in another, we are trying to change them. We judge and think they should be different. Why do we make their ‘fault’ our problem?
Remember…whose business is it…mine, yours, Gods?
We lose our sense of peace every time we work ourselves into a state of worry over someone else’s choice.
The reality is nobody changes anything about themselves just because someone else thinks they should.
However, if it is part of your job to help others make healthy choices and even deter them from dangerous ones, then it is your responsibility to do so from a place of love and acceptance. Control does not do this.
Also, your self-care should never be compromised. You are not a doormat.
Sometimes we trap people, often those we love, with so many expectations. Expectations almost always cause disappointment. What we believe to be the issue is more often than not, what the other believes it to be.
For most people. Surrendering will occur over time and in layers, like peeling an onion. You’ll experience a bit of it and feel wonderful and then discover as time goes by that there is another layer to release.
A few experience complete surrender of control and expectations in a moment…ex. Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle who awakened in an instant.
Your exercise for this week: Inventory your expectations.
Think of the different people in your life and write down your expectations for them. Parents, siblings, spouse, boss, co-workers, friend….as many people who are a big part of your life and as many expectations as your hold them to. No stopping or thinking, make this a continuous exercise for each person.
After you have completed your lists, take a break. Then go back and look over your lists. Are they really reasonable? Where you aware of all these expectations? What is your next step?