In May of 2012 I spent 3 days with some of the most incredible people I’ve met. We gathered in Laguna Beach to meet with a prominent spiritual leader whose teachings have deeply moved and challenged me in my adult life. The people that gathered were from all walks of life and from various faith backgrounds. What was so incredible about my time with them was the thirst for truth and desire to be stripped of preconceptions and press into reality. As we gathered to explore life together one of the central teachings was about surrendering the outcomes of the situations of our lives.
What does that mean? What does that look like? Why is that important? When we surrender the outcomes of the things we pour ourselves into we are surrendering the control of everyone else’s response to our giving of our gifts.
There is freedom in surrendering the outcomes. Because we no longer have to control people’s responses to the way we give ourselves to this world and to others, we become free to love and give with all of who we are. We don’t feel as if we have to control or manipulate others. Instead we simply give all that we have in the various ways and endeavors that we choose to give.
It no longer matters if our children grow up and become the people we want them to be and make the choices we want them to make. We simply give of ourselves with a freedom that allows us to love unconditionally instead of falling to the temptation to control and manipulate. It no longer matters if our significant other acts or responds in the ways we want them to. We can know at the end of the day that we gave everything we had, regardless of the outcome. It no longer matters if the project we’re working on turns out the way we wanted it to. Instead we can rest at peace when we have finished the project, knowing that we made ourselves available in a manner of giving that before we weren’t free to do.
The problem with hanging on to the control of outcomes is that control is simply an illusion. If our life situations don’t turn out exactly how we want them to, we easily become disappointed that we didn’t get what we want. We begin to regret and to grow bitter because people didn’t respond in the manner we thought they ought to. But with surrendered outcomes, the beauty is in the giving and in living our lives the way we believe is indicative of being true to ourselves. We can relish in the fact that we laid it all out in a fashion that is true to our convictions. There is something so incredibly beautiful about living life this way.
For me, this requires a trust and a faith in the Divine, that if I give myself willingly, that God will care for my needs. But others may not need that. Either way, at the end of the day, surrendering outcomes leaves us more fulfilled and free of the stuff that can so easily tangle us up and render us bitter and far from our purpose. And who truly wants that?
What outcomes do you need to surrender so that you will be free to fully give of yourself?
Today I will surrender the outcomes with a trust that living life from the center of my heart will make this world a better place. I value what I have to give and I release others from responding in a fashion that makes me feel good about myself. I will feel good about myself because I’ve given my all for another day and that is enough.