Letting Go | Surrendering | The BridgeMaker

Letting Go: 5 Truths about Surrendering

By on Sep 02, 2012

letting go

Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go. – Herman Hesse

At times, life may feel like it is spinning out of control. You feel completely powerless over the circumstances being handed to you. During times like these, it may be easier to give up. But you do have another choice – you can choose to let go, surrender control and reclaim the life that belongs just to you.

Perhaps the greatest contradiction is realizing when you surrender control to the Universe you are in a better position to get what you need to fulfill your life’s purpose. Surrendering isn’t about giving up; it’s about letting go. Surrendering isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength.

Surrendering allows you to feel less stressed, overwhelmed and anxious. It creates mental space to be present in the moment.

Take a moment and consider this question: What do you need to surrender today? It is a relationship, a business venture, or a person you lost in death? Is it a medical prognosis, a painful memory, or the idea of having the perfect life? Do you need to surrender a past failure, a thought or stress?

Surrendering control is hard to do because the need for control is rooted in fear. The uneasiness of not having direct control over what happens is frustrating. Even when the warning signs are clear, you continue to think if you keep trying harder, if you keep doing everything right; if you can just get one step closer to perfection, then you will have want you want.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lao Tzu

Unfortunately, the universe doesn’t work like that. Instead, the Universe gives you exactly what you need. The sooner you realize pushing back against the inevitable only makes you more anxious; the sooner you can go about the business of living your life according to the plan the Universe has for you.

Letting go has been difficult for me, too. The thought of allowing control to a higher power was terrifying. By letting go, I was giving up – or so I thought. Today, I have learned if I’m going to have the life that has been planned for me; I need the Universe to help me find it. Today, I have learned these five truths about surrendering.

These five truths don’t contemplate the absence of self-responsibility; they actually encourage it. The five truths will help you understand that it’s your responsibility to follow your personal destiny – no matter how out of control it may feel at times.

  1. Pain doesn’t have to define you
    Holding on to the pain only keeps you stuck in a place somewhere in the past. The pain no longer has to define who you are. It’s time to let go of pain and welcome confidence, strength and peace into your life.
  2. What you pay attention to grows
    Even though you may not be responsible for everything that happens to you, you are responsible for how you choose to react to what happens to you. The expression like attracts like is especially true when it comes to positive and negative emotions. If you chose to remain positive, then positive results are likely to occur. Alternatively, if you decide to be negative and critical, you can expect more negative circumstances to happen.
  3. Begin today, right now
    There is no better time to live your heart’s passion than right now. When the nudge you feel is beginning to pull you in the direction of your life’s purpose and your inner wisdom is telling you to go; then trust and let go.
  4. Open the floodgates of hope
    When you open the floodgates of hope and refuse to allow fear to defeat our faith, you are better able to surrender your problems, ask for help and then follow your heart’s desire.
  5. Forgiveness is a form of letting go, but different
    The purpose of forgiveness is not to let the person who harmed you off the hook, the purpose of forgiveness is to end the grief it has cost you. Don’t just let go, forgive and truly surrender the feelings of anger and pain. This may seem difficult, almost impossible, until you attempt to do it.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • Yes Alex, why is letting go so challenging:) I know that like you I fear I think letting go not of what i might lose but of what really lies ahead. I love the quotes you have shared they are very powerful And tour 5 truths are something we can all embrace especially Number 3.

    • Hi Suzie – number 3 is where it all starts. Great seeing you here. I hope you are doing well!


  • richard

    Sometimes letting go is the easiest way to move on- however everone personal situation differs one way or the other.A marriage of 13 years with 2 young toddlers is a very tough situation to walk away from.A wife that seems to already given up on a marriage and separating 2 children from there father is very hard for me.Its not something i want to let go of.i love my wife very much and still hope our marriage would get back on track . The whole idea of letting go sometimes is the right thing to do – just think that some situations are different

    • Richard,

      I agree, all situations are different. When I was separated from my wife, and it looked like divorce was the only option, I surrendered the pain, anxiety and uncertainty. By doing that, I had more energy to work on the marriage – we are still married today.

      Stay strong my friend – I will keep you in my thoughts,


      • Richard

        Alex- thanks for your words of wisdom, very inspiring and encouraging I must say.This has been one of the most challenging phase in my life that I am dealing with right now.Your quotes and articles are great. Sometimes we are afraid of what lies ahead like Suzie said – on the other hand we just need to let go and let life takes it course and see where it leads…

  • I used to find it difficult to understand the type of surrender you’re talking about. I used to see it as giving in or weakness. Once I understood and accepted it as a healthy way of life I then needed to learn wisdom in when to surrender and when not to. I like your first point of “Pain doesn’t have to define you” because when I was a young man I used to think it did because it required “toughness”. What a false concept!

    • John,

      Thanks for sharing so honestly. There was a time when I would hold onto my pain because I thought it defined me, like it was a part of me. As a got older I realized the pain was only keeping me stuck. When I let go, surrendered, the pain, my life started to change for the better.

      Hope to see you back here soon,


  • I get what you mean by surrender as an opening up, and not in terms of a “war” scenario surrender. In terms of a loving surrender as in two lovers surrendering to each other. It is a very different type of surrender. Two teachers from the past made a great distinction to further illustrate the point of surrendering to whatever is happening in the moment, as a good thing.

    Surrender (opening/letting go)
    Succumbing (resisting, fighting what you cannot change)

    I think submitting would be another good substitute for succumb as well.

    • Wonderful definition and interpretation David – thanks so much.

  • I’m not so sure that I agree with the term ‘surrender’. However, I like the way you have explained the concept of letting go. Very well written.

    • Hi Glynis – I understand what you mean about “surrender.” For me, it’s not about waving the white flag, it’s about trusting in my faith. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

    • Glynis – I get what you mean, until a couple of teachers in my past explained what this meant, and how succumbing is the opposite of it. Curious to see what you think of my comment above.