2006-10-06 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

Surrender is a word that is often used in one's relationship to a religion or to the Divine. Surrender is a word that we Americans don't really feel comfortable with. Why would anyone want to surrender? Why give up? It is a hard concept to apply because it has such a strong meaning. Another word that I get questioned about frequently is detachment. If I am detached then it means I don't care about someone else. Why would anyone want to be detached from a loved one? So, I think I will try to give broader meanings to these two sometimes confusing concepts.

We often think that when we surrender it means giving up control over ourselves. When in battle, a prisoner must do what his guards tell him. He has no control over anything but his inner thoughts. On a spiritual journey, we can choose to align ourselves to a larger picture of reality than the one in our own heads. There is an acknowledgment that there is something larger than me, which I don't control, that knows what is in my best interest. I can choose to become a partner with this force. So in this case, the surrender really means that I know I don't control the future. I admit that I myself am not God, but that I can, out of my own free will, try to be a part of this divine creation. This can then be called by some a surrender into the Divine Plan. But it is not surrender in the traditional sense. It is a choice of mine, where I am in control of my energy, that I become a part of a larger whole that has its own sense of purpose and timing. The challenge is knowing what lessons are being presented to me. When things seem out of focus, I can ask for divine order or clarity to come into my life. Detachment from another doesn't mean that I don't care about someone important to me. It means that I choose to have a boundary between another and myself. Our energies are not joined or meshed to-gether. Rather, they are each inside a bubble of love and protection, and the energy that surrounds us is our relationship. We can more easily allow others to make their own choices and live life as we choose as well. The key is that there is love inside both of our hearts and that love is the motivating force of our actions.

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This sounds like "new age" convoluted drivel. To Christians, surrender means to get out of our selfish, self-centered lives and go about the business of helping others as Christ did.

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