Most people have an illusion of control; that is a belief that they can influence all, or most, outcomes in their life, even those that they demonstrably cannot influence. The attitude of taking and maintaining control over things is generally valued in Western culture, but it is actually detrimental to inner growth, because it stems from fear. Imagine what it would be like to know that whatever happens is all right, and that you can handle it. Fear would disappear. In order to get to this point, you have to surrender your illusion of control.
What does it mean to surrender? We think of it as giving up, since the term is most often used in relation to war, when one side surrenders to the other. But internal surrender is not giving up, but accepting what is. Acceptance of what is present here and now is very powerful. Without acceptance, there is resistance. What we resist persists, because there is no space for something different to happen. Surrendering to what is happening without trying to control it, opens the door for something different to enter.
Creating Health by Giving Up The Illusion of Control
What does this have to do with creating health? Resistance is moving away from something, but choosing to move towards something is always more effective. Resisting your illness by wanting it not to be there or to go away, leaves no space for self-healing. Surrendering your illusion of control over your illness opens the door for something different. This may be a different way of seeing yourself, or of working with symptoms, or of living with chronic disease. Ultimately, you create health by moving towards a new you, not by trying to return to the person you were before you were sick.
For example, say that you are very distressed by chronic pain and severely limit your activities to try and control it. As a result your muscles become weak, this lowers your stamina and contributes to the pain. And your lack of social interaction causes you to feel depressed and lonely, which further increases the pain. You doctor suggests a rehabilitation pool program to get you moving more. You go, gradually increase muscle strength and make friends with the other participants. After six months you have gained muscle and lost 20 pounds, and are having a fairly active social life with your new friends. You still have pain, but it is less and does not bother you much because you focus on the enjoyment you get out of life, and not on the pain.
If you surrender your illusion of control by accepting whatever is happening in the moment, you move to a place where miracles can happen. ‘Surrender does not mean not trying to make changes in your life, or giving up or giving in. It is simply an acknowledgement of ‘this is what is right now’. You can still try new approaches. while realizing that you may or may not be successful, that lack of success does not lessen you, and that you can accept that as well.
So, choose a new way of creating health. Surrender your illusion of control over your condition; accept what is happening now and consciously choose to be open to whatever new ideas or opportunities come up.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think of this idea? I will be happy to hear of any results you have had from surrendering your illusion of control.
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