Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I choose a word of the year. It’s a theme or feeling that I want to nourish in my life. This year, I chose the word Surrender. Which was also my word six years ago. Then, I was just starting my self-love journey and I was determined to learn how to go with the flow. I needed to let go of so much poison that was living inside of me then. That year was a good year.
I wanted to share with you what it means to me now and how self-love and surrender are something I’m honoring together.
When I think of surrender, the first thing I think of is defeat. Waving the white flag. Giving up. But when I think on that word a little bit more, I’m hit with the beauty of it.
I remember all of the meditations I’ve done when they ask you to surrender to your breath, or surrender to relaxation, and then I’m hit with the memory of that beautiful feeling of freedom.
And surrender becomes that feeling where my lungs stop tensing up and actually start breathing and that feeling when my jaw stops clenching and my shoulders drop. It’s that feeling of the anxiety in the pit of my stomach fading away because I’ve stopped fighting and I’m just letting things be.
Letting myself be.
Surrender is about letting go of control.
And simultaneously gaining control. Like a drowning person who is flailing and fighting to stay above water. The minute you stop and let yourself float, you stop drowning.
Living with anxiety means craving control.
And that’s not a bad thing. Structure helps anxiety. Control helps anxiety. One of my best coping tools is consciously focusing on what I can control. Anxiety is fear. It’s fearing what might happen, it’s fearing not being capable or able to handle the things that are happening. Sometimes you can’t even pinpoint what you’re anxious about, it’s just an overwhelming feeling of doom.
Often, my go-to strategy is to set myself up to be able to deal. I make plans A-Z of ways I can cope or control with various situations. I have constant backup plans. “Don’t worry Dominee. If x happens then you’ll do y and if that falls through you’ve got plan B.”
And that strategy works. Most of the time. I tuck those plans away in the back of my mind. I feel fairly secure that I can handle things and I stop thinking about it and I move on and then anxiety becomes nothing but background noise that most days I don’t even notice. Even though I know that I don’t really have control, the illusion is comforting.
But sometimes it builds up or life happens.
You’re suddenly hit with 10 different things and each of those things require backup plans B-Z, and then you’re constantly overwhelmed and constantly worried, and then that flight or fight response kicks in and you can’t even manage to re-assure yourself anymore. You either freeze – and drown, or start flailing – and drown.
That’s when it’s time to Surrender.
You don’t surrender to the stress or the anxiety.
You surrender to the knowledge that you do not have control.
But you will be okay. You will get through it. That’s the only plan. No A-Z. No backup plan. Just breathing. Just being. Just moving forward.
You surrender to knowing that even though that safety net of control is no longer there – you will be okay anyway.
Taking that burden off of yourself – it’s one of the most freeing feelings in the Universe.
Even though it’s scary.
Letting go and letting God (Goddess/Universe/Higher Self/Spirit) – there’s freedom in that. There’s healing in that. There’s self-love in that.
How I’m actively surrendering:
I’m trying to do yoga every day – it’s surrendering to breath and surrendering my anxiety. We’re also doing a 30-day yoga challenge in the SoulSisterhood, if you’re interested, join us.
I’m journaling in my Self-Love Workbook every day. Releasing all of my thoughts and all of the things that are bothering me.
I’m doing lots of breathing. Lots of stopping, pausing, breathing, and letting it out with my breath. Letting it out. Letting it go.
That’s what self-love and surrender look and feel like to me.
So tell me, what things are you doing to honor your word of the year?