markuso image royalty free

Image courtesy of markuso/

For some reason I feel driven to write about surrender today. Maybe because it is something I have to do over and over again. I am reminded of the AA saying about ego, that the three letters stand for “Easing God Out.” My points of surrender almost always have to occur when some person, place, or thing has caused a strong emotional reaction in me like the reactions that used to send me reaching for an alcoholic beverage or a  bag of choice chocolate chip cookies.

So, how does the concept of surrender relate to a program of recovery? One author (Anonymous, 1988) in A New Day: 365 Meditations for Personal and Spiritual Growth  (p.261) provides an answer by identifying what needs to be in place for surrender to occur:

“The first thing that must occur is for us to reach bottom—to become sick and tired of whatever it is that has been making us sick and tired: a character defect, an old idea, an unhealthy relationship, an obsession, or an illness—relatively minor problems as well as serious ones…Following that we must accept our powerlessness, conceding that it is futile to keep fighting the person, place, or thing causing us difficulty. We must also concede that it is beyond our capability to ‘fix’ the situation. we admit that we need help from a power greater than ourselves.”

Therefore, when I am upset by something, if I am willing to actually work through what is happening to me, I must stop relying on myself alone to “fix” the problem. I also need to examine what feelings, values, expectations, etc. underlie the problem because the problem may be within myself. I can, with God’s help, change my actions/thoughts that are contributing to the problem.

AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions identifies willingness to realign our will with God’s will as the key to entering recovery and to solving life’s problems in general. So, here are the highlights from today’s topic discussion I am going to “take home with me”:

  1. I will stay mired in my problem(s) until I am willing to change and to seek help.
  2. Surrender only happens when I am willing to give up my self-reliance and ask a Higher Power for help.
  3. Even with God’s help, the only part of a problem I can usually “fix” or directly influence is myself—-my attitude, my expectations, my pride, etc.
  4. Personally, the only surrender that will work for me is the conscious decision to align my will with God’s will for me and/or the situation.

Why did I need to follow this line of thought today? Well, to be honest, I wanted to fix a problem, someone else’s problem. My part in this “problem” was flirting with the idea that I could play God and fix the other person’s problem so they would no longer be in pain. I have to accept that I cannot, and I need to pray for knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry God’s will out. I need to release my friend and his problem to God in prayer while still supporting my friend whenever I can as long as my doing so is in alignment with God’s will and not my need to rescue or fix something other than myself. Enough. I look forward to hearing from you regarding your ideas about the topic of surrender. God bless and keep you.