We hear a lot about surrender and letting go; notions thats that tend to set off our internal alarms. Surrender? Never! We’re hardwired to fight for our lives. Millions of years of human evolution based on the foremost principle of survival and someone asks you to just forget it? I don’t think so.
What you might not know is that Charles Darwin never said anything about “survival of the fittest.” Philosopher Herbert Spencer said it and he didn’t mean that the strongest or most aggressive animal will stand atop a mound of corpses.
Evolution is about adaptability and cooperation. The “fittest” of beings adapts to their environment and cooperates with members of its own and other species in what we know as the circle of life.
In the modern age, man is no longer in a battle with nature. Instead, humankind is at war with itself. And not just in terms of international war treaties – I’m referring to the ways in which we treat or trap our own selves. Our minds, bodies, and hearts.
Most of us in the West are raised under the presumption that the strong will survive. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, hard work pays off, don’t let anyone see you cry. You know, those principles, rooted in machismo, misogyny, and capitalism.
Don’t get me wrong – Surrender doesn’t mean dropping your duties. Just because God loves you doesn’t mean the divine is going to fold your laundry, fill your belly, or fix your car. Surrender, instead, is a state of mind. Surrender is a means of adapting to your external circumstances by relying on your intuition. Cooperating with your intuition will bring you better results than you would get by being dragged forward by your need to survive.
It’s imperative here to be able to distinguish between the intuition of the heart and the imagination of the mind. The mind is prone to be a slave to your ego and as such will foster astounding fantasies based on desired outcomes. Instead, the heart, which does not go leaping into the unascertainable future, is constantly present. You don’t make the heart beat – it beats of its own accord. You can ease its work by regulating your breath, but you can’t make it stop or go.
The mind is always busy finding ways to help you survive. However, when we train the mind to be still through practices like yoga and meditation, we find an altogether more powerful resource for our survival and our happiness within the heart.
By approaching all activities from the heart, we hone our intuitive faculty and put our intellect at its service. This requires surrendering fully to each moment as it comes, on each inhale and exhale.
While you fold your laundry, don’t let the mind chase your other chores. Fold your undies with love. Cultivate that good-good by staying present. Get into a car accident? Deep breaths and keep moving forward with love in your heart. Talking to someone you don’t want to talk to? Don’t move into a space of judgement. Stay with love. Bless that person.
It takes a lot of work to be able to surrender the ego, for the ego cares only about its own survival. Not that of others, not that of your own heart. Put your ego in the service of your heart. This is the new evolution. This makes you the fittest of humankind.