I realized in “Going Deeper,” the workshop on masculine/feminine energy I recently attended, how often I fight with myself and others. It’s almost a hobby, being in conflict with realities I don’t wish to experience. Sound familiar to anyone else? At one point Ian Ellington, our teacher, mentioned that these inner conflicts become a habit and we isolate ourselves from others just to punish them. Actually due to our unresolved anger, often rooted in events from childhood, we end isolated from our selves instead. We think, “I’ll show them!” but we’re only rehurting our inner child. What we really need is less fight and more surrender.
In both fantasy and real life surrender is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind. To surrender is usually a sign of ultimate defeat. The wrestler on the mat, once pinned, taps the floor to indicate he acknowledges he’s been overpowered. It’s the last thing he wants to do.
Developing a positive perspective around surrender is difficult. We have so few examples of it to inspire us. Yet surrender is often not just a last resort. It is a calculated decision to survive in order to fight another day.
But there’s another aspect of surrender that many of us have experienced. Surrender is an important spiritual event when we end our resistance in the face of inevitable and uncontrollable odds. People in twelve step programs for addiction to substances and behaviors know about this kind of surrender. They are powerless and come to know it. Recovery then has a chance to take root.
Wise coaching helps men to overcome both their tendency to fight and remain in conflict every time something bad seems to happen, and to run from reality through isolation. Like the white flag in battle, surrender offers breathing room to negotiate a settlement. In the same way we all need that breathing room where we can look more objectively at the situation we’re in, appreciate our gifts, and plan our next move into our powerful future and ultimate personal success.
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