I tried my luck for many years in the control business. I tried to control people, circumstances, creativity, love, you name it. Over and over again, I failed miserably, but stubbornly I kept trying and trying until I ultimately had an acute experience of complete loss of control of myself and therefore my circumstances and in reaction, I fell apart.
It turned out that it was the "complete loss of control" that began my journey toward the deep realization that there are actually only ever five things that we CAN control: our personal thoughts, emotions, energy, speech and actions. In my experience, trying to control anything beyond that is an absolute waist of energy and time.
Beyond that, SURRENDER can be a powerful choice. It’s not about releasing preference, we still have a preference, but we completely surrender control of the outcome. Why? Because if the outcome is different from our preference, based on the experience that there is never anything going on in the universe but evolution, the outcome will undoubtedly be “better,” more evolutionary than whatever our original preference was. The original preference if often merely the means by which the universe put us into motion towards the outcome we most needed to experience. That outcome may be pleasurable, it may be painful, it may be neutral, but it will absolutely be most evolutionary for our state of consciousness, our knowledge, our wisdom, our compassion, our capacity to love, you name it.
Surrender is also powerful for me in that when I am able to release control of outcome, I stop resisting what is actually happening, I stop resisting the present moment, the only thing we ever actually have. I realize that no matter the circumstance, it’s not actually the circumstance that is causing me to suffer, it's my resistance to the circumstance that's causing me to suffer. It's actually never the “thing” that’s the problem, it’s my resistance to the “thing” that’s the problem. Replace “thing” with person, situation, emotion, and you get the same truth.
Contrary to popular belief, surrender is not weak, it is not about letting yourself be taken advantage of, it is not about giving up: it is about total acknowledgement and acceptance of what is currently happening and computing whether or not it is within your power to change it. If so, you take action immediately towards change, if not, you rest in acceptance of what is and surrender completely to the experience. And the amazing thing is, when we surrender to the painful experience that we know we cannot change, it actually ceases to be quite so painful, we are able to receive the infinite guidance emanating from it and often, without friction or effort, it changes.
Finally, let's say we've received a desire, a dream, but we are scared because we would have to take a risk to go after it and we have no idea how it will turn out. In my experience, when we leap into the unknown, based upon a true desire that will be beneficial for us and all those we come into contact with, the direct result is complete support from the universe. That support, that outcome may or may not look exactly like we planned, but again, whatever it looks like, we can rest assured that it will be whatever is most evolutionary for all.