“Surrender is not something we can do in our heads or control with willpower. But when we have the courage to surrender, we experience the release of a heavy emotional burden, followed by a deep healing and release. This process allows us to move forward, out of Dis-Ease and into happiness.” — Very adapted (lol) from The Language of Letting Go
But what about surrendering romantic relationships? How do we know when to fight for them and when to surrender?
Often, in romantic relationships, the behavior of one or both parters causes discomfort or frustration. From a program perspective, I’ll share with you my solution; one that’s helped me fight for, rebalance, heal and stay in a marriage for almost 21 years, with a love that grows stronger between us each day.
The first thing I do is apply Rule 62 and ask myself “how big of a deal is this?” If I’m honest, often times it’s not. if this is the case I immediately let it go and act loving towards my wife. Problem solved.
However, if it feels like it really is big deal, something that happens over and over and us tearing me apart, the next thing I do is write a mini-4th step on it to uncover, discover more about it, making sure I find my part, and identifying how I’d like to behave in the future. If I’m still upset, and don’t feel that I can take action to make it better on my own, then I call my sponsor.
In reviewing my 4th with him, we attempt to ascertain (1) if I’m overreacting (aka being a drama queen), (2) if my behavior is contributing to of the problem, (i.e. reacting and engaging instead of stepping away) and (3) if my partner is behaving in a way that I should not be subjecting myself (or my kids) to.
Unless there is physical abuse involved, If the answer is 1 or 2, I must first change my behavior consistently for at least 30 day so that I stop contributing to the problem. And until I can do this for 30 days straight, I’m not allowed to blame them or focus on 3, as I am, at least in part, the cause of the problem. But after such time, if required, if 1 and 2 no longer apply, and if 3 is still going on, then I ask my sponsor to (a) help me discover appropriate boundaries, (b) come up with a way to explain them to my partner, and (c) detach from my partner (permanently if necessary) if they are unwilling to honor my boundaries, knowing God will put someone more healthy into my life.
So surrender is really an action word. If we have hit our “hurting” bottom, and are brave enough to surrender through first cleaning up our side of the street and then detaching when necessary (even leaving the relationship if it doesn’t shift), while trusting that God has a better plan, we may be surprised at the results.
One possibility is that this process may awaken our partner to the true level of our suffering, and they may choose to respect our boundaries (i.e. change) and stay in the relationship, making it so much better. Another possibility is that we may no longer stay with that person, but by detaching from an unhealthy relationship we’ve now made room for another, more wonderful, more loving, and more respectful person to share our lives with us.
When I trust the surrender process, work the Program, detach with love, and choose to believe that my Higher Power has great things in store for me, I actively invite abundance and ILML!