The art of surrender

surrenderParents are the ultimate experts on the art of surrender.  You have to be.  If we didn’t surrender to the reality of our lives as parents, we’d be miserable and struggling constantly!  Instead, we learn to go with the flow, relax and let go, and accept what is.  Before I was pregnant I never realized how soon this process begins.  But during the first few months of pregnancy when I was nauseous unless I was constantly eating protein, I realized that I was in practice mode for parenting already.  I had to let go of my own desires and eat what my baby needed.  And at first I felt I was forced to surrender.

As my pregnancy has progressed, I’ve become more artful in my ability to surrender and accept what is happening to my body and what will soon be happening to my life and to my priorities.

I’m taking a fabulous birthing class called Hypnobabies in which I’m practicing self-hypnosis to help me be more relaxed and comfortable during birth.  As a part of my homework I listen to pregnancy affirmations every day that say things like, “I completely accept my pregnant body.” And “The changes in my body are beautiful.”  Boy am I grateful for that CD!  Without it, I can imagine myself feeling upset every time I grow a size, or whenever someone says, “Whoa!  You’re ONLY 5 months?  You’re HUGE!”  But with my daily affirmations, I’m much better able to surrender, accept, and enjoy the process of giving over my body to pregnancy and to nourish my healthy baby.

And to any bio moms out there, I KNOW you’ve experienced the surrender that comes with motherhood, simply because you’ve been through the process of birth.  No matter what your birth experience was, I’m certain there was a moment when you realized that there is no turning back, no choice, only surrender into what must happen next.  And from what I’m learning about birth, I’m betting that the better you were at relaxing and letting go, the smoother and easier your birth was.

What a great way to prepare for parenting during infancy, toddler-hood, childhood, and the teenaged years!   Sometimes I’m amazed by how perfectly nature prepares us for what’s to come.

Some of my first memories of the beauty of surrender came during my own childhood as I watched my mom and step-dad have an argument.  They would go back and forth on a specific issue for a while and then when one of them was clearly proven “right” the other person would say, “Honey, you were right and I was wrong.”   My jaw would drop open in disbelief because they had been so adamant just moments before about their own position.  But when one would make that declaration to the other, I could feel the tension drain from the room.  I could see the “victor” completely relax and enjoy the victory, and the vanquished, gracefully accepting his or her defeat.  It was a beautiful moment of surrender.

Now in general, I tend to shy away from notions of “right” and “wrong” as much as possible because I often find the concepts of right and wrong to be very polarizing and upsetting.  But in the case of my mom and step-dad, through their ability to surrender, they found a way to honor one another’s opinion and remain connected.

I wonder if you’d be willing to practice this art with your kids this week.  Certainly there will be times when setting clear boundaries and sticking to them is what’s called for, but this week, keep an eye out for the times when a graceful surrender could be the most connecting choice.

I’d love to hear all about your experiences of the art of surrender.  Please share some with me in the space below.

Thanks!  And have a wonderful day, Shelly

6 comments
Fashion Blog
Fashion Blog

That is just so lovely. Thanks a lot for sharing your articles.

Shelly
Shelly

What beautiful stories and examples!

Lisa, So happy you were able to turn things around. What a difference a moment can make!

Sherris, Isn't it beautiful when we get to witness loving compassion in young children? They are such good teachers sometimes.

Thank you both so much for sharing.
.-= Shelly´s last blog ..The art of surrender =-.

Sherris Berner
Sherris Berner

This is so fitting to what I was a part of last night. My son had been looking forward to watching a movie after his shower but I asked him to brush his teeth first and in one wound up moment he lunged toward me in the bathroom and hit me. It didn't really hurt, but we have rules against this in our home so he lost this privelege. Since he has problems with hitting at school I really have to enforce these rules consistently. It was very heartbreaking for him and caused him to have a crying and screaming spell for awhile. In the meantime his 3 year old sister had started watching her show while he was in the shower and was going to be allowed to continue her show, instead of stopping it and starting his. Instead, since she saw how upset her brother was, she decided she would also rather read books and turn it off. She was so intune with trying to help her brother get through this difficult moment. I told her I was proud of the way she made this sacrifice to help him feel better. This really impacted him as well and he stopped crying and decided to start reading books. Even though I was unable to gracefully surrender after he begged me for mercy, at least his sister could.

Lisa Kathleen
Lisa Kathleen

This week I had an incredible moment of surrender. I had locked my daughter and I into a power struggle (remember, it's only a power struggle if YOU make it a power struggle), and I just dropped the whole thing and started over. "Hey! I don't like the way I'm handling this - let's try a different way..." The amazing thing about children is that they are so able to shift gears and walk the higher road with you. From my end, grabbing my ego and tossing it out the window was so empowering. I love how motherhood motivates me to embody love at a whole different level. :)
In joy,
Lisa Kathleen
Full Circle Parenting

Shelly
Shelly

Thanks Marisa! Wow, yet another experience of motherhood I get to look forward to ;) Thanks for sharing.
.-= Shelly´s last blog ..The art of surrender =-.

Marisa
Marisa

what a enlightened post! I believe my "surrender" moment came during the newborn phase nursing while in the bathroom was a whole new level of surrender! Or maybe the word is humbled. :)
Amazing how with surrendering we can learn so much.
Congratulations.