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Don’t Fight The Universe; Surrender To Resistance

“When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it is best to let him run.”  – Abraham Lincoln

Many people think that “surrender” is a dirty word.  But, there are situations in which surrendering is your best option.  You give up control of a situation, only to gain it back.

Have you ever tried to do something, only to find yourself failing?  So you try harder, but find yourself getting farther and farther away from where you want to be?  That’s what it feels like to meet resistance.  Typically, when we meet resistance we push harder, only to find that we create more.  This is when it’s time to surrender.

Surrendering is a finesse move, not a power move.  The ability to “go around” is one of the most potent weapons in your personal arsenal.  Use it, and find yourself flowing with the Universe.  Ignore it, and find the Universe ignoring you.  There are three steps to surrendering.  Follow these for greater personal effectiveness.

Give up

The first step in the art of surrender is to give up when you meet resistance.  This requires noticing when you meet resistance (that shouldn’t be too hard) and consciously deciding that you won’t fight.  You will always lose while trying to fight the Universe, because it is much bigger than you are, and consists of many, many interconnected events and situations.  Recognizing that the Universe is more powerful than you is the fastest way to using your own power as an individual more effectively.  Don’t try to fight the Universe; the Universe always wins.

Go around

If you are not going to push through the resistance, than what will you do?  You will go around the resistance.  Use your adaptability and creativity to think of a way around.  When the Universe is telling you that it will not let you pass, it’s also silently telling you that there is another, better way around.  Simply ask yourself, “If I can’t go through, then where can I go?” and listen for the answer.  You will be able to come up with something.  Try the first thing that comes to mind and trust yourself.  You can’t take action if you can’t think of it first, right?  So trust your creative thoughts.

Find your flow

When you try out your new idea for the first time, notice if you meet more resistance.  If you do, stop, and think of another plan.  But, if you don’t, move forward.  You want to feel as if you are flowing with the Universe.  Finding your flow doesn’t mean that the activity isn’t challenging or doesn’t require hard work, but it does mean that you feel as if you are moving forward rapidly, as if you found the right “grooves” to plug yourself into.  You are doing your part, and the Universe is doing it’s part – that’s when you begin to flow.

The next time you are looking to be more effective, look for the path of least resistance.  The art of surrendering is the surest way to find this path.

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  1. I think a large part of surrendering is to know when you are in control of what is happening and when you are not.

    Ie. you can’t control other peoples reactions but you can control your own happiness.

    Jarrod – Warrior Development’s last blog post..Nature Expects Nothing

  2. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Jarrod – Yes, knowing what you can and cannot control is huge in knowing when to surrender. If you do your part, the Universe does it’s part.

  3. Hey Amanda

    I believe surrendering is a vital part of moving forward. Especially when venturing into new territory when there’s a lot of uncertainty hanging around, surrendering is eventually what you have to do no matter how much you fight it.

    I do not believe however that the Universe is what gives us most of our resistance, but most resistance comes from within us, from that part of us that wants to keep us safe and familiar.

    Resistance is a natural part of change and it’s important to know yourself enough to know the difference between internal resistance and the Universe giving you a nudge to try a different way.

    I often tell my clients that if they are feeling resistant it’s a good sign as it means there is something good to resist going on. I agree with not fighting it, it just gives it more energy. Give into it, nothing bad actually happens, those negative feelings want to be felt and expressed so let them out. They’re running the show when suppressed anyway.

    In peace, love and prosperity x x x


    Lola Fayemi / Nourishment for your spiritual awakening’s last blog post..What Are Your Daily/Weekly Practises?

  4. Excellent post! Much like the previous commenter said, it’s important to know when we can control something or we can’t. Once I realized that it was OK to let go of the stuff that I couldn’t do anything about, I suddenly had tons more energy for what I could.

  5. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Lola – I didn’t think about internal resistance, but, yes we also run into that. And, it’s certainly important to know the difference (between internal and external resistance) so you can choose your next move.

    Lyman – Yes! The energy you can get back when surrendering to appropriate things is incredible.

    Arswino – Thanks for the feedback. For instance, say you are caught in traffic and need to be at an appointment. You can’t control the traffic and so even though you are going to be late for your appointment, you surrender to the situation, simply because you have no control over it. It’s not that your appointment isn’t important, but you can’t make the traffic move any faster to get there.

  6. You’re right Amanda that ‘surrender’ is often seen as a dirty word. It’s probably because it’s got tied up with our polarised thinking about winning/losing .. that to surrender is to be defeated and a sign of weakness.

    I like the re-framing of ‘surrender’ to ‘going with the flow’. It recognises that in the face of many things we are weaker. There’s no judgement about it, just a statement of fact. It’s nicely summed up in that quote. An elephant clearly has greater size and physical strength than I do. No doubt about it. Why fight it?

    Ian Peatey’s last blog post..Expressing gratitude: with meaning

  7. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Ian – Exactly, I think surrendering is definitely associated with weakness and losing. But, trying to fight things that you are just not going to win against – not a good strategy 🙂

  8. Amanda,

    My life was once one of “never surrender” and I have the scars to prove it. It has taken me a lifetime to figure out what you so eloquently offer here.

    You have wisdom beyond your age!


    Roger’s last blog post..Nature’s Wonder

  9. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Roger – Thanks a lot. “Never surrender” is a tempting philosophy to follow. 🙂

  10. Hi Amanda

    This is so true. What one resists persists.

    I think that often we think life is supposed to be difficult and we get stuck trying to push through it. The more stuck one is, the more negative you become which only breeds more hassles.

    Another important factor is “allowing”. If one allows the process of life to take place, we can often get into “the flow” you mention.

    Thank you for such an important message.


    LifeMadeGreat – Juliet’s last blog post..What Are You Thirsting For?

  11. Hi Amanda,
    Simply, there are no accidents! I was on my way to Lance’s “And the word is…” post and I was goind to add yet another word…”Surrender, as in surrender to the “I” within…and then there was your post!

    So thank you for the great post above!

    On my way to surrender to today!:)

    Henie’s last blog post..And now meet my top models…

  12. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Juliet – The word “allowing” is great in this instance. I love your use of it here.

    Henie – (No worries about the typo!) Lance wrote an excellent post and your meaningful coincidence is interesting 🙂

  13. It is helpful to encourage people to rethink their uses of certain words. Human beings often condition themselves to misunderstand terms based on their own fear. They do not know what they do. A flip side or opposite of each word actually helps guides people to sources of their untapped inner strength.

    Liara Covert’s last blog post..5 Ways to gain new insight into the real you

  14. Amanda your post resonates with my values. Esther Hicks, who is one of my favorite personal development ‘gurus’ is big on going with the flow. Letting go of the resistance makes life so peaceful. We cease to fight, to struggle and simply allow. I think to be able to do that even in the face of contrasting circumstances is really great and admirable.

  15. Excellent advice. One of the hardest lessons is to learn to let go or to surrender. There is much wisdom and freedom in being able to surrender.

    Mark’s last blog post..Our Pilgrimage

  16. LOVE IT

  17. Elwyn Elwyn

    Trying to move a mountain is a wasted effort. You push and shove and fret and worry and curse and hate and fear and rage and yet the mountain has not moved – and will never move. Surrender means to give in to my inability to move the mountain …to accept the reality that the mountain cannot be moved …to lay down my arms be deciding to no longer push against it …to submit to the choices I do have to go over or around the mountain instead.

    The buddist say that if there is a way to remedy an unpleasant, difficult situation, what point is there in being unhappy? On the other hand, if it is completely impossible to remedy the situation or to fulfill our wishes, there is also no reason to get upset, for how will our becoming unhappy help? This line of reasoning is very useful, for we can apply it to any situation.

  18. 1. DO NOT give up. The word “Give Up” no human being will ever like. even a cancer patient in the last hour of his life wont like that. just no human being would like to be called certain things……………
    so that word itself will create a matrix of thoughts. its a useless web of thoughts.
    So instead of giving up how about Give yourself a BETTER CHOICE!
    that brings no resistance… yet it gets u more than what u want…

    2. Fighting the Universe
    that’s again is a matrix thoughts. go with the f l o w. u cant fight the universe. but u also cant lift United states of america with ur hands. but do u ever mention it? u cant lift the mighty Canadian mountain with ur toes… but i never heard anyone mention that… then why mention something that is a useless web of thoughts….telling u not the truth but how incapable u r.

    3. the answer is simple
    focus on ur heart
    what is u FEEL
    u feel frustrated…..
    that frustration is valuable information…. that frustration is like gas… powering u… its wow…. when u feel it…. it pains when u resist it..
    now feel the frustration…. more… of it…
    accept and totally accept this e-motion…

    see what happens after that….
    there was no surrendering, no giving up, no fighting, no fighting so called the big huge universe….
    u never surrendered yet u surrendered…u never gave up… yet u won… u never fought… yet u won…. u never knew u power… yet u r powerful
    e-motion is beautiful…

    2. Resistance is a blessing. It is your power, your energy…. telling you something….. FEEL it….

  19. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Elwyn – Exactly, you can’t worry about what you don’t control. You’ll make yourself crazy!

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