The Key Difference between Surrender and Acceptance

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Imagine that you’re sitting in the driver’s seat of a moving car. Surrender is like taking your hands off the wheel of that car. You’re no longer driving the car. You were willing to take your hands off the wheel. You consciously let go of control. 

But it’s also possible (or likely) that you’re thinking, “OMG, I TOOK MY HANDS OFF THE WHEEL, BUT NOW WHAT?! My hands are off the wheel! My hands are off the wheel! My hands are off the wheel! But, NOW WHAT?!?!” You physically took your hands off the wheel, but now you’re sitting there freaking out about the fact that your hands are no longer on that wheel.

Acceptance, though, is different. You’re still sitting in that moving car, and you still took your hands off the wheel, but now you moved to the passenger’s seat. You clasped your hands behind your head and put your feet up on the dashboard (crossing your legs at your ankles, of course, because that’s the most comfortable way to sit). You’re calm. You’re relaxed. You’re at ease. You know someone else took over. You understand something else is driving. And, you understand that the force that is now driving that car, is going to take you where you need to go. (You don’t even need to know the precise destination anymore.)

You might still look around every once in a while to make sure you’re still on a road (any road), and the driver might ask you to do something to assist the journey, but you go with it. You do what you need to do, but you don’t stress out about the details. You handle whatever you need to handle, in the moment that you need to handle it. And, you always know exactly what you need to do, because the driver tells you explicitly. 

This doesn’t mean that you won’t be curious, and it doesn’t mean that you’ll never feel a little unnerved by not knowing exactly where you’re going, or exactly how you’ll get there, but the larger, more prominent part of you understands you’re in good hands. You’re taken care of. 

You may not know every rest stop or exist, but you understand that the driver knows what she (or he) is doing.