The skill of surrender

My wife and I are entering the 9th month of pregnancy. As we navigate the last few weeks before the birth of our daughter (Emma) I find myself reflecting on this journey and synthesizing what I’ve learned.

Frustration is a potent point of access. If we conduct a retrospective of our lives and identify our biggest moments of frustration, then we’ll start seeing those were our biggest moments of growth. We experience life at the trajectory of these moments.

In the course of preparing for Emma’s birth, I’ve been most frustrated by one phrase that one of our teachers says: “this may or may not happen.” My brain navigates in “why”, “what”, “how”, “when”, and “where”. When I do not get a definitive answer, I experience frustration. I feel under-prepared. I feel fear. I feel failure.

In the frustration, I realized this: there is a distinction between preparedness and control. We can prepare for anything in life as much as we can. We can control our preparation. But we can’t control life. At a certain point, there is no more control. There is simply surrender. Surrender is a skill. Surrender is the space where serendipity can exist. Surrender allows life to happen through us.

Cultivate preparedness. But don’t forget to cultivate surrender.


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