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Old 02-13-2019, 06:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A Different Way of Looking at Surrender?


Last night I watched Dr Strange (yeah I know welcome to 2016 lol) but I was struck by one exchange

The Ancient One: You cannot beat a river into submission. You have to surrender to its current, and use its power as your own.

Strange: I control it by surrendering control? That doesn’t make any sense.

The Ancient One: Not everything does. Not everything has to. Your intellect has taken you far in life, but it will take you no further. Surrender, Stephen. Silence your ego and your power will rise.


then today I quite coincidentally just came across this quote by Sri Chinmoy:

Quote:
Unfortunately, in the West surrender is misunderstood. We feel that if we surrender to someone, he will then lord it over us....But from the spiritual point of view...when the finite enters in the Infinite, it becomes the Infinite all at once. When a tiny drop enters into the ocean, we cannot trace the drop. It becomes the mighty ocean.
food for though for anyone who struggles like I did with the concept of surrender?

D
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very cool! I like it! I’ve been hanging on so tightly to the idea that I can continue drinking without consequences but I’ve been proven wrong everyone. Maybe it’s time to try something new and surrender! But I like the idea that I can become more powerful by surrendering.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I like the concept of the finite becoming infinite all at once. Gives me a lot to think about.

And the drop in the ocean becoming the whole ocean. Wow! It's such an obvious thing, but I'd never thought of it that way.

Thanks Dee! I love reading bits of wisdom.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You’re a gem, Dee. Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very thoughtful post Dee! Yeah, I used to resist any recovery lingo and now I cling to the words (because they are also concepts that come from experience). Your writing, Dee, made me look up this quote:

"When I stopped fighting anybody or anything, I started on the path to sobriety, serenity, and peace." (14)

For me, learning to surrender (I'm not fully there) and understanding the concept, means also accepting the fact that I can't control the behavior of others. I can suggest; I can teach: I can introduce tools, etc. But I can't control.

One of my big triggers for drinking came from a lack of patience and irritation with behaviors I did not like in close family and friends. (Ironic? Yes, since I'm the alcoholic here.) I wanted them to change desperately. But I'm learning to surrender and to speak only when it's truly important.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Love it. Very valuable to me as I've always butted up against the recovery model and its use of words like permanent recovery, surrender, powerlessness. This is a beautiful way to think about it
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It's the big wave and the little wave story.

The big wave and the little wave are heading towards the shore and the big wave is worried about breaking up and ending his existence as a wave. Big wave wonders why little wave is not similarly worried. Little wave says, I'll let you in on the secret.

'You are both a wave ... and water.'
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
[I]The Ancient One: You cannot beat a river into submission. You have to surrender to its current, and use its power as your own.

Strange: I control it by surrendering control? That doesn’t make any sense.
There may be truth in both of these responses, and it's possible that both metaphors are extremes. A canoeist surrenders to the river. He cannot overpower it, but combines his skills with the current. Skiers don't conquer the mountain. They adapt as the slope gets steeper.

This is what Dr. Strange learned to do, and he added his skills to the ancient one's, and then he combined that with mysticism to master an even bigger challenge. Mordo is much more rigid, even far more than the skeptical Dr. Strange, and Wong is probably somewhere in between.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I love this. It's got me thinking. I never really struggled with surrendering to the idea that I could not control my alcohol use, that was easy for me. When I started working the steps, step one was a slam dunk. It was obvious to me, and I was ready to surrender in that way. But surrendering to other long-held beliefs I have about myself and the people around me is more difficult. And surrendering control of other aspects of my life is even more difficult. I have found, though, that when I give up trying to control situations that are really not within my power, I feel at peace. I'm getting better at "going with the flow." Being that drop of water in the ocean. Getting ego out of the way. Giving up the struggle. Things always seem to fall into place, somehow, without my intervention. Funny how that works.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Good stuff, Dee.

For years I conceptualized sobriety and living alcohol-free as the weakness. I would tell myself that those people just didn’t have any self-control. Me, I’m smart, I can figure this out.

The wake up call for me is — yes, with a lot of willpower, anxiety, and pain I can “moderate” my drinking, give up hard liquor (for the most part), and limit my number of “bad” hangovers. At least, for a time.

So what? Stomaching through a self-imposed weakened version of your addiction is no way to go through life.

In this case, the word “surrender” feels like freedom. Whereas before this I could also ever see sobriety as a cage.

Thank you for sharing this.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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When a tiny drop enters into the ocean, we cannot trace the drop. It becomes the mighty ocean.

This is something I love.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Above and beyond alcohol-related issues (for which I think it is essential),
for me, surrender to the spirit, the eternal life-force, is the sine qua non of my existence, without which I would be nothing but a raging ego.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
Last night I watched Dr Strange (yeah I know welcome to 2016 lol) but I was struck by one exchange

The Ancient One: You cannot beat a river into submission. You have to surrender to its current, and use its power as your own.

Strange: I control it by surrendering control? That doesn’t make any sense.

The Ancient One: Not everything does. Not everything has to. Your intellect has taken you far in life, but it will take you no further. Surrender, Stephen. Silence your ego and your power will rise.


then today I quite coincidentally just came across this quote by Sri Chinmoy:



food for though for anyone who struggles like I did with the concept of surrender?

D
The cogs in my mind just spluttered into action when I read your post. It's like harnessing the power of your own surrender. I believe the concept of surrender is generally misunderstood and the word itself is an incredibly powerful one.



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Old 02-14-2019, 12:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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At first surrender is just concerned with alcohol. Then it is concerned with everything in my experience. Surrendering to everything as it is; the place of serenity and peace 🙏
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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At first surrender is just concerned with alcohol. Then it is concerned with everything in my experience. Surrendering to everything as it is; the place of serenity and peace 🙏
Same here.

So in a rather twisted way (for which I am grateful), alcohol (and overcoming alcoholism) have been a bit of a blessing in disguise, as relates to life itself.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:55 PM   #16 (permalink)
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LOVE THIS!

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Old 02-28-2019, 06:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Surrendering and letting go is where we find our power! I find this so true, not just when it comes to alcohol recovery, but in all areas of life. Thank you, Dee and everybody
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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bump.

D
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That is definitely eye-opening. Surrender has always had a "negative" connotation where I come from. I learned early that I should be able to power through every fight and overcome.

Allowing life to come to me and accept it will be one of the ways that I will be able to stay sober.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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When I try to control my breathing, I can experience momentary success, but I can't do it for extended periods of time.

When I don't think about my breathing, everything seems to happen just fine and life goes on. When I do that, I am surrendering to the process rather than trying to control it.

Big lesson for me, my input is not always required nor benefical.
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