What Does It Mean to Surrender?

In a state of active addiction, we tried and failed to control our drug and alcohol use. No matter how hard we tried, we could not face the reality of the fact that we had lost control of our ability to use substances without our lives spiraling out of control. Surrender and acceptance go hand-in-hand. We surrendered to the notion that we are the victims of the disease of addiction and accepted that we were no longer in control. This is the first step toward healing in recovery.
When we reach a moment of understanding that we can no longer manage our own lives with our addiction, we have two choices: we can either continue fighting or we can surrender. When we fight, we create more chaos and internal conflict, often making our addiction and emotional pain much worse. When we choose to surrender, we are making the choice to accept the help we so desperately need. We make the decision to step back, to realize that we are no longer the god of our universe, and to finally begin taking the steps toward fixing our lives. Celebrated neuroscientist Sam Harris, in his book Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, recognized the paradox of surrender as a means of moving forward in life. He explains, “the paradox is that we can become wiser and more compassionate and live more fulfilling lives by refusing to be who we have tended to be in the past. But we must also relax, accepting things as they are in the present, as we strive to change ourselves.” Surrender in recovery is the beginning of emotional and spiritual growth. It is by surrendering that we are able to accept each moment as it comes, just as it is, without attempting to exert our control over aspects of our lives that we cannot change. This is certainly no easy task. Surrendering to the unchangeable, and accepting it as out of our control, seems counterintuitive as a means of personal development. Sri Mooji, a renowned spiritual teacher, explains it quite concisely: “Surrender is not a weakness it is strength. It takes tremendous strength to surrender life to the supreme – to the cosmic unfolding.” When we have the strength to surrender, to accept the moment as-is, we have finally ceased fighting and begin to feel a sense of peace with the reality of our situation. From there, we are given the chance to finally grow into the person that has always been hiding behind the curtain of addiction.

Surrender is necessary to change to story of our lives. Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach, believes that when you change your story, you change your life. With a variety of treatment methodologies and techniques, Oceanfront can help develop an individualized treatment program to aid you on your journey toward recovery from addiction. For more information about treatment options, call today: (877) 269-1777