Quit “surrendering.”

I binged on spiritual and self help books in the last two years, often with grasping “give me answers” energy. What struck me was how similar the vocabulary was from one book to the next, as if there are only a handful of terms available to writers to describe the process of growing up: transform, growth, manifestation, surrender, limiting belief, uplevel.

One of these terms grates at me:


The meaning of surrender is important. A piece from The Chopra Center describes, “When you surrender spiritually, you stop forcing solutions on situations you can’t control and instead trust and have faith that there is a Divine force taking care of everything in a perfectly orchestrated manner.”

“Surrender” is vague and doubles as a military command. Why do we use a term you’d hear on a battlefield when the enemy has a gun to your head?

Eckhart Tolle writes, “Surrender is to say ‘yes’ to life, and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.” What if we used “say yes to life” instead of “surrender?” Or, “be present for your life?” Or, “trust the process?” There are a host of ways to rethink a term that brings up violence and command. Anyone else ready for some fresh language?