My running partner/sounding board/frequent novel character and friend sent me this quote today. “Surrender to what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be.” She’s pretty awesome and has been a tremendous help to my writing these last few years.
Surrendering is often equated to defeat and is not something many people do easily. I know personally I’m going to fight tooth an nail for what I want. But sometimes fighting isn’t the right answer. Sometimes you don’t really have the power to effect change in your situation. Fighting is futile.
Sometimes surrendering can mean giving up control over the things you can’t control. There is nothing more stressful, depressing and maddening than trying to exert control over a situation where you have no power. It’s crazy-making.
I know I’m no fan of coping but in some situations when you really can’t do anything all you can do is cope until you find ways to make peace. Making peace or making changes seems to be a better goal than to cope. At least in my experience. Finding a way to press into that and make peace, changing your head to expect things will work out fine, that is surrendering. It is also often called faith.
As a writer I find myself often surrendering to my characters. They really do take on a life of their own. Sometimes they do strange and unexpected things without warning. Like the girl who was supposed to leave the guy she had a spark with. She was always going to leave him as part of the story, but as the cab drove away she frantically called to the driver to go back. She had a sudden surge of bravery and boldness I hadn’t expected. So I went with it.
Surrendering isn’t always defeat. Sometimes it just means we give up our death grip of control and see what happens.