17 February, 2020

No Kidding 2020 Project: Day 4 - Surrender

I’ve written a lot about acceptance of our No Kidding lives, and acceptance has been and is an important word for me. But I know, from personal experience and from correspondence with others, that it isn’t something that comes easily, especially not early in the journey. I think that talking about surrender is more appropriate when we are newly grieving, just trying to get our heads around the situation we find ourselves in. Though I’m finding too that Surrender is really important in all aspects of our life.

Surrender simply means that now, for whatever reason, you have to stop. It doesn’t mean you have given up, or that you are a quitter. Many times, those who have to surrender have fought insurmountable odds. But there is a time when we all stop, for whatever reasons. As I said in Day 1, you don’t have to like it. You can be angry and disappointed and sad. But it is important to surrender to that fact that the fight is over.

You’ve probably spent so long fighting against the idea of not getting what you want, that when you do acknowledge you're at the end of that fight, just surrendering yourself can be a relief and a release. Many of us experience a watershed moment, I think, when we breathe in deeply, let it out, and  surrender. So surrender yourself to what is your reality. Surrender yourself to your future. You’ve started to do that already, by showing up, feeling, and beginning to delight. And it gets easier.

It continues to be important too, as we live our No Kidding lives. I see some people years later, still fighting the idea that they will not have children, still angry about it, maybe still wanting someone or something to blame. They carry that fight with them on a daily basis, maybe not even realising that they do so. But I feel the weight of that burden on them. It’s heavy. It hurts. But once we can surrender, and do so on a daily basis (because we all need reminders), we open ourselves up to other possibilities. To a new normal. To a happy future.

I’ve been thinking a bit about surrendering in my own life the last week or so. I’ve realised I’m fighting something that I can’t win. For the most part, for the last 10-15 years I’ve surrendered myself to another set of circumstances (not necessarily related to the fact we don’t have children), I’ve found other interests to pursue, and have followed (in recent years) this life plan that I had not expected. Yes, I complain about it here, from time to time, but I use that as a pressure release. But this last year it has been building again, especially as a promised reprieve didn’t really eventuate. I know I need to surrender to what is my reality, live the life I have, whilst trying to find ways to get what I need within that reality. Writing this has been a very useful reminder to me, and gives me hope too. Is there anything in your life – a goal, a thing, an anger – that you need to surrender?

Surrender. It so often is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of resolve, a sign of hope, and a new beginning.


  1. I love that you made this discernment between surrender and acceptance. I didn't realize that sometimes I aim first for acceptance, which doesn't go very well. I see that surrender is an important step that shouldn't be skipped.

    I'll be working on my own surrender. Best wishes with yours.

  2. Surrendering the effort to try and control that which is not within my power to control. To be very clear about what I can influence and what is outside my sphere. That these are not giving up or not caring but simply accommodating the real, even if not welcome.
    Thank you.

  3. Oh, good post!! I will be thoughtful about this. I'm sure I've got something that I need to surrender. Thank you. <3

  4. I love how you differentiate between acceptance and surrender. I'm learning that if I can't get to gratitude, then go for acceptance, now I see that surrender is the first step. Currently it's to a coaching program I signed up for in November. Things are getting messy and I want to run, in fact I keep trying to run. And that's why I paid for the entire year up front. Because I knew I'd get to this point and learning to surrender to the process is where most of my learning/shifting is going to take place.

  5. I love this, so much. There reminder that surrender is not a weakness a it's there way to a new beginning. I felt a lightness when I surrendered to our decision to resolve and leave they struggle behind, but I have to continuously surrender pieces as I go, dealing with those moments of bitterness and then letting them go, so that I can truly feel like I'm moving forward and not stuck. Resolving, truly resolving, is such hard work. Lovely post!

  6. "I see some people years later, still fighting the idea that they will not have children, still angry about it, maybe still wanting someone or something to blame." Yes. I'm always curious when I read really visceral, raging pieces about childlessness by women in their 50s. At some point you have to change the way you look at the thing. I lived for a long time in the shadow of my mother's early death and let it define me, and let its loss affect how happy or unhappy I was, for far too long. I won't let being a non-mother do this to me. Whether that's surrender, or something else, I don't know, but I love this topic..

  7. It is a beautiful post, thank you Mali!