By Eric Jenican, Founder, Endorphin Warrior
Last October, as I sat in a restaurant with my adult daughter, who is suffering from addiction (Update: How I’m Surviving My Adult Daughter’s Drug Addiction), I couldn’t help but look at her and think, “Just surrender. Let go of your fear and your ego and turn yourself over to God, or a belief in a Higher Power, or to a knowing that there is something larger than you. Let other people into your life who have walked the walk of recovery and sobriety and trust and follow their advice.” In my mind, she needs to surrender to what is ailing her in order to free herself (from addiction) and get beyond it.
A few weeks later, my beautiful, 88-year-old mom, who has macular degeneration and is losing her vision, ran a red light while driving and got in a bad wreck. Her car was totaled, but miraculously neither she nor the other driver was badly injured. As a precaution, they took my mom to the hospital to run a few tests. Thankfully, everything was okay, but as I visited with her that day at the hospital, I watched as she surrendered to the fact that she couldn’t drive any more. For months she had resisted giving up driving, but with this accident, she knew this was it.
As I drove away from the hospital later that day, it hit me how having the ability to surrender is an important part of life for everyone. For years I have been dealing with my adult daughter’s drug addiction. I’ve wanted her to get well so badly I’ve tried almost everything. And as the years have passed and all of my effort and will has made seemingly no difference, it finally hit me that her addiction is out of my control. I haven’t given up on her. But I have let go of trying to change her. There are forces in the world that are greater than us, there are circumstances in life that are beyond our control, and these are the times to let go and surrender.
Surrendering is not an act of weakness. On the contrary, it means that you are wise enough to recognize and understand that you do not have control over the situation and it is best to let it go. By all means, live as strongly as you can and exert as much influence as possible over that which you have control to live your best life possible. This is what Endorphin Warrior is all about. But what I’ve recognized this year in particular is that persevering, for instance, is not “good” and surrendering “bad.” There is a time to take action, exert your influence, persevere or make something happen… and there is a time to surrender. There are circumstances and moments for each. And this is what I learned more clearly this year.
Happy New Year everyone. Warrior On!
What About You?
What did you learn in 2015? How did you improve? What stands out to you? Please share with us below.