3 Differences Between Surrendering and Giving Up

In my experience with Pam, I didn’t throw my hands up when I entered the house and say this is a waste of time. I didn’t even give in when I asked for help. I surrendered. I released the situation and the energy that I was holding around it to a higher plane.

For some there’s a huge difference between surrendering and giving up, for others a fine line, and for many more there is no delineation. In my own experience, I feel like I’m walking a fine line at the time, but I can usually tell whether I’m surrendering or giving up by the way I feel and the options available to me after.

When you surrender, you are calm. When you give up, you are exasperated.

When you’re in the thick of a tense situation like deciding whether to take a job, or worrying about how the mortgage is going to get paid, you feel pressurized and squeezed. When you give up, you feel like throwing your hands in the air. Picture being flustered and throwing all the papers that you have in your hands up in the air for them to land where they will. You feel panicked and exhausted. There’s no real resolution, except you are no longer dealing with the situation. You’ve tossed it to the side.

When you surrender, you calmly put the papers to the side. You feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You feel a sense of calm and peace about the situation. You turn your attention away from the mayhem, not in denial, but toward possible outcomes that you can’t see while staring at the mess.

When you surrender, doors open. When you give up, you slam the doors shut.

Mother’s Day weekend I went home to see my parents. I was greeted by my rambunctious niece and nephew, and the news of the century. “Aunty, my teeth came out!” exclaimed my nephew. The tooth was his prized possession. He wouldn’t even let me hold it. I could only look at it. He kept playing with the tooth, despite my mother’s warnings, until the tooth fell into the seat.

Wailing proceeded.

In light of the wailing, I said a quick prayer. After 45 minutes of gridlock in Friday Miami traffic, and endless wailing, we arrived at a pit stop for treats and to locate the missing tooth. Have you ever tried to find the tooth of a 5 year old in a Nissan Armada? Can you say needle in a haystack?

My nephew continued, “I can’t find the tooth. The tooth fairy’s not going to come. We not going to find the tooth.” I tried logic and asked him to use his tiny hands to dig in the crevices for the tooth. After one last “we not going to find it,” he abruptly stopped, jumped out of the car and said he wanted to go in for food.

Meanwhile, I thought to myself, these seats are ‘poppable’, I bet if I just lift it up I’ll find it. I popped his seat up and all the way over, and there, looking like a flake of paper, lay the tooth. I am now Aunty, the hero 🙂

So the difference between giving up and letting go? My nephew gave up when he issued his final, “we not going to find it,” and jumped out the car. He had moved on for sure, but we would not have heard the end of the lost tooth. I, on the other hand, didn’t have much vested either way. It would have made a good story, but I had surrendered the situation and shifted into solutions. The tooth did fall into the car, so it would be found in the car. I knew there was a solution and I opened myself up to ways that the tooth could be found.

When you surrender, you soar to unknown heights. When you give up, you delve into the depths of despair.

Thanks to Pam and 3 of her brothers, I got my house on the market within 2 weeks of moving out. I was excited and pleased to be able to get the house up to snuff. After 6 weeks on the market, though, I began to doubt that the house would sell for the asking price. I played out the worst case scenario in my mind, FORECLOSURE!

Despair began to set in, as I tried to figure out how I could continue to pay the mortgage there and still keep my new, fantastic abode. I called my cousin when I was down in the dumps and explained to her that I’d given up. There was no way I could continue to pay for both and I saw no way out. Foreclosure was inevitable.

Hearing the panic in my voice, my cousin explained that while we have always been able to “work miracles with the worst credit,” there was no need to continue to create this situation for ourselves. Her instructions were to sit in the silence until I was able to release the situation. She said the outcome might still be the same, but at least I would be clear and I would have surrendered.

Sure enough, after sitting for about 45 minutes and wrestling with the imaginary consequences of foreclosure, paying to keep both places, the anger surrounding the situation, and the despair I felt, my mind finally exhausted itself. I decided that I would write a list of the major financial mistakes I made that shaped my life to that point. I came up with 6, number 7 was impending foreclosure. I said to myself, “Right!” I knew then that I did not want to keep beating myself up and I wanted a better solution. Foreclosure was not an option.

I opened up the spreadsheet where I keep my budget and went down the list of items to see where I could get the money to pay the mortgage. When I moved into my new place, it automatically freed up $500 which I wanted to use for debt reduction and to rebuild my life. That was part of the anger and resentment. I immediately zeroed that line item and added the money to a new line item: old mortgage. I went through and shaved cash of other expenses like food, clothing, and entertainment, until I found the remainder of the mortgage. This is my first month living with the reduced amounts, and while it’s tight, I must say that it comes with own set of rewards: creativity, and healthy eating.

When you give up, despair intensifies. That’s one of the ways to know if you are truly surrendering a situation. When you surrender, you move to higher states of consciousness where peace and possibilities live.

In Spirit,

PS. I’ll let you know how the house thing works out.

Nneka, Working Mystic
Nneka serves spiritual seekers who desire to put the Law of Attraction to work to create the life of their dreams.

11 Responses to “3 Differences Between Surrendering and Giving Up

  • Hi Nneka

    Great distinction between giving up and surrendering and good stories to illustrate it.

  • Hi Steve, I was rolling with laughter as I recounted that story about my nephew.

  • Hi Nneka – that is very good advice.

    For me to identify it with my past experiences, I interpret it not as “surrender,” but instead as not letting a situation take control of me. For example – if I lose my wallet, my initial reaction would be extreme stress. If I get overcome with stress about the wallet, then the situation has control over me. But I can take back control of the situation by focusing on what I can control, such as canceling my credit cards and buying a new (and better) wallet.

    This example is trivial compared to home ownership and foreclosure, but the principles can still apply to big-ticket stuff. I just shake my head over people who buy that nice luxurious foreign car that overextends their budget. They don’t own that car, but rather the car owns them.

  • Hi Al, welcome to Balanced Life Center! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

    You are so right about realizing what is controlling home. When you know that the situation has no power over you, you put yourself in a position to see other options all around you.

    No matter the problem, the same principles will apply.

    In Spirit,

  • Aarthi
    12 years ago

    Good luck with the house. You will be in my prayers

  • Thanks Aarthi 🙂

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