I had lunch with a good friend of mine a few months ago. He said something to me that has stayed with me and I have thought about a lot.
During lunch, we spoke about work and family. My friend was worried about me as he could see I was struggling with life at the time. During our conversation we were talking about relationships and what makes a strong marriage. He and his wife have been married for many years and have a great bond, me on the other hand, divorced twice.
When he asked me to describe LOVE in one word, I felt totally unprepared for that question. This was obviously an ‘area of opportunity’ for me in my life.
The first words that popped in my head were affection, adoration, compassion, but these just felt like buzz words to me. His response was, “I feel LOVE is SURRENDER.”
Now, when I think of surrender, I think of fighting and giving in or giving up. Surrender was never a word I felt was associated with Love. But his statement has inspired me to think about what love truly is to me and in my life.
There are different types of love; the love of family, love of friends, love of children, love of a spouse or significant other. Even though we may divide these into different buckets, in each instance, love ties them all together. If surrender is a word to describe love, what are we surrendering?
Surrender your JUDGEMENT - When you can see someone for all the good they have within them and see them with eyes of compassion; don’t focus on judgement or trying to tear them down.
Surrender SELFISHNESS - Putting someone else's needs before your own; wanting to focus on their happiness just as much or more than your own.
Surrender your TIME - Giving up your time to do something for them, even if it is not something you enjoy but you know it will make them happy.
Surrender your SHIELD - Feeling safe to be vulnerable; dropping your shields and wanting them to see you for who you are and vice versa.
Surrender your EGO - Have you ever been with someone who you felt makes you a better person? Wanting to set your ego aside to learn and grow with them.
Surrender your FEAR - Our own egos encourage fear within us; we can be afraid to put ourselves out there and to love. We all need love and there are plenty of people in our worlds that can benefit from our love. In some cases, you may get hurt, but for those you love, that love you in return, those are worth the risk!
Although I was not sure I agreed with my friend's interpretation of love, after thinking through it, I think surrender is a great definition. To truly love someone, you do have to surrender, you have to be vulnerable.
I encourage you to surrender to love in your life. Whether it is with family, friends, your children, or your spouse or significant other. Do your best not to judge, not be selfish, to do something just for them, to drop your shield, let go of your ego and not be afraid to be vulnerable.
Whether you are in a new relationship or have been together for years, our past scares can keep us from truly loving someone. Make a commitment to SURRENDER to LOVE.
Sending peace, love and joy to you my friend. Sam