Dying in Submission or Thriving in Surrender?

By Wayne

Here’s an important question when it comes to relating to a any group or leader, or religious organization: Are they asking for my submission or my surrender?

If you come to a mentor, or a leader, or a group, whether it’s in the realm of spirituality, business or even family, for support, guidance or direction; putting this question on your radar can make or break your allegiance, as it should.

This question has been a guiding light for me over many years even when it was more subconscious than it was something I could put more words around as I will attempt now. 🙂

When a client comes to work with us in Soulfullheart work, we need them to lean into us, to see us as able to help, to see us a resource. This is true whether you are going to a dentist, an auto mechanic or a priest or pastor, or joining a group of any kind.

But how we, and they, relate to that ‘leaning in’ makes all difference in the world.

A leader who says that they have the truth; energizes that they have deeper knowledge; the path to your truest growth; and that if you lose sight of that, you will have to live with the penalties of being on the outside of their blessing, is using fear to bring and keep you under control and is asking for your submission.

A leader who offers what they have to offer, who even makes a bold claim as to what it can do to help; and invites you to consider it for yourself; who acknowledges that you are a sovereign being; who acknowledges that the healing gifts he or she offers don’t get to go anywhere without the participation of the client or seeker; who energizes no disdain for your choice to say ‘no,’ is asking and waiting patiently for your surrender.

One suppresses your power, the other enlivens it. One is afraid of your bigness, the other welcomes it. One sees your strength as a threat, the other sees it as an asset.

The difference here though is usually not so obvious, or we wouldn’t keep stubbing our toes or breaking our hearts over this question. Here are a few ways to look deeper and ascertain for yourself if the frequencies the group or leader are emitting are more about seeking submission or surrender:

How does the group or leader relate to those who are no longer a part of it? Does it hold more respect or more disdain? This is an important question because ultimately we end up leaving every group we join. And this question you can easily find the answer to before you join.

The other big one is how does the group feel on a transparency level? Most of us are now suspect that the politeness of politicians is a cover for lack of transparency and designed to gain and keep power. This way of being in the world is of course nearing it’s end as more and more of us can see through that for what it is.

Does the group come off as having more of the proud answers to life or instead the humble questions? Are they in the realm of knowing all the time or can they breathe in not knowing?

But let’s say, you’re already in deeper, have been for a good while, with many parts of your family and social and even possibly your financial life tied in in deep ways, and you are increasingly chafing at what feels like leaders being controlling and working to maintain your submission, and even masking that as asking for your surrender. What do you do with that? You might already know that there is no space within the group to openly question the leader without being labeled as disloyal or having a bad spirit, or just not ‘getting it.’ If that’s the case, the question for you isn’t whether the group is healthy or not, but more about how to find the courage to leave.

And that’s the kicker, because the time spent in submission is designed to erode the spine you would need to leave and say ‘no more.’ Alternatively, the time spent in healthy surrender is designed for you to see and determine when the growth you came for is achieved and that you are being called to move on, that you are ready to move on, with some sadness, sure, but not with any implanted fear of failure, lingering trauma, or feeling of being destitute.

Submission erodes your power and takes it from you. Surrender awakens you to your power and enhances your relationship to your own power. Surrender can never be demanded, it can only be freely and powerfully given. Surrender breeds powerful equals, submission breeds underlings.

Soulfullheart would take this question a step farther by asking a couple more questions that look at this same issue as it relates to our relationship with ourselves as well as our relationship to the divine:

“How has a more controlling part of me demanded the submission of the more vulnerable parts of myself?” and a second part to that question: “how has that process enabled me to stagnate in groups that no longer serve me?”


“How has a controlling submission picture inside of me to the divine affected me with allegiance to a false god or an atheistic ‘f-you’ to the divine?”

We create in our outer life what is true in our inner life, and then our inner life moves, and our outer life follows.


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