If my heart is imprisoned by the will of refusal—that is the will to refuse the experience of heart—I survive on the deluded hope that I can save myself if I can only make myself strong enough. The will and determination to keep the vow of strength becomes our own tragedy. Refusal of neediness, dependency, feelings, vulnerability, and others’ help becomes the refusal also to accept how we are predesigned. We are created to grow through relational neediness so we can pass forward the love that others will need. We are created to have a heart of flesh, not a heart of stone.
People who live in the vow of false strength don’t pass love forward. They do not receive and, therefore, cannot give. No one can give what they do not have, except a lesson on who we would wish never to become. Therein, lies the tragedy for everyone.
Liberated people, however, have cried out, faced their neediness, and opened their hands and hearts to the rescue from the deluded vow. The rescue from the tragedy of self-will brings a person to be able to love. The rescue brings a person into the full awareness that vulnerability is the doorway to love. Nothing in this life requires more vulnerability and willingness to experience pain than love. We surrender to love, first by facing that we hunger to be loved for who we are—a clear expression of neediness. As we receive such love, we can offer such love.
Surrender is what begins the process of giving love. It means to render over, or give back, implying that we are returning something we took. Surrender means giving up a heart of stone, and returning to others and God a heart of flesh. As we are received by those who would love us, we begin to experience the great courage of being able to love as we have been loved, instead of surviving in the defensiveness as we have been unloved.
Surrender is not defeat. It is a paradoxical victory. By losing refusal, we gain the victory of becoming ourselves. By becoming human, we become available to experience love. Love puts us in a position of great vulnerability. And only the most courageous can live in the vulnerability to pain that love can and does bring to us. Surrender is the doorway to being loved. It is the beginning of being able to show up in the experience of daily life every day, open and vulnerable to receiving and offering love.