By Donna Gates, as seen on:

Bestselling author, Marianne Williamson, writes in her book A Return To Love:

“The highest identity is our relationship with others. A life lived for oneself alone is not liberation, but merely another form of bondage.”

Our relationship with others — for better or worse — defines us. The relationships that we maintain with others can lift us to our most gratifying moments in life. And these same relationships can also humiliate us, bringing us face to face with what we fear most.

In many of the dramas that we act out with others, we assert our flawlessness, our greatness, and our authority. We can end up quarreling with others — strangers and those we love — because we either know that we are right or because we would never want to admit that we feel vulnerable and uncertain.

If we could only pause for a moment. And surrender.

If we could surrender to not knowing.

If we could surrender to mystery, to confusion and to imperfection, we may find exactly what we are looking for.

Whether it is freedom from others or acknowledgement from the one that we love, when we surrender we open a doorway to infinite possibility.

Unfortunately, most of us associate surrender with failure.

Surrender is raising the white flag. It can mean allowing defeat. It can seem like giving up.

Surrender often comes last because we do not want to lose control.

When working with clients, I find that this same surrender is essential when approaching any matter related to health. In both small, nagging problems and large looming health crises, we always cover the most ground when we surrender.

When we surrender, we let go of our plan. We let go of our intentions and we stop fighting against the larger ebb and flow of life.

The reality is that there are gifts tucked away into every hard, bitter relationship — whether this relationship is with others or our own body.

Sometimes our health can continue to decline even though we may eat the right foods, exercise gently every day, get a full night’s rest and do our best to avoid exposure to toxins.

Even a daily spiritual practice that focuses on positive mindset and managing stress may do little to shift a pre-existing health problem.

So often, we can do everything “right” and still struggle in our relationship with others and in our relationship with our own body.

When we allow ourselves to let go and surrender, we witness love and wholeness. Choosing to surrender is not giving up. It is seizing an opportunity to take personal responsibility, practice self-forgiveness and shift limiting beliefs with grace.

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