Sometimes I forget what it means to surrender my will to the Universe. It doesn’t mean I no longer get to choose what I want. It means I let go of trying to control how I get what I want.
Here’s what surrender looks like to me.
Two weeks ago I ate dinner at Joe’s Grill. I sat by the window where I could see the river and a gorgeous sunset. The staff was friendly and service was prompt. After I ordered, Joe asked me to sample a wine that he’s considering adding to his wine list. It was excellent, as was my dinner. I left feeling well fed and completely happy. I loved Joe’s and couldn’t wait to go back.
The reason I went to Joe’s in the first place was because the week before, I read a rave review about it. Then someone at work said they’d heard good things about Joe’s. The next day when I was thinking about where to go for dinner, I came across a flyer for Joe’s in the mail. I went because something kept putting Joe’s name right in front of me, and I took the hint.
Now, here’s what not surrendering looks like.
A week later, I decided to go back to Joe’s because I wanted the same great experience, even though twice that week I drove past Bob’s Bar-B-Que and noticed what a nice looking place it was and how easy it was to get to from my house.
When I got in the car to go to Joe’s that night, I was nearly out of gas. The gas station is three blocks in the opposite direction of Joe’s — in fact, it’s on the way to Bob’s and even though it passed through my mind that it might be fun to go to Bob’s, I had decided on Joe’s and wasn’t going to change my mind. Leaving the gas station, traffic was heavy and making the left turn to get back on the road was frustrating. But I was going to Joe’s even if it took ten minutes to make that turn, which it almost did. I could have been at Bob’s by the time I got out of the gas station.
Joe’s parking lot had been resurfaced that day so I had to park on the street three blocks away and pay the meter, too, but at least I was there.
When I finally got seated at a table by the restroom door, it seemed everyone was in a bad mood. Service was slow; my dinner came cold and undercooked. I sent it back but this time it was over-cooked and tasteless. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, except now it was pouring rain, and I had to run three blocks to my car. I got soaking wet!
Since I was wet anyway, I decided to get some bread and milk at the store on the way home, and that meant I had to drive past Bob’s. The people sitting at the window tables were talking and laughing and having a wonderful time, and I saw that they now have complimentary valet service so everyone leaving Bob’s was getting into their car at curbside, nice and dry. Then I remembered what I’d heard about Bob’s the other day on the radio. They had a special that night of wild-caught Alaskan salmon, my favorite dinner.
What I had wanted was a nice evening and a good meal, but rather than be in flow with the energy of the moment, I put my mind in control mode and tried to relive the past. I thought I knew where to get what I wanted, but I have no way of knowing ahead of time which restaurants are having a good night and which ones are having an off night. The Universe knows, however, and it tried to tell me. If I had left the details up to the Universe to arrange, it could have guided me to where the good times were. But I had decided to go to Joe’s. And once I make up my mind….