surrender white flag

Active Surrender: Rise Up and Rebuild

The essence of active surrender is in the deliberate action that follows. This isn’t about submitting and standing still; it’s about movement – it’s about unplanting our feet from the familiar grounds and taking brave steps in a new direction.

In sobriety, we’re taught the importance of letting go absolutely. But what does this mean? How do we know if we’ve let go absolutely. We make the conscious choice to interact with our world in a different, more health-conscious way. We recognize that our best selves and our best lives are worth working for and will be discovered in the courage of our forward momentum.

Letting go with action is a paradox, I realize. It means letting go of the fear that makes us clings to the familiarity of where we’ve been and where we comfortably stand. The fear of the unknown prevents us from nurturing our future selves. For me, it means transforming my daily internal battles into shares at my 7 am sobriety meeting and turning them into my podcast episodes each evening. It’s shifting from an obsession with my former career-focused identity to embracing a new calling in recovery. And it’s ok to grieve Rachel 2.0 while actively building Rachel 3.0, taking along what still serves me through the transformation.

Addressing another common misconception, letting go isn’t synonymous with apathy. My peace isn’t indifference; it’s a choice over chaos – a decision reinforced by my neuropsychiatric evaluation. I prefer to release and let life’s events unfold as they will. Some find this approach uncomfortable, but it’s essential for my mental and emotional well-being.

The real aim of letting go isn’t to abandon our aspirations. It’s to free ourselves from the fixation on what we lack. Instead, we can shift our focus from the void to an appreciation of abundance, from what’s missing to what’s present.

This month, I invite you to join our listener gratitude challenge. As I listen to our Reads and Recovery book this month, “The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober” by Catherine Gray, I hear about the profound shift that occurs when we train ourselves to seek joy and gratitude. It’s a skill that becomes more accessible with practice, much like any other.

On rough days, when I’m frustrated with my limitations, I remind myself that surrendering is the solution. I’m not giving up; I’m letting go of the struggle, trying to stay put when life is clearly moving. I am reminded on these day that Rachel version 3.0 is redefining herself within a new body.

As I navigated sobriety early on and found that my body was capable of so much more than what I was using it for, I turned my body into a playground of possibilities. I began running, doing yoga, etc. Now, facing a new challenge in stroke recovery, I’m within another period of exploration – one that’s filled with new hobbies and interests like music, painting, sewing, and more. I’m exploring the link between creativity and recovery.

To achieve holistic health through active surrender, I must let go absolutely. When I feel the urge to revert to digital distractions, I choose to reach for my earphones, my sewing machine, a tub of flour, or a set of weights. This redirection aligns with my current limitations while honoring my core values of learning, health, and communication.