Why Should I Let Go of Control? 3 Reasons to Surrender to the Unexpected

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Why Should I Let Go of Control? 3 Reasons to Surrender to the Unexpected

Adapted from Monica and Michael Berg’s Spiritually Hungry podcast. Listen and subscribe here.
February 19, 2024
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Terms like “surrender” and “letting go” suggest losing something, but they can be the exact opposite – a path to gaining blessing, joy, and lasting fulfillment. Letting go is the essence of freedom itself. It is one of the most valuable skills to develop in our lives to unlock the clarity we need and the blessings we are meant to have.

Here are 3 reasons to let go of control and surrender to the unexpected:

1. Letting go of things that aren’t serving you creates space for things you truly want.

We tend to hold on to control because we think it will prevent us from getting hurt or being taken by surprise. It feels uncomfortable to make ourselves vulnerable, not knowing what is ahead or what could possibly go wrong. The truth is that holding on only holds us back. Letting go can create space for things we truly want, allowing us to be present and show up in every area of our lives as our full, authentic selves. 

Making room for the things you want from life usually means letting go of something else first - not something physical but something internal. It could be letting go of taking things personally, what others think of you, or needing to be perfect all the time, for instance. Once you let go of these feelings or behaviors, all that energy you usually spend worrying, ruminating, second guessing yourself, feeling anxious, or stressing is now free for you to use in pursuit of any passion you have. 

This is the formula for reaching your potential and operating from a space where you have internal freedom. Ask yourself what you want and what you need to let go of to get it. If you are in the loop of needing to control everything, think about how that control is really serving you. Catch the thought and let it go. 

2. The unexpected moments are where miraculous things occur. 

We all have expectations of what the day, week, or year will bring. And while it’s important to make plans and have goals, too often, things don’t go exactly the way we pictured. The good news is that the greatest Light is found in the moments where we let go of our expectations and instead embrace what is. 

Part of our spiritual work is to accept the unexpected moments as the most powerful, beautiful, and perfect parts of life. Remember, there is a bigger picture that we cannot see. This isn’t just in the big life-changing moments either, but even in the small daily moments as well, when the coffee you just bought spills all over you, someone cuts you off in traffic, or your friend gives you news you didn’t want to hear. When you let go of what you had intended for the day, really miraculous things can occur.

Challenge your own view of life each day. Life is going to happen to you one way or another. How your journey will be completely different if you are actively pursuing and practicing these daily actions of surrender.

3. Control is an illusion. You can only control your response to people and events.

Control feels good. Even if we understand spiritually that we need to let go, our mind still holds on to the idea of control because surrendering is an uncomfortable process at first. Think about all the things you are trying to gain control of in your life. Now, imagine that you had absolutely no influence over any of it.  If control is impossible, what are your other options? The only thing left to do is choose your reaction to what’s happening. 

The reality is that we only have control over our own response to people and events. The world is set up in such a way that we can never control anything about our lives because we are here to surrender to a much more powerful and ultimately better life. 

You’ve done this before but may not remember. You’ve trusted yourself and let go and survived and thrived. Think about learning to ride a bike. At some point, whoever was teaching you let go, and you took off. You may have wobbled and fallen a few times, but once you got the hang of it, you went faster and felt strong, exhilarated, and free. That is what we need to do in every part of our lives. 

Surrender is a choice we make day in and day out. It is continuous work to let go of control and negative feelings every day, but there are very few changes we can make in life that will reap as much benefit to our happiness and fulfillment. 

If you want to have the best day, month, and life, surrender often. Find the moments that are not happening the way you want them to and start viewing them as the most perfect situation for you. Know that you can’t control everything, and by letting go, you are freeing yourself from worry, fear, anxiety, and the judgments of others. Embracing the great and small surprises of life and living in the way where we are constantly pushing ourselves to surrender more and more makes life much more fulfilling.

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