Is it possible to have commitment and enchantment in the same relationship?
Are there any magical tricks that make relationships smooth and yet passionate?
Can two people "be in their power" without being in a constant power struggle?
The secret is to surrender to love, not to a lover. If you want to excel at the Game of Love, try a little act of surrender, to the process of love.
This means a commitment to love, honor and cherish the quality of the relationship. If both people commit to the process of loving, no matter what the circumstances, then love will overcome even adverse circumstances. This is one of the secrets to building happy lasting relationships. Surrender to love.
How do smooth relationships and passion go together? That’s where surrender to love comes in. Surrender. Most people don't even like the word, much less the act. But surrendering to love is not the same thing as placing yourself at the mercy of your lover's whims. The world has enough mats in front of doors. I'm not suggesting you give up your power and become someone else's foot wiper.
"Why would I want to surrender to him?" Carol, an adamant caller, complained one night on our radio show LOVE LIFE. "He just wants to win -- just to win! That’s why I just can't give in!”
“Why not?” I asked.
“I can’t let him win, because that means I lose." I responded: "If you say you can't, then you won't. But what if you could?"
“Well, I don’t know, I guess the fight would be over. But who would have won?”
“If you stop fighting and resume communication, then you both win.”
Remember that tug-of-war game you played as a kid? It only works if both sides pull on the rope and struggle with all their might. If one side just lets go, there’s no longer a tug-of-war.
In a love relationship, when there is a terrible fight, does anybody ever really win? Usually you just have two losers who have probably done some pretty good damage to each other. But if both sides are committed to healing, more than fighting, then both sides can win. That’s how you build happy lasting relationships.
We are saying that to surrender to love is an act of devotion. It is the high road on the journey of love. It means that you are committed to the quality of the partnership more than you are attached to winning. Being attached to winning just creates an impasse.
This philosophy empowers you. Because it reminds you that you always have a choice about how you respond, no matter how intense the emotional event. When you just stop for a second and remember that you always have a choice about your own response, you begin to feel more in control of your own responses. Then a potential argument can turn into an opportunity for greater understanding of both points of view. On the other hand, when you are emotionally agitated, your choices become more limited. You are by definition less reasonable.
Several studies have shown that with even minimal levels of stress, people are significantly less able to do simple math problems they could easily do when they weren’t experiencing stress. Fighting is usually stressful. It is so easy to let the fight take over. Instead of letting the fight win, make a conscious and deliberate decision to remember that you always have a choice about how you respond. Just a gentle reminder will keep you out of the automatic knee-jerk impulses to react. Then with even that small light of wisdom, you open up more potential to choose, to find a response that actually improves the quality of the connection between the two of you. This will help you build happy lasting relationships.
Surrender, in the spiritual sense of the word, is always a choice. It is always one of the choices you have. The whole concept of surrender scares people at first, because they think if they are not fighting to win, they will lose. The question is, what are you really trying to win? I’m not asking you what you’re fighting about and go one layer of truth deeper. If you won, what would you win? In other words, what is the underlying need that is driving the whole fight in the first place? Pay attention to that need, and the desire to fight begins to dissolve.
The other reason fighting can be so toxic is that when you are fighting you are focusing on the problem. Of course it looks serious! And the more you focus on the problem, the bigger it gets. But if you switch your focus back to something you desire, such as better understanding and communication, feelings of appreciation, you get a new perspective. Fighting rarely gets you to new perspectives. Fighting usually keeps you more strongly focused on the problem.
Experiment with this. Just do it. Surrender “your position” in favor of something that is truly important, such as a greater feeling of connection. This can happen if you switch your focus away from the problem. Surrender your position about the problem. What happens? No more tug. No more war. If you are ready for the express train to happiness, we invite you to try this:
Notice that we didn't say: "Surrender to each other." Simply choose to accept (and not fight) the fact that something is occurring right now. You don't have to like it. You just have to be willing to allow that it is happening.
"Why should I do that?!" Carol demanded. (It is such a habit to defend our habits.)
Why should you surrender to love as it is happening, rather than fight it? Because when you are resisting, all you get from your partner is equal or greater resistance. But when you are in the receptive state of non-resistance, you feel the flow of love. When you surrender to the moment, great, unexpected, sublime tender feelings can flood your experience. This is the remedy, the path to building happy lasting relationships.
Try it. It really is possible to give of yourself fully to the relationship without losing your sense of self in the relationship. When you surrender to love, the ordinary can become quite extraordinary. That's how passion and harmony, enchantment and commitment, can thrive in long-term love. That is when the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Surrender to love.
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"I love you!"
Those are the three words we most want to hear.
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