What does it mean to surrender to the heart?
To what in my heart am I surrendering?
Can one navigate one’s life from listening to the heart?
Does surrender take away or give me power?
Before I share some thoughts on the above questions, I will share a little about the journey I am on. On July 1st, 2016 I released myself from most of my possessions and took to the open road to share music, stories, conversations, playshops, concerts and to breathe real life into the writing of my book called: “Surrender to the Heart-The Power of a Sensitive Man.” I have written the book twice, but it didn’t feel right until I asked my heart if I was having any fun in the process of writing. I had turned it into a formal exercise that lacked the playful warmth and discovery of new possibilities. What I came to realize is that the brain dictates and the heart celebrates. I wanted to get into what inspires celebration.
I felt called to bring my message to communities across Canada – from Ontario to British Columbia. What is the celebration I am bringing? I am celebrating opening the heart – wide! Mostly, I am celebrating the birth of standing entirely in my power in the world without losing my compassionate heart, and your capacity to be sensitive and vulnerable to all of life. “Surrendering to the Heart” is a movement beyond fear, beyond grasping, beyond winners and losers, beyond the have’s and the have-nots.
The way we express power in our world so often works to control and dominate others. It takes a position of superiority and generates a conquering mentality. We use terms like “kill the competition”! There is a time for everything and to everything a season. The season of expressing “brute force” and ‘power over’ is changing. I believe and feel we are entering a time of great healing and transformation. We are in a time of harmonizing and integrating our understanding of who we think we are. We live in a time when each becomes the author of the story he is living, instead of parroting what he learned in stories.
When I was six years of age, I was traumatized by a violent sexual assault, and then abandoned to the foster care system. The system passed me through numerous homes and institutions. I never landed anywhere I could call home. This experience and many more experiences left me highly sensitive and vulnerable. My power erupted in various forms of anger and defensiveness, and also through the over intellectualization of my feelings (which I eventually saw was another kind of protection). I was trying to live my life according to someone else’s definition. This anger took me down many roads that ultimately were not fulfilling, but each experience became another example of what I didn’t want, which gradually brought clarity to what I did. It taught me that nothing is a mistake on the path of self-discovery. Absolutely everything can is an opportunity to learn, grow and create; and the more I surrender to my heart, the more I discover my gifts. I was fortunate to have a deep love for music, beauty, poetry, writing, singing and understanding the human condition, all of which helped me tremendously in expressing my true self. But, for me to express my gifts I had to learn how to surrender to them.
So, what do I mean by surrender? Three ways the word surrender can be understood are: Surrender in the form of letting go, of being open and receptive to your evolution. Surrender by being of service. Surrendering allows us to listen to the hearts’ intuitive guidance; a language school does not teach us.
Then there is surrender in the form of losing, giving up, or being controlled by outside forces. It is as an experience of defeat and denial.
Surrender in the form of doubtless confidence and trust in your sense of purpose (surrendering to your gifts), even though you may not know how or why things are happening.
As humans, we have severely eroded the public trust which is serving to help us to return to ourselves to listen to our wisdom, while also retaining an appreciation for the wisdom of others. When we open our hearts to all that we are and can be, and suspend all judgment with unconditional love, our lives’ become expansive. Surrendering to the heart inspires graciousness and loving acceptance for ourselves and in turn for others.
Going on my trek across Canada was my act of surrendering to sharing my gifts in a bigger way with the world, as well as deepening my appreciation for other people’s gifts and stories. Stepping out of my familiar world facilitated a new view of what I called reality. Everything we identify as reality in our conventional world is an agreement, a construct we have bought into and feel we have to maintain. But contracts can be changed. Once I realize I am not bound to the definitions I have applied to myself, a whole new world becomes possible. So it is a movement between defining myself by the external axioms of society to discovering my inspiration and power to recreate myself continually, and to move in circles of congruency.
On my journey, I have had days of deep sadness for leaving behind people I love to fulfill this path that calls me. I have felt fear and insecurity. Many times I have initiated a direction not knowing whether all would work out, and over and over again my heart has told me to surrender to the process, and that trusting the heart is not about control. It’s about letting go of all fear and any sense of lack. We, like all of nature, are abundant beyond measure and are much richer together than apart. When you dare to act on how your heart is speaking to you, your power begins to grow because every choice you make to fulfill your deepest desires feeds the next.
Surrender requires patience, presence, sensitivity, vulnerability, honesty, complete forgiveness, trust, self-acceptance, courage, and free will. When we stand under the power of love and surrender to the wisdom of the heart we are inspired to be of service and to become master co-creators with all of nature. Many think of surrender as leaving you powerless, but life is intrinsically paradoxical, and often when we believe that we are losing something precious, it is being replaced by something far more beneficial.
I did not know (and still don’t) where my journey might end up as it continues to evolve and take shape. To what am I surrendering? Trust!
One outgrowth of my desire to celebrate the heart within the community was my calling to coordinate a festival in Calgary called HeartFest – this past August. It was a great success and was received with great enthusiasm and is now revealing what may be my legacy – to set up HeartFest’s around the world.
Our greatest obstacle to surrender is fear. The fear of making mistakes, the fear of failing, the fear that we are just crazy, the fear that no one will understand or appreciate us, the fear of being alone. But fear (outside of life or death situations) is an illusion and mostly a figment of my imagination. When we face our fears, they disappear like smoke. The following is a piece I wrote a month ago in Calgary (I am currently writing this article in Toronto) called “Fear and Love.”
To be powerful as a sensitive-hearted man presents many challenges in a world where being sensitive (especially as a man) is perceived as a weakness. Being a people-pleaser is a by product of fear and desire, (the desire to be loved and the fear of not). So, what are you holding onto that no longer serves you?
It is encouraging to know that everything that makes up our earth supports everything on it. We humans are the only ones who deviate from that natural balance because of our ability to choose a path that conflicts with this inherent harmony of life as a whole. Discover the many amazing and powerful ways that the universe has your back when you trust in your heart. Keep it open, and share it generously. Some might call that the Law of Reciprocity. What goes around, comes around. Give your love away, surrender to its power. It will always come back in greater measure. Trust, trust your heart. It is far more intelligent than your logic
What dream is calling you to your more expansive and expressive self? Allow yourself to ‘feel’ its guidance. Then act on it!
Tru Guy Stefan
Tru is a Shiatsu Therapist, Singer-Songwriter, Sound Alchemist, Composer, Writer and Workshop Facilitator. He is passionate about relationships and the human condition; and focuses especially on how we have defined our roles for being men and women in our society. His speciality is interactive growth concerts.