Surrender Versus Sacrifice

For many years, I studied personal growth and development with Lynn Andrews. One concept she taught was that of surrender versus sacrifice. The idea was that when an uncomfortable situation arose, you had choice regarding how to respond to it. Surrender, in this context, was accepting how things were and then choosing a response. Sacrifice was responding by harming yourself in some way – giving up on goals, not taking care of yourself, giving your power over to someone.

Say, you are in a circumstance where someone is saying you must do something that you do not want to do. First, look honestly at what is happening. Where do you have control and where do you not have control? If there are aspects of the situation where you have no control – surrender to them. If you have control, maintain it and avoid sacrificing yourself.

Can you see the power in surrender? It is being in the present moment and acting realistically. Once you surrender, you are fully present and can decide where to go from there.


photo: john hain,


Surrender is a powerful point of view. Sometimes circumstances get you stuck and you are lost in worry, anxiety, resistance or another static state that does not serve you. Surrender involves looking at a situation that has you off balance, assessing what is happening and accepting what is.

Surrender is not about allowing a person or situation to dominate you or acting against your own interests. It is about acceptance and being in the present moment. You look at what is and decide what to do from there, rather than resisting or otherwise staying in a stuck place.

Is there anything in your life or work now that merits your surrender?