Surrender is not a popular notion in our hard-charging, get-it-done culture.

It came into my vocabulary when I began practicing the 12 steps. Step three is traditionally written “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

A few decades later, I object to that wording on many levels. My idea of divinity has not been masculine for quite some time and, these days, I am letting go of the idea of a divinity. I am all about life as a sacred experience, but I’m not interested in the vassal-master relationship that gave birth to the third step.

Back then, I was trying to learn how to live in a wildly emotional body and found help in an “emotions anonymous” group. What seems to be important is letting go of the idea that my perfect effort will result in a perfect life. I want to let go of striving. I want to let go of perfectionism. I want to let go of the notion that “if it is to be, it’s up to me.”

Looking up the word “strive” in the thesaurus, I see batches of things I do not want to do: go all out, hassle, struggle, bear down, break one’s neck, go for the jugular… Yikes!

Antonyms? Make peace, relax, rest and – yes – surrender.

I hereby rededicate myself to patient surrender. I am not surrendering to anyone. I am surrendering my idea of what this life was supposed to look like. I am surrendering the urge to strive for accomplishment.

Where I go, I will try to bring peace. When I speak, I will try to leave trails of love.

I will live this life and not pine for another.