Impact Of Surrendering On A Grander Scale

When the Covid-19 pandemic started, I was afraid I would ‘go out of business’ because people in a state of emergency would focus on more primary things, like food and toilet paper. That deep-diving into explorations of power and surrender would be off the priority list. But it turns out that I was wrong. My workload actually increased during the pandemic, even when I was forced to raise prices. Why is this? I think the pandemic has made people slow down and reconsider what is essential in life. Maybe that is normal; after the toilet paper crisis ended, we realised that society wouldn’t run out of either food or sanitary products. So there was space to go deeper.

When restricted, the default solution is to look for new solutions. You can see it when a stream of water meets a stone and effortlessly moves around it. Nature is adaptable and moldable, and so are you and me. Unless the nervous system ends up in a shock, and that it did, temporarily, in me and everyone around me. Yet once the surprise has passed, the situation is accepted, and then new solutions will present themselves. Some people decided to stay frozen until the pandemic was over, it seems to me, while others quickly moved forward. It’s a motion rooted in restriction. Just as every great innovation is born out of need, there is an opportunity to accept or surrender when a new reality arises, to make from it something great.

It reminds me of the final survival week of my living-in-the-woods course years ago when I was pondering whether to make the week into water fasting instead of living off beaver fat, leaves and tiny fishes. I realised, though, that I wouldn’t be surviving but rather slowly dying. Metaphorically. The same thing applies when in bondage, adapt or die. But before we can do that, we must accept or surrender to the new reality.

Forced To Make The Effort

Effort and responsibility also come into play here. Adaptation requires active effort and energetic investment, but accepting and surrendering are often experienced as a relief, as restful. Many people (secretly) found this pandemic relaxing because it offered a time to let go, surrender to something they could not control and stop rushing in their everyday lives.

Here we were offered, finally, a socially acceptable reason to relax. The German government even made an infomercial about it, saying that the world wars were fought in the trenches, while this war happens on your sofa, eating ice cream and watching Netflix. You can be a hero by doing nothing. And this ties back to bondage, in its offer of doing nothing.

I believe the pandemic was an excellent opportunity to practise – surrender and live a more sustainable life. In my therapeutic rope sessions, I met many people who burnt themselves out either from careers or relationships. That reflects a tragedy on a personal level but also an overall motion in society: that it doesn’t support avoiding trauma but instead sets us all up for eventual failures in a system spinning out of control. But we are all going to die eventually, right, so let’s sacrifice for something meaningful.