Choosing to surrender is choosing freedom

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readJul 31, 2023
Photo by Michael Held on Unsplash.

I’ve been reading about surrendering lately. It’s something that’s hard to do. Thinking about it makes us feel like failures, like we are not in control. Maybe that’s the point.

Americans aren’t supposed to surrender. Growing up, we read in our textbooks that we went to war. Many wars, and that we always won. There was no such thing as surrender for our founding fathers or our military leaders. That’s not the American way.

But I feel like surrendering. Throughout our lives, we carry good and bad. We live with the decisions that we make. Sometimes they feel very heavy. We are weighed down by our feelings, our past actions. Those things we need to surrender.

It can’t always be a bad thing to surrender or to admit that you are not strong enough to do something on your own. You need something else, someone else to help you accomplish what you are trying to achieve. Acknowledging that is a form of surrender.

Many of us, especially men, go our whole lives trying to prove something. That we are strong and independent. That we only need our very own minds to think things through. “I can handle this,” we say to ourselves. “Don’t worry, I got this,” we say to others. What we are saying is that we don’t need anyone else to give us support or help. That would be surrendering.

The more I think of surrendering, the more I like the concept. The acknowledgment that I alone am not enough to conquer my fears and my challenges. That I can’t go through life living like I am the answer to everything around me. That I make better decisions about big things when I seek the advice of someone else.

I used to think that surrendering meant giving up. It does. It means giving up the idea that you are going through life alone. That you only have yourself to rely on in times of trouble. What would happen to this world if we all surrendered a little more? Rulers and decision makers. Bosses and heads of households. We could all use a little more surrendering.

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Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting. I write about them and what makes them interesting.