The Difference Between ‘Surrendering’ and ‘Allowing’

by Jennifer Zmurchyk – Prairie Sky Wellness

Surrender vs. Allow

Many of us who are on a spiritual path in life will come across the concept of surrendering at one point

‘Surrender and go with the flow’

‘Surrender to a higher power’

On the surface this seems like a good thing to do. However, what does it actually mean to surrender?

Definition of surrender:

– to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand

– to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another

– to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner

Miriam Webster Dictionary

It seems that by definition, when we surrender we are giving up our power to something else. Quitting. Becoming the prisoner of another.

In my own point of view we are all free and sovereign beings at the spiritual level, so what good is surrendering to something else? This implies that we are giving up our freedom and autonomy.

However, there is a much better word for the concept of surrendering.


Definition of allow:

– Let (someone) have or do something.

– Let (someone) enter a place or go in a particular direction.

– Give the necessary time or opportunity for.

Oxford Dictionary

To allow means to let something happen in the way it was meant to. Allowing is letting go of resistance and giving space for things to happen as they will, in the time they were meant to while still retaining personal sovereignty.

Allowing is to give ourselves permission to let go while having faith that everything will fall into place as it is supposed to under the loving guidance of the universe.

This all may be an argument over semantics, but words have power. We manifest our lives through words and thoughts. The difference between saying the word surrender which indicates giving up versus allowing which indicates letting go of internal resistance is large.

Prairie Sky Wellness

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