Surrender is Self-Care

Surrender is Self-Care

Self-care is every mental health bloggers favourite word. Scroll long enough through the catacombs of the feed, and it will pop up. I get it, and in many ways, I appreciate it. Caring for oneself allows you to thrive, and it grounds all the caring you do for other people. But it can also devolve into a very egocentric practice where love is no longer present, and what's left is a feeble attempt to provide supernatural support from the place of finitude.

This is why the Christian faith has survived for so long - implicit within the tradition is surrender. Surrender is self-care but within the context of a divine hierarchy. This is very different to speaking affirmations that you're enough or worthy. Surrender depends on a relationship with the highest possible value and everything along that continuum working to protect you. This divine hierarchy does two incredible things: firstly, the hierarchy protects you. It is not you and you; it's you and God, and that relationship isn't one of power but of ability.

Knowing that you are residing within the protection of God, angels, saints, and communities is unbelievably freeing. It speaks to the single most significant loss of Protestantism - confession. Confession served as a practice to surrender your sins, not to a therapist who holds on to them, but to a priest who offers them to God and then shares that emotional burden with the community. You become protected and supported by the hierarchy.

Secondly, that hierarchy calls you to heaven. We conceptualise heaven as a place we go once we die, but that's wrong. Jesus repeatedly stated that He came to bring God's will, love, and peace to the earth. What happens when we die is irrelevant to the life of faith, as the life of faith is centred on the here and now, where surrender is self-care.