surrenderSo recently I wrote about trust….or rather, my lack thereof.

But then this morning I had a trust-based “aha” moment. This realization stemmed from my ongoing contemplation about the difference between “trust” and “surrender” – ie, is there any and if so, what is it?

Surrender I can do. Surrender is not a problem for me. Surrender feels like acknowledging that the unknown is a very real factor in my choice to get up again this morning. Without some sense of surrender, some willingness to surrender, some actual surrender for that matter, I would find it awfully hard to function – with or without those expensive anti-anxiety meds my doctor keeps prescribing and I keep taking.

So this morning I asked myself, “What IS the difference between surrender and trust?”

And I realized that (for me at least) it all boils down to one thing.

Trust is goal-oriented….surrender is open-ended.

When I surrender, I am surrendering everything. I am surrendering my understanding, my attachment to any outcome, my sense of what I think ‘should’ unfold or what might be best, my own (at best) limited wisdom which always wants to weigh in…..I am letting go. Completely.

When I trust, however, there is a goal in mind. I am trusting that “such and so” will “turn out well.” I don’t have to understand what “well” looks like or be attached to it looking a certain way (for instance, to getting a certain amount of money or to having an important relationship take a particular path) but I am definitely attached to the outcome fitting the definition of “well” – aka “better than it was before or is now.”

When I surrender, I just surrender. But when I trust, I “trust in.” Someone. Something. A concept, idea, destination or eventuality.

I also realized in this “aha” moment that I am pretty much always trusting in that someone or something, concept, idea, destination or eventuality to be an improvement over what is unfolding in my life-as-it-is.

So surrender is a journey. But trust has a destination.

That is where I am at today. I am feeling a little more kindly disposed towards trust after this realization. I still have a ways to go, but at least trust isn’t in the time-out corner anymore.

Today’s Takeaway: How do you relate to trust versus surrender? Trust versus distrust? How do you interact with the experience of trusting in your life – for instance, how do you know when you are “trusting” versus “not trusting”?

Surrender image available from Shutterstock.



View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 0 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

    Last reviewed: 1 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2013). My Trust “Aha” Moment. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2014, from



Subscribe to this Blog: Feed

Recent Comments
  • Shannon Cutts: Yes Ruth – I too concur with Sheila A. – plus, science is even now uncovering more reasons...
  • Shannon Cutts: You are so welcome – I felt free when I first heard the term too! :-)
  • RevereBuilding: I am an emotional sleeper. It is my favorite past time. I was a closet emotional sleeper. I never...
  • Ruth A.: I never knew there was a term for my sleep habits…I’m right there with you Sheila A. Sleeping is...
  • Shannon Cutts: Yes, I can relate, Sheila. Sometimes sleep gives us the break we need to regroup-and I agree that is...
Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!