The Paradox of Desire and Surrender; My Journey to Faith

by Brandon Olivares on February 24

Well, there have been quite a few changes since my last post. Actually that’s a pretty major understatement.

I won’t go into a lot of detail, because I’ve already done that on my blog. But, last month, I converted to Islam.

It’s actually in a way not changed too much about what I write and how I write it, because surprisingly enough, Islam has a lot of room for the ideas taught by most LOA teachers. The major difference is, now there’s someone, i.e., God, behind this whole process, instead of some impersonal universe.

I came to suspect this towards the end of last year, believe it or not. As I got more and more results using the law of attraction, it felt like more than just an impersonal process giving me back what I had put out there. I remarked to my wife Christine on several occasions that I felt like there was something that truly loved me, and wanted to bless me.

It was really too radical of an idea for me to consider at the time, because I preferred the idea that all of this was a mechanical process, that you got out whatever you plugged into it. But as I explored the idea of surrender, which I outlined in several of my posts here over the last several months, I saw that the classic ideas of law of attraction, that we have control over our own lives and destinies, was a little off the mark. In fact, I commented on several occasions that it seemed that to have the most control, we had to give up control entirely. Indeed that the more we gave up control, the more that things would go well for us. So, surrender became, and really still is, the centerpiece of my teaching.

The Paradox of Desire

I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. There’s a paradox of sorts when it comes to desire. The more you desire something, the harder it is to get. On the other hand, the less attachment you have to your desire, the easier it is to achieve.

In my previous work with the law of attraction, I often gave the advice, and heard others giving the advice, to detach from your desires. However, in case after case I witnessed, people who attempted to apply this advice only did so from a place of increased attachment. Their entire motivation in detaching from their desire was simply to achieve it, and thus the attachment became better hidden, but still existed all the same.

In fact, this very attitude was perfectly exemplified by a client I had just the other day. He said, “What do I have to do? Do I have to feel good for an hour, a day, a week, before this works?” But do you see the hidden attachment? He only wanted to feel good so that he could get what he wanted. He had the appearance of detachment, but was actually attached all the more.

So I found that this is the predicament many people find themselves in. Can you relate to this? Can you find some desire in your life that you’ve tried all ways and means to achieve, and yet nothing happens? Perhaps you’ve even tried not wanting it so much, but you know very well that you keep checking to see if it has been answered yet. “Trying” to detach does not seem to be a viable solution.

It becomes a catch 22. You want what you want because you want to feel good, but people tell you that you won’t get it until you feel good. Why does this happen? How is this paradox resolved?

The Source of True Fulfillment

This very question is what led me to where I am now. I discovered the power of surrender—of surrendering to something greater than yourself in the awareness that you may or may not get what you want, and that is okay. That surrender led to the awareness of that “Something Greater”, which I must call God, and you can call whatever you like.

What I realized is that we are created beings, yet we have a part of ourselves that is irrevocably tied to God. We have a part of ourselves that is created, yet eternal. This body and everything about us will come and go, but still there is a part that will last. We are a union of perishable but imperishable, transient and yet eternal.

With the above in mind, does it seem like just any desire would fill that void within us? Does it seem like a new car, a new house, a nice relationship, or a bit of money would really fulfill us in the long-term? They are certainly enjoyable, and I’m not telling anyone to go live in a cave and sell all your possessions, but what will they really do for you?

The reason that surrender is the key to happiness is because it opens ourselves up to a deeper relationship, a greater connection, with God. It is truly only that spiritual connection that can permanently fulfill us. It will put a stop to that interminable searching for the next big thing to fulfill us for a while. We can stop and just live life, and then allow our desires to naturally come into existence, not because we need them, but because they are an expression of our own relationship with God, and God’s love for us.

That love is really what I felt last year, when I knew there was something out there blessing me with these things, which I had thought the law of attraction was responsible for. It was the reason I felt such a desire to be grateful, because I recognized that I was blessed with these things.

The law of attraction says that if you do certain steps, you will get certain results, every time. That’s why it’s called a law. But this is much more than that: this is a relationship. And the terms of this relationship are that if you surrender, if you stop trying to control things so much, and put your trust in God, insha’Allah (God willing), things will work out for you. He will happily bless you, and send you things that you could never imagine or even ask for. It is not a matter of getting back what you have put forth, but it is a matter of a freely given blessing, much more than we could offer in return, even with all the surrender and trust in the world.

So, you see, desires really become a secondary part of all of this. The most important thing is that relationship with God, learning how to surrender and how to trust in your everyday life. And then, He will say to you, “Ask me what you want, and I will give you more than you could imagine to ask, if you trust.”

Can you establish a relationship in order to receive the benefits of it? Absolutely not! This requires a true surrendering of all desires, in order to gain something much greater on the other side. And then when it’s all said and done, you are still free to ask for anything you like, as long as you don’t put that desire above your newly found spiritual connection.

This is true fulfillment for me. This is true happiness. And not perhaps in a week, or a month, or even a year. This is a life-long journey of increased trust and surrender. The word “Islam” actually means surrender, or submission, to the will of God. I strive daily to increase my submission to God’s will, but I will never be perfect at it. Alhamdulillah (thanks be to God), perfection isn’t required, or even asked for. Just that we keep doing better and better, and keep putting that relationship above our own desires and will for ourselves. That’s all this really is.

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Brandon Olivares

Brandon Olivares is a spiritual law of attraction coach. He loves teaching people how to actually get results with the law of attraction, and create a life they truly love. Get his free 7-day law of attraction course to learn how to finally start making progress towards your manifestations.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbie Figueroa February 24, 2016 at 9:27 pm

I resonate so much with this article especially the part where you said that what was helping you manifest could not be an impersonal thing but someone that wanted to bless you. I feel the same way you feel and have been a believer of the LOA for a long time but still lacked the ‘connection’ and relationship that I have since accepting God. Loved your article very much!


Brandon February 29, 2016 at 7:31 pm

So glad you resonated with it. Yes, I think that as long as we don’t nurture that personal relationship with God, something will always feel like it’s missing, and that “something” can’t just be filled with more “manifestations”. I’m glad you’ve realized the same thing. 🙂


jub illa February 24, 2016 at 11:09 pm

Amazing article, i loved the last part which is about true fullfilment most.


Brandon February 29, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Thanks for your comment. True fulfillment I think is the most important. Otherwise what’s the point? 🙂


Jelena Ostrovska February 25, 2016 at 4:46 am

What an awesome article! Love it! It’s all about fulfillment in our lives!


Brandon February 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Thanks for the great comment. 🙂 Yes, lasting fulfillment is what I’m trying to help people to achieve. After that, everything else is just extra.


Rory Singh February 26, 2016 at 2:51 am

What a powerful article. Thanks for sharing it and your story.


Brandon February 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Thanks. 🙂 I’m happy to share, and I’m glad you enjoyed it.


Steve Krivda February 26, 2016 at 12:13 pm

This is powerful. Good for you man
Recognizing that we are to love to be loved is huge. It can only branch from there!


Brandon February 29, 2016 at 7:43 pm

Thanks. 🙂 I appreciate the comment. Love is indeed so important.


Daniel February 26, 2016 at 5:55 pm

This post was interesting. I’m struggling to wrap my head around detaching yourself from a desire in order to achieve that desire.

If you’ve truly and successfully detached from a desire, meaning it’s no longer a desire, then what’s the point of achieving it later?

I’m a little lost on how this one would work.

Waiting for your reply.




Brandon February 29, 2016 at 7:42 pm

I understand how this can be confusing. It’s been the subject of many books and articles by LOA teacher, as I’m not the only one by far who has taught this.

I think adding the element of God really helps. Without God, we are depending on that desire to make us happy. “If I don’t get this money, this job, this relationship, I can’t be happy.” So we feel desperate, we feel fearful of not getting it.

When we start realizing that connection with God, then everything is put into perspective. We realize that God is the only one who can grant us happiness. The desires are just nice extras.

Imagine this scenario: when you are parched, the first sip of water tastes like Heaven. Without that first sip, you’re really going to suffer of thirst. But let’s say the 20th sip, when you’re not really thirsty anymore, you could take it or leave it, but it is still enjoyable to take that sip.

A desire in the life of one who has no lasting source of happiness, is like that first sip of water. The difference is, it’s never going to quench the thirst. You can keep drinking and drinking but the thirst won’t go away. You can chase one desire after another, but it’s not really going to result in lasting happiness.

But if you have that lasting source of happiness, being that connection with God, then the desire is like the sip of water that is enjoyable, but not totally necessary. You’re going to be happy if you get it, but you realize you don’t necessarily *need* it.

So in order to detach, you need to realize that this desire doesn’t have the power to make you happy. If you treat it as the means of happiness, then you’re going to feel desperate, because the desire may or may not be fulfilled. But if you treat it as an extra, as icing on the cake, then you’ll love it if it comes, and still trust that the best thing will happen for you even if it doesn’t.

I hope this makes sense. I talk a lot more about this on my website.


Daniel March 1, 2016 at 5:33 am

Yes, in a way it does. Thanks for clearing that up


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