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Embracing the Magic of Surrender: A Journey Through Love and Trust

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First things first—this is NOT a woo-woo article; it’s a pragmatic exploration grounded in real-life experience. The transformative power of surrender became undeniably evident to me as I confronted a stage IV triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis. Far from delving into esoteric concepts, surrender became a lifeline, guiding me through an often arduous journey. It wasn’t just about entering the realms of the soul, belief, love, or even God; it was about embracing a tangible magic that illuminated the darkest moments. This narrative aims to shed light on the down-to-earth aspects of surrender, revealing how it serves as a key that opens doors to healing, trust, and a profound sense of gratitude. Whether facing a serious life challenge or celebrating a milestone, my journey attests that choosing to surrender to life is a decision that never lets you down.

Leaving Room for Practical Magic:

Surrendering isn’t about mystical realms or having to believe in a certain religion; it’s about allowing magic to infuse our lives. WE are the magic. Before I started breast cancer treatment, fear coursed through me. Alongside the fear was curiosity—what would chemo feel like? How would I be after all of this, and would I still be me? Facing the unknown, I found myself yearning for my diagnosis to be the best thing that could happen to me. This led me to trust, surrender, and surprisingly, to “enjoy” the ride. The journey was both easy and challenging, yet everything during my treatment flowed exactly the way that it should. Surrendering taught me how NOT to resist what is, allowing whatever is happening to flow in and out of existence.

Breathing in the Unknown with a Practical Mindset:

Surrendering granted me the space to breathe through uncertainty, trusting there was a happy ending. And it wasn’t about floating aimlessly in the ether; it was about showing up to the unknown with a grounded mindset in love and gratitude. Choosing to surrender becomes a pragmatic decision, allowing us to move forward confidently, even when we don’t have all the answers.

Feeling Safe in the Unknown:

Far from vulnerability, surrender revealed a sense of safety. It was an acknowledgment that, in letting go, I tapped into an inner resilience that guided me through the challenges of cancer treatment. Six rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, six weeks of radiation, and six more surgeries to follow, I was able to find gratitude and appreciation for life. I was grateful for my doctors and their prescribed “medicine” that was designed for my healing. I was grateful that I was learning through this journey, and even amid the storm, there was a steadiness within me—a force that transcended fear and uncertainty. I was appreciative of the experience, and I saw that once you embrace an appreciative attitude, it keeps growing. My biggest takeaway, whatever you are going through, show up in a calm, open, peaceful way, and trust you will be okay.

Discovering the Importance of Self-Love:

Surrendering opened up a profound path to recognize that self-love is the most important gift we can give ourselves. It wasn’t about abstract notions of love; instead, it was a journey to uncover a genuine and enduring love within myself… that I never had before. This newfound love became a steadfast companion, providing unwavering strength and guidance through all the medical treatments, emotional turmoil, and the day-to-day struggles. It became a force that kept me connected to myself, sustaining me through the challenging journey of self-discovery.

Choosing to Believe:


Upon learning of my cancer diagnosis, fear gripped me—fear of mortality, of losing myself, of change, and the unknown. Amid these overwhelming emotions, a profound realization emerged. I yearned for stage IV cancer to be a catalyst for positive transformation. I wanted to live fully and be better through this journey. Acknowledging the possibility of mortality, I decided to make the most of every day for the next two years.

This also led to profound lessons in love, gratitude, trust, and healing. Embracing each day as an opportunity revealed the transformative power of these elements. As I delved into the journey, I recognized the need to address the root causes of my cancer—unresolved emotional and spiritual issues. Discovering that I lacked self-love, felt unworthy, and struggled to receive love became a pivotal moment. I committed to a practice of self-love, listening to my heart, meditation, writing love letters to myself, and prioritizing my well-being.

This transformative journey illuminated the importance of self-love in unraveling layers of overlooked trauma. I began to understand why cancer entered my life—it became a transformative companion, guiding me through necessary lessons. Choosing to believe, not only in overcoming cancer but also in the power of love, became a cornerstone of my healing. I found gratitude in the unexpected friendship forged with cancer, realizing that love is the ultimate source of healing.


Surrendering to every life challenge is a journey that bridges the tangible and the extraordinary. This narrative is an exploration of the down-to-earth aspects of surrender—a choice that opened doors to healing, trust, and a profound sense of gratitude during my stage IV cancer journey. It’s not about woowoo concepts but a pragmatic embrace of the transformative power within the practical magic of surrender. And the best part, I was cancer-free four months after my diagnosis. I must have done something right! Either way, I am now an avid surrenderer, and I hope to inspire others too.

Jennifer Greenhut Tollin turned her stage IV breast cancer diagnosis into an inspiring, uplifting story. The lessons she learned led her to create Zero Negative (, which promotes love and positivity through accessories. A portion of the company’s profits is donated to UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation to support cancer research. Jennifer’s story and products have been featured on Extra Tonight, Good Morning LaLa Land, the Hallmark Channel, Ventura Blvd Magazine, and in various podcasts. In addition, she was honored by UCLA Health and the Lakers in their Laker For A Day program, sharing her story at a Lakers Game. She was a US National Gymnastics Team member and an actress, singer, songwriter, and yoga teacher.

In addition, she also wrote a book with her husband, Larry Tollin, called Everyone Needs a Larry. Told from both the patient and caregiver perspectives, Everyone Needs a Larry is a he-said-she-said quirky and humorous survival story that shares the mistakes, lessons, challenges, and joys of a couple fumbling their way through love, marriage, and cancer. Whether you face the challenge of cancer or another adversity, Jenn and Larry demonstrate how our scariest times have the possibility to become our greatest chapters. Life is about sharing stories, healing ourselves, and helping others, and now on the other side of cancer, Jenn believes you will always win at life once you LOVE who you are and the challenges that come with being you.

Jenn lives in Southern California with her husband, Larry, and their dog, Bo.Visit and to learn more.

Instagram: @EveryoneNeedsaLarry @LoveZeroNegativeFacebook: Zero Negative

X (Formerly Twitter)- @jennandlarry




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