Friday, February 19, 2010

Word Wonder -- willingness

Friday, February 19, 2010
1. Having the mind favourably inclined or disposed. 3 Gladly proffered or done; hearty.

[From the Old English word for will -- willa, which comes from the ancient Indo-European root wer-, meaning to wish or to will.] - Funk & Wagnall's Canadian College Dictionary and Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dicitonary, Tenth Edition

Is there something in your life that isn't going the way you want? Do you feel disappointed or frustrated by people and events? Maybe you don't know how to make things different, or maybe you don't want to make things different. Perhaps your situation has already changed, and you cannot put life back the way it was.

Well, the uncomfortable truth is that whether you want to make changes or have had them forced upon you, your best bet for serenity is to change yourself -- your thoughts, your actions, your words. You'll be wasting a lot of valuable energy and time if you try to change other people or ignore and resent new circumstances. Like the ancients, your willa, your willingness, is your best tool for moving forward.

At this point you have a choice. You can either leave things the way they are and deal with the problems as they are, or you can risk making a change and deal with the new situation as it develops. If you decide, even slightly, to move in a new direction, here's a useful "trick" that can help you get over the hump. It can help you have a mind that is "favourably inclined" to the needed change.

Make a time and place where you can think and be quiet for a few minutes; this won't take long. Think about your resistance to the change. Maybe you feel angry or resentful about it. You might very well feel afraid, since fear and nervousness are usual reactions to change.

Now, see if you can find even a tiny, small sliver of willingness inside yourself. You might think, "Well, I don't like this at all, but I guess I'm willing to consider that I might feel better about it someday." Even being willing to be willing to be willing is enough to get you going. Ignore any pressure you feel to do this in a certain way or at a certain time. Just acknowledge that somewhere inside yourself, you're willing to be willing to be willing to change a tiny bit at some point in time. Then let go of your "shoulds" and "have-to thinking," knowing you have made a great start in getting unstuck or accepting the inevitable.

Now, every once in a while, notice and nurture that small willingness you've found. You might discover that in time, your willingness will grow and your resistance will diminish. Maybe your willingness will even be "gladly proffered" with a hearty openness. You just never know.


Anonymous said...

An early rise to greet the day along with prayer,meditation,journaling,cup of herbal tea and already I feel myself grounded and ready to put aside my self seeking will and let the powers of the universe guide me to be tolerant as well as accepting the gift of being able to communicate with others in a gentle kindlike manner. Hooray for life`s blessed challenges.

Kate Thompson said...

Hooray, indeed. What a wonderful way to start your day.

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