Being Willing

We can think of all the times we have said yes – some regretfully and some leading to growth and discovery.  Any participation on our part done with resentment or obligation robs us in some way. Any gift of participation given with a true yes is a gift returned to life itself and grants us more energy and freedom. We need to be careful of every yes we say and so come to live more authentic lives.

Phrases posted on Facebook September 2016

This month of October I want to explore what it means to just be willing . . . pure and simple. Hope you’ll join me in mulling this one.
What can simple willingness do in us? It can provide a spacious attitude, and we can watch perfect opportunities come knocking at our doors.
Let’s say we have a task that must be done, but it feels like a pain to us. We resist it.  Resistance is like driving with the emergency brake on while willingness is like filling the tank with gas.
Resistance to doing something we feel we must do is about anticipated discomfort, boredom; fear that we are not up to the task and a host of other feelings. It focuses on the future and what bad stuff might happen then. Willingness takes the plunge to trust the now and our selves. It is our best chance to be successful.
To be willing just to be willing for any old thing is foolish. To discern what is legitimate and honors our deep yes is the threshold to willingness. Pausing there gives dignity to future acts and is itself an act of willingness.
Haven’t you found that when you gave yourself willingly to a task and had no undue outcome in mind that things went swimmingly?
I know a lovely, soulful woman whom I have seen in full willingness action. When she is asked for some kind of help she pauses and thinks about it. Then she lifts her face and says, I can do that with a smile. You immediately know she will do her best.  I am certain that at times she will also say, I can’t do that, with the same smile, and you know there is no way to persuade her. She has come to an inner understanding, and so others get a sense of what that looks like.
When I was visiting my husband at the nursing home there were always puzzles being done in the communal visiting room. One could easily discern that every piece was needed to complete the picture. Could we be willing to live that awareness and trust it no matter where our piece of the big puzzle happens to be?
Often we feel entirely willing at the beginning of some commitment when our enthusiasm is up. But isn’t true willingness the commitment to go the distance with all the obstacles and bumps we’ll encounter on the road?
When we have something we feel we must do – whether a true, outward obligation or a creative dream project from our core – to honor that feeling is really only one little yes after the other. When we both have to and want to, we are willingness itself.
Willingness is based on common sense. Forget what you can’t do. Do what you can do and love it!
If we think we have deep values and are not willing to act on them or for them, they are neither deep nor true.
What are we willing to do for another just because? Those are random acts of willingness in which we gain much more than we give.
I believe that to be willing is not so much a matter of the mind as a disposition of the heart to be open to being touched and so led to action in the world or to considered restraint for the sake of a greater good. To be truly willing is hard and is a spiritual task that goes on and on, doesn’t it?