The word ‘willingness’ struck me today. I heard it used in a mindfulness reflection after yoga and thought, “I must remember that word”. And for once, I did.
I’m not the most willing of subjects. Oh, I’d like to think I was, but I’m not. While spontaneous and pretty fluid, for a good part of my life I was dragged into things kicking and screaming. The trait still raises its resistant and ignorant head a fair bit, although to a much lesser degree these days. When it does come up, goodness it’s irritating. That stubborn reaction springs from fear, that much I know, but what event gave birth to it, I’ve no idea. It’s got to thinkin’, though.
Do you ever find yourself behaving badly in spite of your inner voice insisting you stop? Afterwards, you berate yourself royally, feeling so horribly guilty you can only placate yourself by promising there will be no repeat of said behaviour EVER AGAIN because, well, you KNOW BETTER! Until the next time. *sigh* I think I could write a half dozen dissertations on the subject from drinking to sex, to lying. I’ve messed up a lot and, as a result, spent countless hours in the pits. What a fucking waste of time.
But could I stop? No. Why not? I do not know why not. Maybe I didn’t really want to. Maybe beating myself up was easier than trying to be better. Or maybe I just didn’t think I was worth it.
I’ve written a lot lately about feeling good. We like to feel good. It makes perfect sense, yes? So would anyone chose repeatedly to feel bad? If they hated themselves enough, probably. And I’m pretty sure self-loathing is analogous to other addictions.
Hate gestates like everything else does. If you got your first hit of heroin and decided to stay with it, gradually the effects of the drug on your body would start to change you. You would plan your day around your next fix with a mind altered by the drug. Patterns would form.
If you were operating from a mind that formulated its plans based on a foundation of self-hatred, you’d likely be making a lot of stupid, destructive mistakes, too. You could only pray that one day, like the junkie, you’d get yourself clean.
Now I’m not trying to excuse bad conduct – not completely. I am trying to make a case for tolerance. Some folks have it harder than others when it comes to doing things right. But if shown a bit of understanding they might grow, feel encouraged and end up finding a willingness to try harder. At the very least, they might feel better about themselves, and grow to think themselves worthy, even loved. They might be able to change then – if willing.
My wish tonight is for awareness. Being aware at the deepest level means being ready to embrace letting go. It means we are willing to wash off the old, sticky patterns, filled with judgement and drama. Yep, it means we might be free-falling for a bit, but oh what a feeling. No parachute and no net. Are you ready to claim unfettered joy?
Willingly falling until tomorrow…