Thursday is actually my hump day. It’s the longest day of the week for me and also the most strenuous. Thursdays I run my women's prison workshop at a women's facility and that's always a challenge. Later, in the evening, it’s my men’s group. I am fortunate in that it’s a labor of love. I’ll be away for most of the day. Make it a great day, people, there's a vicious rumor going around that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
I forgot to post something on the 6th step in June...
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We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
The readiness is all.
-- William Shakespeare
I believe that the concept of willingness is one that isn’t given its due -- especially when it comes to relationships. Willingness here not being the narrowly defined ego-will we might think of when we think of “will.”
Willingness is important enough in everything we endeavor whether it be spirituality, self-improvement, learning, relationships, etc. Our willingness or lack thereof, is key in all our activities.
But because of the nature of this post, I'll try to confine my reflection in the area of human relations.
I remember reading somewhere, or someone telling me (I forget which), that it was not enough for me to believe, that I had to be willing to believe. At that time, I was a bit confused about this, “Do this mean I must muster up my willpower?” I asked myself. This was during my early process of attempting a relationship with myself, which I will label here my spiritual journey.
Over time, I have come to understand willingness differently. For me, willingness entails two important components. One is surrender, the other acceptance.
By surrender I don’t mean hopelessness or humiliation, or “giving up.” Surrender, in this context, is knowing, in a very deep sense, that the concept of control is flawed -- ineffective. Surrender in this sense is clearing the way to create an open space and preparing myself to be in more harmony with the world. Realizing that there are aspects of my self and my loved ones over which I have no control, I can become ready to be changed by surrendering to this truth. In surrender, I become ready (willing) to be changed.
That makes all the difference...
I can be wrong, but my own experience has shown me that love, true love, is about change, about transformation. It’s only when we try to control it that it eludes our grasp. I could be wrong, though.
But surrender is not enough. It’s not true willingness unless it contains another ingredient -- acceptance. When I accept the truth of surrender I am already changed, I am more in line with nature and the universe. I can’t force family harmony into my life, but I can become ready to be harmonious. I can’t make a lasting love appear for me on command -- I can become ready (willing) for such a relationship when the opportunities appear.
This is what I look for most in a relationship. It’s more important than looks, than whether she can cook or not, or her attitude, or her sexual prowess -- all of that is superficial for me. When I see the internet profiles that go on at length about the qualities being sought, I am completely, utterly amazed. Sometimes it seems that some of us are looking for “The One” who will fit our wish list of qualities.
Here’s my Christmas wish list, Santa!
It’s as if we’re still little boys and girls buying into the myth.
But my question to you is really quite simple: are you ready to surrender? Are you truly willing? Willing to become completely vulnerable and naked before yourself? Because what I am trying for is to become ready -- not perfect, nor to satisfy my superficial list of ego needs/ wants. So, my question for you is...
Are you ready?