Letting Go of Willfulness

I was inspired to write this post after a group session. Group members talked about their difficulty of starting a task that would be good for their health and wellbeing; knowing what to do but having resistance to doing it. This feeling causes many individuals to feel stuck and to continue to do behaviors that may feel good for the moment, but leave long lasting negative effects. I know this feeling all to well.

15 years ago, I behaved in ways that didn’t serve my health or wellbeing. I drank, smoked, raged, and other things that I don’t dare write. I continued these behaviors even when I knew they didn’t serve me. At some point early on, I didn’t know and I didn’t care. As time went on, I gained more knowledge and surrounded myself with healthier people, I began to see that something was off. My heart and values were in conflict with my behavior. I knew this, but at the time I had a struggle motivating myself to change it.

I later learned, through my training, my little girl was in charge. She was running the show. She felt entitled, and distrusted others to help. I later learned I had to let go of willfulness, and surrender to the unknown. Willfulness is the opposite of willingness. Willfulness distrusts others, digs your heels in the sand and says, “no,” like a stubborn child. This inner child felt neglected, hurt and neglected and it’s her time to do it her way. But, I had to ask at the time, was she doing a top notch job? No, she wasn’t. She was making horrible decisions that continued to give me horrible outcomes. I had to do better, but it wasn’t going to come from my ideas. I had to take direction from someone other than myself. This was going to be challenging.

Fortunately, I was in a program that encouraged self development and growth. How was I going to assist others and encourage them to trust me, if I didn’t trust others to help me? I was forced to look at this. I knew I wanted to be impeccable with my word and practice what I preached. I began to surrender and allow others to help guide me. I began to take direction and follow my higher self. I allowed myself to be a seeker of truth (whatever that meant). I took risks and ate different, exercised, reach out to others and got their support on my journey. I got a therapist and began processing my fear of growth. I did everything differently. This is when I say myself let go of my vises. The grasp I had on substances and people who no longer served me. It was time to let go and do it differently. I didn’t advertise what I was doing. I only spoke about it with my team and closest relationships. I didn’t want others to contaminate my experience. I needed to believe and keep moving forward. I loosened my grasp, my willfulness, and allowed myself to surrender to this new way of life.

This new way of life caused my life to change. I moved. I took on different work than what I expected. I began to have faith. When before, I had none and didn’t trust it.

After group, I thought about my journey and the journey that my clients are taking to change their life. I know change comes from a place of willingness. You must ask yourself, what will make you willing? What will it take to let go of digging your heels in the sand? Will it take pain, loss, hurt, or an awakening?

I’d like to hear from you. What do you need to change in your life? Are you willful? What keeps you in a state of fear or distrust? What will it take to help you let go?

Elana Clark-Faler
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