Willfulness vs. Willingness

Often times I will have a client who is out of balance with either Willfulness or Willingness in their life. Let me explain:

To be willful, we use the resources that we have at our disposal to make life work for us. Out of pure will, I put on my clothes to head to the office. Out of will, I will put gas in my car. It took a whole lot of will to make it through graduate school so that I might be a therapist in the first place. However, life is also balanced by our effort in its vast wonder.

It is to this wonder that we must be willing to survive the unknown. Although I have the gas in my car, I have to risk the unknown of traffic on my way to work or getting rear ended. I have to be willing to face the unknown and be confident that no amount of will that I mustered could have prepared me to the vastness of the mystery. What is in my unknown?

Now back to the beginning— Often I will have a client who is out of balance with these two. Someone who is the greatest songwriter in the world cannot muster the will that they need to record the song. They are forgotten. This is an overemphasis on willingness and a deficiency of will. Or the inverse— someone who works and works, yet cannot sit and breathe misses life and its wonder as they begin to develop a necessity to control, inevitably resulting in mild cases of OCD.

If we can hold these two side by side and recognize that we have a voice, but we must also surrender to the great beyond, then we can finally meet life at face value. You have a place here in the wonder. You have control over your life. And that control must also be met with the great mystery of surrender.