Have you ever decided you wanted to feel a certain way or have a specific experience and then realized the want wasn't enough to create the willingness to change what was needed to feel that way or enter into that experience? Willingness is an interesting phenomenon that we often bypass in favor of grit and determination.
Here's the thing...grit and determination without willingness is actually operating in resistance mode.
Grit and determination are amazing tools for breaking through fear and creating momentum. However, when we apply grit and determination without first opening ourselves up mentally and emotionally to the fact that this might require grit and determination, we have missed a very important step.
Willingness is the key to flowing with and surrendering to the process.
Willingness is the oil that reduces resistance to the bumps, twists, and cliffs we encounter during any change process.
Years ago I determined that come hell or high water, I was going to love my parents in all their complexity whether it was lovely or very ugly. They chose to remove me from their lives, how dare they?! Damn it, I am going to show them that I can love them in the midst of their poor choices and hateful acts towards me.
I didn't get very far. In fact, every time I buckled down using grit to produce love for them, I actually wrapped myself deeper into anger at their unloving actions and despair wondering about my own worthiness for love.
What was missing?
My willingness to choose to be loving was needed to get the process of change going in my heart. Without willingness, I was using manipulation and coercion to convince myself if I could love the people who were so hateful to me, I would conquer my pain, abandonment, and fear.
Once I was willing to PRACTICE being loving towards my parents, the flow began to happen. I was able to see I first had to love and heal myself in order to have authentic love for them. Willingness opened my heart towards the process of becoming a more loving person rather than forcing feelings of love because that was logical in my brain.
Whatever your Fresh Fall Start goals are, have you added willingness to the recipe? Willingness is that permission you give your heart to let go of fear little by little in order to discover the wonder that awaits you on the other side of change.
I can say with full confidence that I love my parents deeply and genuinely and it isn't because they have changed in any way. My willingness to practice being loving in all my relationships deepened my ability to love and receive love from the most unlikely of sources.
What are you willing to do to feel the way you want to feel as a result of your fresh start this fall?