Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

The Willingness

Published in Blog. Tags: .

Willingness might well be inversely proportional to how well things are going in my life. Then again, even in the challenging times, when my ass is wholly engulfed in fire, sometimes it’s hard to find the willingness to do what it takes to put out the flames.

Why does the shelf life of my willingness expire daily? Why is my willingness not renewed for a season, or even a year? And why, when I lose sight of the present moment, does future willingness tend to become predicated on an expectation of results? When I get lost, why do I become only willing to keep doing what’s right for myself and those around me if the outcome of that applied will is to be exactly as I desire it to be? Why is it that if the potential results of my willingness-in-action waver whatsoever from my impossibly rigid expectations, I tend to become unwilling?

Speaking directly to this, The Big Book reads, “We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable.” Well, no shit. If transformation is the goal, a willingness to change is essential. But before taking on the world and welcoming any sort of renewed outlook on the matter, it’s worth asking whether I’m willing to let go of who I think I want to be and accept whatever form my metamorphosis might take? Look back three years and it’s easy to see that it if I’d turned into the person I wanted to be three years ago, that person would be nowhere near who I am today. Why, then, can’t I look forward with the same willingness? Why can’t I accept that letting go of this death grip I have on expectation is the only way of getting out of the trap of dissatisfied complacency? Letting go of who I am, which is who I no longer want to be, means accepting that I must be willing to change despite not knowing what the outcome of that looks like. As far as words go, those make sense – the reality of internalizing what that actually looks like and taking that action, however, is absolutely scary as hell.