“You are at a choice-point in every moment of each circumstance, each activity, spoken word and thought.” ~Michael Beckwith
“No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, we are willing to grow along spiritual lines.” ~Bill Wilson
It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that willingness is the key to everything.
In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it is literally or conceptually interwoven into almost every page. And for those of us who are not willing, it’s suggested we shoot for willing to be willing as a starting point.
Willing to grow along spiritual lines – that is not too threatening to me. I’m not being asked to adhere to anyone else’s standards… it seems as if there is some interpretive wiggle room…it’s vague enough but with enough guideline for me to know it’s something I can do at my own pace.
I shudder to think what my life would be like today if I hadn’t been willing years ago to attend my first Sunday morning service at the Westlake Center for Spiritual Living (then known as the Church of Religious Science). That was a big leap as I was then in “recoil” mode from church, from anything religious, and even from science.
That sounds embarrassingly ignorant, but my genius was in my willingness to be willing to stop saying “no” and to offer up a resounding “maybe.” And even more so to act on my willingness to acknowledge some obscure, intuitive part of me that was seeking something, crying out for it, in fact. That gasping, nearly drowned out part of me that sensed my innate connection to a higher power, though I didn’t have that verbiage quite yet.
My teacher Mary Morrissey talks about “keeping one corner of your mind open to the possibility…” I guess when it’s put that way, I can safely drop the steadfast absolutist attitude that has never really panned out that well for me anyway.
But willingness is actually more than a starting point. It’s the driving force that keeps me moving forward. I have to be willing to do more than open my mind. I must also be willing to take action. And the Big Book of AA offers a suggestion for when things feels as if they are just too much to tackle… the suggestion is to take just the “next indicated step.” Again, not too threatening – I don’t have to have all of the information or be concerned with the outcome. Only willingness to take the next indicated step is required.
Similar encouragement is found in The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes, referred to as the textbook. He says, “Let us approach (our situations) normally, happily, willing to accept, glad to experiment, hoping and believing that as the result of our efforts we shall each derive a great good…”
Today I am willing to accept where I am, willing to claim where I am going, and willing to take the next indicated step to get there.
1. Are you facing a challenging situation in which you can identify the next indicated step that you could be willing to take?
2. Can you identify a situation that needs transforming that you are “willing to be willing” to transform?
In gratitude, harmony and support,