BY SWAMI CHETANANANDA
Will is one of the most basic expressions of our own personal power. Our individual will has a role to play in the initial stages of our development when we are finding our center and coalescing as a human being. It is, however, a total obstruction as we move into the higher levels of our work.
Our will tends to keep us stupid in relationship to other people and our activity in the world. We get willful and stubborn, and that completely disturbs the flow of feedback in our environment. If we can be centered and use our will to hold our center and flow in every environment, nobody can push us off balance, and nothing is going to happen that undermines our basic strength. Because we are able to flow within ourselves and move within our environment, we become more powerful. We are able to hear the feedback, make the changes within ourselves, and then respond appropriately to the needs of the environment and what the people in it are trying to express. Then we're not perceived as an obstruction to the flow, but as a facilitator of all flow. Too often, though, our ego hijacks our will, and suddenly we've created a situation where all the information and feedback is flowing around us, rather than through us.
We need to have self-respect, not expecting that anyone else will respect us. We make the effort, every single day, to be where we need to be to do our work the best way that it can be done. That's where will comes in. We respect ourselves. When we are centered and flowing, that power compels respect. When we’re busy telling people they have to respect us, we’re just setting ourselves up for more disappointment.
When we understand that life is a loving process, what we are trying to do is connect to that love within ourselves and connect to our life as it is. We listen to what the love within us and the love we share with others is telling us about what it needs in order to grow. If we communicate all of that clearly to the people we share our life with, and if we're patient and listen to them, too, then slowly the love that is within us and the love we share with others is going to transform our life completely. We will understand that our life is an expression of the loving process of life itself and not our own ego.
We can make ourselves sick by demanding things that have nothing to do with our connection to ourselves or our connectedness with others. It's just some misunderstanding that got planted in our brains about what we think it is to be a real person. A real person is flowing in every circumstance and is an endless expression of loving kindness, compassion, forgiveness, service.