Some things are well worth fighting for. But there’s a way to go about this enterprise that builds as opposed to destroys.
Assertiveness is fair, principled, disciplined, fighting. And it’s the kind of just self-advocacy coupled with mindful concern for the impact on others that defines healthy character.
Willfulness has a positive and negative side. A strong will can be one’s foremost asset. But it can also be a great liability. A properly formed and guided will is essential for sound character.
Disturbed characters create problems not so much because they have strong wills but because of how they exercise them
Disturbed characters know how to spot the conscientious. And they’re eager to exploit and abuse them. Sadly, sometimes overly conscientious folks delude themselves. They think they can “fix” the morally broken among us – those with impaired or absent consciences.
Right thinking is thinking guided by principle. And not just any principle but the overriding principle of love.
Letting our appetites, aversions, and impulses drive us costs us plenty. We can feel pretty good in moments. But low points inevitably follow. In the process of riding that roller coaster, our soul begins to die. Mindfulness is key to purposeful living. At any given moment we have a choice. We can allow baser inclinations to rule. Or, we can put ourselves squarely at the service of a higher cause. Fully and freely turning ourselves over to something bigger is liberating. Free from the slavery of what usually drives us, we begin to live purposefully and abundantly.
Many folks get goaded into therapy simply because they haven’t learned to control themselves. And, sadly, the helping professions aren’t generally good at providing these individuals the right kind of interventions.
A life governed by the pursuit of comfort and security breeds a type of spiritual emptiness. But a more vast and wondrous existence awaits those who allow faith and not fear to rule.
There is a way of living that supersedes the pleasure principle. But it’s not a way of living that comes naturally.