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.
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.
There is a way of living that supersedes the pleasure principle. But it’s not a way of living that comes naturally.
Mindfulness is the key to true self-mastery. It’s too easy to live life on autopilot, a slave to our appetites and aversions. Connecting to the source brings us inner healing and also helps us relate to others in helpful, healing ways.
Conquering our small, ego-driven selves is what true self mastery is all about.
Facing and embracing the truth about ourselves is hard. But when we do, we can become incredibly empowered. The truth truly does have power to set us free. And it can wrest us from the shackles hindering our spiritual and character growth.
Unconscious denial is nature’s defense against unbearable pain. But some denial is tactical – a way to be irresponsible while not looking so bad. To have reverence for the truth and for human dignity, each type must be confronted differently.
Hitting bottom is utter defeat combined with the inability to deny the true cause of that defeat. When the lofty fall and can blame no one but themselves, opportunity opens for constructive self-reflection and character growth.
Manipulators like engaging in evasion and diversion because these tactics keep the spotlight off their behavior. There artful dance around the issues can help them stay one step ahead of you. That’s why it’s so important to confront their tactics head-on.