Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wishing, Willing, Deciding

One of the wonderful things about being a sentient human being is the ability to choose many aspects of our existence.

Although having to make decisions will create anxiety for us at times, most people would agree that having this power is a basic and desirable ingredient of freedom. People and nations will fight over this very issue.

I am more concerned here with the process of choosing that occurs within us; the self-empowerment to change our behaviors and our attitudes. When we do not fully realize and apprehend what is within our power, we may likely abandon our responsibility and blame others instead.

While doing some reading on the history of psychotherapy I came across a therapeutic process of choice advanced by Rollo May that I find helpful. The process is described in three aspects:


Wishing – The first step is to become in touch with our deeper feelings, desires and values. Until we are able to really know what flows from our heart we will not know what to wish for. Do I desire a change in one of my behaviors? How deeply do I want this?

The second step is to move from wishing, to being willing to make the needed or desired change. Even though at this point we might have serious doubts and fears to overcome, a yielding takes place within us. A shift has occurred within our thinking and we become ready to choose something different.

Lastly, we make a responsible decision. We may need a great deal of support to follow through with our decision, but we have eliminated the ambivalence of choosing – we are now focused on success. We move forward with intentionality and determination and expectation of a positive outcome.

I see this process as being very compatible with our Christian faith, especially when our wishes line up with biblical values.

So ask yourself. “Where am I stuck? Where would this process be helpful for me? Do I need assistance with this process?”

Perhaps you need to pray for God to reveal your blind spots so that you can get to step one. Then keep praying that God would give you the strength to follow through with the things that he reveals to you.              

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