It is perhaps no understatement that awakening in A Course in Miracles often boils down to willingness. There is literally nothing that willingness cannot do and an awful lot that it can do when it comes to undoing the many obstructions that block our awareness of love. If we are willing, then we will experience transformation.
To be willing is to be open. It is to recognize the need for something new – anything. It does not have to be specific or particular. It does not have to do much more than come into existence. It’s mere presence signifies that we are ready and able to move forward, to subject the self to change. We really aren’t called to do more than that.
Yet if it is so simple, why do so few of us seem to be able to get there? We limp along with a half-hearted practice, unspectacular results. What gives?
What is challenging about this aspect of practicing ACIM is the extent to which we want awakening to be about more than mere willingness. We might deny that – pretend that we are perfectly happy to keep it simple and let Jesus and the Holy Spirit do all the heavy lifting. But most of us are deeply invested in the energy of our own becoming. The egoic self, which believes that it is the one running the show, does not want to be part of anything in which its role is minimized or done away with altogether.
In a way, we have to willing to see even this – our deep-rooted unwillingness. So long as resistance remains hidden, its existence unacknowledged, then we are going to struggle. We have to allow some new energy and some new guidance into our lives. We have to surrender, or at least be capable of saying that surrender might be more desirable than clinging to the reins the way we do.
Nobody is saying that this is easy. In fact, it can be the most difficult thing in the world. Willingness is akin to the first step. It is the capacity to explore a new path – to adopt a new world view – to try some new method or practice. When we are willing, we are joined. The door is opened that allows a new power to enter the stream or the flow. We are not going to fix anything – that is not really what the course is about – but we are going to learn how to avail ourselves of the One who can fix things – anything and everything.
That the course should be so simple and straightforward is a bitter pill for the egoic self to swallow. There is nothing grandiose here, nothing to appease that which longs to rule over the universe. Yet the funny thing is, that once we have realized even a tiny hint of willingness, we tap into and are joined by a power that is greater than the universe and all in it combined.
That is what willingness can do. It can bring the will of God to your mind. It can unite you with might companions whose only goal is to unite you with what you have never left.