will we bite against the silence
Fill our days with noise and violence
Not recognize our hearts when we are done
Our will can become a brutal thing, indeed – something we use as a bludgeon against our own hearts.
When we feel scared or overwhelmed, sometimes we get caught in aggression and anxiety. Our mind can get stuck, thinking that the way to respond to our painful habits is to get tough, to be tougher on ourselves.
When it’s driven by anxiety and aggression, this toughness comes out as force, a demand for instant compliance, brutal standards, and impossible expecations.
Whether it’s a painful pattern in our relationships, with food, or in our daily lives, this approach leaves our hearts feeling bruised – unrecognizable – our spirits broken – and of course, just as stuck in those same painful tendencies.
Perhaps our brutal will arises from a very small, scared part of us who feels both powerless and ashamed of this powerlessness. Or perhaps it’s a deep, deep fear about our inherent worthiness – and what our painful habits say about us – that spurs us to be so hard on ourselves.
Regardless of the driving force behind it, I find it helpful – and humbling and grounding and healing – to notice when the brutal will appears. As uncomfortable or frustrating as it may be it’s a call to bow the head to the heart, and to practice compassion.
When you’re feeling stuck in sugar, in food, in a binge, in overeating, and you feel the impulse to drive yourself – pause. Feel the brutal will – and all your tender humanity underneath – and let it blow by.
Rather than seeing your messy humanity and moving to destroy it, view it through mercy, hold it with tenderness, and embrace it in love.