The fourth component of the True Self is Will. Will works with feelings, reasoning mind, and intuitive mind. It takes the information from these three sources and uses it to make decisions. We exercise our will when we choose. When we choose intimacy, we can know that our will is functioning at its highest level. When we choose separation, we can know that our will is dysfunctional and take the steps needed to restore it.
The will can enhance intimacy by helping us make good choices in the areas of:
- Bonding and trusting
- Assessing what is safe and what is not safe
- Developing in healthy ways that establish a solid sense of self
- Cultivating good relationships
- Developing healthy boundaries
- Making commitments
- Finding the strength to endure difficult times
- Setting and achieving goals
When our will relies primarily on feelings, it can make impulsive or fearful choices, choices based on the emotion of the moment or on old, unhealed wounds. When our will relies primarily on our mind, it can make poor choices based on false logic, irrational beliefs, negative thoughts, or fantasies. Indecision, a failure of will, arises from fear. We are afraid of choosing wrongly, of making a decision that will hurt us or the ones we love.
- Set our intention. If we consciously intend that our choice promote love and intimacy, we can make the decision without fear of the consequences. We can trust that, even when a choice seems to go badly, our continued intention to favor intimacy will triumph.
- Seek help from a higher power. For example, if we believe in a loving God who wants us to reach our highest potential, we can pray, “Align my will with the will of God.” If we take a moment every day to ask for this alignment, our choices will become more conscious, and we will be more likely to discern our best path.
Of course, sometimes our choices might still lead to consequences that we didn’t foresee. But rather than kick ourselves, we can remember that all of our choices are opportunities for growth. We can also remember to forgive ourselves quickly and to return, again and again, to an intention of love over fear.