Reluctance

Art: Vladimir Kush

I have been working with this word through the weekend and unbeknownst to me this has been a theme since last October.

According to the dictionary, being reluctant is to be “unwilling,” 1660s, from Latin reluctantem (nominative reluctans), present participle of reluctari “to struggle against, resist, make opposition,”

Reluctant, literally, struggling back from, implies some degree of struggle either with others who are inciting us on, or between our own inclination and some strong motive, as sense of duty, whether it operates as an impelling or as a restraining influence. [Century Dictionary]

On further contemplation, to be reluctant is a struggle externally as well as internally.

Externally, we drag our feet when we are pulled towards something that we are not quite ready to make a decision yet. For those of us who are tired of the accelerated pace of our world, where everyone talks faster, acts immediately and where hustling is some sort of admirable quality, reluctance shows up in various forms.

Sometimes it shows up to self sabotage or procrastinate. Sometimes it is in our best interests to preserve rushing hastily into realms we are not yet ready to undertake. It is born out of the fatigue of the past and in the confusion of transition. Sometimes reluctance is rooted in a deeper intuition around the importance of right timing.

Last Saturday, poet David Whyte spoke to us about reluctance and what it meant to each of us. How we could stop running away from it and instead sit with our struggle. For in our very resistance lies the way through the current that is swirling around us. In our ability to recognize our own reluctance, we develop greater compassion for the suffering of others.

All great movements, all inspired creations were birthed in the cauldron of opposition. Ideation and innovation spring from the push back to status quo.

If you are dragging your feet, feeling generally disobedient, it could be a good time to examine which area of your life lacks luster or where tiredness has robbed you of your inner vision.

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