Willfulness and The disease of Frustration

Examining the Evidence: Wilfulness

As a toddler, Sarah was a very wilful little person, and her mother wouldn’t tolerate it: “I’ll not put up with this little madame trying to rule my life” her mother would say.

Over time, a battle of wills developed between mother and daughter. Sarah’s handicap would prove to be her size, for being young, meant there really wasn’t much choice as to who had their way. Frustration, would build and build inside the little girl, as her will was constantly countermanded by her mother.

Such is the nature of the unconscious mind, that we’re often unaware of our behaviour. This is especially true when we’re young. Self-awareness is certainly something that better develops as we age. Having said this, perhaps the situation, between mother and daughter, would not have got so out of hand, if mother had been just slightly more self-aware.

The buildup, resulting from her will being constantly crushed, meant Sarah unconsciously needed a solution. Meal times were proving especially difficult for mother, as Sarah had started to become an extremely fussy eater. Meal times would go on for hours as her mother tried desperately to cajole her daughter into finishing her food. During these times, Sarah would feel less frustration and her mother, more. It would seem, her unconscious, was finding a cure.

As the years went on, Sarah became less wilful and the battle between mother and daughter, had pretty much reached an impasse. There didn’t seem to be much love between them. What had developed a greater ferocity though, was her relationship with food. To cut a long story short, she hardly ate anything at all; she had developed Anorexia Nervosa. Sarah was starving herself to death.     

There’s no doubt children can be very wilful. Human beings in general have extraordinary willpower. Consider what we humans can, and do achieve, when we really put our minds to it. And there is the key: our minds. Our minds are so powerful, that when pointed in the correct direction, with the correct motivation, we’re able to achieve greatness over and over again. All throughout history there is evidence of this.

There is an important proviso here: our minds must be whole. In other words, we must have congruence between the conscious and unconscious parts of our mind. There must be no disease that our mind has found to cure us (take a moment with this). The solutions the mind finds to cure us are often the disease that kills us. Our unconscious mind is not in the position to question the validity of its solutions – it is not conscious – and therefore, will simply respond to what makes us feel more in control, and less frustrated.


“Our will must be given healthy development through being given freedom, direction, purpose and the understandings borne of love. In the case of Sarah, a few ingredients were missing, from this important chemistry.”

The trouble with control, is it’s often our will, that requires it. Without control we feel frustration. This frustration is the true disease. A deadly disease when we’re not allowed to express it, and double-deadly, when our unconscious finds a solution to rid us of it. Control over food, and her mother at the dinner table, was an effective method of removing the frustration Sarah felt; at last her will had control of something: her eating.

The ingredients we needed to find, for Sarah to be well, was a direction and purpose for her will. She needed to find something to direct her thoughts toward, that were a distraction from food and eating. Her will needed a different purpose; she needed a purpose other than the one that was killing her.

Of course prevention is always better than cure, and the easy fix, would have been for mother to relinquish control. Emotional maturity helps us understand the importance of children winning the battle; it takes an adult to succeed at playing out this little game successfully.

The other part of this fix comes when a child is given direction and purpose, through witnessing parents, who also have this. Parents must understand how to successfully manage their will and that of our children’s. There’s no battle (of wills) when we all have our strength and determination pointed in the same direction.

“After all, the proof of our powerful will is in the pudding, when we see that when misdirected, it can take our lives, right from under our noses.”

Point your will in the correct direction, and find a way to understand how to create rounded, beautiful lives, full of love, direction and purpose. Our children are depending on it.

Create Beautiful Partnerships.