During the first couple WILL meetings this year we have focused on the Social Change Model. While I feel that I have heard about the social change model before this time it seemed to really strike a chord. So far, we have focused on the individual components of the social change model, consciousness of self, congruence, and commitment. I have learned that these key individual components are essential to the progressing with the group values as well as the societal values. Here lately, I have realized that I have been struggling with my consciousness of self.
Consciousness of self basically means being aware of your values, emotions, dreams, and ideas. I view this component of the individual part of the social change model as the most important, and the component that leads someone to the other two, congruence and commitment. Without a consciousness of self, someone cannot know if they are congruent to their beliefs and that makes it really hard to commit yourself to something bigger.
Lately, I realized I have been allowing what I do to become who I am. I found that I have been pushing back the need to discover myself and instead replace that with the things that I need to get done; whether it being work, school work, volunteer work, really anything to make me not have to think about myself. Many times I use being too busy as an excuse for things. I am tired of doing that. WILL has helped me realize that who I am and what I believe in really does matter and is actually incredibly important to the impact I will eventually (hopefully) make on the world.
The activity that was facilitated by two of our wonderful WILL members is what made me realize that I really need to wake up. In the activity we needed to draw a picture that represents our dreams, values, beliefs, and goals. While I didn’t have a hard time coming up with my dreams and goals, I seemed to always have known sort of what I want to do with my life, I struggled coming up with my values and beliefs. While I have some core beliefs, I do not really know what is really important to me outside of those. What do I value in myself and in others? What do I want to be like as a person and what traits do I want to have? This activity got me thinking and realizing that I have been putting this discovery off for way to long. Without WILL, I would have never realized all the growing I still have to do.
I haven’t quite figured out my next step from here, but it definitely entails taking a step back from life. It entails allowing me some time for personal growth and discovery. I also believe that WILL, and the members of WILL, will be a huge part in this growth. This community is someplace where personal stories and personal growth is valued and I am so honored and pleased to be a part of such a loving and supportive community.
Stephanie Sollanek is a second year member of WILL.