Attitude, Belief, & Determination

Peace be with you friend,
Please trust that deep within the fabric of your being there is a limitless creativity relentlessly expressing itself through you. The wide variety of myths, fables, and stories that wind their way through the human narrative praise and sometimes deify virtues like courage, selflessness, and forgiveness. For many of us those lofty heights seem inaccessible in the daily hustle to bind our sense of satisfaction and security with our actions and their results. The parables teach us to find ourselves in their characters and remember the source of confidence is our life.

It is fairly easy to be discouraged and fall into helplessness by the cruelty and cowardice of systemic dehumanization of the social and political world. The simple dreams and hopes for the human spirit that people like Mother Theresa, Dr. King, or Ghandi urged us to remember still bring light into the dark corners of heavy hearts. Dr. King said, "Love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies." Kindness, respect, and dignity are byproducts of firmly establishing ourselves in the unshakeable power of being alive. Firmly and gratefully holding the precious gift of our life and recognizing the fragility and fleeting spark of intelligence that lives in each of us opens a space for new choices to emerge.

Life contracts in the presence of violence and hatred, but flourishes and rises when it is free to explore and express itself. This planet is a prime place for life to express itself in astonishing and surprising ways, and human beings are only one expression. Real confidence is trusting in the force of life to continue to change, grow, and recycle itself into novel forms. Confidence, then, is not a product of our will, choices, minds, or actions. It is the consequence of allowing the unlimited capacity for life's expression to freely move through us. Our bodies, minds, and relationships are vehicles for life to interact with itself in every form it chooses to utilize. We are helplessly bound to the principles that support life, and must remember that we are not the "do-er."

Getting out of the way, giving up self-perpetuated habits, ideas, and patterns so that life can flow through us is the road to freedom from suffering. There are many ways to travel the road. Pick one. Remember: Attitude, Belief, and Determination, are the elements that make diamonds of us all, like this funky Chicago underground gem from Martin L. Dumas Jr.