Monday, 2 July 2007
An Attitude of Fierce Resolve
Fierce resolve is something that cannot be beaten. Some people seem to be born with it. They know exactly what they want to do and they then spend their lives single mindedly doing it. Then there are those of us who admire them from the sidelines in wonder. While we are dithering, prevaricating and worrying about worrying - they have sailed around the world, climbed the highest mountain, dug wells in Africa, gone too space and won the Open at Wimbledon. All while we stood before two items in a shop wondering whether to get the one with the higher back or not!
Single-mindedness does not belong solely to the realms of athletes and A-students, it is an attitude that can be cultivated and you could call it magic, for it is the art of moulding reality to take the form of our dreams.
Reality can and does bend at our will. This is where the phrase fierce resolve clarifies itself. When you are firmly decided upon a goal, you cultivate the resolution to achieve. You don't do this half-heartedly. Whether your desire is to be wealthier or healthier, you do it with every ounce of your being in total accord with your destination. If it is wealth you want - you eat, sleep and breathe that feeling of wealthiness that you want to realise - you live off that anticipation, and then you do everything you can to get there. Everything that pops into your mind that seems possible to do, you do, you exhaust it as an avenue of possibility. It either works or it doesn't work. The point is you've done it and ruled it out and learned.
When I say 'fierce' I mean fierce. When you wake up you remind yourself of the presence of your enemy - 'Yourself, your negativity, your doubt, your disbelief, your lassitude' for here they are all present and correct whether you invite them or not, whether you recognise them or not. Any obstacle that arises and obscures your goal is your enemy. Often it is subtle. It is the insistent voice in your head that says 'Someone else has probably done this already' or 'Are you sure this is what you want' or 'You'll never be good enough' and these are the enemies you have to fight, even though sometimes you forget that they are there, and they slip up like samurai - but then a moment of distraction occurs and you remember 'Didn't I want to sail on a Tall Ship' or 'Go to Mexico' or 'Learn Salsa'. Something, something that nags you and is like a gaping hole of unfulfilment gnawing at you. Perhaps you hide in a bag of chips, or a pint of beer; when what you should be doing is fighting. Teeth bared, snarling, claws at the ready to pounce on the next unsuspecting doubt that threatens your precious ambition. And it is precious, it is your life - it is your beautiful goodness. The adventurous spirit in you. That vein of insight that only you have and nobody else on the entire planet can do or be it like you can. They cannot turn that piece of wood like you can - and they haven't those exact words that you so easily use to put ease in someone's heart when they most need it.
It's funny, I have known so many people over the years and all of them delighted me in some way that was their way and their way alone. They had a way of being themselves that I loved and that they weren't even aware of. Oh, but it's a beautiful thing and you all know what I am talking about
So this fierce resolve has to come about, sometimes, only after we've reached rock bottom. We don't have to, but often it's in our psyche to have to go there first before we are able to find the belief we need in ourselves to reach for 'impossible heights' Then it's up to us to remember, at all times of day, the reaches of passion; because sometimes our passion is quiet, buried beneath something perfunctory and we're in a bit of a daze -busy doing but not seeming to get anywhere and time's just passing and we're wondering where our lives have gone. It is in those moments that we snap at someone close to us, or drive up the curb or trip over our toes, because we're not there - we're not in our blood. we could be anyone in that moment, any Jo.
You probably want to be healthy and you probably want to be wealthy but have you thought about being wise. Being wise and not tripping up over your toes. Doing everything you can to get to your goal. Your dream is there, in you, there's a simple picture that you hold somewhere; a way of being, a quiet moment, some warmth, an emotion, something physical, a new car, cheaper insurance or a long cherished dream. Whatever it is don't continue relegating it so that it remains a dream. Live by it as though it is about to happen and do eveything you can to be there. You want to be comfortably out of your comfort zone; don't forget to live this life now in it's best possible way - don't over-exert yourself, but be kind.
I don't know why but now that I have started this journey - there really isn't enough time in the day. I stay up till late, I wake up in the middle of the night with more ideas than I have the time to do them. I get stiff from sitting typing for too long, because of this thing called 'fierce resolve'. It makes me labour without thinking about time or food, and sometimes it's only thirst or the need for the loo that forces me to stop whatever I'm doing to tend ridiculously, to my basic needs. You can become a very unkind 'potential', potential successful business person, potential best selling author, potential world famous actor. Whatever your potential don't let the realisation of it take away from something that is more important than anything else. The only human magic I think, 'kindness'.
I sat and watched the Princess Diana Concert last night along with about everyone whose got a TV on the planet - about 1 billion people. I remembered where I was when she died and how shocked I was, and also surprised about how much loss I felt for someone I didn't even know. She had kindness down to a tee and everyone loved her for being that and being beautiful, and being herself with all the vaguaries and fragility that comes with being a human-not-hiding.
Subconsciously, Princess Diana had formed a hope in my mind, a hope I didn't even know was there until she went, and with her my hope - or so I thought. Someone had been out there doing what I wanted to see being done; she tried to be truthful; which is so hard to be to yourself let alone to the whole world, and she took what power she had and gave it to people who had none saying kindly with her whole being - here use mine. She sincerely hoped it would help and sometimes that is the best we can do. The best we can manage is to hope; to live bravely with our fear that things won't work, and to share what we can that's simple and good.
Last night there were one billion people remembering Princess Diana. There were one billion people who weren't fighting each other, who weren't stealing someones' lands, or possessions or life. There were so many people who were just sitting down watching the TV, sharing, each one with their own dreams, their own culture, each one very different from the next.
I felt a healing in a way, for something you don't expect to need healing for, becuase it wasn't my grief to have, not really. But nevertheless it was there and it was real; experience doesn't lie.Yes, Princess Diana lives on through her sons and they carry that responsiblity with so much integrity, but I wonder if she doesn't now live on in all of us. Princess Diana was a 'beacon light of a hope' in Martin Luther King' words, for something none of us could phrase; only translate into feeling and that after all is a far deeper communiaction
She gave us with her passing her responsibility to share; to use what power we have, what 'resolve' we have and share it with those who do not have either our freedom, or our resources of health or wealth
When I went grape picking last summer I worked with about twenty Moroccans, and upon meeting me they were trying to establish where I was from and I said 'Je suis Anglaise' and immediately one of them said delightedly 'Ah Princess Diana' and peered at me. I was a bit taken aback. Suddenly Diana had become a sort of passport in common understanding between me and these new preople I had just met, whose culture and religion I didn't have much of a clue about. We went on to commiserate with each other about her tragic fate, but I couldn't help feeling a kind of delight that a door had been opened and I had had to do nothing to open it for it had already been done, and strangely enough it was Princess Diana that had done it, nine years after her death, she's still working her magic. Her 'fierce resolve' may perhaps have gone further with her death than it would had she remained here with us. Her 'soul force' is an inspiration, for soul force doesn't die. It is something we all have and we should use it.
I am tired of violence and war. I am tired of political squabbling while vulnerable people are withering under the bullets and knives of men and women who are supposed to be protecting the unprotected not persecuting them. I think this tiredness is shared by many people and it is a statement that our soul force is now willing and able to meet physical force. 'Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' are human words, they are words for ordinary people; they are precious words that stand as symbols for our peace and our well being. They are words that cross borders and boundaries, races, religions and creeds. Where they are outlawed and citizens of the world suffer unduly because of such neglect, then our human kindness is necessary, and our fierce resolve is necesasary. 'The majestic heights' that Martin Luther King spoke of, of 'meeting physical force with soul force' apply to the whole world. 'Their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom, we cannot walk alone' does not now apply only to the apartheid of the sixties but to the entire planet in the twenty first century.
I thought about yesterday how I imagined an old granny, upon realising she is in the company of a terrorist, going for him with her handbag. It was a really wonderful simplistic day dream, that made me full of glee becuase I could really see it, which means it's possible. There are so many of us that know how to live together and do so, and then there are those that don't yet know. When a person threatens another person in any way it's so rude. Bombing is rude - it's not just violent, it's a total infringement of privacy and personal space. You might think I'm overlooking the real tradgedy of such methods but I want to focus in on this infringement. Missiles, mortars, screaming fighter planes, bullets and the intention to do harm, are rude, and I have a fierce resolve to say as much.
For us ordinary folk who just want to get on with our lives, to go about our work, grow food, watch TV, have the odd festivity; we have nothing to throw back at bombs that fall from the sky or on our streets. We don't much understand them, we might think that bombing is a necessary evil, we might put up with them stoically or take to the streets in protest. We might get angry, upset and take vows of revenge or start our own jihad - some of us. But we are ordinary people and as such we don't want war, we don't like it and we go to it reluctantly.
In the past ordinary people have been capable of extraordinary feats and I think it's about time ordinary people revealed their superhero not-so-softcentres; and said we are unwilling to put up with being ordinary. We are unwilling to put up with wars over wealth and resources, unwilling to stand idly by and quiet while others are suffering at the hands of those who use their power so rudely. Freedom, many of us have had won for us, some of us have not yet tasted it and some of us are having it taken away as I write. I am indignant over any rude infringement of anyone's freedom on this earth and in my own way I will no longer stand for it, in my own way and for my own dignity and sensitivity I will 'hew out of the mountain of dispair a stone of hope'.It might be in another's country that they must win their own freedom as we have slowly done.
I am disturbed that Japan who gave up war and their own military after the second world war should be selling arms to Darfur now. I disaprove of this. I'm unhappy that the British and US government intervene in one dictatorship and not another.
My words might fall harmlessly on the sand, but my soul force will not. My 'fierce resolve' is that everyone has at least one taste of freedom, a taste that lingers and can be savoured long after I've left the earth. I feel like by writing, I'm like that old granny - there's not a lot that's in my power to do. I haven't got millions of pounds. I can't send armies here there and everywhere or pay politicians to be under my sway, but I can wave my handbag around and give blood curdling yells of disaproval. I'm enjoying a special kind of peace, a costly one I think I have been privileged to know the value of and I'm not about to waste my life letting it amount to nothing.
Life is a beautiful thing and we should all of us get to see that; those who cause suffering and those who are suffering 'Their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom - we cannot walk alone' Martin Luther King, means just that -it means that 'we are one person' Pueblo Indian
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tags - determination, resolve, faith, Martin Luther King 'I have a Dream', Princess Diana Concert, Japan weapons to Darfur, perserverence, non-violence, war, ant-war, the little people
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