I Have Confidence

Maria-in-front-of-the-bus_Salzburg

Like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, I have confidence.

Confidence in what exactly? That’s a question I had to ask myself recently after reading an NPR article on what Americans have confidence in – or don’t.

Based on a recent poll, NPR found that Americans don’t seem to have much confidence in any institution. Not in Congress. Not in their political parties, nor the president, nor big business. Not in banks nor the media. Not even in public schools.

But there is one institution in which Americans apparently have a lot of confidence.

The military.

As much as 87 percent of Americans said they have “a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military,” according to the poll.

That’s a 30-percent increase from the 1970s.

At first, reading this was upsetting.

I mean, for a country that overwhelmingly claims to be Christian, this somehow didn’t sit right with me. Trusting in force and firepower. In violent means to an end. Not that Christianity hasn’t been violent throughout the centuries. Still, I do believe we are evolving.

I also believe this growing confidence in the military equates to a growing fear and anxiety in our society. Perpetuated by what we’re fed.

Daily.

Anyone could easily tap into that fearful place by listening to the news or political pundits. Or by following the barrage of negativity coming across social media. Or coming down the pipeline from Washington.

So, for my own sanity, I decided to pause. Take a breath.

And in the silence, ask myself, “What do you have confidence in, Pauline? What do you trust?”

What came to me immediately is that I have confidence in what I cannot see, yet I know is present in everything.

I have confidence in love. The Source of love that we cannot fully grasp with our finite minds, yet upholds us in everything.

This love permeates nature. It causes the sun to rise every morning and the moon to shine in the darkness.

gorgeous sunrise

Everything and everyone is a manifestation of this love. Nothing exists outside of it.

I have confidence that love is present in everything. It prevails in the midst of negativity and deep darkness. Even in the violence, in the madness, in the disease and desperation.

And although love won’t intervene, I trust in this love to heal the repercussions of violence. To show up in each of us as acts of mercy and compassion. Selfless kindness. Sacrifices made for another.

It heals what seems impossible to heal.

And it accomplishes this through me, and through you.

I have confidence in this love. And I have confidence in me. Because, as St. Catherine of Genoa said, “My deepest me is God.”

My true Source is love.

Sometimes, trusting in that is the only thing that saves me.

Funny, but after I reflected on this, I found myself breaking into song. Suddenly singing “I Have Confidence” just like Maria in The Sound of Music.Maria-bold confidence

I picture Maria in her little jacket and funny hat, carrying her guitar case along a picturesque Salzburg street as she makes her way to the von Trapp mansion. She’s belting out a song to her little scared self about what she has confidence in. She needs to remind herself. Because she’s venturing into completely unknown territory.

And it feels a bit frightening. As the uncertain future easily does.

But as she sings, Maria grows stronger as she remembers her Source of confidence, present in the sunshine and the rain. Present in her.

Maybe we all need to sing along. And trust in what really matters.

child singing

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6 thoughts on “I Have Confidence

  1. Grace Cangialosi

    Lovely, Pauline! It’s s hard to know what to have confidence in these days–thank you for this reminder that there is something/Someone we can trust. (And I’m guessing that little girl with the pink guitar is your young self–am I right?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rob Morrell

    Good one, Pauline! That was really substantive but also a lot of fun to read. That is usually not an easy combo to achieve.

    I am curious – and this may or may not be a question you wish to answer in your blog – or at all, for that matter! I have heard you say at times that frequently your blog entries do not come easily to you, that they require a fair amount of time and a good bit of rewriting. I am just wondering if this entry came any more easily to you.

    Don’t get me wrong: I think your entries invariably are well-written, and they always deal with topics that make me stop and think. But this one seemed to have a lightness of tone and a “flow” that felt so natural and effortless to me, the reader. I just wonder if the act of composing it engendered any similar feelings for you, the writer.

    Love,
    Rob

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pauline

      Thanks, Rob. It’s true that sometimes I do spend a good deal of time getting the words to express exactly what I want to say, but you’re right in that this entry came easily to me. So did the previous one about the young man I visit in detention.

      Like

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