The Hazard of Conviction

The risk of living your life with conviction is falling in love too easily. Stop. Not every statement of love is about needy bonds between two people. No. Love is more wholesome when it is considered within the context of giving of yourself without restraint just so that you can experience the joy of such abandon, even if it is discarded or goes unnoticed. The aftermath of such rejection is what primes us for our next encounter. Sometimes it builds walls so high and tough that we lose any conviction in living with conviction. But sometimes, it strips us of any pride we may have had in holding on to the delusion of being in control, and as a result we find ourselves actively pursuing the ideal that got away.

Despite my disillusionment at those that live life focused on pleasing or appeasing others, I can’t despise them for it because I know that those same weaknesses exist within me. I may not succumb to it as often these days, but I’ve had my bouts of indulgence that left me questioning my significance and my sanity. But this is not about self-doubt, it’s about conviction. Those that lack conviction demonstrate an absence of love or passion in what they do, and it shows. We are drawn to that which resonates with our convictions, be they values, principles, or even aspirations. We are repulsed by those that create noise or disturbance around these core issues of our serenity, sometimes overtly, but often as a natural dislike that cannot be easily explained.

I find it easier to engage meaningfully with someone that holds contradictory views to my own when they express such views with conviction and sincerity, as opposed to the whimsical agreement I receive from many that are too afraid to offend me. We need receptive hearts before we find the words to express the message that stirs within us. People with conviction are often those receptive hearts we need, while people without it tend to sway with the fads and the fickleness of the times, leaving very little room for inspiration, but much for consumerism. Given how distracted society is these days, it’s safe to assume that the distracted are many, while the convicted are few. When the convicted challenge the distractions, they are purged from society under the guise of maintaining the peace. (I suspect that many will struggle to see the ‘convicted’ as one with conviction, as opposed to a common criminal, which ironically contradicts the fact that the one without conviction is in fact the thief of the peace in our lives).

Choosing to live with conviction is choosing a path laden with heartache and disappointment, occasionally peppered with a glint of beauty from those that have experienced enough betrayal and disappointment to learn to be true to themselves. But those moments of beauty cannot be traded for anything less, because everything else only feeds the desire to embrace that beauty. It is akin to achieving the realisation of something, which once realised, cannot be un-realised. The absence of conviction makes it that much more difficult to recover from betrayal, because when we lack a sense of who we are and what we stand for, we are more likely to court the affirmation of others for the sake of affirmation, rather than finding comfort in being grounded in our focus on a higher purpose.

There are too many of us that are trying to live someone else’s dream, while believing that it is in fact our own. We’re afraid to scratch beneath the surface, or disrupt the system, while we celebrate the disruptive ones. We find a calling behind a rebel, but spurn rebels amongst us. We contradict ourselves regularly, but are oblivious to such contradiction because it is in balance with society. We allow society to define us while we despise ourselves for being defined. We want to be unique individuals, just like everyone else, and the saddest irony is that most don’t get the irony in that.

I have fallen in and out of love with people in brief moments of random encounters. Some have held my love for longer, while others took it for granted because they were distracted by affirmation too soon. Seeing the gold in the eyes of one that feels a sudden and unexpected elation at truly grasping a moment of beauty in their own lives is priceless. It is what drives me to be uncompromising and tenacious in my effort to unlock more of it in everything around me. Those that lack such conviction find me impossible to deal with, but those that have it experience moments of revelation that reveals the beauty beneath the cesspool of society.

I am at odds with society, and I love it. I never wanted to fit in, although at times I desired acceptance. But conformity was never an option. I pray that I will meet others with an equal conviction in my lifetime, not just fleeting glimpses of them, but a true embrace of souls that will provide a distant echo of the peace that lies beyond.

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