Last night, we saw the movie Joy, about a down-and-out woman from working-class roots who has always had an inventor living inside her. Due to the chaos of her dysfunctional family, she does not invite her inner brilliance to emerge until one day, she does, because she believes she can succeed.
The movie was ok. I wasn’t bowled over, though I do love Jennifer Lawrence as an actress, but I wasn’t disappointed either. And I admit, there were moments when I was overcome with emotion, by the excitement of her journey.
And so it hit me, that what separates people is belief.
Belief in self, belief in possibility, belief in something better.
Call it religion, call it faith, call it inner wisdom or inner voice. Perhaps it’s meditation that brings it out, or karmic clearings. Whatever name we want to give this belief to categorize it doesn’t really matter. It’s simply that we believe something else can be true and so we will it into reality.
When I was a little girl, I went through a phase when I believed I might try to become the first female President of the United States, and the first Jew to hold that higher office. I believed that it was possible, that if I wanted it, I had a shot.
That desire faded (thank God!), but no one tried to tell me I couldn’t do it. Looking back, I realize it was a long shot and pretty unlikely that I would make it that far, but if I had truly wanted to get there, I could have aligned my efforts and my paths to direct right to the White House.
I guess I still believe it is possible.
That belief is what sustains us. I’ve met some pretty negative people who don’t believe anything good is possible, and I hate being around them. That negative energy, which is really just a lack of confidence, is like a dark shade descending all around, blocking out any light.
I’m not a psychologist so I can’t say why someone would choose disbelief over possibility, but if I had a choice, I know what it would be.
Yes, there are many days where I feel despair or disappointment, where I wonder how I’ll pay a certain bill or if I’ll ever be able to take the kids on world trips. But those are moments, flashes in the heavy iron pan.
Mostly, I cling to my belief because it’s the only way I can see to live. I believe I can change the world. I believe I matter. I believe the work I do will effect change.
I believe in the goodness of others, even when it’s buried deep.
I believe in the possibility of love, even for and among strangers.
I believe that success is attainable, however you define it.
And, on this second day of yet another new year, I believe in the possibility for starting over, every morning, every week, every designated time of reckoning.
Anything is possible, if you just believe.