Letters to Jesus (Unhelpful Mindsets and Attitudes) -6
I have the uncanny knack of laying the blame for my faults on others. Therefore it is without effort that I blame my decades as a teacher of early adolescents for making me paranoid about being duped, out-slicked, or one-upped. You know well my interior terror through those years of not being hip. That attitude has settled into me even now, well into retirement. I’ve got to be on top of things, one step ahead.
Well, what is happening is the slow realization that this carefully cultivated attitude of survival is most certainly a bump in my spiritual road. If I can ever get to the point of truly resting in You I will, inevitably, have to allow myself to be duped, out-slicked and constantly one-upped. These would be sure signs to the world of a “loser.” But it is in losing that we gain.
The world tells us that we must be hip, slick and clever and rewards us in many ways if we are. But the ways of the world are not Your ways. No one ever allowed themselves to be more catastrophically duped than You. The world called You a loser yet, as is so often the case, the world had things backward. Your example of trusting and loving the Father and doing His will allows us to see the possibility of becoming a joyful loser to the world. Truth be known, the world is unwittingly out-slicked and one-upped by the cultivation of this attitude. If I trust in You and love, I win. No matter how many times the wool is pulled over my eyes, no matter how many times I’m laughed at, ridiculed, or the subject of talk behind my back, I win. In fact, the farther I go along the track of spiritual growth the more I realize that such situations are not just to be tolerated or blown away, they are to be sought. Such seeking is not a buffoonish surrender to stupidity with neon lights flashing purposefully around my naiveté, but rather a quiet, inconspicuous embracing, interiorly, of anything that reduces others’ opinions of myself.
The understanding and growth of unconditional love is tied directly to a cultivated indifference toward attacks, small or large, upon our egos. To
Know you are being put down, ridiculed, or duped and be indifferent toward it, at least to the point where it is not unwelcome, is to decrease so that You might increase. To be able to take it a step further and actually welcome such opportunities is to eliminate that bump in the spiritual path altogether.