Now, I choose the word foundation because a foundation is something that we consciously choose to lay down when we intend to build something of high value that needs a solid place to stand upon. In this case, it is my life that I am building and I am consciously choosing to build it upon these core beliefs. Again, the analogy of the foundation for me represents something that is not only formed to my needs but it is solid and immutable. The foundation is a place that is the footprint I must always return to when I need to feel safe and grounded. It is a place and structure that I know cannot be easily shaken nor fractured. It can be expanded and I will always seek to expand, possibly improve my foundation but the original footprint, this footprint that I am consciously choosing to form and live upon now will form the core that will remain in place.
I suppose you may have guessed by now that I do not take this lightly, this proclamation. So rather than just throwing them out there, I have chosen to explain a little of why I choose these ideals as my foundation, perhaps, not as much for you as for me as I am not wholly convinced many, other than myself, will read this. The foundation I am choosing to build upon is:
1. God Is Good All The Time: As the first of my foundational beliefs, I choose to return to this belief, both proactively and reactively as often as possible. The former, of course, is easy, the latter, often, a challenge. I believe this truth with all of my being. God IS good all the time. My experience in life has, without fail, lead me to believe this is true. I have many examples of this but the one that presently comes to mind is a motorcycle accident that I had in my late twenties. Leading up to this accident, I was closely akin to the fellow Soren Kierkegaard described as “A” in his book entitled “Either/Or”. “A” is a character that was largely driven by pleasure and that was largely where I was. Like the kick in the nose this morning, the motorcycle accident woke me up. After the accident, I started to appreciate aspects and details of life that I had not formerly been awake to. In this sense, I believe my life is richer and better because of the accident. If anyone had tried to convince at the time of the accident, that God Is Good All The Time and that the motorcycle accident was in fact “Good”, I would have had a very difficult time accepting it. Now though, because of this event and numerous others, I am convinced, God IS Good All The Time and taking this knowledge into all of future as a foundational belief, I am convinced that my life is and will be richer and better in every way.
2. I am doing the best I can with The tools I have to work with AND you (collectively) are doing the best you can with the tools you have to work with. This belief allows me a certain freedom to live uninhibited and allows me to forgive myself and others. The immutable truth here is that I must (necessarily and always) do the best I can with the tools I have to work with and others must as well.
Now, let me explain: Every decision I make and every action I take, based on all of my life experience is (because it cannot be otherwise) the best (and perhaps the ONLY) decision or action I could have taken. Again, given the human condition, it cannot be otherwise.
Let’s say for example, one person betrays another. Specifically, let’s say that two people have made a commitment to one another to be sexually faithful to each other by not engaging in sexual intimacy with anyone other than each other. Let’s call them person 1 and person 2. Now, let’s say Person 2 violates that commitment and engages in an act of intimacy with Person 3.
It is my belief that Person 2 made the best decision they could have made with the tools they had to work with. It doesn’t justify the decision Person 2 made nor does it make the decision right or wrong. It is just a decision and an action. Now Person 1 will, in turn, make the best decision and take the best action based on the tools they have to work with. Person 1 may decide to dissolve the relationship with Person 2 or may decide to take another course but without fail, Person 1 must draw upon the tools they have to work with and make the best decision they can. This is true for all 3 people, they all make the best decisions they can and take the best actions they can (at the time) using the tools they have to work with.
Here you might say “so what” they made the best decision, yadda yadda yadda, who cares? Well, I do. Knowing that we are all (including myself) doing the best we can with the tools we have to work with takes away all of the malice and the perception that I or anyone could have done anything other than what they did. The truth is that there will always be consequences for every decision. The consequences may be desirable or they may not be. People will have to live with the consequences of their decisions.
The important concept here is that people are not every decision that they make. People are just human, learning from their decisions, collecting more (and hopefully better) tools to make future decisions. I can accept you and me because I know that we are all doing that absolute best we can with the tools we have to work with.
3. I Love You and There is Nothing In the World You Can Do About It! This, is something I imagine Jesus might embrace. It is an ideal I want as part of my foundation. This concept is that no matter what you do, I will love you. I have only been able to grasp and embrace this concept since I have become a husband and a father. It is the concept of unconditional love. Prior to really giving this concept it’s required and due attention, I had thought of unconditional love as unconditional acceptance. That is not what unconditional love is for me now. Unconditional acceptance implies (for me) that I would have to accept ideas and ideals, decisions and actions that I fundamentally disagree with. Besides being a poor foundation for anything, accepting concepts and actions with which I fundamentally disagree would just set me afloat in an ocean without boundaries or direction.
So what then is my ideal statement and foundational belief that “ I Love You and There is Nothing In the World You Can Do About It!” It just means that I will always choose to love you. I am free to disagree and to even avoid you if I wanty to but I know that my interface or exposure to you is for my greater good (refer to the first foundational belief above) and I know that you are doing the best you can with the tools you have to work with.
Given all of this, I choose to love you and there is nothing in the world you can do about it!