Eleanor Roosevelt once said, and I’ve quoted before on this blog, that “we must do that which we think we cannot”. I have been on this journey for a few months now and I have learned so much and have accomplished things that I never thought possible. But now I have come to the realization that there is still one thing holding me back. Fear.
The heart wants what it wants, and there is no point in trying to convince it otherwise. And the key to living a fulfilling life is too follow our heart, regardless of fear. This could be fear of the judgement of family and friends, fear of not having financial security, fear of uncertainty, etc. For me, it is all of the above. Fear can come in many shapes and forms, but the source is always the same…the mind. The mind wants what is safe, logical and socially acceptable. Unfortunately listening to it is not the path to fulfillment. If anything it is the path to taking whatever comes to you and living life in autopilot, never realizing your true passions. This I learned first hand.
The irony of all this is, is that usually what the heart wants scares the crap out of your mind. That’s when the mind turns the fear on, in an attempt to talk you out of what ever it is that the heart wants you to do. In fact, when making choices in life, if you’re not afraid, chances are your not following your heart at all. So what if what the heart is telling you to do is crazy and completely illogical? What if it is telling you to do something that no one in their right mind would ever agree to doing, and that you’re family and friends would be completely against? This is where I am right now and I am completely and utterly terrified!
I know what I should do and I know what I want to do, and deciding between these two feels impossible. I am constantly thinking and rethinking all of my possible actions I could take, and the consequences that may come from those actions. I can easily create the manuscript in mind of what would be all the worst possible scenarios that could come to be if I choose to follow my heart. I can also feel with every bone in my body, all of the safety and certainty that would come if I would just do what the mind thinks is best. Sounds like the choice is obvious, right? But the latter would be based on a lie. I would be lying to the universe, the people I love, and worst of all, myself.
Although the mind leads us to safety and certainty in life, it will never enable us to live our true purpose. That is the price of the safety and the security that it brings. It leads you to being complacent with what ever comes along, never truly giving a second thought to your values and your passions. It leads to a constant feeling that something is missing, an unbearable emptiness that you will spend a lifetime trying to fill superficially with people and things that will only distract you further from your purpose. These things will become your life raft as your happiness becomes dependant on them, a dependency that can only truly be realized when you are faced with losing them. This is the moment when your world as you know it falls apart and the only life raft that you have to cling to is yourself. This is “rock bottom” and those who have this moment are truly the lucky ones. For it is at this moment that you can find power within yourself to change your life and make it all you ever dreamed it could be.
If played right, this could be the moment that you finally choose to follow your heart, and following your heart always means living according to your values and passions. It leads to a life that is fulfilling, even with any challenges that will undoubtedly come to you along the way. Surely the beginning will be terrifying and there will be resistance, whether it be from you or the people around you. But if you’ve truly followed your heart, you will have harnessed the great power that can only come from the knowledge that you are living according to your deepest passions and highest values. And the more that you learn to trust your heart, the more your heart continues to guide you in the right direction. This is the path to a fulfilling life.
So…the choice is yours to make. Do you follow your mind and do what it thinks is best for you, knowing full well that you will always be living a lie and living according to everyone else’s values but your own? Do you choose to live with the nagging feeling that something is missing in your life? Or do you face your fears with courage, knowing that despite the resistance and the challenges you will need in order to follow your heart, you will live a more fulfilling and purposeful life?
I here by declare that I am choosing to live my life with great passion and courage, and to continue on this journey going where ever my heart wishes to take me. Today is the first day of the rest of my life!